Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Harry's Bar and Restaurant

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Harry's Bar and Restaurant

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Ord

Harry's bar and restaurant, Copthorne Hotel, The Close, Tel: (0191) 222 0333.

I ONCE swam with boxer Prince Naseem Hamed in the Copthorne hotel. Not much of a claim to fame, I know, but that's the beauty of hanging out in a top hotel - you just don't know who you might bump into.

And so when we dined in the Copthorne's Harry's bar last Sunday we had our star-spotter goggles on. There were so many big names playing gigs and shows in the North East that weekend there was a chance we could rub shoulders with the famous.

"Is that a Stereophonic?" my father-in-law inquired as a straggly-haired youth swaggered by.

"It might be the new drummer," I guessed. But no, I didn't think so.

After a few minutes of fruitless hotel guest-gazing, we gave up the chase and checked out the menu.

The Copthorne does magnificent Sunday lunches. What about this for a deal: chicken liver pate and toasted ciabatta; cream of Mediterranean vegetable soup; roast sirloin of beef and Yorkshire puddings; cranberry, apricot and lavender pudding with toffee sauce - and all for pounds 13.95.

A mouthwatering bargain and one that has not gone unnoticed: the restaurant was fully booked up.

We opted to slum it in Harry's Bar and were pleasantly surprised.

The bar, far from being second rate, had a good choice on the menu. There were five of us, including our two-year-old boy. There was a special menu for the kids, full of good stuff. He went for sausages in gravy in a plate-sized Yorkshire pudding, with a side-serving of baked beans.

For the nibblers who like to pick at meals there's an interesting tapas section worth looking at. It included such delights as lentil and chirozo potage (pounds 3.50), prawns in overcoats (pounds 3.50) and asparagus and lemon butter (pounds 2.50).

We were missing out on a Sunday roast, but two of our party went for the hot beef baguettes (pounds 10) to compensate. These came with sauteed onions, red peppers, mustard dressing and chips. The chips were something else. In a land drowning in wimpy French fries, it was great to be reacquainted with the hefty British chip. …

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