When I heard that the old St Mary’s Hospital which was known as The Gateshead Lunatic Asylum was being converted in to luxury housing and a beautiful gastro pub, I jumped at the chance to pop along for a visit.
I had followed the original site’s recent past via urban exploration forums like THIS
Housed in the old Administration building of the hospital, and soon to be the only part left once development is complete, St Mary’s stands proud and resplendent in its surroundings. The upstairs boasts beautifully decorated accommodation which we can’t wait to try.
St Mary’s Inn is headed up by the team behind Jesmond Dene House.The head chef making the move further north and with the GM having years of experience at the illustrious Cafe 21 in Durham.
Arriving at noon on a Saturday we found the location to be very serene and in the summer it will be a beautiful place to sit outside as the development have retained a copse of trees opposite covering a beautiful church.
Once inside you are you will find roaring open fire, private dining areas and cosy little nooks to settle down for a pint or lunch. That is the one thing we liked the most, there was room to sit and have a pint or have lunch. I think this will be the crowning glory once the houses are finished being built, combing a local and a food destination.
Dotted around the place, we were very pleased to see the wire work dogs by Gary Tiplady who is not only a friend of our friend, but he is also a Jaws look alike! Small world eh!
Now, on to the food.
Mr Tramp started with the Northumberland Game Terrine with Damson Jelly (£6.50) and what a wedge it was. Generously portioned and beautifully made. The flavour of the game was perfectly complimented with the damson. The home made sourdough bread was delicious.
I went for the Prawn Cocktail (£7.50). I don’t care how many people say prawn cocktails are dated, a well made, fresh one cannot be beaten. At all. Juicy prawns were abundantly served with fresh crisp salad, a marie rose sauce and fresh avocado. Again, like the terrine, the sourdough bread was moreish and I could have easily polished more off!
For main course, Mr Tramp went with the with Cumberland Sausage, Mash and Roast Onions (£11.50). Well flavoured sausage, complimented by smooth rich mash and topped off with the onions just made for a well chosen winter warmer. A simple dish that was executed perfectly.
I had the Beer Battered Fish & Chips (£13.50) and boy did I get a fright at the size of the whale that arrived before me! The batter was light and crispy and the fish was cooked well. The home made mushy peas and tartare sauce were absolute winners and I had to fight off a certain someones fork. Plenty of golden chips finished the meal off. The fish was so large, Mr Tramp ate almost half and I was still struggling to finish!
As we were so full, we had no room for dessert but we were very impressed with the freshness, quality and portion sizes. We loved the little touches such as the clock tower cruet sets and the art work on the walls.
Not only is the food out of this world and just what you need on a cold winters day, local brewing giants Wylam Brewery have paired up with St Mary’s to offer their own branded in house beer. Available as both draft and bottle.
The wall of whisky was too much temptation for poor Mr Tramp who had agreed to drive so he had to leave empty handed but vowed he’d be back to conquer it!
We were really impressed with the selection of bar snacks that sat alongside the main menu.