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Celebrate Valentine's Day Your Way Blacks Corner | The Auction House
Eat and Drink
February 2024
Reading time 4 Minutes

Romance is in the air!

Here's our pick of the top tables, casual eateries and brilliant bars perfect just for two.
Food at Emerald Restaurant at Matfen Hall Emerald Restaurant at Matfen Hall

Emerald Restaurant at Matfen Hall

Matfen Village, Northumberland NE20 0RH
01661 886500

Get a taste of five-star culinary flavours at Matfen’s Emerald Restaurant. With magnificent views across the 300 acres of parkland, this is the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day. With a focus on fresh, carefully-sourced ingredients, the seasonal menu includes the likes of native lobster and elderberry followed by Shetland black mussels and venison, plus an optional wine pairing.


29 Silver Street, Durham
0191 380 5451

The first restaurant from Jake and Laura Siddle, Faru in the heart of Durham city takes its name from Old English meaning journey. The dining experience is created in the open kitchen where menus are flavour-led using seasonal ingredients. Opt for the lighter five-course menu, or why not go all out with 10 courses for Valentine’s Day? Specially curated wine flights can also be included.

The Orangery at Rockliffe Hall

Hurworth, Darlington DL2 2DU
01325 729999

Head chef Paul Nicholson takes you on a three-AA Rosette culinary experience at The Orangery, where dishes are created with the very best seasonal produce, including many grown in the walled gardens or foraged within the Rockliffe Hall Estate. The ever-changing à la carte menu includes the likes of Orkney scallop with smoked roe, salt-aged venison and pan-seared foie gras, whilst the expert mixologist will shake up your favourite drink – if wine is more to your tastes, there are more than 400 from around the world to choose from.

Restaurant Hjem  Restaurant Hjem


64 Bridge Street, Berwick TD15 1AQ
01289 308827

Named after the last boat to be built in the Berwick shipyard, this highly-respected restaurant moved to its current location on Bridge Street in 2017. With locality at its heart, the team make use of the finest seasonal ingredients sourced daily from their suppliers across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. Expect dishes such as Berwick crab with pickled carrot followed by Borders venison loin, then finish with the hot chocolate fondant with gingerbread ice cream.

Restaurant Hjem  

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

Combining the very best Northumbrian produce with Scandinavian cooking techniques, make Michelin-starred restaurant Hjem your Valentine’s treat this year. Tucked away in Wall, in the Tyne Valley, the intimate 24-seat restaurant serves a tasting menu created using ingredients sourced from the surrounding farms and gardens of Northumberland, alongside wines carefully chosen by the in-house sommelier.

The French Quarter

Arch 6, Westgate Road NE1 1SA
0191 222 0156

If you can’t take them to the city of love this Valentine’s Day, give them the next best thing – a flavour of France. Renowned for their authentic flavours and traditional dishes, The French Quarter offer a regularly-changing menu of small plates created using ingredients from independent local and French suppliers. As well as delicious charcuterie and cheese sharing boards, expect the likes of ratatouille, moules mariniéres and slow-cooked duck confit. The wine selection is fantastic too and the team are on hand to help you pair a glass (or bottle) to your chosen dishes.

The Beaumont The Beaumont

The Beaumont

Beaumont Street, Hexham NE46 3LT
01434 602331

Dine at this independent Victorian townhouse hotel in the heart of Hexham and enjoy local, seasonal produce served from the open kitchen. The ever-changing menus include lunch, afternoon tea and evening meals, alongside an extensive wine list, so you can choose when to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. We recommend supper, starting with the Northumberland cheese soufflé followed by charcoal cooked sea bass and the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce for dessert.

The Impeccable Pig

Front Street, Sedgefield TS21 3AT
01740 582580

Dressed in rich green and gold tones, this stylish and welcoming pub restaurant is perfect for a Valentine’s Day celebration. There are plenty of classics including cottage pie, confit duck leg and roasted stonebass, plus pizzas and steaks. If you’re celebrating at the weekend, we recommend heading here for Sunday lunch – the roasted pork belly with stuffing is delicious.

Blacks Corner

The Tram Shelter, Roker Cliff Park, Seaburn SR6 8AB

Famous for their fabulous selection of charcuterie and farmhouse cheese from across the British Isles, Blacks Corner have recently opened their latest venue on Sunderland’s seafront. Serving locally-sourced seasonal small plates (we love the scallops with ‘nduja marmalade) and perfectly paired wines, beers and cocktails, this is the ideal spot for date night this Valentine’s Day.

