This Sunday, it's my turn to choose where we go. I choose Oldfields. Their philosophy is real British food, simply prepared, locally sourced. We've eaten here several times before and it's always been very, very good. Their website tells me they're doing a 3-courses-for-£12.95 offer; even better.
We arrive shortly after 12.30, and it's empty apart from another couple. Previous good impressions were reinforced by a friendly welcome, and despite the emptiness, it doesn't lack in atmosphere and I have high hopes. We opt for the three courses, both starting with the leek and potato soup, then the topside of Neasham Farm beef.
Soup is rarely my starter of choice; today though, I chose well. It's steaming hot, slightly foamy, fresh, creamy, and tangy (sour cream possibly?), with a door-wedge chunk of bread. I'd definitely order this again.
The beef is also good. Tender and slightly pink. I'm a bit disappointed by the potatoes though, which are rather ameamic looking. Where are the crispy bits??? They're a bit garlicky and fluffy soft inside, which partly makes up for it. The carrots and peas are beautiful, so sweet, as if they've just been picked from the garden. Given the philosophy of Oldfields it's probable, and it's admirable that they do it so well. Locally sourced is all well and good, but only if it's not at the detriment of the quality, and here, it is not. The gravy's lovely too. The yorkshire pudding isn't bad, but a bit soggy inside in places. All in all, it's a very good roast and importantly, is just the right size. There's nothing worse than trying to work your way through a mountain of a Sunday lunch - though maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it was of this quality. My boy says there's not enough meat, but he does like boyfriend-sized portions, and I think that there was ample. Quality over quantity, and all that.
We deliberate over the dessert menu, and decide we may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. I go for the rhubarb and custard tart, and Andy has the sticky toffee pudding. Again, I chose well. The pastry is buttery yet crisp, and the rhubard is wonderfully tart and juicy. My iPhone pictures don't do any of these justice, as all courses were also beautifully presented.
Altogether, including 2 glasses of Pinot Grigio and two pints of the local Wylam ale, the bill came to £45, including the service charge. Not bad at all. We also noticed that they're offering 2 course lunches for £7.50, Monday to Saturday, and you'd be hard pushed to find something of this quality cheaper than that, however hard you look.
By the time we leave, the place is practically full. What I also love about Oldfields is that they seem to be genuinely passionate about what they're doing. I'm pleased that other people are too.
Oldfields Noted Eating House
Ground Floor, Milburn House
Newcastle upon Tyne