The Tannery: Beer and burgers!


Jane Pikett and friends savour burgers and beer

The Tannery, we are told, has a resident dog, only he is not in attendance when we visit.  The lack of canine company is enough to make me turn tail before I’m halfway through the door, simply because I’ve promised myself cuddles with a Beagle called Frank and the mere thought makes me absurdly happy.

Hence, when he isn’t there, all I have to amuse me are my work colleagues, and all they can do is seize upon the Connect4 and play that for the entire lunch hour, and that’s not as much fun.

DaveCarrThen they are disappointed because the Dirty Thoughts of Cheryl Cole (burger topped with Greggs sausage roll – I kid ye not – Heinz beans and Cheddar cheese, easy on the salad, naturally) is off. I can’t see the problem. They can still have The Day Emily Bishop Went Insane (my God, I remember that…) a burger topped with slices of pork pie, chopped egg and apple sauce, so what on earth is the problem? Whatever the rights and wrongs of the menu before us, we are impressed to see the inclusion on this menu of many of the stars of The Tannery’s elder sister, The Brandling Villa in South Gosforth, Newcastle.

Here, as there, there is The David Dickinson (burger, blue cheese, chestnut mushrooms), and The Rise and Subsequent Fall of Fernando Torres (burger, chorizo, manchego cheese, swiss cheese, gherkins. Obviously).

Apparently, you can have all these and more with an 8oz home made beef burger or a beet and bean alternative for veggies, only I miss that bit on the menu (clearly printed in 14pt, but I’m a bit blind) and opt instead for a battered cod taco with salsa and guacamole, which is fantastic. And too big to finish, as is most of it.

The chips are spectacular, so we order more. The onion rings similarly so. And we sin by not finishing those either.

We eat burgers and drink real ale and decide all is right with the world. There are no frills, and plenty of board games to amuse us. There’s a very nice springer spaniel too, but still no sign of the pub dog, Frank, for whom my heart aches.

Tannery2At The Brandling Villa, they serve food for dogs (nice stuff, not Chum), so when I return with my Dalmatian, Blue (who is a star in his own right, having his own column in our sister magazine, Cheers) I will expect Frank to wait on him personally.

The bar, interestingly for those of us in a tasteful minority who believe real ale and cheese to be a sublime combination, features a well-stocked cheese counter (yes, really!) and indeed, the words Cheese, Meat, Beer feature in excess of 60pt on one wall, which seems a fair representation of three essentials of daily life.

The set up is traditional, not that much different in décor (or lack of it) from the old Skinners Arms, which was on its knees before the present owner, and his dog, turned up to bring it back to life. It’s good to see an old Hexham pub back in business thanks to good beer, good food, and a good music menu introduced by the owner, Dave Carr, who is only in his early 30s but appears to have good taste beyond his years.

There’s also a gin bar (good idea), lots of ciders, many sausages, and A Night in with Susan Boyle on the burger menu – what more could one wish for?

The Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham, NE46 3QD

Sign up to our news
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us.