Anyone who has been following my blog for a while now will remember how much I love Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle! We first visited this 13th-century dining room that has served as everything from a Dominican Priory, to a hostel for King Henry III, during NE1’s Newcastle Restaurant Week 2017. We were impressed not only by the history of the venue, but by the quality of the food and service we received. So much so, that we decided to return and see if their Sunday lunch would live up to our high expectations!
We arrived slightly early but we were immediately welcomed into the bar area where Alex enjoyed a pint and I had a delicious pink gin cocktail! The hospitality was really flawless – we were given such a warm welcome and made to feel at home, with the bartender even offering to take our coat and Alex’s bags for safe keeping. After a leisurely drink and catch up, we were led through the beautifully-decorated, historic dining area to our table.
I’ll unashamedly admit that I’m guilty of looking up menus of each restaurant I plan on visiting, and deciding what I’m going to order before I even get there! Even if I hadn’t done that, it would have been a no-brainer. Last time I ate at Blackfriars, I had the most beautiful North Sea fishcake, complete with lemon and a tangy tartare sauce – I liked it so much that I just had to order it again and see if there were any changes from the dish on the Restaurant Week menu. Thankfully, it was still as delicious and if anything the fishcake coating was crispier and even tastier!
Alex opted for a Northumbrian ham terrine with pease pudding and pickles – I was quite surprised he ordered this as he only discovered the wonders of pease pudding recently when he started coming to Newcastle to visit. However, I was certainly glad he did order this dish as the terrine was moreish and reminded me (in a good way) of the tins of chopped pork we used to get for tea with new potatoes and peas at my Grandma’s house!
I’ve been out for Sunday lunch a great deal recently and have become a bit of a roast pork connoisseur- it made sense, therefore, to see what Blackfriars had to offer in the roast belly pork department. Melt-in-the-mouth Roast Crane Row pork with crispy crackling really is the way to my heart; not to mention a light and airy Yorkshire pudding, lovely roasties and buttery vegetables! We were also super impressed with the pan-fried chicken breast with crispy skin that Alex ordered – I swear chicken never used to taste as good as it has the last few times we’ve been for Sunday lunch!
For once we were too full to order dessert, although we were tempted by the fantastic-looking English cheese board that the table opposite to us had ordered. Instead we chose to finish off our carafe of Sauvignon Blanc and head outside into the sunshine to take some great pictures of this impressive building.
I’m so glad that we returned to Blackfriars for Sunday lunch, but I’m even more glad we left feeling that this historic restaurant had maintained its place high up in our estimations! My family recently went to Hinnies, one of Blackfriars’ sister restaurants, for Sunday lunch and said it was the best lunch they’d had in a long, long time. Think I’ll be heading there soon too – watch this space!