Matfen, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE20 0RH
Set within an impressive 250-year-old country estate, this two-AA-rosette awarded restaurant is surrounded by acres of verdant trees and landscaped gardens for you to feast your eyes upon, whilst enjoying a more literal feast from the hall's kitchen. The staff are welcoming and knowledgeable about all aspects of the food and drink they serve, and, although the dining room is large, once you have been seated it feels very intimate. The majority of meat and fish is sourced locally and eggs, fruit and vegetables arrive fresh from an acclaimed nearby farm. The seared scallops I tried were moreish, cooked-to-perfection morsels, but whatever your tastes, the choice at Matfen Hall is stunning. All ingredients are evidently of the highest quality, as demonstrated in the rich braised beef which literally melts in the mouth. Matfen Hall truly lives up to its reputation as one of the best fine-dining venues in the area.