The Duke of Wellington Inn, Newton, Northumberland, NE43 7UL. www.thedukeofwellingtoninn.co.uk
A stylish country bolthole, this relaxed Northumbrian gastropub is one of our favourite Tyne Valley pubs. It’s tucked away in the village of Newton, just off the A69, a few miles from the market town of Corbridge.
We knew the pub before its major revamp in 2010, having had relatives living in the village, and the transformation – in both the interior and its fortunes since then – is hugely welcome. It also has seven luxe bedrooms, which are popular with Hadrian’s Wall walkers.
One gloriously sunny day last week we popped in for a glass of rose – and to soak up the restful views of rolling fields from the terrace.
The open-plan bar and eating area is really inviting (in both summer and winter), the exposed beams and chunky wooden tables nice rustic touches. The cosy leather sofas grouped around a low table, piled with newspapers and magazines, a favourite spot in the winter!
Food is one of the pub’s great strengths – it’s modern British with the emphasis on local and seasonal – and has never disappointed on any of our visits, whether it be a more casual lunch in the bar or dinner in the restaurant.
The fixed-price table d’hote menu, two courses at £15.95, three courses at £18.95, includes the likes of beetroot, pea and cashew nut risotto, and smoked haddock, leek and potato cake, and wild boar and apple sausage, creamy mash, confit onion and ale gravy.
We like the fact that the a la carte menu is pretty compact, dishes prepared from scratch with the emphasis on quality ingredients. The menu includes dishes such as honey and five spiced duck breast, £18.95, and pan-fried turbot, £22.95.
We last ate dinner there a year ago and the beautiful presentation of every dish made for a treaty experience – my duck dish was stand-out and lemon and lavender posset dessert exquisite, while a scampi dish from the table d’hote menu was so fresh, every fishy morsel so crisp.
And the ‘chocolate heaven’ dessert to follow was superb; the mix of textures, flavours and tastes so imaginative.