A recipe for success: Fenwick Newcastle’s new food hall

fenwick food hall

Whether it’s sampling the best wines or enjoying the true taste of the Mediterranean, Fenwick’s new Food Hall - set to open next month at its flagship Newcastle store - will cater to every taste. The multi-million pound refurbishment, two-years in the planning, will deliver exciting new eateries including a South East Asian street food concept, a Seafood & Oyster Bar, a modern Mediterranean restaurant plus a Café & Patisserie. The renowned ‘Wine Shop’ is also being transformed and will link to a stylish wine and charcuterie bar.

Culinary connoisseurs will find it hard to resist the finest regional and international produce from the speciality chocolatier; fish and seafood counter; meat and game specialists; artisan bakery; boutique coffee roasters and fresh juice bar.

Working alongside Fenwick has been award-winning brand and interior design consultancy CADA Design whose major international clients include Dean & Deluca, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Charbonnel et Walker.

Rhys McKinnell, head of food and catering at Fenwick Newcastle, says: “Before we embarked on this project we consulted widely with our customers to discover what they wanted to find in a modern Food Hall. With this exciting development we believe we will deliver what they expected - a world class dining and retail experience.”

Ones to watch: Fuego Mediterranean wine bar and restaurant

This exciting new eaterie (set to open in September) has been created with the help of prominent north east restaurateur, Terry Laybourne of the 21 Hospitality Group, as well as Fenwick’s executive chef Kelly Richardson. His wealth of culinary experience includes Girasol, a Michelin star restaurant in Moraira, Spain and Bodega de Tapas, a London Time Out top 50 bar in Camden.

“I’ve always had a passion for Mediterranean food," Kelly explains. "The Fuego menu is centred on ‘small plates’ or Mediterranean tapas, allowing customers the opportunity to enjoy a light snack or create a full meal alongside hand-stretched pizzas, which will be our signature hero offer.”

Also joining the team is head chef, Darren Busby, whose career in premium Italian restaurants includes Caffé Vivo on Newcastle quayside, part of the 21 Hospitality Group.

The Wine Shop

Fenwick Newcastle’s much-loved Wine Shop is also undergoing a complete design transformation. Bridging the gap between traditional wine stores and restaurant-style wine service, the new department will bring a modern and accessible approach to experiencing wine, all while retaining the department's heritage.

A state-of-the-art Enomatic wine dispensing system – the first of its kind in the region - will allow customers to buy credits and self-select a 50ml ‘sip’ to sample from an extensive selection of wines.

“To be the first retailer in the region to house an Enomatic wine dispenser is a really exciting prospect,” says Fenwick Wine Shop buyer and leading wine specialist Robin Winterschladen. “The technology serves wines at their optimum temperatures, ensuring a superior wine-tasting experience for our customers as they try wines from around the world.

“They can also expect to find a refreshed range of wine, spirits and beers, with the introduction of lesser known, boutique producers.”

Taking on a more contemporary look, spirits will be displayed on towering purpose-built shelving accessed by a bespoke library ladder.

And a sparkling new addition to the team is Assistant to the Buyer, Fiona McLain, who has experience of working as a sommelier at the five star Rockliffe Hall hotel in County Durham and at wine merchant Firth & Co.

After undergoing training this summer, the team of in-store specialists will be on hand to give expert advice on a range of over 200 whiskies, 40 gins and numerous rare liqueurs.

The Wine Shop will also be linked to the Fuego Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar and the Enomatic system will allow for a wider selection of wines by the glass to be enjoyed either at the bar or with a meal.

“In addition to being able to sample the range of wines from the Enomatic system, customers will also be able to experience our wine flights, paired with Fuego platters and dishes,” says Robin. “The wine flights – a selection of 50ml ‘sips’ – are a great opportunity to enjoy a collection of wines within a grape variety, set style (such as crisp and dry whites) or that are matched to a particular food selection.”

By Claire Brayford