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5.2 /6 Excellent 129 Reviews

The Blackbird Inn

Ponteland European, British £££ +100
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About The Blackbird Inn

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.

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Thursday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Friday 12:00 - 00:00
  • Saturday 12:00 - 00:00
  • Sunday 12:00 - 23:00
The Blackbird Inn, North Road, NE20 9UH Ponteland

Further 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.

CHEF'S CHOICE

129 Reviews

5.2 /6 Excellent 129 Reviews
Waiting Time: short
Quality/Price: cheap
Noise: quiet
Atmosphere: excellent
Food: heavenly
Service: extraordinary
62 6
45 5
12 4
2 3
7 2
1 1
1 review so far 6
11.09.2017 22:21

Despite a shaky start, our visit to the Blackbird was punctuated by delicious food, gracious staff and a great atmosphere. I recommend the Blackbird to one and all.

1 review so far 6
10.09.2017 08:24

The food was good and well presented however it was the fantastic friendly staff who made the evening memorable. The Blackbird continues to offer a great atmosphere along with a great gin selection.

1 review so far 6
06.09.2017 17:40

Good food, good service and a lively atmosphere. Staff very friendly and accommodating. The food is definitely better than your average pub grub. Worth a visit. The duck was delicious.

1 review so far 6
28.08.2017 07:52

The quality of the main courses that we had were excellent. Two of us had a duck breast dish that was full of flavour and my fish and chips was superb. The young lady that served us was attentive and helpful. No doubt we will be back

1 review so far 5
29.01.2017 12:49

A very disappointing start to the evening when we were brusquely ushered downstairs despite being booked upstairs! Downstairs is too crowded and the tables so close together I could not physically get both legs under the table. A much more caring waitress spotted our plight and offered us a table upstairs. This is a proper dining room and a delightful space which was not being used, however there was a lovely log fire burning and we were given a table in front of it. Excellent. The waitresses and service were fantastic as was the food. What a wasted room this is, they cram people in downstairs probaby unlikely to return (for that reason) when they could have a superb dining experience upstairs. I really can't understand the management's reasoning! Full marks to the waitress who saved our evening, turning it from a potential disaster to a thoroughly enjoyable occasion. Not so many marks though to the gentleman who showed us to our table when we arrived.

1 review so far 5
13.02.2017 08:45

It was the first time we have visited the Blackbird since its refurbishment. I remember it from previous years as an olde world type pub with small linking rooms. The refurbishment has opened up the inside. While loosing some of its old world charm it is more fit for purpose now as a gastro pub. We had a Sunday lunch menu, which was all that was offered on a Sunday. It was a very limited choice for mains but all that was ordered was good. A good choice of vegetables was provided making the main choice quite substantial. There was a better choice for starters and desserts. All six of us thoroughly enjoyed our meal, my favourite being the homemade panettone pudding which was yummy. The waiting staff work very hard and were friendly making the whole experience an enjoyable trip out. Will definitely be back, very impressed. Look forward to trying the everyday menus. Thanks.

1 review so far 6
21.08.2017 07:57

first visit and we really enjoyed our meal. the staff were very friendly, and the food was lovely. I had fillet steak it was cooked perfectly to my liking, wife had chicken, and she loved it. were never hurried between courses and the sweet was worth waiting for. will definitely be back. only one minor criticism if any, with not having been before and not knowing were restaurant was, we entered through a packed bar and had to push through one way then back again. but don't let that put you off.

1 review so far 5
07.09.2016 09:35

We had a lovely meal and the chef was willing to meet specific requirements on an item, which was a big help. However, the mish-mash of chairs in The Tunnel room caused problems with us and other guests. I was not at all comfortable and another table kept moving round to find one the correct height for the table! To us it looked as if you had just gone to a sale room and bought a job lot of non-matching chairs. We were served by a lovely young girl, who was charming and helpful. On the whole, an enjoyable evening to celebrate our anniversary.

