Eating out has fast become my favourite pastime, good food with good company really can't be beaten. It's also something which I really enjoy blogging about too, so when I was invited to sample a three course meal with a bottle of wine at The Bridge Brasserie in the Vermont Hotel in Newcastle I couldn't think of a better excuse to get dressed up and pay a visit to my favourite city.

The Bridge is located on the ground floor of the hotel and has spectacular views of Newcastle, Gateshead and the Tyne Bridge. The majority of ingredients used in the dishes on the menu are sourced locally and the service and surroundings are second to none.

We were greeted at the door of the hotel and directed to the restaurant by the doorman before being welcomed and seated at our table by the waitress who tended to our every need for the evening. 
Our wine was selected, served and poured while we browsed the menu and we were given fresh bread which we selected from a basket of flavours (I had white with cheese - delicious!)

Before our starters arrived we were given an amuse-bouche of chicken veloute; a white sauce made from butter and flour with chicken stock. This was the first veloute I have tried, and I really loved it, it reminded me of a high quality, thick chicken soup, the flavour was intense without being too much... my boyfriend commented that he could eat a bowl of it! 
For my starter I ordered the Pork & Bacon Terrine which was served with a tomato dressing, pickled apple and a micro herb salad. It looked absolutely stunning on the plate, almost too good to eat, but luckily it was worth eating as it tasted even better! I didn't quite manage to finish the full serving as the portion was pretty large and I wanted to save some space for what was to come. I must say the pickled apple was the biggest surprise on the plate for me though, tiny little mini apple shapes which initially taste sweet and then the savoury flavour hits the tongue - amazing!
Robbie ordered the Homemade Tagliatelle with walnut pesto, sage oil, garlic cress and shaved comte, which I had to have a cheeky taste of and also loved. I've never had fresh, homemade pasta before, but would definitely go for it again if given the opportunity, and Robbie agreed... this was his favourite course of the entire meal.
When my main course arrived at the table, I actually gasped in amazement, it looked stunning! I had ordered the Roast Rump of Lamb which came with sweet red peppers, polenta, crispy squid and smoked paprika & saffron mayonnaise.
The mixture of flavours were delicious and all complemented each other perfectly, the lamb was cooked medium for me, and it was the exact side of pink for my taste, still juicy and so tender.
I'm obsessed with squid, and these said rings were some of the best I have ever eaten, the batter was seasoned wonderfully and when mixed with the jus and mayonnaise on the plate the flavours came out even more. Having never tried polenta before I was keen to give it a try, and although it wasn't my favourite thing on the plate, I ate some of it with the lamb and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Robbie went for the 28 day aged 10oz sirloin steak which was accompanied by the classics; portobello mushrooms, plum tomatoes, onion rings, chunky chips and peppercorn sauce.
Again I had to have a little taste myself... the steak was wonderful, melt in the mouth and the chips were lovely; crispy outside and fluffy inside. After his pasta he was feeling a little full, so didn't manage to eat it all, I just wish I had enough space in my stomach to have finished it for him after eating my own!
Onto my favourite course; the desserts! I have to admit I was completely full by this point in the evening, but there was no way I was missing out on something sweet... in fact I was completely spoilt for choice and could have easily opted for the majority of the menu.
I ended up going for the Chocolate Fondant with vanilla ice cream which was made to order, and came to the table hot from the oven... the outside was crunchy and chocolatey without being overly sickly and the inside was filled with thick, hot chocolate sauce which overflowed as I broke into the dessert. Mixed with the fresh, cold ice cream this was the perfect ending to my meal, and I managed to almost clear my plate.
Robbie also went for the chocolate option from the special's menu of Chocolate Pudding with pink custard, chocolate fudge sauce and pistachio nut ice cream, of course I again had to pinch some, and I loved this as much as my own dessert. It was a proper, old school hearty chocolate cake, gooey and sticky, the custard was scrumptious and the ice cream added a little something different thanks to the pistachio flavour - a great dessert.

We were given the 'Wine & Dine' menu deal which consists of a three course meal and a bottle of red, white or rose wine for £69.00 per couple. This is such fantastic value for the amazing quality of food and service we were given.
I can't thank the staff and chef at the Vermont Hotel enough for inviting us, we loved every minute and I will be recommending the restaurant to all of my friends, it really is the ideal place for a special occasion when you want some special food without having to pay crazy prices.
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