Crab & Lobster, Thirsk
WHY WE LOVE IT: The Crab & Lobster is a real gem and it’s certainly a cosy culinary spot for date night. It’s honest, it’s hearty, it’s unpretentious and it’s the quirkiest of places – sure to get you talking. Embracing local produce, fresh seafood and a wide variety of gourmet dishes, the restaurant is traditionally British with a real Yorkshire feel, yet it’s packed with treats and trinkets suggesting both local and exotic locations across the globe.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Diners travel miles from all corners of the North York Moors and beyond to sample the chef’s favourites and seasonal specials. The place offers unpretentious fine dining where you know you’ll get a decent portion of fresh, local produce. Whether you opt for the trademark fishy flavours or you prefer something meaty, cheesy or healthy – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
ORDER THIS: If you’re a sucker for something cheesy, order the twice baked cheese soufflé. A fluffy formation of Wensleydale, Ribblesdale and spinach, finished off with a garnish of carrot, pickled blackberries, and roast pinenuts. If you’re a fan of fish, order the ‘Crab’s’ fish pie for mains. The dish comes bursting with scallops, prawns and mussels, topped with fortune kipper mash, fresh crab meat and a cheddar crust – heaven. With a handful of buttered greens thrown in the dish, it’s the perfect fishy dish and a hearty pub meal with added elegance.
The Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland
WHY WE LOVE IT: The lovely Lord Crewe Arms has given the area an injection of cool in recent years – taking the old pub and hotel and giving it a welcoming cosy hint of rustic chic with lots of plaid, throws and sink-in sofas. Blanchland is a beautiful hideaway for loved up couples looking for supper with added charm.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Go here for good-for-the-soul dishes that promise to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. Whether it’s a Waldorf salad starter, a haggis ’n’ sausage on toast dish for brunch, or traditional fish and chips for supper, you’ll feel full and content in the cosy surroundings of The Lord Crewe Arms. It’s definitely worth swinging by for a hearty roast. The perfect pit-stop for a post-stroll Sunday lunch.
ORDER THIS: The braised lamb starter is what dreams are made of, as is the baked chicory tart with pickled garlic. For the main event, make sure you try the halibut fillet or the breaded chicken schnitzel with fried egg and fries – what’s not to love? Sweeten the deal with clementine cake with chocolate and ginger ice cream – delicious.
Riley’s Fish Shack, Tynemouth
WHY WE LOVE IT: Set out on a romantic stroll from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth, dig in to some delicious locally-caught fish dishes at Rileys Fish Shack all while you look out at the sea. Watch the world go by before wandering back up the coast. The perfect day out to celebrate the Month of Love!
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Riley’s Fish Shack’s catch and serve concept means the menu changes regular – but fish-lovers can expect dishes such as surf and turf, lobster, chargrilled squid, pan fried hake and chilli fish.
ORDER THIS: Treat your chum to a chargrilled seasonal fish wrap served in a handmade wood-fired flatbread and the shack’s signature salad – complete with Hepplewhite’s chipotle chilli relish and crispy hot-plate garlic potatoes. Just dreamy!
The Golden Lion, Osmotherley
WHY WE LOVE IT: Couples can check in for a cosy, candle-lit supper at The Golden Lion in Osmotherley. A stunning, sleepy village sitting on the edge of the North York Moors, it’s a great spot for a bit of post-dog walking lunch, or a place to switch off, relax and enjoy delicious food at night.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: This menu screams Yorkshire and serves up some of the finest local produce on the market. The Golden Lion’s refreshingly simple menu brings some of your old home comforts back to life. Whether it’s a fresh fish dish, salmon fishcakes or a perfect pastry pie, the menu focuses on popular dishes that stand the test of time.
ORDER THIS: Deep fried brie is a delicious way to start the meal – or a bowl full of mussels in white wine and shallot cream sauce, if you are fishy folk. The homemade chicken kiev is an iconic Golden Lion dish – served with green salad and chunky chips. Desserts include sticky toffee pud, whisky creme brûlée and Bakewell tart.
WHY WE LOVE IT: For something a little cool and quirky, take your date to Tattu in Leeds, just off the city’s ultra-glam Greek Street. This body art-inspired restaurant serves up contemporary Chinese cuisine – fusing traditional Asian flavours with exquisite presentation. It’s dark, it’s buzzy and it’s romantic.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: The menu perfectly represents the environment – sociable food – food that gets people talking. Treat your date to a delicious dim sum feast, enjoy a sociable, tapas-style supper, or go all-out with a sumptuous set menu.
ORDER THIS: Our favourites are the Shanghai dumplings, wild mushroom and truffle spring rolls and the peking duck buns with hoisin, cucumber and spring onion. The Thai-style crispy monkfish and caramel soy beef fillet are also winners when it comes to the main event.
