Area focus: Nortumberland coast


Jane Pikett takes a foodie tour of coastal Northumberland

As we write, the sun has his hat on and all is right with the world, and what better opportunity for a foodie trip up the Northumberland coast than this?

Home to numerous fantastic producers and outlets, this is a foodie haven, and few better afternoons are there than those enjoyed with crab sandwiches on one of our region’s magnificent beaches, the swell crashing on the shore.

The weather, in general, matters not, when the taste of an area is this good, and when the sun does shine, well…there are few better places. Enjoy!



Spurreli is everything an ice cream parlour should be – home to an amazing, Great Taste Award-winning array of ice cream handmade on the premises using seasonal and local flavours including Alnwick Rum and home-grown berries, served alongside fresh-ground illy coffee, speciality teas, soft drinks, winter soup and Ruby Rose patisserie. A simple tub or cornet always hits the spot, while a knickerbocker glory or hot choc fudge sundae is always worth celebrating. When the weather allows, the tables and chairs spill outside, while the sofas and laid-back atmosphere inside provide the perfect backdrop for people watching from the picture windows.

Coquet Street, Amble, NE65 0DJ, tel 01665 710 890

The Amble Butcher

Peter Forsyth and his team are well known among the growing band of loyal customers who appreciate their beef, pork and lamb from Northumberland and Co Durham, expertly matured and butchered to order. Their bacon is dry cured in-house, while their home-made sausages are some of the few from the region to carry a coveted Gold Great Taste Award. They are also a Rick Stein Food Hero and a Waitrose Award winner. Meanwhile The Amble Butcher’s artisan pies are becoming legendary throughout the North East of England and further afield.

Queen St, Amble, NE65 0BX, tel 01665 712 700, 

The Old Boathouse


Richard Sim and Martin Charlton have been busy every day since they opened last summer, their fish menu dictated by the produce the fishermen land yards from their door, and their meat the best of Northumberland. This is a stripped back, wooden table, wooden-floored affair housed in – as the name would suggest – Amble’s old boathouse within yards of the sea. The homemade bread, chips, and pizzas are rustic and rugged, and buckets of mussels, Boulmer crab, and Amble lobster simply fresh and perfect. This is seaside food at its absolute best.

Leazes Street, Amble, NE65 0AA, tel 01665 711 232,


Morwick Dairy

A must-visit close to the lovely village of Warkworth, this family farm is home to the award-winning Morwick dairy herd – the cows which produce the milk which makes the cream for this gorgeous ice cream. The parlour is housed in restored farm sheds, and you can see the ice cream being made as you enjoy it, after which the children can let off steam in the outdoor play area. The Morwick range includes ice cream in a variety of flavours and fruit ices all made to traditional methods on the farm. You can buy the farm’s delicious Royal Double ice cream in pots, cones and take-home cartons.

Morwick Farm, Morpeth, Acklington NE65 9DG, tel 01665 711 210,

The Country Barn


Family owned and run by Hugh and Sarah Annett, Widdrington Farm is home to The Country Barn Farmshop and café, where farm-reared meat, butchered on the premises, is sold at the butcher’s counter and served in the coffee shop alongside an array of great local produce. The shop and café include Widdrington Farm produce, Morwick Dairy Ice cream, cheese from Northumberland Cheese Company, and desserts from the wonderful Susan Green at Proof of the Pudding in Alnwick. The shop is housed in the farm’s old cart shed and has an extensive butchery, a lovely selection of foods to buy, cards and gifts. The Coffee Shop provides all home-baked produce and Sunday lunch is renowned.

Widdrington Village, Morpeth, NE61 5EA, tel 01670 760 181,


L.Robson & Sons


It is no exaggeration to say that the reputation of this famous smokery stretches worldwide, which is no doubt why you can buy its superb produce online, but there is nothing quite like the experience of wandering into the on-site shop in Craster to fully appreciate the tastes and wonderful smells of this place. Robson’s oak-smoked Craster kippers are arguably its most famous product, while its oak-smoked salmon and natural smoked cod and haddock are superb. You can enjoy the produce at the on-site restaurant, or take it home to enjoy with a little help from the recipes on the website.

Haven Hill, Craster, NE66 3TR, tel 01665 576 223,

Shoreline Café

A seaside gem, just opposite the brilliant Mick Oxley art gallery, the Shoreline is open all year round for breakfast, lunch, cakes and scones within sight of the sea and the gorgeous coastline. Open seven days a week, it’s a popular stop-off point for coffee and tea, Northumbrian produce, ice creams and gifts, and in winter the log fire is more than welcome. A haven in the centre of Craster.