1 review so far 6
30.10.2016 16:40

Today myself, husband and daughter visited the blackbird for Sunday lunch. Firstly all the staff were extremely polite and friendly. We were given a table with high stools and after seeing it might not be suitable for my daughter they moved us to a table near the fireplace. The service was great, very efficient. The food was delicious, myself and husband had a roast dinner and my daughter had chicken nuggets. I would definitely return and would recommend to others.

1 review so far 6
04.11.2016 22:45

Lovely and original menu, beautifully executed. Warm and welcoming staff and a really perfect dining area, quietly tucked away from the much louder and boisterous main bar area. The dining room was plastered and shaped like some of the nicest restaurant "caves" we have had nice meals in while visiting France. So grateful we had such a nice experience on our first visit, and while meeting up with family from all over.

2 reviews so far 6
21.02.2017 21:31

Our reserved table in the bar was well positioned for the needs of the children and adults in the party. The staff were very helpful and served us all at the table without questioning. The food was lovely and everything was eaten readily. We were made to feel very welcome and nothing seemed any bother to the staff. A really nice friendly visit with lovely staff and surroundings. Thank you.

1 review so far 4
04.12.2016 18:22

Efficient booking system , nice place . Good menu for adults and children , nice food , reasonably priced but have to say pretty poor service . Staff seemed pleasant enough but on another planet . Had to ask numerous times for things , seemed to wait an eternity for everything , I don't like feeling rushed but I felt as though I had to chase them for service ( apart from when they tried to take our plates away when we were still eating ) but then never returned for about half an hour .

1 review so far 4
15.08.2017 13:00

Dined in bar area, quiet Monday evening with few diners/customers but order took long time arriving. Food fresh, overdone batter spoilt appearance on 3 of our 5 mains, but tasty overall. Staff showed more attention once food arrived - could have been more proactive in keeping our party aware of the lengthy wait. Understood kitchen had been recently extended, but resulted in long wait time issues, hope that will resolve soon as food was generally good in both portions & taste.

1 review so far 5
23.01.2017 08:37

Fabulous Sunday lunch with great service from Fran. There was a bit of a delay between our first course and our main course but at the end of our meal the manager came over to apologise for our delay and gave us a discount. We were very impressed by the quality of the food and the excellent service we will definitely be returning.

1 review so far 5
15.05.2017 21:23

Very good overall. Very good food and very friendly service. If I had to find any criticism , it would be that the starters are perhaps a bit overpriced ; and the skinny fries, while very tasty, came with a bit too much salt on them for our personal taste. But overall a very good meal and we shall be happy to return.

2 reviews so far 6
11.06.2017 19:01

We had an absolutely delicious two course Sunday lunch, it would of been three courses but we were to full, the desserts sounded fab next time will definitely try one, especially the almond panna cotta with cherry ice cream. The pink prosecco complemented the meal perfectly. We will definitely be back!

1 review so far 4
12.12.2016 18:08

Visited on Thursday night -pub and restaurant extremely busy but with good atmosphere. Service friendly if a little slow but this was due to them being so busy. 4 of us wanted to order the fish cakes but unfortunately these were finished -disappointing . We ordered the burgers which were delicious although none of us liked the oddly shaped wooden plates -made the food difficult to eat. Overall though a very pleasant night and will return.

1 review so far 6
22.12.2016 07:30

Been to the Blackbird a few times now and we are never disappointed. Lovely, friendly and welcoming staff, great atmosphere, great place and amazing food. They are also very accommodating when it comes to our Greyhound and treat him like one of the customers. Love this place.

1 review so far 5
17.10.2016 08:20

Food was good, but they did try to squeeze us in to a table which had no room even my wife who is a size 8 could not sit down properly. We couldn't understand this as there were plenty of empty tables. We thought that we would have been up stairs but it was closed.

1 review so far 6
20.12.2016 16:35

Lovely food and location. Waitress friendly and helpful. Enjoyed Christmas menu. Good quality food. Had prawm cocktail then braised beef with parsley mash and apple crumble. All delicious. Only negative is not a lot of leg room with dining tables if you are tall.