Chadwicks Inn, Maltby
WHY WE LOVE IT: Chadwicks is a lovely little pub bringing big things to Teesside – including lots of inspiring awards. Maltby is an affluent little commuter village near Middlesbrough and the pub is a pull for a pint, a wine flight or posh nosh. With regular quiz nights, tasting evenings and wine masterclasses, this is the place-to-be for cultured foodie couples.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: There’s plenty to go at here – whether it’s the lunch and early evening menu, the set lunch and dinner menus, Sunday lunch, or straight-up supper specials. Dinner delights include fish, steak, lamb and venison; lunch brings risotto, fish and chips and beef burger; and vegetarian favourites include omelette, ploughman’s and wild mushroom tagliatelle.
ORDER THIS: If you want to dazzle on date night, it’s definitely worth taking a loved one to one of the restaurant’s wine tasting evenings. Five beautiful, expertly-chosen wines will blend effortlessly with a fantastic five-course menu. Dishes worth digging into include: ham hock terrine, North Sea squid, Scottish Highland venison and Neasham beef. Delicious.
Branches Restaurant, Jesmond
WHY WE LOVE IT: Bringing relaxed fine dining with a few modern twists and techniques thrown in, Branches is a brilliant place to go if you want to experiment with flavours. It’s a beautiful spot on the buzzy Osbourne Road for a romantic dinner, and we love the idea of booking a private dining room for glamorous entertaining with the whole gang.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Whether you’re in for a sumptuous Sunday roast, a leisurely lunch, tasting experience or a stylish supper, the many menus will tick all the boxes. The main menu brings a vibrant mix of grilled dishes, seafood specials and wholesome home-cooked favourites. The five-course tasting menu takes foodies on a journey from bread and starters, to a chef’s intermediate course, mains and desserts.
ORDER THIS: Make Sunday a special occasion with a scrumptious three-course feast to end the week in style! The slow cooked beetroot salad is a winner when it comes to starters, followed by the roast loin of Welsh black pork and sealing the deal with the very berry cheesecake. One course will cost you £14.95, two courses £22.95 and three courses £25.95. So worth it!
The French Quarter, Newcastle
WHY WE LOVE IT: This laid-back neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar nestled in Newcastle’s railway arches serves up a relaxed, tapas-style menu, packed with mouthwatering, made-for-sharing plates across charcuterie and cheese, meat, fish and seafood and surprisingly-good veggie options. A place to mix ’n’ match and discover new flavour combos with loved ones.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: The couple behind FQ merge their French and Northumbrian backgrounds to create the perfect recipe for a fine, French-inspired bistro with the North East at its heart. The menu incorporates simple but carefully selected French cuisine; with everything from charcuterie to fromage, meaty dishes and a creative combination of vegetarian and gluten free options too.
ORDER THIS: Go here for tasty, tapas-style dining in a quirky spot. Everything from French cured ham croquettes, boeuf bourguignon, cheese soufflé, king prawns grilled in garlic and moules marinieres. The indulgent fusion of flavours are impeccable and everything about the food is delicious – from the charcuterie to the seasoning and the sauces soaked up with house bread.
The Park Restaurant, York
WHY WE LOVE IT: If an award-winning tasting menu is your idea of a romantic night out for two, you must add The Park Restaurant in Marmadukes Hotel, York to your foodie to-do list. This stylish three AA Rosette restaurant in a quieter neighbourhood moments from the city, is cool, contemporary and an absolute treat for designer diners.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: Whether you’re checking in for the tasting menu, serving up contemporary British dishes by Adam Jackson, or you’re feasting on the four-course menu with a paired wine package, you’re certainly in for a treat. Tasting menu dishes include: scallops, sea trout and lemon ice tea; and favourites from the four-course option include: duck liver, partridge and a cheese plate.
ORDER THIS: The seven-course tasting menu is an absolute treat for foodies looking to go on a glorious gastronomical journey with head chef, Adam Jackson. He pin points accuracy, flavour and texture in every dish – we love the pork with pinot noir and the treaty cheese course as an optional extra.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Whether you’re checking in at Rudding Park Spa, or you’re just passing on a trip to Harrogate, Clocktower is a 2AA Rosette restaurant worth visiting with someone special. Go here for crafty cocktails, delicious dining and dazzling views across the hotel’s gorgeous gardens.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: With more menus than you can shake a stick at – from a la carte and Sunday lunch, to vegan and breakfast, there’s something for every occasion. A la carte favourites include: venison saddle, stuffed chicken thigh, sea bream and truffle macaroni, Sunday lunch specials include: roast belly pork and cod fillet, and vegan delights include: salt baked beetroot, chargrilled butternut squash and pumpkin risotto.
ORDER THIS: A full Yorkshire breakfast is well worth making your way through if brunch is your ideal date; the Clocktower 8oz burger is an absolute must if you fancy a post-spa lunch treat; and the a la carte fillet steak served with mushrooms, tomato, skinny fries and salad, is a romantic treat to say the least.