Well, Sunderland I must say I owe you an apology, who knew there were so many fantastic restaurants, bars and cafes to discover Wearside, and Sunderland Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to explore them.
Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week is returning for its second year after a successful debut last Autumn, and this time it's bigger and better. Taking place from Saturday 11 March to Sunday 19 March, there are over 40 restaurants involved, all offering three or two course menus for £10 or £15.
I popped to Sunderland last week to take part in a Safari Supper, which I'm pretty sure I'm now going to be adding to my list of hobbies. We strolled our way round Sunderland enjoying a different course in each of four restaurants, which in my eyes is the perfect way to eat!
Drinks and Canapés at Cafe Purple
Cafe Purple on Park Lane is the place to be seen in Sunderland - plush booths, sparkling chandeliers and ornate mirrors set the scene for a great start to our evening.
Important things first and we had a little look at the cocktail menu which promised so many fun and fruity cocktails, reaching a decision was hard. In the end I went for one of my classic favourites; Porn Star Martini (I think it's the little shot of Prosecco on the side that makes it)
The canapés arrived on a sharing board that was covered in slabs of cheese, garlic bread, fresh fruit and battered onion rings. We eagerly tucked in, I love this kind of grab and enjoy food, it's the best way to eat with friends.
Taking a little glimpse at the Café Purple menu and I was secretly a little gutted that we weren't spending our entire evening there - I really need to make my way through their "Proper Burger" menu - they have some epic creations with the most mouth watering fillings.
Cafe Purple are offering 2 courses for £10 during Restaurant Week. Menu details yet to be released.
Starters at Royal Thai
When we walked through the door of Royal Thai on Mary Street we were immediately greeted by delicious smells that had our tummies excited for our Starters.
We were served up a sharing plate of tempting goodies including Thai Fish Cakes, Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls and Dumplings - absolutely delicious and a great start to our Safari Supper. Looking at the food arriving at the tables around us I really wanted to stay for longer, but we had places to be!
Royal Thai are offering 2 courses for £10 during Restaurant Week, Sunday to Thursday only with a choice of three starters and five main courses. See the full menu here.
Mains at City Bistro, Sunderland College
We walked over to City Bistro at Sunderland College for our main course. A new addition to Sunderland and a real hidden gem, City Bistro provides students with the chance to perfect their skills, serving up food to a very high standard under the watchful eye of Head Chef, Kelvin Linstead (previously of Peace and Loaf and Jesmond Dene House). Students get a very real taste of life in a busy kitchen with the City Bistro being a fully functional restaurant full of eager diners.
My highlight of the Safari, I enjoyed Chicken Breast, Sweet Potato, Corn, BBQ Sauce and Red Slaw - beautifully presented and so delicious. City Bistro really is a "must visit" in Sunderland and I know it wont be long until I revisit.
City Bistro are offering 3 courses for £15 including a glass of wine during Sunderland Restaurant Week. There are four choices available on each course. See the full menu here.
Coffee and Cake at Port of Call
Our evening ended at Port of Call on Park Lane for my favourite course, the all important coffee and cake. Port of Call is best known for its seafood and rum cocktails but did you know that they also do the most delicious homemade cakes? With an ever changing menu it's a great place to pop in for a sweet bite after a busy day of shopping.
The good news it that coffee and cake is one of the offers during Sunderland Restaurant Week - make sure you fill your boots!
Port of Call are offering coffee and cake for £5, 2 courses for £10 or 3 courses for £15 during Sunderland Restaurant Week. See the full menu here.
My exclusive little look at Sunderland Restaurant Week has made me realise how much Sunderland now has to offer the eager foodie and I can't wait to return and try out some more places. For information of all the restaurants and deals happening during Restaurant Week, click here and make sure that you share your photographs from Sunderland Restaurant Week by using #EatDrinkSunderland on your social media.
Let me know your favourite restaurant in Sunderland and where I should try next!
We enjoyed a complimentary safari supper. All thoughts and opinions are my own.