With a Michelin star in the bank (which is in fact the only one in Newcastle), 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. Fans of Great British Menu programme might recognise Atkinson from the show, which he won in 2009 and 2010.
Back in the room and 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. Interiors are a mix of old and new with weathered wooden pillars giving way to open plan spaces only filled with essentials, rather than extras – wooden tables and leather chairs are topped with clean, classic crockery.
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 native lobster with lemon and chervil or scallops with pork belly, sweetcorn and lardo to salt aged duck with apricot, black garlic and cauliflower or mussels, leek, sea purslane and caviar. After that, expect a sting in the tail from the likes of coconut with strawberries and basil or an assemblage of apple, almond and marigold for dessert. Those who prefer a savoury finish can opt to add a plate or British cheeses at the end of their meal.
There are two tasting menus available - the main menu and a vegetarian offering - and both come in at £125 per head, with the option to add a wine flight if liked. Alternatively, you can always make the decision yourself and choose from the exceptional wine list.