Restaurant Anchors Geordie Comfort Food at the North East Coast
The owner of a leading restaurant in Newcastle is captaining a new venture in the seaside town of Whitley Bay in North Tyneside, to champion a wealth of Geordie-influenced British classics.
Andy Hook, who owns the multi-award winning Blackfriars restaurant – a 13th century former medieval friary in Newcastle upon Tyne – and believed to be the oldest purpose built restaurant in the UK – has opened Hinnies, offering rustic, hearty comfort food.
The neighbourhood eatery is named after the old North East favourite, Singin’ Hinnies, a traditional fried fruit scone or griddle cake, so called because they ‘sing’ whilst cooking. The word hinny is also used as a term of endearment in Geordie dialect.
The launch marks a decade since Andy sold his first restaurant, Sidney’s on Front Street in the coastal town of Tynemouth, North Tyneside. The success of Sidney’s heralded the start of an increasingly buoyant dining scene at the North East Coast.
Ten years on and Andy is coming back to the seaside with his business partner David Townsley to warm the cockles of diners hearts with a restaurant made almost entirely from recycled materials.
The main contractor on the project was Gary Wilson and the interior of Hinnies was designed by Newcastle-based designer Neil Wilson.
Neil said: “The brief was to make the restaurant a warm, relaxed and inviting place to eat, so we thought it would be interesting to combine a coastal colour scheme with warm natural wood tones and features, but then add a range of vintage furniture, fittings and accessories to give Hinnies character and a sense of cosy nostalgia to go with the comfort food.
“Much of what you see inside the restaurant is recycled, including chairs, tables, bric-a-brac, booths, the front bar, the back bar, floor, light fittings, cutlery, the kitchen and kitchen equipment.”
Andy’s return to the coast comes at a time when North Tyneside Council is embarking on an extensive re-development plan for the coastline, which is set to bring more than £36 million of new investment to the area.
Andy said: “The North East region boasts one of the most spectacular coastlines in the UK and this is a particularly exciting time to be opening a new venture in Whitley Bay. Hinnies is located in a prime position on the stunning seafront and we’re very well placed to be one of the first businesses to benefit from the re-invigoration of the area.
“We’re marketing Hinnies as being a relaxed, informal, warm and friendly neighbourhood restaurant serving comfort food we all like to eat – earthy, rustic and hearty dishes made properly from scratch, using local and seasonal produce to give a real taste of our beloved North East. We’ll be showcasing Blackfriars best-selling dishes from the last ten years but with more of a Geordie twist.”
Examples of the locally inspired dishes on offer include the famous Saveloy Dip: smoked sausage, mustard, gravy-dipped bap, peas pudding; as well as North East coast creamy crab soup; North Sea mackerel pate, picked cucumber, toasted sourdough; Black (friars) pudding, poached egg, crispy bacon, Slow-roasted belly pork, horseradish dumplings, Pan Haggerty, greens, poached hen’s egg, mustard cream and Crème Brûlée, Tynemouth Garibaldi’s, Singin’ Hinnies, bramble jam and clotted cream.
For further information about Hinnies, call 0191 447 0500 or visit www.hinnies.co.uk