Thursday 12 July 2018

Hawthorns Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle - A Taste of the North East

If there's one thing I'm very passionate about when I'm eating out it's menus that are packed full of local produce so today I thought I'd share with you my visit to Hawthorns Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle which boasts a menu bursting with food and drink from the region.  A real taste of the North East.

Hawthorns at the Crowne Plaza is ideally located if you find yourself strolling around the Central Station area of Newcastle looking for somewhere that serves really good food.  I have certainly found it a struggle in the past to know where to go in the area and I will admit Hawthorns has slipped my mind on more than one occasion as, despite only being a few minutes walk away from the Diamond Strip, it is a little hidden behind the railway.

With the development of Stephenson's Quarter approaching the finishing stages this part of Newcastle is soon gong to be pretty lively so now really is the time to take the short walk to the Crowne Plaza and check out the wonderful food that Hawthorns has to offer if you're yet to make a visit.

I promise you won't be disappointed.
Hawthorns Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle - A Taste of the North East

My date for the night was my friend Sarah who, on meeting me in the reception of the Crowne Plaza, declared it the loveliest hotel she has ever been in.  Reminding myself of the surroundings I have to say I agree with her - the interiors manage to strike that perfect balance of feeling rather fancy yet homely and welcoming and every time I step through the door I find myself wishing I could swipe some pieces of furniture for my own home.

We were greeted at the entrance of Hawthorns by our server for the evening, whose infectious personality had us swapping stories of Newcastle and food (two of my favourite subjects) in no time.  Showing us to our table we were soon drooling over the large menu and I couldn't help but feel a large amount of North East pride as I noticed how much of the menu was created using produce from the region.  If you enjoy eating dishes inspired by the wonderful countryside of the North East then Hawthorns is a "must visit" for your foodie list as they are truly one of the leading restaurants in the city for local dishes with the menu clearly labelled to showcase where local produce is used.

Hawthorns at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle - A Taste of the North East

As we had arrived in our baggiest trousers (anyone else have special eating out trousers for when you plan to truly stuff your face?) we settled ourselves in for the full three courses.

One of the things that I find surprising about Hawthorns is that, despite being part of a huge international hotel brand, they have the freedom to create their own menus and the chefs are certainly encouraged to show off their talent and flare with the presentation of the dishes.  The beautiful amuse-bouche was the perfect start to our evening and a real promise of what was to come.

I began my evening with a Selection of Local Cold Meats and Geordie Baker's Bread (£6.95) which I knew was going to be impressive as soon as I noticed Sarah's eyes bulging at the size of it when it approached the table.  I'm usually left pretty annoyed at the amount of bread you get given on boards so was over the moon when I saw how much I had.  How was I ever going to manage it all?  There was a lovely variety of Geordie Baker's Bread with a generous amount of local meats served with onion jam, roasted sweet tomatoes and pickled garlic.  It was a real feast and I'm lucky that I managed to convince Sarah to help me finish it off.

Hawthorns at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle - Geordie Bakers Bread
When it came to the main event I couldn't resist ordering the Butchers Beef and Black Pepper Burger (£15.95). Yes despite having demolished a huge pile of bread and meat for my starter I decided to follow it with some more bread and meat - go big or go home I say.

Of course every great burger eating challenge requires some preparation so I was very happy when our server appeared with a lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate - have you ever seen anything so beautiful? If you could capture Summer and put it into a glass I'm pretty sure it would look like this.

Hawthorns at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle

The Butchers Beef and Black Pepper Burger was served in, what can only be described as, the most beautiful burger bun I have ever seen in my life.  It looked like the kind of burger you see in a food magazine, you know one of those photos that really makes your mouth water and make you instantly hungry.

As much as I wanted to just dig straight in I danced round it for a while, considering the best etiquette for eating a burger in public, before giving up and picking it up with both hands, I'm sorry but when the food looks this good I don't have the time to be polite.

Oh so juicy and packed full with prime steak beef burger, crispy pancetta and Monterey Jack Cheese it was one of the nicest burgers I've ever had and I wolfed it down in record speed before tucking into my fries. Unfortunately there was no chance I was ever going to be able to finish them!

Hawthorns at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle - Burger

Sarah had ordered the 8oz Grain-Fed Ravensworth Rump Steak (£19.95) - tender Northumberland beef grain-fed served with shallot and watercress salad with triple cooked chips. As she cut into the meat it looked deliciously pink, just as I like it. I was beginning to get food envy.

As I finished my burger and turned my attention to the generous helping of fries, her Porcini Mushroom and Black Garlic Sauce (£2.95) caught my eye.  She must have noticed me staring as, being the very best kind of friend you can have, she asked me if i wanted to dip my chip in. Yes please!  The mushroom and garlic flavours were spot on and, after seeing how perfect Sarah's steak looked I think I'll be ordering this myself next time.

Hawthorns at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle - Steak

You may think that after all that we couldn't possibly fit in dessert but somehow we managed it and, as we're currently enjoying a very hot Summer we decided to order Homemade Ice-Cream (£5.95). Made at Hawthorns there is a variety of delicious flavours to choose from and as we couldn't decided we ended up with a selection of four, complete with toppings.

The absolute highlight for me was the Apple Crumble Ice-Cream - it tasted just like a delicious frozen dessert, with huge chunks of sweet crumble hidden amongst the creamy ice-cream.  I'm seriously considering dropping by the hotel again at some point this week just to enjoy some more  on the outdoor terrace!

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at Hawthorns and have nothing but great things to say about their fantastic food - if you want a true taste of the North East I highly recommend you book yourself a table!  I have my eye on their afternoon tea next!

Hawthorns at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle - Ice Cream

Find Hawthorns at:

The Crowne Plaza
Forth Street

0191 562 3333

We enjoyed a complimentary meal for two with drinks in exchange for this honest review


  1. Do they still source their burgers from Turnbulls butchers? I had one last time we were here and it was lush!

  2. My mouth literally watered when reading this! Yum! I love Hawthorne’s. We’ve had many delicious meals there and like you I love their use of local produce. This has reminded me I must get back soon!

    1. It is sometimes a bit of a case of out of sight, out of mind! Hopefully when the development finishes more people will wander down that way to discover Hawthorns!

  3. It all looks absolutely gorgeous Chloe - I never order burger anywhere but Fat Hippo but could be seriously tempted by this one!

  4. Everything looks so good! Also strong food choices by the way - I definitely would have gone for the steak or burger too! x

    1. Every time! My menu choices are never original!

  5. Oh wow, I thought that sorbet was a cocktail when I saw it, its absolutely gorgeous! This place sounds right up my street and looks and sounds amazing!
    Sophie - x

    1. It does look a bit like a cocktail doesn't it? So beautifully presented!


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