Journalist Daniel Hall took to The Feathers Inn in Northumberland to see whether the food would impress him as much as it had the judges from Michelin and the Good Food Guide
Image: Daniel Hall/Newcastle Chronicle)
Sitting down to a tasty roast dinner on a Sunday is a great way to end the week.
But if you’re not in the mood to cook it yourself, there is an endless number of places where someone else can do it for you.
Chronicle Live journalist Daniel Hall traveled to Northumberland to see what it had to offer, and he was spoiled for choice.
In the end, he settled on The Feathers Inn at Hedley on the Hill after having seen it selling their fare at Armstrong Bridge Food Market in Jesmond.
The Feathers Inn at Hedley on the Hill was Northumbria Dining Pub of the Year in 2021 and was also the winner of Local Restaurant of the Year in the 2019 Good Food Guide North East.
Most recently, it took Silver at the North East Tourism Awards in the Pub of the Year award, with the Blackbird in Ponteland taking Gold.
After being seated, Daniel and his partner took a look at what the menu had to offer.
Daniel Hall/Newcastle Chronicle)
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It promised three Sunday lunch options and a few other dishes, which he said were “a little more elevated than your standard pub grub.”
They decided on the £15 vegan mezze to share as a starter, which comprised of chickpea hummus, smoky spiced aubergine, black beans with dill, spring herb tabbouleh, fresh flatbread and house pickles, which he said was a “winner”.
“Out of the seven options on the board, not one let us down – the hummus was my favorite while my partner preferred the smoky spiced aubergine,” Daniel said.
“The tabbouleh was fresh and had little sweet bursts from the pomegranate seeds, while the colorful pickled cabbage tasted a little like a sweet and sour sauce that you probably wouldn’t usually find on a Mezze platter but that was fine by us.
“The only issue was fitting the massive platter, which was served on a chopping board, onto our table for two!”
For the main, Daniel ordered the rump of Haydon Bridge beef with a Yorkshire pudding, horseradish and Madeira Gravy which came in at £18, while his partner went for the vegan almond, apple sage and onion no meatloaf.
“My beef was served pink and melted in the mouth, and the Yorkshire pudding was fluffy. My partner was impressed that the vegetarian Sunday roast had been home-made from scratch too, though it was burned on the bottom,” he noted.
“Sides came separately, with bashed swede, parsnips, carrots and greens, ‘dripping’ roasties, braised red cabbage and Doddington cauliflower cheese. Again, we had an issue with fitting them on the table, but as for the sides themselves, another treat .
“The parsnips were fat and juicy, roasties were cooked well and the braised red cabbage was a revelation – all sweet and tangy.”
“If I had to make one complaint,” he continued, “and this would be really looking for something, I’d rather that my meat wasn’t draped over the bashed swede.
“But that’s a completely personal thing, I’ve never liked swede and no matter how the Feathers served it, that wasn’t going to change.”
After two courses, Daniel’s partner was defeated, but he wasn’t stopping there.
Daniel Hall/Newcastle Chronicle)
He chose the Northumbrian cream (£7.50, with the option of pairing it with a glass of ‘Nectar’ Gonzalez Byass Pedro Ximenez sherry for another £7, which he did not take).
“It was exactly what I thought, but bigger. The blowtorched sugar on the top had a delightful crack when you hit it with a spoon, and the cream underneath was smooth and sweet – delicious!”
Overall, for a starter to share, two mains, two pints of coke and a dessert, the bill came to £69.85, which included a gratuity of 10% (that’s automatically added to the bill).
Although he admitted it was more than what they’d usually pay for a meal out for two, “in this case it proved to be worth what we spent and the 32-mile round trip.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.