Amidst the rhythmic pulse of Newcastle’s Quayside, a gastronomic jewel thrives, gracefully weathering time: 21. Born in 1988 from the combined efforts of Terry Laybourne, his wife Susan, and brother Laurance, this classic, modern bistro has been a pioneer in the culinary scene. At a time when Newcastle was just recovering from de-industrialisation, 21 Queen Street emerged as a beacon of fine dining, gaining a Michelin Star within a mere three years.
Fast-forward to today, and you’ll find 21 comfortably settled in the sleek Trinity Gardens, exuding a laid-back vibe while preserving its reputation for culinary excellence. As the flagship of the 21 Hospitality Group, this bistro continues to captivate food connoisseurs with its French-influenced cuisine, honouring ingredients and paying homage to the seasons.
Step inside. You’re greeted by a chic, luminous dining room adorned with red and white touches, vibrant lampshades, and bistro-esque furniture. It’s sharp, playful, unpretentious. Business professionals seeking a midday retreat or friends plotting an evening adventure will find the atmosphere at 21 perfect for a memorable meal.
Commanding the kitchen, Head Chef Chris Dobson and Head Pastry Chef Helen Doyle lead a skilled team that crafts a delightful array of dishes. The menu? A fusion of French classics with a contemporary spin, showcasing everything from Lindisfarne oysters to a creative rendition of prawn cocktail, featuring lobster, crab, and shrimp. While the offerings change with the seasons, expect a steadfast commitment to high-welfare local meat and fish, such as beef from Glenarm Estate and Northumbrian venison.
Bursting with flavour and devoid of fuss, 21 offers set menus for lunch and early dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. The à la carte menu is a culinary playground, presenting main courses that celebrate the best of modern European cuisine and a selection of scrumptious homemade ice creams and sorbets for dessert. Occasionally, the restaurant spices up its offerings with special tasting menus, teasing the palate with the team’s creative flair.
Don’t miss the redesigned bar area, where skilled bartenders concoct invigorating cocktails to elevate your dining experience. With a focus on comfort and style, 21’s leather banquettes, warm wood, and crisp white tablecloths create the perfect backdrop for a relaxing evening of gastronomic indulgence.
In the vibrant Newcastle Quayside, 21 stands as a testament to culinary mastery, warmth, and authenticity. Unwavering in its commitment to simple, imaginative dishes that defy fads and fashion, this iconic bistro guarantees a remarkable experience for food enthusiasts and casual diners alike. So why wait? Gather your friends, colleagues, or loved ones and embark on a culinary journey that will leave you yearning for more.
A whirlwind of flavors, a dance of textures, and a symphony of aromas, all woven into a tapestry of culinary delight—this is 21, the crown jewel of Newcastle’s Quayside. Soak in the ambiance, savour each bite, and revel in the joy of dining at this timeless classic. Here, the heart of the city beats in unison with the passion for great food, beckoning you to partake in its irresistible charm.