Fenwick rooftop terrace restaurant Roof 39 reviewed

Fenwick has always been a marker of quality, but it’s reached new heights with its latest venture.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 1:41 pm
Roof 39, the new al fresco dining experience at Fenwick, Newcastle

With al fresco dining more popular than ever as we emerge from the pandemic, many cafes and restaurants have got creative with their outdoor spaces, but Fenwick have taken it up a level with their offering.

Their East-facing 120m2 roof space had been little used previously and had no access for the public, but Roof 39 really utilises the prime location to best effect.

What’s the venue like?

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Charcuterie board from the small plates section

Named after Fenwick’s door number in Northumberland Street, the terrace overlooks the hustle and bustle of Newcastle’s busiest shopping throughfare, but four floors up, it’s a haven away from the crowds.

You don’t even have to navigate your way through shoppers to get there as it can be accessed via its own lift through the florist entrance, which means it can wine and dine people after the store closes. We visited on a balmy Friday evening, and you’d certainly be hard-pushed to find a finer spot to watch the sun set over the city skyline.

The Victorian railings of the terrace are softened with a host of greenery and botanical-themed seating, while an awning protects from all but the worst of weathers.

What’s on the menu?

Roof 39 is on the fourth floor of the landmark store

The botanical, seasonal theme flows through to the menu, which showcases the best of British summertime with a selection of fragrant small plates and grilled meat, fish and vegetable dishes cooked on the coals of the specially-built outdoor kitchen which fills the air with a rich aroma.

We chose a selection to share: the charcuterie board (£12), grilled asparagus (£9), crab on toast (£12), charcoal flat bread with crudites (£6.50) and the grilled mackerel (£15) from the grill section.

How was the food?

As you’d expect from Fenwick, presentation was stylishly picture perfect. The charcuterie was served on a satisfyingly chunky board laden with sliver upon sliver of cured meats and a pot of house pickles for an extra depth of flavour. We layered it up on the flat bread with its hint of smokiness thanks to the charcoal grill. Special mention too for the deliciously-rich labneh yoghurt dip with a crunchy dukkha which we could have eaten by the forkful it was so good.

Dining with a view

As the sun set on a warm day, the crab with a squeeze of lemon was a perfect light accompaniment to our bottle of Picpoul – it’s a simple dish which lets the fresh flavours speak for themself.

The grilled mackerel was also a triumph: a flavoursome fish, it was given extra oomph with a marinated tomato salad, fine beans and aioli.

What is the drink menu like?

The drinks menu complements the freshness of the food with a premium bespoke cocktail list created by Northumberland-based Hepple Gin’s cocktail and spirit creator, Nick Strangeway. Drinks which are muddled with botanicals and herbs grown on the roof – you can’t get fresher that.

Crab, asparagus and grilled mackerel

We relished our refreshing watermelon and jasmine margaritas (£13), made with Ocho Blanco Tequila, watermelon, lime and jasmine tea which proved the perfect sundowners up on the roof.

Opening hours and how to book

Roof 39 has an all-day menu, including a children’s menu. Book for early morning coffees, light lunches, afternoon drinks, evening meals and sundowners using this link www.fenwick.co.uk/roof39

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Roof 39 has its own open air kitchen
It boasts views over the Newcastle skyline