Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

An Escape to the Feathers; Taste OF THE NORTH EAST Table FOR 2

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

An Escape to the Feathers; Taste OF THE NORTH EAST Table FOR 2

Article excerpt


The Feathers Inn, Hedley on the Hill, Gateshead

SATURDAYS come in all shapes and sizes. Some people get a lie-in, while others are chivvied into getting up to start on the "jobs" list. I'll leave you to guess mine, with a small clue that by 11am I am usually halfway through, with the foreman still adding "ideas".

Imagine my joy when our daughter, Anna, rang and suggested we meet up. An alternative scenario of "family time", a rarity these days, was proposed and accepted.

With all the fleetness of foot of a cornered antelope, I bounded into action and, with the list a crumpled has-been, we headed off for lunch. Mother and daughter did a lot of catching up, while I gave directions.

A real log fire was warming the bar as we settled into the cosiness and scanned the blackboard menu. Choices were made and conversation turned to holidays. Anna is planning a mountain trekking week, while the foreman is hoping to go horse riding with friends, leaving me on my own for a week! How will I cope?

While enjoying that thought, our starters arrived. Anna's Fresh coriander hummus with warm pitta bread and olives was a mix of nutty, citrus hummus with a gentle zing of coriander, pitta soldiers and olives. My tomato-based Lentil vegetable soup had chunks of baby carrot and came with a deliciously warm roll and butter.

The foreman's Caesar salad had a crisp lettuce and coriander base covered with a swish of mayonnaise, topped off with plump anchovies and Parmesan shavings. Three good starters.

Main courses followed. The chunky meat in the Spiced pork casserole was a little dry, but the mix of curry spices, lemon and wilted spinach in the sauce added moisture to the meat and gave layers of flavour.

My Honey roast ham was thickly sliced with the sort of dry, featheriness of properly roasted ham. A side salad, with rings of sweet red onion and juicy orange, and a ramekin of exotic mango chutney made this a tasty dish.

The Cumberland sausage with mustard sauce was a mixed experience. …

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