I get asked so much where is good to eat in the North East, and more recently where is good outside Newcastle. Well, I am more than delighted to say that my recent visit to The Woodman’s Arms in Whickham has firmly answered that question.
I was lucky enough to be invited along one evening to sample their weekly menu. After I had heard amazing things not only about their Sunday roasts but their amazing decor and interiors I was super excited to try.
Just off the A1 I would say the restaurant/bar is very easy to find. There is a outdoor sitting area for when we are graced with some sunny weather. I can just imagine sitting in the beer garden under the twinkly lights as the sun goes down, sipping a pornstar martini.
As you walk in, there is a stunning flower wall opposite the bar which leads round to the stunning dining area. Floral decor surrounds the whole restaurant, with blossom being the key feature. The large windows brings light into the room and overlooks the fields across the town.
Upon arrival the lovely staff asked us if we wanted to dine in the ‘shed’ but by no means does this lovely private dining section fit the connotations of a typical shed. A wooden overhead fixture decorated with flowers, artificial plants and lanterns. It was incredible. The shed can be booked out for small gatherings or private dining sitting up to eight people. Regardless of sitting area I recommend you book a table as it appears The Woodman’s Arms is particularly popular with a busy atmosphere during our evening.
Ordering drinks was a difficult one because there was so much choice. I was driving so I went for one of their mocktail options. The Raspberry Fizz was priced at just £3.45 and a mix of raspberry puree, lemonade and ginger beer. It was delicious!! super refreshing and fruity. Mum ordered the Rhubarb Gin Fizz which was Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin blended with Prosecco and topped with a fresh raspberry. She absolutely loved it.
The Woodman’s Arms has a great variety of meals on their menu. For starters we ordered homemade bread and olives with balsamic and oil dip, alongside the most amazing king prawns. For £7.50, king prawns were pan fried with chilli and garlic and served on a bed or stirred vegetables and spread of chilli jam. There were amazing! Cooked perfectly, and fantastic flavour combinations, I would 100% recommend these on your visit.
Shortly after we finished our starter courses our main dishes were served. Mum ordered the Piri Piri Spiced Chicken Breast which costs £12.95. This one isn’t for the faint hearted as the spice is high. Cous Cous and Mediterranean vegetables. She said the chicken was really tender and as a lover of spice, the texture and heat was perfect.
I went for the curry of the day option, again priced very reasonably at £9.95. On the day of our visit the curry was a chicken rogan josh served with fragrant rice and a poppadum. The flavours were incredible, hints of coriander came through in the tomato based curry sauce and worked really well with tender chicken. We shared a bowl of thrice cooked home-cut chips which were an additional cost of £3.25.
The portions are excellent especially when the cost is so low. The quality is not lost in the prices either as the succulent chicken on both our meals we noted and flavours too. We were super full by this point so held off for a while on desserts. This gave me a chance to further look round the venue. The incredibly attentive staff showed me the private dining room which can be hired for events but they also said that because Sunday lunch is so popular they often open this area up too.
When we had made some room in our stomaches for dessert we both ordered the Homemade Sticky Toffee Pudding. Majority of the dessert options are priced at £5.95 which I think is an excellent price for such large portion sizes. Our desserts came out where the sticky toffee pud came with Carmelita ice cream and plenty of toffee sauce. We both thoroughly enjoyed our sweets but were so fully off the other courses we couldn’t manage finishing them!
Overall, The Woodman’s Arms is a cosy warm and stylish restaurant and bar. The staff were incredibly friendly and attentive with nothing too much to ask for. I also had the chance to meet the owner Chris who introduced himself and buzzed off his thriving business. I will certainly be returning soon (mum was planning on going back the following week she loved it so much!). I reckon that Sunday roast is next for me because it sounds amazing. I best get booked up because I can imagine with such an incredible atmosphere, fab food and lovely staff The Woodman’s Arms will be getting quite the queue of customers.