The Grand Hotel, Tynemouth
Posted: 05 Aug 2013
on a warm summer’s evening takes a lot of beating – and a prime position by the
window of the Grand Hotel’s Victoria restaurant is an ideal spot from which to watch
the waves and the world go by.
the sunshine, opulent surroundings and the view with a cracking meal, good
service and value for money and you really are onto a winner. Life should
always be like this.
it’s not. Although standards and choice for eating out in the North East have
improved immeasurably in recent years it’s not hard to find yourself paying good
money for mediocre fare. I don’t know if it’s due to customer demand, but many places
try to offer too much – lengthy menus with scores of dishes coming from a
kitchen which couldn’t possibly be producing the food from scratch – and you
end up being disappointed as well as out of pocket.
a chef friend told me recently: “With the fresh produce available in the North
East and the great quality, there is no excuse not to produce good meals, especially
if you keep your menu short and simple.”
gets me back to the Grand. With set prices for starters, mains and puddings
(with the odd extra charge), there’s no faffing about worrying about price –
you just pick what you want, sit back and enjoy.
husband and I missed the starters but chose two fish dishes for our main courses,
priced at £12.95: mine lemon sole in tempura batter on a bed of fennel, his
pan-fried barramundi with prawn and saffron risotto. While we waited I had a
small bottle of prosecco (with a dash of cassis in the glass so I could make
my own kir royale) and he a large glass of chardonnay. What a delight to then be
given a complimentary palate-freshener of blackcurrant sorbet. It was
absolutely delicious – very intense, slightly sharp, beautiful consistency and
not at all watery (like sorbet can be).
mains were just the job, too. The batter on my sole was fine and crisp as
tempura should be, the fish fresh and light and the fennel base gave it a
delicate aniseed lift. The barramundi was meatier, robust and finely accompanied
by the creamy risotto. We had a lovely dressed salad on the side for £3 and two
large glasses of rioja.
dessert (£4.95) I had my favourite – crème brulee, spot-on, with a home-made
shortbread circle – while the old man nursed a glass of chablis, all in the
interest of research.
bill came to £62, which was very reasonable, especially considering we’d been
drinking glasses of wine instead of a bottle (the drinks bill was £28.15).
planets had obviously lined up nicely for this evening with every element a
pleasure – but we’ll be just as happy going back in driving rain, fog, snow,
whatever. Just as well, really.
Phone: 0191 293 6666