Church Street, Craster, NE66 3TH, tel 01665 571 251,

The Jolly Fisherman


The heart of the village since it was founded in 1847, the refurb by the present owner David Whitehead a couple of years ago was a master stroke of understated, seaside style, combining the traditional stone flags and low-beamed ceilings of this traditional real ale pub with a comfortable dining room and terrace, where the fantastic food of chef John Blackmore is enjoyed with a magnificent sea view. The menu, not surprisingly, stars the best of the local catch, alongside superb local meat, artisan bread from Running Fox, and fantastic fresh produce from Delifresh. A fantastic example of how to retain the character of a great old pub along with a superb modern menu, this is a stand-out example of a great Northumbrian destination.

Haven Hill, Craster, NE66 3TR, tel 01665 576 461,


Alnmouth Golf Club

Foxton Hall, home of Alnmouth Golf Club, overlooks the splendours of both Foxton and Alnmouth Bay in this designated area of outstanding natural beauty. The hall, just north of Alnmouth is one of the new places to eat in Northumberland and an ideal place to relax and dine in beautiful surroundings. A walk on the beach a stone’s throw away will whet your appetite, to be rewarded with dishes prepared with fresh local produce accompanied by a selection of Belhaven beers, real ale and wines.

Alnmouth, Northumberland NE66 3BE, tel 01665 830 231,


Well-known and loved among locals and its many regulars for its beautiful quality food and friendly staff, Mivesi is a family-friendly English café open for breakfast, lunch, tea/coffee and cake by day and an Indian restaurant by night. A friendly stop-off for shoppers during the day, at night it is renowned for its traditional Indian food and superb value. The dishes here are freshly flavoursome and, whether you’re eating in or taking away, it caters for all tastes. The BYO policy is popular, particularly as there is no corkage charge.

Market Place, Alnwick, NE66 1HS, tel 01665 606 947


A renowned name in fish and one of Rick Stein’s original food heroes, Swallowfish is a traditional smoker and fish supplier with both an on-site shop and online shop which delivers to your door within 24 hours. The range includes smoked mussels, lobster, salmon, and haddock. There’s crab, seabass, Lindisfarne oysters, potted shrimp, and kipper and smoked salmon pates, and more, including selection packs and gift vouchers. Owned and run by husband and wife Patrick and Karen Wilkin, the business is based at the Fisherman’s Kitchen in Seahouses, where the smokehouses have been in operation since 1843. Swallowfish won a two Gold Star Taste Award for its Traditional Oaked Smoked Haddock and one gold star for its kipper pate.

South Street, Seahouses, NE68 7RB, tel 01665 721 052,

Turnbull’s of Alnwick

A real local institution, this award-winning sixth-generation family butcher, founded in1880, sells quality local meats and a range of homemade sausages and burgers, home dry-cured bacon, pies and pastries, dried and home cooked meats and ready meals, in addition to vegetables and deli products, which makes it something of a one-stop shop come dinner time. Turnbull’s also has a travelling shop and a fleet of delivery vehicles. An online shop is now being developed, and meanwhile local customers who know what they fancy can order direct over the website.

Market Street, Alnwick, NE66 1SS, tel 01665 602 186,

The Chocolate Spa

This gorgeous luxury chocolate and coffee shop serving truly delicious hot chocolate is a must-visit for its array of handmade chocolates in endless flavours and combinations, offering a bespoke gift experience, with spectacular delights for all those special occasions in the year. Currently stocking some truly unique Easter eggs and gifts, beautifully packaged. Sit back and relax with coffee and cake (gluten-free available) while your handmade chocs are packaged for you. What bliss!

1 Fenkle Srtreet, Alnwick, NE66 1HW, email

The White Swan

This lovely 300-year-old coaching inn is arguably best-known for its Olympic Dining Suite which features oak paneling, mirrors and stained glass from the Titanic’s sister ship. Here, the classic menus are seasonal and delicious and served with a real sense of occasion. Hardy’s Bistro, meanwhile, is relaxed and informal with large windows overlooking the high street. The light dishes are fresh and relaxed, while afternoon tea, served in Hardy’s or in the lounge, is a classic treat.

Bondgate Within, Alnwick NE66 1TD, tel 01665 602 109,

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