New team building courses are food for thought - April 2013
A new range of corporate team building courses are now on the menu at Blackfriars’ Banquet Hall and Workshop, to cater for staff who have an appetite for a culinary challenge.
The sessions are designed to be fun and educational and include tutored wine or beer tastings, taster bread making and canapé making, as well as Ready, Steady Cook challenges where groups of staff receive a bag of mystery ingredients and a few hours to create a gastronomic feast.
Groups of up to 12 people can be accommodated in the Workshop or up to 50 in the Banquet Hall, and include one to three hour sessions with lunch from £26 per person depending on the session selected.
Andy Hook, managing director at Blackfriars Restaurant and Banquet Hall, which was voted Newcastle’s top restaurant in the North East England Tourism Awards in 2013 said: “We’ve put these together as a result of a growing number of requests for corporate events with a culinary theme, either for team building or client entertaining, and we can also devise bespoke sessions. What better way to improve team dynamics than with food and drink – something we all love and can share experiences about”.
The Tutored Wine Tasting lasts for one to two hours and offers a way of learning about wine. Prices start from £30pp for a tasting of six wines although this depends on the agreed wines to be tasted which includes lunch/early weekday dinner and coffee.
The Tutored Beer Tasting lasts for one to two hours and is a great way to sample a few exquisite brews. Prices start from £26pp for a tasting of eight beers and includes lunch/early weekday dinner and coffee.
The Bread-making Taster lasts a total of three hours and session shows just how easy it is to make really great bread with a short morning and afternoon session. Prices start from £40 per person including lunch, wine and coffee.
Canapé making enables staff to get creative making delicious bite-sized morsels and prices start from £40pp including canapés, lunch, wine and coffee.
Historical treasure hunt: this is a light-hearted fun filler activity and is free for all dining participants.
Bespoke corporate events includes a choice of the activity sessions which can be tailor-made from £15 per person per hour depending on number of delegates and activities with lunch/dinner on top at usual menu prices.
For more information about team building courses contact Lee McKinnell, events manager at Blackfriars on 0191 261 5945 or email@example.com
We're the Taste of the North East! - February 2013
We've been voted the top restaurant according to tourism bosses in the North East of England.
The restaurant was announced the Gold winner in the ‘Taste of England’ category in the North East England Tourism Awards at a star studded night at the Sage Gateshead in front of 400 leading tourism chiefs.
The awards ceremony was organised by destination marketing agency Newcastle Gateshead Initiative in conjunction with Northumberland County Council and supported by the Northern Tourism Alliance, a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the North East.
Andy and Sam Hook took over the restaurant at Blackfriars from the Newcastle City Council in 2001 and have turned one of the oldest purpose built restaurants in the UK into a culinary institution. The restaurant dates back to 1239 when it was used as the refectory for the Dominican friars. Little did the friars know when they were serving the local downs and outs that their venue would become one of the leading restaurants in the city.
The grade 1 listed building recaptures medieval life in Newcastle and the team serve a classic but gutsy traditional British menu using local and seasonal ingredients and an abundance of great produce from around the North East. The head chef is Troy Terrington how has been with Blackfriars for several years.
The North East England Tourism Awards judges’ statement said: “Blackfriars won this award against some stiff competition. They go beyond delivering fantastic food made with the very best ingredients to offer a total experience where care and attention is paid to the smallest detail; it is this which made them stand out as worthy winners”.
We’re delighted with this award and a real boost to all the staff. It’s testament to the strong team we have at Blackfriars and ten years of blood, sweat and toil!
We serve the best Sunday roast! January 2013
Blackfriars has been voted the top restaurant in Newcastle for a Sunday roast dinner according to a national survey of food critics.
The Independent newspaper asked its team of experts to scour the country in search of the best restaurants to enjoy a Sunday roast to compile it’s ‘Top 50’ which included Joanne Busk, the editor of Fork Magazine, Karen Barnes, the editor of Delicious magazine, Donald Reid, the editor of The Larder and Emma Sturgess, a food writer and restaurant critic who is also on the Guild of Food Writers. Blackfriars was the only establishment to appear in the Newcastle section.
