Eating our way along the Northumbrian coastline
Amy Whitfield from Newcastle's Triple A Food Tours shares her favourite hidden gems found nestled along our beautiful coastline.
By Amy Whitfield
Northumberland boasts some of the best produce that the region has to offer. From freshly caught oysters off the Lindisfarne islands to the wonderful organic produce from further inland. Here are a few hidden gems to be found nestled along our beautiful coastline.Here are a few hidden gems to be found nestled along our beautiful coastline.
Amble – The Old Boathouse
Situated right at the mouth of the River Coquet, Amble is one of the busiest towns along the coastline. With its bustling Sunday market, it’s an absolute must to visit if lazy Sunday strolls are your thing. Right in the heart of the town is The Old Boat House. This is one of those “I didn’t know this was here” places! It’s won a number of awards including Coastal Fish Restaurant of the Year 2016 and 2017 in the Fishing News Awards for its dedication to sustainability and locally sourced seafood.
Howick – Howick Hall Gardens
Once home to Charles Earl Grey, our British prime minister between 1830-1834. Howick Hall now boasts Earl Grey Teahouse set within the elegant ballroom shaped east quadrant of the hall. Spend the afternoon taking tea, enjoyed with warm homemade scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam (what comes first? The cream or the jam? You decide!). What I love about this eatery is its location. The tearoom overlooks the magnificent gardens, housing colourful poppies, geraniums and the likes.
Craster – The Jolly Fisherman
Craster is a quaint little fishing village around 8 miles outside of Alnwick. Being just a short walk away, the jagged ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle sets the scene as its backdrop. Nestled rather snuggly at the harbour side is one of my favourite restaurants in Northumberland, The Jolly Fisherman. The restaurant has amazing views out to sea and even has its own balcony area, perfect for sipping a glass of pinot with fresh seafood. It serves up everything that you would expect from a seaside restaurant, from catch of the day including whole lobster, to a very crowd pleasing traditional Sunday lunch. My personal favourite is the renowned crab sandwich, served in soft wholemeal bread, accompanied with a tangy lemon mayo and chunky homemade chips! Another firm favourite is what Craster is most well-known for and that is the Craster kipper or the “silver darlings” as they are known locally, due to the colour of the herring itself. Kippers are served up on the main menu here and are actually smoked across the road at the historic Robson and Sons Smoke House. Enjoy the oak-smoked kipper pate, served with a pear and walnut salad accompanied with locally baked bread. Something light, fresh and as local as you can get!
Beadnell – Salt Water Café
Just a stone’s throw away from Bambrough and Holy Island. Beadnell is a popular holiday destination. If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie and water sports such as scuba diving, kitesurfing and surfing is your thing, then this stunning coastal village is a great place to pitch up for a few days. In the heart of Beadnell you will find The Salt Water Café. The café has an intimate, bistro dining feel to it and is perfect for breakfast and brunch. I am all about the Northumbrian breakfast which includes the famous Bamburgh banger sausage and fresh free-range eggs from nearby farms. These guys are also proud to serve gins from local distilleries in both Alnwick and Hepple.
Bamburgh – The Potted Lobster
Home to Bamburgh Castle, Grace Darlings Museum and the famous “Bamburgh Banger” there is one place that has definitely contributed to putting Bamburgh firmly on the culinary map. The Potted Lobster is a small bistro style restaurant and have been included in 2018 and 2019 editions of the Michelin guide. If you’re looking to visit, two things… firstly book in advance as it’s always busy, particularly in high season, and secondly you MUST try the seafood platter. Everything is catch of the day so you never know what you will be served up. Traditionally it always includes Lindisfarne oysters, half a lobster and the most amazing triple cooked chips.