[Bamburgh, Northumberland] Lord Crewe

The Lord Crewe is all things to all people – pub, hotel, and restaurant. A bit like His Lordship – Nathaniel Crew (as it was spelled then). Crew inherited the title in 1697, becoming the 3rd Baron Crew. He was also Bishop of Durham and owned Bamburgh Castle. We were here for dinner in its restaurant. As with many local places, there’s an emphasis on seafood. And that’s the route we travelled for starters. From the day’s specials, there were squid rings in a light and crispy tempura batter, with a squiggle of ponzu sauce and a scattering of sliced red chilli (and it needed more of both). The other starter was based on a classic prawn cocktail – prawns, lettuce, Marie Rose sauce – but enhanced by a tempura battered king prawn and a mini spring roll stuffed with crab.

We’d eaten a lot of protein during our week’s holiday in the area, so it was nice to see a couple of decent sounding vegetarian dishes amongst the main courses. For one of us, green vegetable risotto included peas, broad beans and courgette – topped with a battered bit of courgette (it’s that tempura again). The other one also travelled to the Mediterranean but this time to North Africa for a vegetable and chickpea tagine. It was pleasant enough but, truth be told, lacked the vibrancy from spices and harissa that I include in the version I make at home. It comes with giant couscous (Maftoul , or “Israeli couscous”, as Americans call it).

Dessert choices were a bit underwhelming. But there was a decent enough lemon verbena flavoured posset. And cheese brought a selection of four – a mature cheddar, a blue and a couple of others that I can’t remember. Classic accompaniments in the form of crackers, chutney, grapes and celery.

This was our first visit here and we’d probably return on a future trip to the area.