Happy New Year – even though it feels like it was months ago now.
We had a great family Christmas with our little boy Thomas, who loved every minute of it. I can’t wait until next year when he’ll be that little bit older and really gets what’s going on.
It was a pretty chilled break. I broke up from work on December 23 and had a few drinks with the lads, then didn’t touch another until January 13 (hangovers and looking after Thomas don’t go together!).
We spent some time at home and I only cooked once – fillet steak with roast sprouts and veg mash – and spent Christmas Day at my mam’s where she does the cooking. We’ve been out and about a bit too and I’ve been down the road to The Victoria in Low Fell a couple of times. All very laid-back and chilled.
With just three days off at Christmas and three at New Year, we managed to fit in some quality time, though I’m ticking off the days to our summer holiday now.
In the kitchen it’s as busy as ever – the other Monday we had 25 lunch covers and 60 for dinner! It’s a tough time of year for the staff, having come off a busy December, so I have to say a massive thank you to everyone in the kitchen and front of house for the hours they put in and for the quality of what they do. It’s been busy with our restaurant week in Jesmond too – and though it’s great to get people back in after the Christmas period it does take its toll on the people working in the restaurants taking part.
On the menu right now we’ve got a lovely char siu pork dish with pak choi and some lovely steamed pork buns. Lamb is beautiful through the winter months and we have some great racks on at the minute with a crisp oyster potato to make a contemporary hot pot.
By the time I write my next column we’ll be getting into spring and have the flavours of wild garlic and leeks starting to come back in. I can’t wait to see some bright green back on the menu.