Whitley Bay has come into its own in recent years – with glorious beaches, an array of boutique shops, artisan bakeries and coffee shops, a smattering of trendy bars and a rising restaurant scene, it’s no wonder The Times named it the best place to live in the North East back in March.
Restoration of the iconic Spanish City dome in 2018 adds some history and nostalgia with a modern slant to this canny seaside town, while its fine dining restaurant – 1910 (named after the year the dome was completed and opened to the public) makes this area a must-visit.
The fancy steak and seafood eaterie boasts some spectacular views from its floor to ceiling glass windows. Grab a pre-drink in the champagne bar and soak up the scenery with a glass of fizz, before making your way into the stylish dining area.
The décor is modern but understated – greens and greys with a feature wall bringing in some vibrant pinks and purples, further accentuated by hanging plants and colourful flowers hanging from the ceiling in one corner.
We started with a classic champagne cocktail (2 for £14 or £9.50 each) made with cognac, champagne, bitters and a sugar cube – ruby red with a slight fizz in a stunning tall stemmed glass was the perfect start to our fancy dinner.
The kitchen team at 1910 pride themselves on using high quality ingredients which are all locally sourced where possible. While I was tempted by the Lindisfarne Oysters which are a well known family run business up the coast, I decided to go for the Fish Soup which was packed full of flavour with mussels, scallops and prawns bobbing around in the rich broth. I loved the garlic croutons served on the side which you can load up with rouille – a slightly spiced saffron and garlic sauce which goes really well with fish soup, and a sprinkling of grated emmental cheese for that nutty, buttery hit.
My partner decided on the twice baked cave aged cheddar cheese and spinach souffle which comes with a really tasty pear and walnut salad on the side. The souffle was beautifully light and soft as you’d expect, and the cheese had some good strong flavours to soak it all up – I’d definitely order this next time I dine at 1910!
While Lobster Thermidor and Lamb Rump with a harissa mayo were both up there when it came to ordering our main courses, we decided to go for the sharer style Chateaubriand which for £80 includes around six fillets of beef tenderloin which is sliced and served at the table. Sides consist of hand cut chips, slow roasted tomato, Portobello mushroom, seasonal greens and an onion and pancetta compote. Two sauces are included, and we decided on the red wine and the garlic, parsley and almond. While the meat was cooked a good medium and had some good flavour, the chips could’ve done with being cooked a tiny bit longer for that triple cooked crunch on the outside versus fluffy on the inside.
Desserts are made fresh on site by 1910’s pastry team and there’s a great range on offer. From Chocolate, Praline and Caramel Sphere to Baked Vanilla Custard, along with ice creams and sorbets, we decided on the very pretty Caramelised Pineapple Tart which comes with coconut cremeux and a kiwi sorbet for a contrast of tastes and textures.
Friday nights at 1910 are busy and buzzy and what’s nice is that it feels like most people are celebrating something special rather than eating out at another restaurant. The whole ambience is calming with those epic sea views and the service is excellent for a true fine dining experience.
With Afternoon Teas, fabulous Sunday roasts, and an early evening set menu which means you can enjoy the culinary offering at just £28 for two courses and £32 for three, it’s no wonder that 1910 Steak & Seafood is high up the list of must-visit restaurants in the North East. Likewise, if you’re visiting Newcastle, Whitley Bay is only 30 minutes drive out of the city and well worth the journey!