Keeping people safe in a sociable surrounding is top priority as many of the region’s bars and restaurants return to business for the first time since the start of lockdown in March.
Check out this Luxe guide to some of the local restaurants pivoting in the pandemic and serving up the goods this summer…
Yarm’s buzzy high street is back in business – and we’re delighted to see some of our favourite hangouts opening back up – in a safe and sociable way. Cena’s is back and is as chic and inviting as ever, serving beautifully-crafted favourites with a tasty twist, including their much-loved artisan stone-baked pizzas. Other dishes we can enjoy again include pasta, risotto, salads, steaks, fish and more.
Coco & Rum, Saltburn-by-the-Sea
For an authentic taste of Thailand, look no further than Coco & Rum in the quaint seaside town of Saltburn. From streetfood to traditional dishes, you can expect to find all of your Thai favourites here – and it certainly won’t disappoint. If it’s your first trip out since the beginning of lockdown, this is a great spot to soak up the atmosphere, sip on cocktails and savour every moment of indulgent feasting. Coco & Rum is operating with reduced opening hours and limited seating, so booking is essential. Open 12pm – 2.30pm for lunch bookings and 5pm – 9pm for evening meals.
Rib Room Steakhouse, Ramside Hall Hotel
Revel in the AA award-winning Rib Room Steakhouse and enjoy some of the finest steak in the area from 10 July. Ramside Hall has put the safety of staff and customers first, ensuring every visit is an enjoyable one. Go here for steak specialities, lobster, fish dishes and plenty of delicious vegetarian options.
Cosy Club, Durham
Get cosy – but not too cosy. This Durham riverside favourite is back serving up the goods, and it’s great to be back! Go here for exquisite, easy-going food, lip-smackingly-good cocktails and a stylish, 50s-style setting. With safety measures in place and a team of smiling staff on board to help your return to restaurants feel safe and stress-free, this is the perfect spot to bring a bit of tasty normality back to life.
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The Crathorne Arms, Crathorne
This charming village pub is welcoming us back with familiar faces and foodie favourites that will make you feel right at home. The Crathorne Arms reopened on 4 July for bookings only, serving a reduced menu including their pre fixe offering. The team has introduced measures to ensure safety comes first for customers and staff. Hand sanitisers will be placed around the restaurant and a deep clean will be carried out every evening. They have installed extra seating at the front of the pub with outside space for drinks and alfresco dining, weather permitting. We’re already dreaming about the seafood pancake and a hearty roast!
The Coach House, Middleton Lodge Estate
The Coach House is set to kickstart its reopening in stages from 23 July – meaning we can indulge in the delights of Middleton Lodge Estate this summer. Food will be available for al fresco dining in the courtyard – the perfect spot to bask in the summer sun and enjoy a G&T or two alongside a proper Yorkshire feast. All guests will need a reservation before visiting, temperatures will be checked at the gate and table sizes will be limited in line with current Government guidelines. Whether you’re in the mood for seasonal salads, local meats, regional ales, carefully crafted cocktails or handpicked wines you’re after, the Coach House has you covered.
As one of the coast’s most popular foodie hangouts, Lobo Rojo is back in business, serving colourful, mouthwatering plates of Mexican goodness – from tacos, tostadas and quesadillas to fresh fish and meats, cooked and served the traditional way. Lobo Rojo is advising customers to book in advance to guarantee a table as they are operating at a limited capacity while adhering to strict social distancing rules. Tables will be 2m apart, hand sanitisers will be available for guests and deep cleaning practices will be followed. This Mexican spot will also be operating a takeout service alongside their restaurant opening hours for those who don’t want to ‘dine in’ just yet. For fresh margaritas and your taco fix this summer, look no further than Lobo Rojo in North Shields.
Porterhouse Butcher & Grill | Saltwater Fish Company
In recent weeks, Newcastle has been gently inviting people of the North East back into the city. Fenwick opened its doors in June and now, we’ve heard from the team at Porterhouse and Saltwater, who are back in business from 9 July. The Food Hall is a key player in the city’s food and drink scene, and we’re delighted to hear of its reopening. Both restaurants will be ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all customers and staff, all while serving some of its specialities from the counter and the kitchen.
House of Zen, Seaburn
House of Zen, Seaburn has opened its doors to North East foodies – back with a bang, serving some of the finest Asian cuisine in Wearside. Rest assured that new safety measures have been put in place to ensure the restaurant can deliver its usual quality service in a safe, sociable environment. All the usual favourites feature on the menu, including everything from king prawns and crispy aromatic duck, to Malaysian curries, stir-fry and had Thai noodles.
808 Bar & Kitchen
The buzzy 808 Bar & Kitchen is back open and ready to share its updated new menu and setting with the people of Sunderland and beyond. Social distancing measures have been put in place, but that doesn’t take away from the good vibes and vibrant food and drink offering. A new, Spanish-inspired tapas menu encourages sociable dining amongst loved ones, while all the usual 808 favourites still feature – including burgers, pizzas, platters and seafood specials. The restaurant is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11.30am – 11pm.