The streets of Morpeth, the bustling administrative capital of Northumberland were unusually quiet. We knew why – most sensible people were indoors, sheltering from the awful weather. It was June, but felt like January. The start of the day had been quite different, so we’d left home, dressed for Summer, now we were cold from the biting wind and soaked through from the incessant torrential rain. Spotting a sign advertising good, old fashioned, warming, comfort food was met with our absolute delight and relief! We followed the signpost which led us away from Newgate Street – one of the main streets, down one of the many ancient alleys to Old Bakehouse Yard, there tucked away from the main area of town we found what turned out to be quite a hidden gem – The Old Bakehouse Restaurant.
Pot plants and greenery at the entrance provided an uplifting welcome. Stepping inside was rather like stepping into a friends home. The ground floor eating area consists of two rooms linked together by an open archway. Stone, light wood and light paintwork form the relaxing décor. Dressers with ornamental china, high plate racks with ornamental blue plates add a homely touch. The wooden tables were dressed with cream and brown tablecloths, I thought they perhaps were a bit close to one another, especially if you needed extra space, but we didn’t mind. A warm greeting from staff enhanced the welcoming atmosphere
We soon realised why the streets were quite, everyone was here!. The restaurant was busy, we saw a vacant table and quickly grabbed it.
If you like good, uncomplicated food at a reasonable price then this is the place to visit. The restaurant/café is open during the day for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. There is a selection to suit, whether you want a snack of soup, scones, sandwiches cake or a three course meal. The pricing is very clear and simple. You can have one course, two or three, each course is individually priced and all starters are one price £3.25, main courses £5.50, deserts £3.75. There is an excellent choice, some of the meals listed for main courses include: Mince and potatoes, Liver and Onions, Fish, Quiche, Salad, Potatoes, bubble and squeak, roast of the day. Deserts offer old favourites such as Ginger sponge pudding, Apple crumble Lemon Pudding, Treacle sponge, Bread and Butter Pudding to name just a few. A pot of tea served from a generous sized tea pot costs £1.60. The restaurant has a licence to sell wines, lagers and ciders.
Our order was swiftly taken, soon a bowl of lentil and vegetable soup warmed us. My main course of roast turkey and Yorkshire pudding was served with a good sized side dish of mashed potato, mashed turnip, carrots and cabbage, along with a delicious gravy and a separate pot of cranberry sauce. My friend, Linda enjoyed minced beef and potatoes. The deserts looked tempting as they were brought out for other guests, but our two courses had filled us, we had no room for more! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and thought the price reasonable.
We stepped outside into the rain again, we noticed a pathway leading towards a green area, we thought it may be a route to the riverside but the rain made us decide to head for the enclosed, sheltered coach station for our bus home rather than explore further. Later we realised this green area was in fact another hidden gem known as The Old Bakehouse Millenium green, but locally as Morpeth’s secret garden. This garden was created to provide tranquillity. It originally was waste ground. We made a mental note to visit this other hidden gem when we next visited Morpeth and The Old Bakehouse Restaurant.
Morpeth is historical market town, in the heart of Northumberland, well placed for visiting the coast and countryside and with easy access by coach, rail or car to the city of Newcastle upon Tyne to its south, or north to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh.