Last week I had a little adventure in Jesmond, courtesy of The Malhotra Group. The Malhotra Group own various bars, restaurants and hotels across the North East and we go way back… some of you may know my surname is Malhotra – but this isn’t how we’re connected (as Malhotra is my married name). In a nutshell, I’ve grown up with Atul – the Operations Director. Our dads are cousins and also grew up together in India. We lived in the same street in Gosforth as kids and I only wish I could put a photo of us in this post – but I haven’t been to my parents house to find one!
When I was asked to work with them to feature and review some of their leisure venues, it took me a little while to decide… I said yes and made it clear, that as ever I would be giving my honest feedback, which Atul wanted the whole time.
My first trip was mid-week, last week. I was invited to stay at The New Northumbria Hotel, dine at Scalini’s and have drinks in Osbornes. All three are on Osborne Road and if you’re from Newcastle, you have most likely been to both Scalini’s and Osbornes. I’ve got lovely memories of sunny Bank Holidays sitting outside sipping icy cold drinks with friends but must admit I hadn’t been recently so had no idea what to expect.
The hotel has 55 rooms and sits in-between Osbornes and Scalini’s on Osborne Road. I checked in, was informed of breakfast times (7am-9.30am during the week), given a wifi code (wifi is free, but each device needs its own code) and advised that check out was at 11am. If only I could check-out at 11am, I start my day job at 8.30am!
We were staying in a Superior room, on the 2nd floor with a view out onto Osborne Road. The room was really spacious and comfortable, not to mention spotless. Before my sister arrived, I took photos of our room, checked out the bathroom and did some extreme lounging on the huge bed with my magazine and a cuppa!
After drinks in Osbornes and dinner in Scalini’s (read about that further down), we headed back to the room and settled down for the night. Sisters sleepover hadn’t happened in a while so we chatted, read and then told each other to stop talking and went to sleep. The room was quite warm, so we kept the desk fan on all night. Luckily the noise didn’t bother either of us and we slept really well. The bed was extremely comfortable. I expected to find the room quite loud, as we faced out onto Osborne Road but we heard nothing.
The bathroom was small but had everything we needed and most importantly, was very clean. The shower was powerful and I managed to avoid getting my hair wet which I class as a success. I really liked the toiletries provided and the towels were lovely thick fluffy ones, which you just can’t beat. We headed down for breakfast at 7.30am, early! I don’t usually eat breakfast until about 10am, at my desk… so this felt like quite a treat! We both ordered poached eggs with bacon and sausage, continental breakfast is also available. See the full menu here. The poached eggs were perfect, no trace of vinegar – I hate when poached eggs taste of vinegar! The bacon was crispy and sausages were some of the nicest I’ve tasted at a hotel breakfast. Here are some food pics, hope you’re not too hungry!
Our room, for that night of the week would have been £80* (prices do vary), which I think is great value given facilities and location. As there is so much to do in close proximity, it would be a lovely place to stay if you’ve got a night-out with friends planned, or even date night in town/Jesmond. I would definitely stay here again, I left feeling relaxed, energised and well-rested.
If you’re from Newcastle and you’ve never been to Osbornes even once, then quite frankly, where have you been hiding?! Ha ha. We used to come here a lot, but as mentioned earlier just hadn’t been for ages. When I walked in, for pre-dinner drinks, it felt so familiar and lots of funny (hazy) memories came rushing back. The Malhotra Group have also changed things and smartened it up. It looked good. Cask & craft beers, cocktails & hardshakes, barrels as tables, with lots of nice added touches, especially in the area near the Diner. I love that little section the most.
There’s lots of outdoor space too (covered and uncovered), with the recently added Sheesha Garden (and TV screens showing sport, if that’s your thing). Osbornes Happy Hour still exists! I was thrilled to hear this, that buzzer thing is far too much fun for its own good. Click here to find out more about when Happy Hour (or Happy HOURS) is and make a beeline for that buzzer, you’re guaranteed to win every time!
We ordered Cherry Lips and French Martini cocktails (£5.95) whilst we listened to some live music. The cocktails were delicious and I wished I’d booked our table for a bit later so we could have had a few more drinks :) I will be heading back with friends for drinks and food from the Diner, the menu looks delicious as do the hardshakes!
I can’t tell you how often I’ve been to Scalini’s. It was the place my bessie Lisa and I used to head to, for a mid-week pizza, pasta and a catch-up (before she jetted off and moved to Canada and now Hawaii!). Again, over the past few years I stopped going to Jesmond as much, so hadn’t been in a while. Looks wise, it had changed a lot since my last trip!
We were seated at a lovely booth, with good lighting (this makes me so happy, no horrible flash needed!) only downside was the group of people sitting nearby thinking I was utterly bonkers with my camera. I’m used to that now though.
After cocktails at Osbornes, I was happy with sparkling water with dinner. I’d been eyeing up the menu all day, trying to figure out what I’d have. In the end I picked something I wouldn’t normally have. I already know how good the pizzas are so went for Antipasto Misto (£7.50) to start and the Porchetta (£14.95) for main. My sister ordered the Caesar Salad (£5.95) to start and picked the Pollo Griglata (£12.95) with picante sauce and season veg for mains.
My starter was very generous, we could have probably shared it, I had to leave some (in preparation for that dessert I already knew I was going to scoff).
The pork belly was stuffed with shallots, truffle and wild mushrooms, served on mashed potato and spinach, with a cider cream sauce to accompany it. It was the perfect choice for me and the sauce was delicious. I finished every last drop. My sister really enjoyed her food too, especially the chicken main. She also found her starter very generous and said she could have had it as a main. If like me you haven’t tried anything other than pizza at Scalini’s, I’d really recommend giving something else a try. There’s a lot more to this place than the pizza and pasta they do very well.
For dessert I picked the chef’s cheesecake which was Belgian Chocolate and my sister had the Salted Caramel and Chocolate Brownie. We had a taste and each preferred our own, but I would definitely give that brownie a go next time! I can’t remember the price of the dessert, I *think* they were £4.95 but don’t hold me to that! That caramelised banana though… dreamy!
The atmosphere was lovely too, quiet and relaxed. There was a group of friends celebrating someone’s birthday, lots of couples and people who’d come from a wedding, well that’s what we assumed as the ladies were wearing fascinators in their hair!
I was really impressed with the food and attentive service that we received but that I also saw each other table getting. I’m glad I gave something different a try (I still love pizza). I think next time I’ll try the salt & chilli fried squid for starters (that was my second choice) and perhaps one of their risottos.
Check out Scalini’s special offers here as they offer a 2 course special (between certain times) as well as Happy Hour!
Would love to hear what you think about the post as well as Osbornes/Scalinis & if you’ve stayed there, the New Northumbria Hotel! I appreciate this has been pretty long, thanks for sticking with me! Look out for more coming soooon :)
*Hotel stay, drinks and dinner were complimentary for review purposes. Honest review as always.