We decide to try something new. Some investigation on the net finds some very cool and trendy bars and restaurants in the Newcastle area. Why didn’t I know about these places when I lived here? Luxury in Newcastle – Who’d of thought?!
Neither KAM or I have ever been to the places we have selected to visit and we are like little children on Christmas Eve, dying to get there to start our food and wine adventure of Newcastle. I am sceptical and somewhat nervous, as I have my doubts that Newcastle could be a place of trend and any type of hip. But as we arrive in the pouring rain to our first location, Customs House Hotel, we are not disappointed and feel right at home in this ultra cool but super chilled-out space.
Our first impression is the lady behind the bar who let’s me swim for a bit in their extensive wine list. We choose a glass to start of the Brokenwood Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. The waitress tells us to take a seat on the beautiful covered veranda and she will bring it out to us. Although the weather has turned nasty we are seated a cute cafe table on a veranda that rivals one from Downtown Abbey. The foreboding structure of this place, does nothing to describe the cool surprise that awaits behind it’s somewhat intimidating facade. The wine, with the bottle is casually brought out to us and the waitress checks the wine with us before pouring the glasses. It is ice cold. And has a hint of spice that lasts on your tongue. Perfect to pair with the two meals we order – which come out at the perfect time, having just enough time to relax and feel like we have arrived.
KAM says that the steak sandwich ($16) is the best he has ever had. The steak was succulent and from the moment he cut it in half, he couldn’t wait to indulge. The steak oozes out both sides of the sourdough bun and he says that there was no chewing involved – it really does melt in the mouth, despite the cliché!
Meanwhile, I am busy melting into a linguine with pesto, garlic, white wine and the largest prawns I have ever seen!($31). The texture of this dish blows me away and I want to simply bathe in this dish forever. The wine pairs perfectly with both dishes and I’m glad we ordered a wine with a bit of a kick to go with these funky, yet traditional plates. The dishes are massive too, but not so big that you can’t eat them. For the price, they are excellent value for money.
To finish off our experience we decide to try a glass of one of our favourites. Tyrrell’s Stevens Semillon. Love, love, love. And at $10 a glass or $44 a bottle it is cheaper than anywhere we have seen it before. I don’t really need reminding about good this wine is, as it is a favourite of ours, but the smooth sensation of this beautiful wine, never fails to surprise me. If you are a Semillon drinker, this wine is a hard one to beat.
Even on a crappy day, the view is spectacular and reminds us both of sitting at the Beach House in Port Macquarie on a Summer’s day. There is a vibe about this place, and you can tell that it pumps on days when the weather is nice. A perfect place for a weekend beverage. Cool music pumps throughout the building and as I type Donovan Frankenreiter comes on, somewhat cementing me to this place. We will return here. I just know it. It’s cool. It’s pretty. It’s like a secret that everyone somehow knows about. It’s very us.
Customs House Hotel
1 Bond Street,