Newcastle’s Jesmond district is a brilliant place to base yourself for a short break. Located just north of the city centre, it’s a largely residential area with some seriously great attractions. My personal favourite is Jesmond Dene, which is a gorgeous valley that’s famous for its natural beauty and wildlife. Its bars and restaurants, meanwhile, are easily some of the best in the city.
To find out where the top places to go are, read my shortlist.
1) The Billabong Bar & Bistro
My first suggestion is the Billabong Bar & Bistro, which is in the Caledonian Hotel on Osborne Road. A really chic venue, it’s perfect for sophisticated nights out – what’s more, as the bar area and bistro each offer quite distinct food and drink, it’s also got plenty of variety.
Let’s start by looking at the bistro. Serving up a wide range of European cuisine, the food here also has something of an Asian twist, which I think means it’s perfect if you’re after quite a unique dining experience. To complement your food, there’s an impressive wine list that features both old and new world wines.
The bar, meanwhile, has a gastro pub-style menu, which is particularly well-known for its gourmet burgers. On summer evenings, you can head out on to the terrace, which is heated when the weather’s on the chilly side.
2) Jesmond Dene House Restaurant
My next recommendation is Jesmond Dene House Restaurant, which is the ultimate place to go if you’re looking for an indulgent, high-class night out. Situated on Jesmond Dene Road in the premium hotel Jesmond Dene House, this restaurant has three AA stars to its name and an extremely good reputation.
Using local ingredients wherever possible, this restaurant has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and prides itself on serving contemporary British food focused on bringing out the best flavours.
The exciting dinner menu includes starters such as slow-cooked ox cheek and mains like Perigord truffle risotto, as well as a host of decadent desserts. The restaurant is also open for breakfast and lunch.
3) As You Like It
The last establishment on my list is As You Like It – a huge bar and restaurant that spans three floors. What’s fantastic about this place is that each of the four bars is beautifully decorated, while there’s also a great atmosphere, brilliant drinks list and delicious food.
In fact, while the restaurant’s certainly great, As You Like It’s bar food is particularly famous – especially its Supper Club, which runs on Friday and Saturday nights. Often said to have the best bar menu in the city, it serves up things like warm camembert, chicken wings, jackets (with a huge range of fillings, I might add!), fish and chips and, my personal favourite, steamed chocolate pudding.
There’s also an impressive range of continental beers, as well as lots of tempting guest ales. Plus, there’s a lovely garden terrace, which is the perfect place to relax with a cool drink and a plate of well-cooked food in the summer.
These are just some of Jesmond’s great restaurants and bars. If you’ve been recently and have anywhere to recommend, leave a comment below for fellow travellers. Anyone looking for places to stay, meanwhile, can find a decent selection listed here.