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Food


In March, STYLEetc were invited to stay the night at Close House Hotel – a privately owned, Grade II listed mansion dating back to the 18th century, approximately eight miles outside of the centre of Newcastle.


To start, I had the pressing of Goosnargh duck,


with foie gras,


prunes and toasted brioche, which was bursting


with fleshy, gamey


goodness. However, looking over to my neighbour, I found myself coveting her sautéed local wild mushrooms with toasted sour dough and crispy poached egg.


I had no such distractions with my main course. The venison loin with glazed baby vegetables, pomme Anna


and juniper sauce was


succulent and sumptuous – the sweet, rich flesh of the venison a deep velvety red, served on a bed of braised cabbage. My only complaint is that there wasn’t more of it.


I then earned the envy of my dining companions once they sampled my coconut pannacotta. This perfectly formed delight wobbled invitingly at the slightest provocation of my spoon. It dissolved on the tongue in a pleasurable rush of silky smooth creaminess – but it tasted even better when paired with the tart, tangy hit of the passion fruit sorbet and the pineapple, which was delicately flavoured with the slightest hint of aniseed.


After dinner, we enjoyed coffee and cocktails


in


and Lounge. The Lounge perfectly complements


the Champagne Bar the Argent


D’or


in décor with its heavy drapery, hanging chandeliers, crackling log fire and Botticelli cherub tea lights.


Goosnargh duck, with foie gras, prunes and toasted brioche.


Settling into one of the velour armchairs, sipping flutes of champagne cocktails made with Moët Chandon,


served by the


friendly and attentive staff, you can’t help but feel relaxed and wonderfully spoiled.


If business or pleasure ever bring you to the North East, Close House would be a worthy


consideration. For golf aficionados, the two premier 18 hole golf courses, Golf Academy, Driving Range and affiliation with golf champion Lee Westwood make it hugely attractive.


But if you are more inspired by the prospect of a relaxing mini break with fine dining, luxurious accommodation and elegant interiors, Close House is ideal. Set in the heart of stunning countryside but only a stone’s throw from a vibrant city, it’s the perfect way to unwind and explore the beauty and culture of Northumberland.


Venison loin with glazed baby vegetables


Coconut pannacotta


Close House Hotel, Heddon on the Wall, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 0HT


closehouse.co.uk words and images by Alaka Prodhan 65


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