Give me Mor-peth

Morpeth and its surrounding countryside and villages is a Northumberland gem; the perfect foodie destination which requires many visits before you can possibly get round every taste and tipple on offer.

The market town itself has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, creating a bustling heart packed with independently owned cafes, delis, and restaurants which shine for their quality and variety.

A traditional market town, Morpeth has succeeded where others elsewhere in the country have failed; achieving a pleasing balance of shops and destinations which work in harmony to offer variety and quality within a pretty town centre much enhanced by the lovely Sanderson Arcade, some quality retailers, and food and drink outlets.

As a result, Morpeth is busy and buzzing, and a fine lesson to other rural market towns elsewhere in the UK of how to create a good balance in your offering and a great atmosphere which guarantees this a destination in its own right, as opposed to a mere city satellite
of Newcastle.

The outlying areas around Morpeth are similarly attractive and populated with some not-so hidden rural gems, ensuring a day here results in bags packed with quality local produce to take home.


Sister to the fab gastro bar of the same name in Newcastle, Barluga Morpeth brings its signature brand of relaxed sophistication to Morpeth’s stylish Sanderson Arcade. Its European café vibe is complemented by fresh deli counters heaving with fantastic produce, while the menu includes all-day breakfasts including a classic cooked English, eggs benedict, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and much more. Later in the day, the menu stars taster plates of Italian, Northumbrian, and Spanish collections, and main dishes such as Ingham Valley lamb, confit duck, a range of burgers and a variety of fish and veggie options. The bar, meanwhile, is plentifully stocked with beer, wine and high spirits.
Barluga Morpeth, Unit 3D, Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth, NE61 1NS, tel 01670 505 500

CafE des Amis

Cafe des Amis is a cosy, quirky little coffee shop which stands out for its homemade produce and its coffee garden with its water feature, sofas, tables and chairs. The homemade dishes on the menu are plentiful, with soups, pies, quiches, bespoke sandwiches and a special every day. All the cakes are homemade, including toffee cake, and raspberry and passion fruit. The popular scones include cheese and thyme, and sultana and lemon, and the daily special scones include fresh raspberry and peach, rhubarb and ginger, and blackberry and apple, each with a complimenting jam. There is Illy coffee, Damman Frere Parisian teas and Mombana milk and white hot chocolate, as well as frappes and frappuccinos.
Café des Amis, 52 Newgate St, Morpeth NE61 1BQ, tel 07585 614 156

Curiously Wicked

Curiously Wicked is a unique gem – chocolatier, patisserie, tea room and Edwardian home-from-home, a place to step back in time, be addressed as Sir and Ma’am by charming staff in period costume, and be regaled with tales of the period drama into which every customer and staff member steps the minute they cross the threshold.

The food here is beautifully homemade, and while the comfy snug with its chesterfields is home to morning coffee, afternoon tea and chocolate indulgences, the dining room is home to wonderful dishes created by head chef David Hall.

At the time of writing, the team was working on a fabulous new chocolate display for the window to add to the wow factor this place always creates.
Curiously Wicked, Sanderson Arcade, Northumberland, NE61 1NS, tel 01670 458 183

Ice Bar

Ice Bar is quite a thing – Morpeth’s only dedicated ice cream bar and a renowned stop-off point for families and ice cream fans who love a taste of the traditional and, occasionally, the very different provided in the shape of occasional special
limited-edition flavours. At any one time there are 13 flavours on offer, from some 60 in rotation.

Gluten-free cones are available, as is gluten-free ice cream, alongside a range of sorbets bursting with fruit. There’s hot chocolate and ice cream milk shakes in an array of flavours, and all the ice cream is supplied by Archers of Co Durham, made from the milk of Jersey cows. Customer favourites include a range of knickerbocker glories, Eton mess, milkshakes made with real fruit and ice cream, chocolate-dipped cones, and much more.
Ice Bar, 62 Newgate St, Morpeth, NE61 1BQ, tel 07549 650 376

La Bodega

La Bodega Mediterranean tapas and wine bar is home to traditional homemade tapas, made using seasonal produce from traditionally authentic recipes collected by owner April Atkinson during her many travels in Spain.

April’s passion for all things Spanish shines through at La Bodega, which she has created to provide a warm and welcoming corner of Spain, complete with relaxed, buzzing atmosphere and a fantastic Mediterranean menu.

The mouthwatering tapas menu is complemented by an extensive list of wines and spirits from many Spanish regions, carefully selected by April for their quality and value.

