Sophisticated, sleek, fresh and expensive are perhaps some of the words used to describe Fenwick stores. In the original branch in Newcastle, walking into the store via Northumberland Street a beautiful scent of floral and fresh perfume instantly hits you. As an independent department store, Fenwick supplies everything from designer clothes and handbags to top of the range technology and even home furnishings.
When I was a teenager and I was finally allowed to wander around the shops with my friends we always used to go into Fenwick looking at all the beautiful clothes and spraying the expensive perfumes on ourselves. But my favourite part was going into the food hall and hoping that one day I would be rich and flash enough to do my grocery shop here. In recent times, Fenwick Newcastle food hall has had a fabulous makeover. Popular restaurant Yo Sushi moved into its own space near Grey’s Monument and new restaurants such as Fuego, Saltwater Fish Company and Mason and Rye moved in.
So Mason and Rye…what can I say the cakes and pastries look incredible. With a touch of elegance and such beauty in the work of cake art. Not just for cakes (the elderly won’t miss out on their delicate sandwiches and scones just yet) the ladies-who lunch would have a field day here. The restaurant is a niche in Newcastle which ticks all the boxes for the classy and sophisticated lunch-ers. I wouldn’t say I would go here for just a coffee and a cake (I wouldn’t want to ruin such art!) as we all know department stores like Fenwick can be pricey but I would reconsider if lunch was on the cards.
All departments within the food hall look so brand new even after a couple of years. The Wine Room is now a more open space with a modern mirror wall décor. Carefully chosen wines, ports, champagne, spirts and beers are stocked on the Fenwick shelves. A choice of old or new world regions gives the alcohol lovers a chance to indulge in some fine tasting drinks. Local produce is also available in the Wine Room where the perfect dinner party or birthday bottle can be purchased. Better yet get a taste for you palette with the Enomatic dispensary where the purchase of a card can allow you to experience 16 different wines all stored for 21 days at the perfect serving temperature.
As someone who is keen on food and loves to try new tastes, Fenwick Newcastle is the go-to place. From spice and around the world food culture to luxury chocolates and a fabulous bakery, the food hall hits the spot. For those who follow a vegan diet or even just gluten free there is something for us all. Scones and croissants, muffins and meringues all freshly baked and sold to us lovely customers. Chocolate boxes, bars and even jars fill the shelves. I was actually searching every corner of Newcastle this week for some vegan chocolate. Marks and Spencer’s apparently do a bar which tastes good but they were sold out. I thought to myself where would stock vegan products which look luxury and good enough for a gift? Fenwick! The charming young lady who served me spent a good ten minutes showing me the range of vegan treats they had on offer. The beautifully patterned wrapping on the vegan bars were tempting in themselves but I went for a dark chocolate and coffee box of chocolates which came premium wrapped topped with a bow (and my friend loved them!)
As I pondered over the chocolates and ever so difficultly resisted, I watched numerous business men and women order salads and garnishes from the opposite counter. It was a sunny and very humid day on this occasion and a refreshing colourful salad sounded ideal. Beans, slaws, wholegrains and even bulger wheat bowls caught many peoples attention. Even more so, hello health alert! The food looked divine but the nutritious value was probably the biggest bonus. I on the other hand didn’t go for such a healthy option. In the corner of the food hall is a small row of shelves and fridges which stock luxury groceries perhaps unusual to most supermarkets. What really caught my eye were the ice-lollies. Mixing alcohol and icy desserts has to be one of the best food inventions ever! Pimm’s lemonade, cucumber, strawberry and mint ice popsicle sounded heaven. I can just imagine it now, a sunny hot day in garden, sunbathing and eating a Pimm’s ice-lolly. Perfect. And for the posh of the posh Bellini have brought out a prosecco and peach flavoured sweet cold treat, how fabulous darling.
Overall, I can’t complain at all with Mr Fenwick himself he’s done a great job with the revamped food hall. I may not be shopping for my groceries there yet but I reckon a visit now and again for a few luxury and unusual items will always be on my to do list. Even if it is just for to hopelessly glaze at the wonderful food.