Pub Reviews

Published on August 6th, 2013 | by Alastair Gilmour


The Blackbird Inn

A stunning building and a great pub for gatherings

The Blackbird Inn has returned to its rightful place as a top‑notch pub and restaurant following a huge investment earlier this year by Newcastle-based Leopard Leisure.

The investment shows: The Blackbird faces the world with the confidence gleaned from four centuries of lording it over the village. It’s a stunning building and beautifully crafted internally with clever delineations between the open bar, lounge-style area and definite dining room, aided by flooring changes from tile to timber to carpet. Huge fireplaces at either end simply dream of winter evenings, but even those are eclipsed by the magnificent original one in the Tunnel Room  – which is all arched roof, parquet flooring and classy but simple seating. A great pub for gatherings and socials.

The Beer
A lovely house pale ale by Tyne Bank is a real appetiser for the likes of Draught Bass, Sharps Doombar and Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, plus bottled world beers. The guest list changes regularly, but the care and attention lavished on the ales and ciders doesn’t.

The Food
A wide range of tasters, small plates, large plates and servings for “little beaks” – with totally tempting offers such as chicken stuffed with Blagdon blue cheese (£7.95) and slow-cooked minced beef cobbler. Sunday lunches are deservedly popular and ideal for family outings.

Where is it? On North Road, Ponteland, off the roundabout at the bridge over the River Pont. It sits on the site of the 12th century Ponteland Castle which was destroyed by Scots soldiers on their retreat from Newcastle in 1388, so it has history deep its roots.

Landlord:  Justin Cooper, The Blackbird Inn, North Road, Ponteland, Northumberland NE20 9UH. Tel: 01661 822684.


About the Author

Alastair Gilmour

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