Bawn Bawn


11 Main Street, Ponteland NE20 OES
01661 598054

Bawn serves New York-style sourdough pizza, small plates and wine. The menu is led by seasonal ingredients, but expect the likes of padron peppers, charcuterie and ricotta dumplings for small plates, while pizza toppings range from classic margherita to ‘nduja and honey with buffalo mozzarella. It’s a great place for a chilled-out date night.

The Lord Crewe

Bamburgh NE69 7BL
01668 214243

What could be more romantic than a walk along Bamburgh’s award-winning beach followed by a delicious dinner inside a cosy pub restaurant and bar? Specialising in luxurious seafood and using high-quality, local produce, the dishes at The Lord Crewe include Lindisfarne oysters, lobster Thermidor and 28-day aged ribeye. As well as great food, you can sample a tipple or two from the bar – think real ales, expertly crafted cocktails and an extensive selection of wines and whiskeys.

The Bay Horse

45 The Green, Hurworth DL2 2AA
01325 720663

In a characterful 15th century coaching inn, The Bay Horse at Hurworth has retained its traditional charm whilst embracing modern architecture, giving diners a choice of two elegant dining rooms. A great place for an intimate dinner for two, chef-patron Marcus Bennett and his team use the best seasonal and local produce to create regularly changing menus, but expect to find dishes such as 12-hour braised beef, black treacle venison and fillet of hake.

Mother Mercy Mother Mercy

The Auction House

63 Bridge Street, Morpeth NE61 1PQ
01670 708550

In the heart of Morpeth this former auction house was given a new lease of life after the final hammer fell and has been transformed into a quirky bar serving cocktails and street food. The perfect place for a fun date night, make sure to check out the cocktail menu which has a variety of martinis, winter warmers, negronis and punches.


Bigg Market, Newcastle NE1 1NA
0191 580 8508

If you’re looking for a cocktail bar unlike any other this Valentine’s Day make sure to check out Newcastle’s WC. What was an abandoned toilet block has been totally transformed into a cosy and chic bar serving expertly crafted cocktails. From an indulgent Biscoff cheesecake cocktail to a tangy lemon sherbet martini and a cinnamon old fashioned there’s something for everyone – just be sure to book a table!

Mother Mercy

The Old George Yard, 44 Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE
30–32 Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6AE
39 Northumberland Street, Newcastle NE1 7AS

Now serving cocktails and cake, why not stop by Mother Mercy bar in Fenwick this Valentine’s Day where you can indulge in delicious pastries alongside free-flowing teapot cocktails? There’s also the newly opened Café Mercy on Grey Street, or head to the original Mother Mercy basement bar on Cloth Market and try the Twist of Fate, where you can spin the gumball machine to receive one of eight mesmerising cocktails, a mystery prize and your very own psychic reading.

The Nuthatch The Nuthatch

Adam and Eve

3 Clayport Street, Alnwick NE66 1LA
01665 517330

As well as farm-to-table inspired food, Adam and Eve serve everything from locally-sourced spirits and draught beers to specially selected wines, as well as cleverly crafted cocktails. The drinks menu changes throughout the year but our current favourite is the Bliss – a mix of rhubarb and ginger gin, vanilla cordial, citrus and smoke.

Tin of Sardines

Pier View, Roker SR6 0PR
0191 605 3762

With unrivalled views over Roker beach and pier, and a huge selection of gins and other drinks, there’s no better place for a tipple or two than Tin of Sardines. The resident ginologists mix, muddle, shake and stir the very best ingredients, combining unique flavours to give you the perfect drink every time. So whether you fancy classic or Old Tom gin, floral or fragrant serves, they’ve got you covered this Valentine’s.

The Nuthatch

9–11 Bedford Street, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL
01642 688505

Cool and quirky craft cocktails is the theme at this Middlesbrough cocktail bar which was founded in 2018 after owner Simon Hatfield became frustrated with the lack of pub alternatives for those wanting something a little more sophisticated, as well as a well-rounded G&T. Now serving plenty of options, including a variety of negronis, old fashioneds, mocktails and signature serves, look out for the raspberry gin Nuthatch cocktail served in a bird-shaped glass.

The Pickled Sprout The Pickled Sprout


38 Prestongate, Hessle HU13 0RE
01482 644222

Nestled in the heart of Hessle, Cáscara create delicious dishes cooked over wood and charcoal, using their traditional Argentinian parrilla grills. There’s steak empanadas or gambas pil pil to start, followed by chicken tacos, flat iron steak or sharing mixed grills. If you’re celebrating on a Sunday, we recommend Sunday lunch and ordering the chateaubriand sharing board with beef dripping roasties, sweet potato mash, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and homemade horseradish sauce.

The Pickled Sprout

1 John Street, Harrogate HG1 1JZ
01423 706700

In the heart of Harrogate, The Pickled Sprout is a botanical-inspired restaurant and bar serving fresh dishes made with local, seasonal produce. The sharing board with rosemary and garlic baked camembert is great for a Valentine’s Day supper, or if you’re feeling hungry, there’s everything from roast rump of lamb, Thai-spiced cod or beer-battered fish and chips. There’s also an extensive wine list and a great cocktail menu with all the classics as well as some signature serves.


Harrogate, York and Beverley

Known for their stylish interiors, brilliant cocktails and Italian-inspired food, Lucia is the perfect place for date night. On the á la carte menu there’s everything from nibbles and flatbreads to crispy pork belly or truffle garlic mushrooms to start, followed by pasta, risotto, stone-baked pizzas, burgers or 28-day Himalayan salt-aged steaks. The cocktails are a highlight here – we love the Paradise in Yorkshire made with mango vodka, Passoa, pomegranate juice, apple juice and passionfruit purée.

Stuzzi Stuzzi

Pizza West

West Cliff, Whitby YO21 3HT
01947 604789

If pizza is more your style, you’ll want to book a table at Whitby’s Pizza West. The airy restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as an open kitchen so you can watch the team of chefs prepare your meal. We recommend starting with homemade meatballs with feta, followed by a sourdough pizza topped with pepperoni, Tuscan sausage, ‘nduja, ham and spring onions.


46B Kings Road, Harrogate HG1 5JW
01423 705852
7 Merrion Street, Leeds LS1 6PQ
0113 245 5323

Opening their doors to their Harrogate restaurant 10 years ago, Stuzzi know a thing or two about serving the finest Italian food. Now with a second venue in Leeds (celebrating its fifth birthday this year) the team are passionate about sourcing the best ingredients to create seasonal dishes using traditional Italian recipes alongside modern cooking techniques. Similar to tapas, order a number of dishes to share including the likes of arancini, rigatoni and air-dried salted beef served with parmesan and balsamic onions. The wine offering is also excellent, so be sure to ask your server for a delicious Italian wine to pair with your food.


23 Parliament Street, Harrogate
01423 276441

If you’re looking for a relaxed place to enjoy a drink, look no further than Roland’s in the heart of Harrogate, where the menu is packed with local suppliers including Yorkshire’s Wolfe Bros gin and Filey Bay Flagship whiskey. The menu is also filled with wines and beers, but the cocktails are the highlight – try the Girl Next Door for a taste of summer, made with vodka, Orangecello, passionfruit, vanilla and pineapple juice.

22 Yards Wine Bar 22 Yards Wine Bar

22 Yards Wine Bar

21 High Petergate, York YO1 7EN
01904 651215

Overlooking York Minster, 22 Yards is an independently-owned wine bar and merchants serving delicious wine alongside fantastic, seasonal food. Choose from one of 70 wines to sample by the glass alongside a range of charcuterie, cheese, seafood and meat dishes – the North Sea crab rarebit on sourdough is a must. Fancy a night at home? There are more than 150 ever-changing bottles of wine to purchase and enjoy.

The Gin Lounge

4 Cowpasture Road, Ilkley LS29 8SR
07792 209977

With the emphasis on supporting local, this artisan gin bar is cosy, laid-back bar and one of Ilkley’s top spots. Choose from a huge selection of gins from around the world, all served with the freshest garnishes and premium tonics. Try one of the gins from the VIP range including the hand-crafted white truffle gin that’s worth more than gold per gram.


20 Sandside, Scarborough YO11 1PE
01723 381485

On the seafront at Scarborough, directly opposite the harbour, GEO is a 1920s Art Deco-inspired bar and restaurant offering an escape from the everyday. Take a seat in the bar where the master mixologists have carefully crafted a delicious cocktail menu which features seasonal and signature cocktails (the Yorkshire Royal is one of our favourites), alongside wines, spirits and Champagnes. If you get hungry, no need to go far as GEO also serves a selection of British-Mediterranean fusion food.