La Bodega’s online shop also includes such gems as baby sardines in dressing, cured Spanish ham, and ready-made paella.
La Bodega, Newgate Street, Morpeth, NE61 1BU tel 01670 516 055 

Meldon Park

Meldon Park is one of those gems in the heart of the Northumberland countryside which becomes an instant favourite after just one visit to wander the Victorian garden and nursery and the lovely Garden Café, where owners Emily and James Cookson have created a welcoming retreat.

A stroll around the Victorian garden and nursery leads inevitably to the Café, where the fresh dishes include blue cheese soufflé, a handmade burger, and a woodland mushroom risotto. There are sandwiches and light bites, breakfasts, cakes (including gluten-free), and afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, scones and cakes.

The walled kitchen garden has for generations supplied produce for the grand family home and the surrounding community, and it’s fitting that it now supplies its own cafe just yards away. The Meldon Park estate is open at various times during the year and the grounds around the kitchen garden are freely open for visitors to enjoy a walk. Owners Emily and James are the seventh generation of the Cookson family to live here and Meldon Park was featured on Channel 4’s Country House Rescue in July 2012

Meldon Park, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3SW tel 01670 772 321

Morpeth Market

We love a good market at appetite and Morpeth’s markets are being re-launched later this year with new stalls and a new look.

It’s hoped to attract more traders and develop both the weekly Wednesday market and the monthly farmers’ market.

The market will be re-launched in the autumn with new stalls emblazoned with the striking
More in Morpeth branding in a navy blue and white livery.

Other improvements include additional power supplies, ground anchors, new tables and an active campaign to attract more great traders and more shoppers to the markets. The initiative has been developed in partnership with the team at Sanderson Arcade working alongside Northumberland County Council, Morpeth Town Council and the Town Team.

Morpeth Markets are actively seeking new traders interested in a stall. Interested parties should contact market manager Neil Brown, tel 07713 115204, email

Morwick Dairy Ice Cream

Morwick Farm is renowned for its traditional farmhouse ice cream, handmade here in the heart of Northumberland near the pretty village and castle of Warkworth.

The Ice Cream Parlour at the farm is a must-visit in these parts, serving Royal Double ice cream made from the milk of the farm’s award-winning dairy herd. Royal Double recipes are based on a traditional farmhouse-style ice cream with a smooth, creamy taste bursting with flavour. Parlour visitors can enjoy the farm’s delicious Royal Double ice cream in pots, cones and take-home cartons and watch it being made through the parlour window.
Morwick Dairy Ice Cream, Morwick Farm, Acklington, Morpeth, NE65 9DG tel 01665 711 210

R Martin Butchers

You can’t beat a good, traditional butcher, and R Martin Butchers is renowned throughout Northumberland as a quality
family butcher, established for more than 100 years.

Although the Martin family haven’t owned the shop for some years now, Geoff Rice and Lee Belisle run it to the family standard, keeping things traditional.

All the meat is from local farms, so there is full traceability back to the farm gate, enabling customers to shop with confidence. Meat boxes and deliveries are available and the home-cooked meats and homemade sausages here are renowned. R Martin’s excellent pies are made fresh daily, a variety of home-cured bacon is available, and sausages are a real speciality.
R Martin Butchers, 21 Newgate Street, Morpeth, NE61 1AW tel 01670 513 359


Shambles is a new and very elegant venue, set over three floors beginning with a lively ground-floor bar featuring a wide range of beer, wine, cocktails and shots, special events and open mic nights, and a relaxed bar menu which includes breakfast. The first-floor restaurant features an impressive a la carte menu and Sunday lunch. Produce is locally sourced and seafood, local meat and veggie options are in plentiful supply, complemented by an extensive wine list.

On the second floor comes the Ensign Room, with a free pool table, TV and darts board. This room can also be hired for events. Shambles includes seven screens throughout the building showing Sky Sports, including every Newcastle Premier League game. Shambles, 59 Bridge Street, Morpeth, HE61 1PQ tel 01670 516 688

The Running Fox CafE

We love The Running Fox Cafe in Felton, where master baker Neville produces all manner of gorgeous breads, including stilton and walnut and olive, while his business partner Kris creates amazing meals which keep this place packed with customers from miles around.
So popular has it been since it first opened last summer, the builders have now been in and doubled capacity by expanding upstairs, where the view over the river and the village are even prettier than downstairs.
The cafe menu includes lunches and Sunday roast, amazing pies, fantastic patisserie, cakes and scones, and a great afternoon tea.
The Running Fox, 2-4 Riverside, Felton, Northumberland, NE65 9EA, tel 01670 787 090

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