Northumberland - Eating and sleeping

Savouring the tastes of Northumberland

oyster, Northumberland, UK by Moving Moment, ShutterstockLindisfarne Oysters are farmed in the waters surrounding Holy Island and sold in fishmongers throughout the region © Moving Moment, Shutterstock

Visitors to the region will be struck by how many restaurants, pubs and food stores have got behind the organic and local food revival. Many menus in good restaurants and cafés state the provenance of ingredients as standard practice; pubs serving regional ales are now too numerous to list; and I found plenty of B&B and hotel owners taking pride in serving local foods (look out for the Produced in Northumberland accreditation when booking accommodation). Northumberland boasts many of the best salmon and trout rivers in England, extensive game moors and working fishing communities, so it makes sense. Famous names you will undoubtedly come across on your travels include Craster Kippers, Lindisfarne Oysters, Pumphrey’s and Pilgrim’s coffees, Chain Bridge Honey, Doddington Dairy, the Northumberland Cheese Company, and Allendale and Wylam breweries.

For those self-catering, you’ll find thriving farmers’ markets in most large towns, excellent fishmongers and/or smokeries at North Shields Fish Quay, Craster and Seahouses, and farm shops like Blagdon near Ponteland. Recommended delis include the Corbridge Larder, the Good Life Shop in Wooler, and Tully’s of Rothbury. Dishes unique to the North East include pan haggerty (a filling potato and onion side dish) and singin’ hinny (a very filling kind of scone that ‘sings’ as it hits the bubbling butter on a griddle pan). Also look out for sandwiches made with stottie bread (flat, spongy and slightly sweet) that are fairly easy to find in take-away shops and cafés.

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