Just returned from a trip.
The highlights were discovering perhaps Northumberland's (or even farther afield) BEST fish and chips. It is the FRIDAY-ONLY lunch at the Cresswell Arms, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
The crowd of regulars who show up early to be fed tells it all. Pristine fish (cod) fresh of the quay. Great chips. Super mushy peas. This is F&C not to be missed and completely superior to the general product, which, I heard recently, Keith Floyd considered the world's finest "fast food."
19 High Street
I returned a few times to the Three Horseshoes. Their chef still continues to have generally good dishes with only a few misses here or there. A venison dish was good the first time, but was completely differently presented when I ordered it again. You'll find a new ostrich burger there. The service is generally OK but some of the young girls could use a little training. They appear to consider customers are not of sufficient social status to actually talk to them :-) "you expect to be waited on, AND to talk to me?! I don't think so. "
Just over the border in Melrose Scotland had a so-so experience at Burt's Hotel. Rather clique-ey and again the passive-aggressive-friendly-unfriendly brand of service I have come to associate with the UK. Perhaps Basil Fawlty was right "You can't get the staff." I noted just the Fawlty style of either fawning over them or being rude or ignoring others. Food: only OK.
Ridley Arms at Stannington is now a gastropub I suppose (I remember it from its Berni Inn days!). Not horrible, not great. Actually a REALLY good Ingram lamb stew.
The Black Bull at Corbridge I enjoyed for their steak and kidney pudding. It was good to see a pudding version available and it was filling, tasty and traditionally done.
The Black Bull
David & Lynda Wears.
Middle Street, Corbridge, Northumberland NE45 5LE
Tel. 01434 632261 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading, and PLEASE try those fish and chips in Newbiggin some Friday if you can. Splendid stuff.