Sunday, 25 July 2010

Butterfly Cabinet, Heaton, Newcastle.

If you're to believe Cheryl Cole, the Butterfly Cabinet is nestled in one of the most drug-riddled estates in Newcastle. For anyone who knows her home town, this is just not true. I lived here myself throughout my university days, and whilst it is definitely considered to be Jesmond's poor relation, I never came across anyone peddling heroin in the streets. In fact, Heaton seems to have become almost trendy overnight. No longer just for the poor polytechnic students and local families, it now seems to be attracting the arty and boho types as well as young professionals, with delis and organic greengrocers and vintage boutiques popping up left, right and centre.

This Saturday, we ventured to the Butterfly Cabinet. Formally Belle and Herbs, it was a long established favourite of many in the area, and I often heard that there were queues right down the street for their breakfasts on weekend mornings. I'd only ever visited Belle and Herbs once, and I have to admit that the 'Breakfast Club' sandwich was fairly legendary, and I still talk about it to this day. Hangover food at its ultimate best.

Since then, the place is under new management and has been refurbished, but it still has the same feel about it. It's a relaxed affair, with mismatched furniture and vintage bits and bobs decorating the walls, as well as an impressive chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and menus that are backed with the covers of various old school comics. They don't take bookings, so it could be a case of just turning up and waiting for a free table, as they seem to very busy every Saturday.

The Butterfly Cabinet was not a let down. The Breakfast Club no longer features on the menu, which in now made up of main meals such as sea bass, steaks and lamb, as well as door-stopper sandwiches, soups, burgers and hearty all day breakfasts. I chose the Rio Grande club sandwich - steak with cheese, soured cream, jalapenos, peppers, onion and fresh coriander, between fresh white bread and served with hot, crispy, fluffy homemade chips, red cabbage coleslaw and a nicely dressed side salad. The chips were perfect, and the sandwich was bloody good too. The portions are massive, which would be the only criticism, if indeed that could be counted as one.

I also had a latte, and my boy had the full English and cranberry juice, which he said was good also. I've often seen people eating the mussels which look lovely, and once heard someone talking very highly of the seafood chowder which is sometimes on the specials board.

The bill was £14, and came with a strawberry lollipop and a Refresher chewy sweet. I also spied parma violets and flying saucers in their jars behind the counter.

The Butterfly Cabinet has filled the shoes of Belle and Herb very well, and I think that it'll be a long standing favourite for our Saturday lunch times.

Result: 9/10.

The Butterfly Cabinet
200 Heaton Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE6 5HP.


  1. Oh wow! I didnt know Belle and Herb was under new management.

    I used to frequent B&H on Saturdays mornings in my uni days, their buttermilk pancakes sorted out any hangover.

    Will have to check it out soon. Thanks! x

  2. Great blog... i agree we lack any food blogs of greatness outside London... would be great too some of your recipes too! x

  3. I just wanted to say how much i like this blog. Im from gateshead myself (although living in Manchester) and i always like to go out for meals with my family when im back even if its just a bit of lunch when out shopping, so its good to read some reviews of new places to go. It's also nice to see someone else from the north east - makes me feel closer to home! I tried to reply to your discussion on ukfb but i have to wait for the administrator to approve me!

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  4. I am often Up North - husband being a Geordie - a.nd your site will prove very useful. Thank you