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28-30 The Close
, Newcastle Upon Tyne,
With a Michelin star in the bank, business is booming at the House of Tides, and big-name North Country chef/proprietor Kenny Atkinson has extended the interiors of this Grade I-listed merchant’s residence on Newcastle’s humming Quayside. Drinks are still served in the flagstoned bar, while the main dining space occupies the first floor: above this is a new pastry bar and private dining area, with a walk-in wine cellar at the very top of the building. It’s “excellent in every way”, says a fan. There’s a choice of menus, although innovative user-friendly food is the bottom line, with an emphatic modern British accent and some “fabulous” rustic notes – from mackerel with artichoke and blackberry or butternut squash with bacon and truffle to venison tartare with beetroot, blackberries and kale or lamb with broccoli, tomato and radish. After that, expect a sting in the tail from the likes of pear with almond and ginger or an assemblage of raspberry, lemon and pine nuts. “I’m dying to go back”, confesses one convert.
Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2015 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in May and June 2015. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Square Meal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
UK's Top 100 Restaurants 2015
28-30 The Close
, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Newcastle Central Station 416m
Manors Station 721m
International Centre for Life Millennium Site, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 988m
Newcastle upon Tyne Cathedral 1km
Tues-Sat 12N-2pm 6-9.30pm (Sat 5-10pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
I come here whenever I come back to Newcastle, which isn't often enough as far as my parents are concerned, but usually two or three times a year and I always book a table. This was my second visit this year, I've been tardy I admit, and it was exactly what I've expect.
I actually dined here alone ass my friend wasn't able to make it last minute, though it's not really his thing anyway. Initially nervous and skeptical about dining at a Michelin star restaurant alone was dispelled immediately when I was greeted with a "Hello, Mr Stead, nice to see you again" from my lovely waiter, Adam. Sat near the back wall, I was quite happy to read my newspaper (I'm only 33 I promise, not 83!) between courses I did initially receive a few puzzled looks from other diners, but I didn't mind.
Staff were welcoming as always (I've started to recognise and become friendly with a couple of them) and the courses were delicious. There's only the taster menu option of 6 courses, plus snack and amuse bouche but for £70 plus £50 wine pairing it's a real bargain. Especially considering I've paid more for lesser food down here in London!
Stand out dishes were Atlantic Halibut, Sea Vegetables, Mussels, Parsley, Capers. Venison, Broccoli, Hispi Cabbage, Hen of the Woods and the Beef tartare, Kohlrabi, Brussel Sprouts, Sourdough, Truffle. Turns out I like sprouts! Who knew?! But only Michelin star sprouts...
Finishing off with with my favourite cocktail of an Old Fashioned and I was the only one left in the restaurant. Bidding adieu I wandered off into the Newcastle night. Totally content and already planning my return trip to this absolute star of a restaurant.
My boyfriend is from Newcastle, we live and met in London. I've always made it very clear that there isn't much that would make me move away from my beloved London. But on a recent visit to see his family in Newcastle I found a reason to consider moving to the North East.
House of Tides is that good, seriously. I don't really know where to start. I was sold from the word go - the gorgeous converted building, the rustic feel and riverside location are gorgeous. The greeting was warm and to top it off the 'snacks' that are served in the bar whilst you look at the menu were oysters and sausages rolls. I like to think I'm an oyster and sausage roll kind of girl - I love a bit of a treat, a bit of decadence but nothing beats a good sausage roll does it? I was also really pleased to see as a sparkling wine fan some choices from England.
Once you've had your snacks, you're taken up to the main restaurant which is actually a lot buzzier and more lively than the bar but similarly rustic is layout and style. There's a 6 course taster menu and that's it, no a la carte but I'd have chosen the taster menu anyway as it looked so good and is only £60 a head for 6 courses plus snacks and various amuse bouches and pre desserts. There wasn't a single course I didn't love. Highlights were undoubtedly the crab and beef cheek but there wasn't a morsel I didn't love. They're big on presentation but emphasis here is on texture and flavour - everything was just sublime and absolutely spot on. Interestingly, the course I was least looking forward to, the Cinnamon Crème Brulee, Mulled Wine Fruits, Pistachio, Meringue, was my favourite. I just wouldn't normally order those flavours, but it just tasted perfect.
The service was excellent - we had an absolutely lovely waiter, Jonathan, who was friendly, knowledgeable and just exactly what you want from someone serving you. He genuinely seemed to love his job. There's quite a relaxed feel to the whole restaurant which really is carried by the staff.
Overall, I don't know how I'm going to wait until my next visit. Worth visiting Newcastle for even if you have no other reason.
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