Design firm restores medieval banquet hall

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A MEDIEVAL banquet hall has been restored to its original glory – thanks to a South Tyneside design company.

Hebburn-based Restaurant Design Associates (RDA) was appointed by the award-winning Blackfriars eaterie in Newcastle to renovate a 50-seat 13th century banquet hall.

The restaurant is one of the oldest dining rooms in the UK, dating back to 1239, and the hall was the celebrated venue used by King Edward III for receiving Scottish king Edward Balliol.

RDA has helped to fully restore the hall to its original appearance, and also installed necessary modern additions such as a bar, kitchen, lighting, under-floor heating and toilets as part of the meticulous year-long project.

The bar and kitchen are both hidden behind reclaimed wooden screens, and furnishings include large oak communal dining tables and matching chairs.

Judith Addyman, director of RDA, who lives in South Tyneside, said: “We have been delighted to work with Blackfriars on such an impressive, historically significant restoration project and we’re very proud of the finished result.”

Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars, said: “We have been passionately promoting the rich tapestry of Blackfriars heritage for almost a decade now and we are very grateful for RDA’s hard work and dedication to the project. We are incredibly excited to reopen this stunningly beautiful medieval banquet hall for the local community, schools and tourists to enjoy, and RDA helped to make this a reality.”

The hall is also available for corporate events, networking groups, functions, wine-tastings, educational visits, private parties, anniversaries and weddings.

RDA, based in Monkton Business Park, Hebburn, has a wealth of experience in the design and installation of catering and retail facilities for multi-national blue chip companies, education and NHS Trusts, contract caterers and private businesses throughout the UK.

The firm has secured several orders for this year onwards, including a number of food courts, coffee outlets, workplace restaurants and commercial kitchens at sites such as Birmingham Hospital, Peterborough Hospital and Coventry University.