Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Great Food Has Us All Hooked

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Great Food Has Us All Hooked

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

NOW the festive partying is well and truly over, what is there to look forward to?

Money may be tight for most of us as we wait for those credit card bills to arrive, but if you do have a few pounds to spare, why not use them to book a lovely meal for Valentine's Day? It's not that far off!

I think I may have found the perfect venue too, having enjoyed a beautiful meal at the Fisherman's Lodge just before Christmas.

It had been more years than I care to remember since I had last eaten there, and afterwards I did wonder why.

First of all, let's talk about the setting.

It doesn't get much better than this, nestled within the peaceful confines of Jesmond Dene.

The area oozes tranquility and that is something which is mirrored in the lodge itself. An historic building, it dates from 1850 and was the home of Lord Armstrong.

These days, once inside, you are met with decor which manages to be both vibrant and relaxing. You'll see classy black and gold wallpaper, red sofas and a gorgeous shade of blue in the dining room.

We started our evening relaxing in the lounge bar area, browsing the menu. Chef Ashley Paynton has created an eclectic mix of dishes to whet even the most trying of appetites, including the all-important vegetarian.

Pumpkin veloute (creamy sauce) with walnut and sage butter and cocoa nibs sounded exciting, as did the citrus cured salmon, mussels, horseradish mousse and beetroot.

It was the confit of ham hock and foie gras terrine with Iberico, spiced apple chutney and sour dough (pounds 13.50) which caught the eyes of two of us though.

The mixing of the hock with the foie gras pate was a masterstroke, while the cured ham, chutney and bread only added to the excellence of the dish. Genius.

Diner number three opted for the salmon (pounds 11.95) and, again, the merging of flavours was an instant hit. …

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