Historically, Ponteland and nearby Darras Hall has long been a centre for Christian worship in Northumberland; more recently it is associated with the residences of Newcastle and Tyne-and-Wear footballers and businessmen. For all and sundry, Ponteland town centre is a place of pilgrimage if you’re looking for a solid British pub, with the principal holy site being The Blackbird Inn up on North Road. Occupying the former site of Ponteland Castle, destroyed in 1388, this handsome stone tavern still houses remnants of an ancient tower and a roaring Tudor fireplace alongside – more to the point – real ales, a giddy selection of gins, and gastropub-quality European and British cuisine. And your canine companions are welconme too in the bar area – if the bar is unavailable contact the Inn directly and they’ll do their best to accommodate your beloved pup.
See below for important booking information.
Please note, The Blackbird Inn’s upstairs Minstrel Gallery is generally open on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday lunchtime, and is often reserved for private functions. If you’d like to dine in this exclusive area outside of these times, please contact the restaurant to check availability. You’re unlikely to find a better-looking country pub in Northumberland. The Blackbird Inn occupies baronial premises in the heart of Ponteland, a parish centre just fifteen to twenty minutes drive from Newcastle city centre that’s packed with history. The downstairs bar is laden with real ales, wines ranging from good to better and best, and one of the UK’s best selections of that most British of spirits, gin. Select a small craft gin culled from boutique domestic and global distilleries, a tonic and garnish for the ultimate custom G&T, or let the bartenders work their magic. True to their North East England locality, why not try a Geordie G&T – Jack Cains gin with Fentimans tonic water? There are usually 54 gins for your tippling pleasure.
As for food, let it be said that The Blackbird Inn’s North Road location is as much a restaurant as it is a bar or pub, with a seasonal menu that pushes the envelope when it comes to traditional pub classics, injecting five-star flair into proceedings whether you book for lunch or dinner. Fennel, quinoa, pomegranate and heritage potato salad makes a classic contemporary (and vegetarian-friendly), while the house Blackbird Inn burger and premium steaks will satiate big, carnivorous appetites. The roast hake or sea bream both have an Asian twist, the pan-fried duck breast looks to European cuisine, and the pork belly matched with crispy black pudding makes for a Newcastle and Northumberland favourite. Whether for casual dining, the famous Sunday lunch, or to book out the magisterial upstairs Minstrel Room for a private event, bookings are absolutely essential.
Excellent food and good service. We were made to feel welcome and not rushed at all. A very enjoyable lunch with a very high standard of tasty food.
We had a fabulous night. great choice of food, that tasted lovely, and was presented very well. The staff looked after us all night, and although we sat at our table until late, as we rarely get together, we were never made to feel that they wanted us to leave or move into the bar.
Excellent food and service, tempura king Prawns expertly cooked. Could maybe have a few more vegetarian options on menu. Will try their desserts next time.