The judges quote said : “There’s a fine kitchen ethos at this former Dominican Friary. Troy Terrington’s menu is loaded with local produce and the surroundings give roast beef a ceremonial air”.
We are delighted to be acknowledged f0r our popular Sunday roast. It was just a few years ago that Kevin Spacey presented us with the 'Best roast in Britain' at a glittering ceremony in London. This really is the icing on the cake for us which is testament to the hard work of our chefs who really go that extra mile with our offering.
We think the reason we have been voted is that great care and attention is paid to our Sunday lunch. The roast beef and braised lamb we serve are sourced locally and are of high quality and accompanied by super crunchy roast potatoes and an ever changing selection of fresh, seasonal vegetables which have been prepared using a variety of cooking styles to create a complementary infusion of flavours. At £18 for a three course roast this also represents great value for money.
The link on the Independent can be seen on http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/food-drink/the-50-best-sunday-roasts-8454359.html
Blackfriars recognised as top sustainability champion - January 2013
A Newcastle restaurant has been awarded a top rating for its sustainability - the first in NewcastleGateshead to receive such an accolade.
Blackfriars Restaurant has received a Three Star rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) by demonstrating exceptional all round sustainability, a rating also given to River Cottage in Dorset, owned by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
The SRA Star Rating system is recognised as the industry standard and is included in restaurant guides like Harden’s and Les Routiers as well as in The Times critic Giles Coren’s weekly reviews and Olive magazine’s monthly Pro vs Punter reviews. The Sundays Times dubbed it the “Michelin Stars of Sustainability”.
To be an SRA Sustainability Champion, restaurants provide answers and evidence to 65 questions across 14 areas of sustainability, including whether they are serving local, seasonal, high welfare food, how their resources and waste are managed, as well as how they treat staff, customers respected and the community. The SRA then assesses the results, collects evidence in support of answers and rates the restaurants accordingly.
Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars Restaurant said “We are delighted with our Three Star rating and that we have been recognised nationally for our efforts. With increasing customer awareness the SRA rating system is a great way to assess all hospitality businesses, big and small, and communicate how we’re doing to our customers. It also encourages us all to look at our policies and procedures to make our industry more sustainable.”
This year, 50 restaurants have achieved the top rating – Three Stars – which means they’ve scored at least 70% in the survey of their all round sustainability. Restaurants to have attained this exceptional result include River Cottage Plymouth Canteen and Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.
The SRA has awarded Two Stars to a further 60 restaurants and 110 have received One Star.
Mark Linehan, managing director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, said: “Restaurants like Blackfriars are responding to customer demand. Consumers tell us they would rather eat in a sustainable restaurant and now they have a simple means of finding somewhere to eat out that not only serves good food but also matches their values.
“The rating reflects Blackfriars’ commitment to using local and seasonal produce and, in particular, for its use of home grown herbs and vegetables and foraged ingredients. It also demonstrated an outstanding commitment to its staff and the local community, playing a prominent role in local life through its support of local charities and schools.”
Diners looking for an SRA Star Rated restaurant and more details of the results can go to the SRA website http://www.thesra.org/for-diners/restaurant-directory/
Working lunch on the agenda - December 2012
Office workers in Newcastle are being encouraged to take a working lunch thanks to a new menu being launched by Blackfriars Restaurant.
Blackfriars’ Working Lunch is designed around the busy executive with a speedy one course, complimentary WIFI, notes and pens, plus free use of the meeting room when a minimum of six people book lunch in advance.
From just £8 for an award-winning dish and drink, workers will have the choice of a carefully crafted menu that includes North Sea fishcakes with wilted spinach and parsley sauce, Northumberland corned-beef Panacalty with seasonal vegetables, butternut and sage risotto or a firm Blackfriars’ favourite, sausage and mash.
With a hectic schedule there is a temptation to work behind the desk with a sandwich but going out to eat can help business people to gain perspective on difficult problems, boost creativity, build team morale and enhance business with clients or suppliers.
The deal costs £8 for a one course lunch and soft drink or £10 for a once course lunch or glass of house wine or beer. Available week day lunch times only exluding December.