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Fine Dining food, Forge at Middleton Lodge Estate Forge at Middleton Lodge Estate
Eat and Drink
July 2023
Reading time 5 Minutes

Celebrating a special occasion or simply trying something new, the North East is home to some fantastic fine-dining restaurants

From 10-course tasting menus to award-winning views, here's where to book.
Food at Hjem Hjem

64 Bridge Street, Berwick TD15 1AQ
01289 308827

This highly-respected restaurant opened in 2012, and moved to its current location on Bridge Street in 2017. Named after the last boat to be built in Berwick shipyard, this is a place with locality at its heart, making use of the finest seasonal produce sourced daily from their suppliers across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. Expect dishes ranging from wild Borders rabbit with Eyemouth langoustine to Borders venison loin.

Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant
Wark on Tyne, near Hexham NE48 3LS
01434 230209

The restaurant at this characterful hotel and restaurant uses the finest Northumbrian game, meat and fish to create a modern British menu that changes with the seasons. Look out for dishes featuring fresh fruit and vegetables from the hotel’s own kitchen garden, as well as oak-smoked duck, chicken and salmon from their on-site smokery. Call in for a relaxed but refined dinner, or go all out and book in to sample their five- or eight-course tasting menu.

The Hadrian Hotel, Wall, Hexham NE46 4EE
01434 681232

Having once again retained its well-deserved Michelin star, Hjem is still near the top of the list for many North East foodies (as well as those from further afield). In the heart of Hadrian’s Wall Country, their exquisite tasting menu – with a touch of Scandinavian flair – is a unique offering. The intimate restaurant with its open kitchen offers a Nordic-influenced tasting menu of small bites and larger dishes, all created from ingredients sourced from the surrounding farms and gardens of Northumberland.

Matfen Hall
Matfen, Newcastle NE20 0RH
01661 886500

From seafood and steak in the courtyard Cloisters Restaurant and Bar, to fine-dining in the Emerald Restaurant, all the dishes here make the most of produce from the Northumbrian countryside, and the newly-refurbished Matfen Hall has options to suit all comers. Enjoy a drink in the gorgeous 1832 bar or in the Needham (where you’ll also find bistro-style all-day dining), take afternoon tea in the Orangery, or head down to the relaxed Keepers for gastropub-style dishes by the golf course.

Food at Matfen Hall Matfen Hall

Restaurant Pine
Vallum Farm, Military Road, East Wallhouses NE18 0LL
01434 671202

The tight-knit team here (led by Northumberland-born Cal Byerley and partner Siân Buchan) have this year retained both their Michelin star and their Michelin Green star in recognition of their sustainable practices. Dining here is something truly special, with exquisite cooking which makes the most of the local produce (much of it home grown or foraged) which fills the extensive tasting menu. It’s worth ordering one of their intelligent wine pairings, carefully designed by the restaurant’s brilliant sommelier.

The Sycamore
Princes Street, Corbridge NE45 5AS
01434 239454

Serving brunch, lunch and dinner, The Sycamore showcases the best seasonal offerings sourced from a close network of local farms and suppliers. The tempting bar menu by day gives way to dinner, served Thursday through to Saturday and includes everything from Douglas fir-cured salmon with dill creme fraiche, and twice-baked Doddington cheese soufflé to start, followed by butter roasted coley or seared piranha steak with truffle mayo to follow. There’s a great wine and cocktail list too, and Sunday lunch here is served sharing style.

1910 Steak and Seafood
Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG
0191 691 7090

At the top of Whitley Bay’s iconic Spanish City, you’ll find the glass-fronted 1910 restaurant which is one of the only North East fine-dining restaurants that specialises in steak and seafood. Lindisfarne oysters have their own section on the menu here, but our stand-out dishes include lobster Thermidor, grilled queen scallops and 28-day-aged sirloin steak, all made with the freshest seasonal ingredients. End your meal with the baked vanilla custard topped with salted crumble and a side of raspberry sorbet as you gaze out over the sea.

Trinity Gardens, Newcastle NE1 2HH
0191 222 0755

Newcastle’s 21 is a classic yet contemporary bistro run under the watchful eye of Terry Laybourne. Influenced by the French classics, executed using local ingredients, expect Lindisfarne oysters, confit of duck and roasted skrei cod on the menu. Look out for the cheddar cheese and spinach soufflé too – it’s one of our favourites.

Food at Dobson & Parnell Dobson & Parnell

Dobson & Parnell
21 Queen Street, Newcastle NE1 3UG
0191 221 0904

The interior of this dining stalwart blends modern elegance with traditional Victorian features. Owner Andy Hook (of Blackfriars and Hinnies fame) and chef patron Troy Terrington excel in this multi-award winning casual fine-dining haunt. Expect daily changing menus based on the freshest seasonal produce they can get their hands on, and a wine list as long as your arm.

