Monday, September 13, 2021

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review

Blackfriars in Newcastle is, in my opinion, one of the best value lunches in our city. I have visited a few times over the years and always leave feeling impressed and as if I have received good value for money. It is not somewhere for a cheap meal, but does provide excellent value. There's a difference.

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review

This post is based on my most recent visit in September 2021. As always, make sure you check information direct with Blackfriars when making plans and menus and prices do change over time. 

Blackfriars dates way back to 1239 and claims to be the oldest dining room in England. Previous guests include King Henry III. You really can feel the history here and if you'd like to learn more, history tours followed lunch are available (check dates and book via their website here). 

The restaurant and banqueting hall is located between the Gate and Stowell Street in Newcastle City Centre. I usually walk past the Gate and turn up the cut between the Gate and the Loft (formerly Tiger Tiger). Then take the first right, walk along behind the Gate and you will see Blackfriars on your left hand side. 

Blackfriars is around a 10 minute walk from Haymarket and a 7 minute walk from Central station. Very accessible by public transport and the closest parking would be in the Gate, again, a very short walk away. 

Bookings in advance are recommended and it is easy to book via their website. Walk-ins may be accommodated. 

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review - walk from Haymarket

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review  - walk from Central Station

When the weather allows, there is a lovely outdoor courtyard where guests can enjoy the sunshine. Tables can be covered with large parasols if required. We sat outside (look at those blue skies) and there was a random downpour during our meal. The parsol was enough to keep up dry and sheltered.

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review  - Outdoor Courtyard

Alternatively, indoors it feels as if you have stepped back in time and it feels like you are dining inside a medieval castle. 

There are various menus available at Blackfriars and they generally change with the seasons so there is always something new and seasonal to try. You can view up-to-date menus including a children's menu here

We opted to dine from the Autumn Set Menu which is available for lunch Monday-Saturday between 12noon & 2:30pm for the bargain price of £17 for 2 courses or £21 for 3 courses. Menus are well labelled for allergies and dietary requirements and there are options for GF, V and Ve as standard. 

This menu is also available for early dinner (5:30pm-7pm Monday-Friday) for £21 for 2 courses / £25 for 3 courses. An optional service charge of 12.5% is added to your bill. This is shared equally amongst staff on a pro-rata basis.

There are some decent drinks deals available too. My friends raved about the Hugo Spritz which was available as part of a 2 cocktails for £12 deal (12noon-7pm Monday-Friday) and you can order two glasses of 125ml wines to match your meal for £11.50. 

Blackfriars take service seriously and the staff are all fantastic. Chatty and knowledgeable without being in your face. Service is of a high standard - expect them to check in with you throughout your meal to ensure everything is ok. 

The complimentary basket of freshly baked (and warm) bread rolls with homemade butter which is brought to your table on arrival really sets the tone for your meal. 

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review  - complimentary bread basket

Considering the quality of ingredients, service, presentation and cooking on offer here, I still can't believe how much of a bargain lunch here is. Remember, it is £21 for three courses plus bread if you dine from the seasonal set menu. It's a steal! I swear I have paid more in Brewers Fayre. 

You can of course bump up the price by adding additional sides to your meal but personally, if you are going out with three courses I don't think this is needed. 

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review

Blackfriars feels like a special occasion restaurant but also has a nice and welcoming feel to it. I would definitely feel comfortable bringing little ones here and they have a dedicated children's menu and highchairs available. 

I was driving later so decided to try a mocktail. This one is the Appleflower - Apple Juice, Elderflower Cordial, Lime Juice, Thyme Syrup and Mint (£4). It was so refreshing and I really enjoyed it. 

Blackfriars Newcastle - Set Lunch Menu Review  - mocktail

Onto the food and I find it difficult to resist anything with goats cheese in it to start so ordered the Young Goat's Cheese which was served with candied walnuts, roast beetroots and a honey dressing.  A classic match made in heaven which was really elevated by the candied walnuts. Delicious and a lovely start to my lunch. 

Onto my main and I ordered the Roast Belly Pork which was served with creamed celeriac, burnt leeks and apply sauce. I mean isn't this dish just autumn on a plate! `

The best comfort food, presented beautifully and again, a classic combo of flavours. The stand out for me was the pork - beautifully cooked and it just fell apart. I would 100% order this dish again. 

My friends both ordered the Shields Monkfish which was served with chorizo and potato hash and black garlic sauce. There is no supplement for this dish and it is so nice to see high quality, locally sourced ingredients available at a decent price in our city centre still. 

Onto dessert and who can resist sticky toffee pudding? The twist at Blackfriars is that it is served with banana ice cream. It looked delicious. 

I rarely venture far from Sticky Toffee Pudding when it comes to dessert but was tempted by the Milk Chocolate Fudge Cake which was served with Chocolate Custard. I don't ever remember seeing Chocolate Custard on a restaurant menu before and it is an ingredient which is filled with nostalgia for me and after the downpour of rain, felt like the comfort food I needed.

It isn't the most photogenic of dishes or as dainty as some of the other desserts available but I am so pleased Blackfriars have this on the menu. It is the pudding we all need this Autumn. Lush! 

A three course lunch for three, including complimentary bread and water, four cocktails and a mocktail and service charge was £100. Like I say, fantastic value! I have my eye on booking up and visiting again soon and really fancy trying one of the many events Blackfriars has on offer

Find out more and book:

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