Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Go on, Just Spoil Yourself

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Go on, Just Spoil Yourself

Article excerpt

NINE courses. That's how many I managed to get through during my evening meal at Hipping Hall.

Granted, none of them were individually huge, but I still think it is quite impressive.

What was more impressive was the food itself. Once every now again it is nice to treat yourself, so we did and went for the taster menu. And what a treat it was!

First up we had canaps, which we nibbled on in the cosy lounge of this idyllic country house hotel.

Then it was hand-dived scallops, followed by ballotine of quail with foie gras as we settled into the dining room - an atmospheric 15th Century hall with tapestries hanging from the exposed stone walls, period features galore and only a handful of tables which made it feel like we had the place to ourselves.

Next was pork belly, monkfish and pickled vegetables. I know it sounds an odd combination - but it worked. Then it was a fillet of wild seabass followed by a loin of lamb. Each course was faultless.

A short, sharp lemon pre-dessert freshened things up before we demolished the pudding which was a rhubarb and custard concoction which worked on the classic combination but was something entirely different, in a good way.

All this was followed by coffee and petit fours. Now, I know this all sounds very indulgent, but that is how it should be when you visit a place like this.

Having a meal at Hipping Hall is an experience in itself. It is a real treat.

The food is fine dining at its best. But what we liked about it is that it is not fancy for fancy sake. You know the kind of thing; foams here, and sugar twirls there. This is classic flavours with the odd twist but never over indulgent.

The chef is Brent Hulena and it can only be a matter of time before he earns a Michelin Star.

Hipping Hall itself is one of those lovely country hotels you see in magazines. …

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