Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cherry Tree Didn't Blossom

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cherry Tree Didn't Blossom

Article excerpt

Byline: KAREN WILSON

The Cherry Tree 9 Osborne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle. Tel (0191) 239-9924 YOU can tell a lot about an establishment from its website. And having heard good things about The Cherry Tree in Jesmond, I was encouraged by the website's stylish design, prominent, glossy mag quality pictures and glowing review quotes.

But where on earth was their phone number to make my booking? After a good few minutes of searching, I realised it was somewhat bizarrely written as 0191 twentythree999twentyfour. Not exactly eye-catching. I wondered if this reflected the restaurant itself. Was it going to be a tad on the pretentious side? The answer, thankfully, is "no". However, as you can see, this is a three-star review, and the restaurant was far from perfect.

First impressions were very good though. Formerly Oldfields, it re-opened in April 2008 as The Cherry Tree. The setting was indeed as impressive as the internet pictures suggested. Gorgeous over-sized lighting dominated the double-height space, which was cut through with a glass balustrade and open spiral staircase. Even hard-to-please Kevin McCloud of TV's Grand Designs would've been bowled over. The live jazz musician playing in the background created a warm buzz to the place and I instantly felt relaxed and at ease (that could've been the three glasses of wine consumed prior to our 8.30pm booking though!) Sandwiched between a table of doctors (I overheard medical speak) and a well-dressed older couple, it seemed like this restaurant was appealing to the professional classes. When I took a look at the A La Carte menu of modern British fayre, I could see why.

I'd failed to notice that the Table d'Hote menu (a pretty reasonable pounds 16.50 for three courses) stops at 6pm on a Saturday. So with starters at around pounds 8, mains at around pounds 20 and desserts at around pounds 6, we resigned ourselves to the possibility of a three-figure bill.

The website promised "a diverse and eclectic list of 68 wines from 12 countries" so we, erm, rather adventurously chose the house red - a pretty nice, mellow French number at pounds 14. …

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