Bardon Mill, Hexham NE47 7AN
Food: British classics alongside a selection of “Light Bites” such as sandwiches.
The area surrounding Hadrian’s Wall is pretty short of pubs. You don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to going out for food anywhere near this weeks walk. Secondly, the walk took me slightly longer than anticipated, so the pub I chose as my first choice based on my online research (TripAdvisor) was finished for lunchtime and weren’t serving food until 6 pm. I was starving. Revert to Plan B, The Twice Brewed Inn.
Walking in to the huge bar/restaurant area, I noticed the vast number of tables. The place is huge! Recently refurbished, it does have a bit of a feel of one of those cheap-and-cheerful chains of hotels (that I have stayed in a few of in my previous life).
I waited at the bar to ask where I could sit with the dog. The staff were fine for us to sit anywhere so I took a seat in the corner. There was a family, complete with grandparents and young children at the far end, so I sat well away (Leo doesn’t like children – he’s scared of them. So am I come to think of it.).
The staff seemed to be otherwise occupied. Although there appeared to be a few different waitresses/barmaids, I did have to wait for one of them to appear for a good 10 minutes. I ordered a small glass of wine (they didn’t do Merlot by the glass so I went for a Malbec) and a Lamb Hotpot. I asked about a water for the dog, but I must have missed the water bowl and jar of biscuits by the door as I came in, so went over to fetch it myself.
My hotpot came almost immediately! Great – I was starving! But I hadn’t even had time to get out my camera and notebook or go to the toilet before it arrived! This can’t be a good sign, surely? I’m all about prompt service but if I’ve not even had a chance to have a sip of my drink, that’s too quick. And it suggests – I don’t want to be too presumptuous here – that it was microwaved.
As an invention, I am a huge fan of the microwave. But when I’m eating in a restaurant, I at least want them to pretend that they oven cooked my meal; rather than microwaving the veg and meat then chucking a few crispy potatoes on top.
To be fair to The Twice Brewed Inn, there was a lot of meat in the hotpot and the flavours were nice. To be honest, I was starving, I would have eaten just about anything. It didn’t help that I heard two blokes at the table next to me talking about their food too. I’m a little surprised I could hear them at all from the noise level of the joinery work going on upstairs. Presumably, refurbishing the restaurant had been Phase 1 of their refurb, and they were now doing the rooms upstairs.
In all, the food was fine. But nothing more. This place served a purpose on that particular day but I don’t think I would go back (unless I found myself in a similar situation again!).
A Pooch’s Perspective
- Water bowl and biscuits available by the door.
- Dogs allowed to sit anywhere in the bar/restaurant area.
- The waitress held his lead for me while I went to the toilet – difficult when you’re always on your own, he always wants to come in the Ladies loos!