Kelu Kelu


294 Shalesmoor, Sheffield, S3 8UL
0114 299 1331

Escape to Kelu, an oasis of warmth and cocktail mastery hidden above the streets of Sheffield. Kelu, which is the Sardinian word for ‘sky’, has a small but perfectly formed cocktail menu featuring mixes from near and far. Explore new tastes and ingredients in their signature drinks or keep to the classics. The menu also includes an extensive list of spirits, wines and beers, and there’s a number of antipasti dishes to nibble on if you get hungry.

Below Stairs

The Basement, 12 South Parade, Leeds LS1 5QS
07810 177836

Included in the UK’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars, this cool underground bar in Leeds is the perfect spot for a date-night drink. The house cocktails are created under four simple categories such as sugar and salt, but the drinks are bold on flavours – think Navy Reserve gin with salted verdill, apricot, grapefruit bitters and eucalyptus. If you’re simply after a glass of wine or a classic cocktail, fear not as Below Stairs have got those too.


4–6 High Street, Skipton BD23 1JZ
01756 228030

Skipton’s award-winning grand café, bar and terrace is a great place to spend a date night.
Take a seat in the bar which has more than 100 different gins, spirits and liqueurs to choose from, as well as an extensive cocktail list, or if the weather allows, head onto the terrace or secret garden to sip on a glass of Prosecco. For those not drinking, but still wanting to enjoy a tipple or two, there are plenty of mocktails on the menu.

Roots Roots


68 Marygate, York YO30 7BH

Tommy Banks’ Michelin-starred restaurant Roots combines innovative cooking techniques with one-of-a-kind ingredients and exceptional service. Under the careful eye of head chef Will Lockwood, meals are made with the best seasonal produce to create modern dishes that nod towards their traditional Yorkshire roots. The seasonal cocktails are equally as impressive and are made with harvested and preserved ingredients from Oldstead.

Pipe and Glass

West End, South Dalton, Beverley HU17 7PN
01430 810246

For delicious award-winning food look no further than this former coaching inn in the beautiful surroundings of the Dalton Estate. The team at this Michelin-starred restaurant pay attention to every detail, so whether you’re after a sandwich in the bar or a full-blown Michelin star dining experience they have it all. Don’t miss a drink from the award-winning wine list with a selection of house wines taken directly from their family-run vineyard in France.


12 Bridge Street, Helmsley YO62 5DX
01439 770955

Head chef Tom Heywood opened Pignut alongside his partner and sommelier Laurissa Cook last summer offering reimagined fine dining with a commitment to sustainability. Using local suppliers, dishes such as Castle Howard beef, chicken liver with soda bread and wild brill with mussels are served on the four- or eight-course tasting menus. Expertly paired wines are available for each dish too.

Jöro Jöro


3 Brewery Place, Leeds LS10 1NE
0113 430 0161

Book a table at Liz Cottam’s restaurant, HOME, on the banks of Leeds’ River Aire for a tasting menu experience based on the dramatic seasons and surrounding landscapes. Sustainable seafood, local meat and game sit alongside seasonal vegetables and fruits on the series of tasting menus, which range from a short collection of dishes to the enhanced signature collection that lasts up to three hours.


0.2–0.5 Krynkl 294, Shalesmoor, Sheffield S3 8US
0114 299 1539

Driven by flavour, chef-patron Luke French offers a fine dining experience like no other as you step inside the up-cycled shipping container which is home to this intimate restaurant. There are three menus to choose from – the five-, eight- or 10-course tasting menu where dishes include the likes of Japanese milk bread, halibut crudo and orkney scallop. For something extra special, why not book a private chef’s table and have your own dining experience?

The Angel at Hetton

Hetton, near Skipton BD23 6LT
01756 730263

The Angel at Hetton has all the comforts of a village pub, but with Michelin-starred dining. Book here for a special Valentine’s Day treat and let the team (led by Michael Wignall) wow your tastebuds with the seasonal lunch or dinner tasting menu dishes (there’s a vegetarian option too), or order from the á la carte menu featuring the likes of venison with poached fig followed by lemon verbena parfait. Booking here on a Sunday? The Angel’s scrumptious Sunday lunches (which have a Wignall twist) are back by popular demand.

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