Fern at Jesmond Dene House
Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle NE2 2EY
0191 212 3000

At Fern, an upmarket neighbourhood dining room and bar, the cooking is skilful, generous and heartfelt, with dishes inspired by the rhythm of the seasons. Taking inspiration from classic and modern cooking techniques, and making the most of the plethora of local suppliers, expect the likes of braised feather blade of beef, and pan-fried cod with Wye Valley asparagus.

Food at Lovage Lovage

House of Tides
28–30 The Close, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3RF
0191 230 3720

Inside a beautifully restored Grade-I listed 16th century former merchant’s townhouse on Newcastle’s iconic Quayside, Kenny Atkinson creates thoughtful, precise and elegant tasting menus with an emphasis on the natural, the seasonal and the sustainable. Expect the likes of salt-aged lamb and radish and trout roe alongside carefully paired wines at this Michelin-starred restaurant.

115 St George’s Terrace, Jesmond NE2 2DN
0191 429 3750

This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in the heart of Jesmond only opened in September last year and has already been featured in the Michelin Guide. Using foraged ingredients as well as local suppliers where possible, the menu changes frequently, but expect the likes of cauliflower steak, Yorkshire duck and lobster ravioli, as well as an extensive wine list.

260 Chillingham Road, Heaton
0191 276 1112

This popular neighbourhood restaurant offers an informal, warm and welcoming atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a laidback dining experience where quality isn’t compromised. Chris Wood at the helm in the kitchen creates a menu which tells a story with each dish, using seasonal produce and local suppliers where possible. From evening and lunchtime tasting menus to Sunday lunches, there is a dish (and a perfectly-paired wine) for every occasion.

The Patricia
139 Jesmond Road, Jesmond
0191 281 4443

Neighbourhood bistros are the life and soul of communities, and Nick Grieves’ restaurant is no different. His menu mixes English bistro-style cooking with European influences, and is likely to impress. Plus, when their New York Italian-inspired pop-up Vinny’s makes an appearance, the restaurant totally transforms.

Peace & Loaf
217 Jesmond Road, Jesmond
0191 281 5222

A long-time favourite in Jesmond, Dave Coulson’s playful inventiveness with ingredients has earned him plenty of accolades, and the accomplished British dishes served up at his stylish fine-dining restaurant, Peace & Loaf, are rightly regarded as some of the region’s finest.

Food at Solstice Solstice

150 Heaton Park Road NE6 5NR
0191 691 2720

Having opening their doors just over a year ago, Heaton’s Rebel restaurant are already showing the North East they mean serious business by being included in The Michelin Guide. Seasonality is key here with an ever-changing tasting menu which revolves around the best local ingredients. Take our advice and book the chef’s table – you won’t be disappointed.

5–7 Side, Newcastle NE1 3JE
0191 2221722

Just a stone’s throw away from the Tyne Bridge, Solstice is the newest fine-dining restaurant from Kenny Atkinson, offering an elegant and intimate dining experience. After only eight months of being open, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star and it’s no wonder when the dishes on the 15 to 18-course tasting menu emphasise simplicity, seasonality and sustainable practices.

Hillgate Quays, Gateshead
0191 737 1120

Showcasing seasonal and ethical cooking with a fresh focus on preservation, dry-aging and cooking over fire, the chefs at the Michelin Guide-recommended Träkol are influenced by the seasons, meaning the menus are constantly changing. The demand for a table here is high but the food is worth the wait.

Reform Place, North Road, Durham DH1 4RZ
0191 374 1123

In the heart of Durham, Michelin Guide-recommend restaurant Coarse serves an affordable and accessible six-course tasting menu using local and seasonal ingredients. Head chef and co-owner Ruari MacKay started his career training under Michelin-starred chef Terry Laybourne at Jesmond Dene House, so you know the food is going to be good.

Forge at Middleton Lodge Estate
Kneeton Lane, Middleton Tyas, Richmond DL10 6NJ
01325 377977

Fine dining is back at Middleton Lodge Estate as Forge reopens its doors with Jake Jones at the head of the kitchen. The team bring an estate-to-plate approach to their dishes as well as using ingredients from local suppliers to ensure the freshest of flavours. Sample the 10-course tasting menu and enjoy the likes of Thumbelina carrot tartlet, chalk stream trout and forced rhubarb and apple marigold, alongside an optional wine pairing.

Food at The Raby Hunt The Raby Hunt

29 Silver Street, Durham DH1 3RD
0191 380 5451

The debut restaurant of Jake and Laura Siddle, who both previously worked at Kenny Atkinson’s Michelin-starred restaurant House of Tides, Faru offers a 10-course tasting menu in the heart of Durham. The menu begins with a selection of snacks followed by carefully prepared dishes – there’s also a wine flight available alongside.

The Raby Hunt
Summerhouse, Darlington
01325 374237

The two Michelin stars awarded to this restaurant mark it out as something special before you’ve even walked through the door. Self-taught head chef James Close is passionate about food – a true talent and a giant on the North East food scene. His inventive dishes are inspired by his experiences of travel, so expect in a variety of innovative styles.

Looking for even more? Feast your eyes here to discover all of our Good Food Guide 2023 entries.

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