Fancy dining in a North East castle, historic home or even a canal barge?

Top chefs will be taking their craft out of the kitchen and into the region's historic homes, castles, rooftops and even a floating barge as part of a new dining concept.

Friday, 5th May 2017, 3:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:07 pm
Inside Alderman Fenwick's House

The Experimental Diner will see some of the region’s best chefs host pop up tables at a range of locations for a new venture devised by the team behind the Newcastle in the Sky event, which sees diners eat from a table hoisted 100ft into the air.

It begins next week with a takeover of the historic 17th century Alderman Fenwick’s House in Newcastle city centre by junior sous chef Simon Whitehead and junior sous chef Hugo Embleton-Black, both from the celebrated Peace & Loaf restaurant in Jesmond.

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Simon said: “At Peace & Loaf we don’t really abide by any certain rules when it comes to cooking, instead we work in a professional yet playful environment, creating dishes that reflect this.

“Led by our head chef Dave Coulson, we learn to deviate from the norm, setting high expectations not only for customers, but for ourselves as well. The Experimental Diner is going to be totally out of our comfort zone of the kitchen where we spend a lot of our time, but it’s an exciting event we both can’t wait to be a part of.”

Lauren McKirdy, hospitality director at The Experimental Diner said: “We set up and ran last year’s Dine by the Tyne event and although we knew it would attract attention, it was a massive success.

“It inspired us to come up with new ideas and one of those was the Experimental Diner.

The historic dining room at the Grade I-listed building

“We’re looking to bring an intimate private dining experience to places you would never think would be possible. We’ve got plans for places like floating

barges and the foot of monuments. We really want to combine great North East cuisine with interesting venues and want to show off the best the area has to offer.”

Alderman Fenwick’s House, in Pilgrim Street, is regarded as one the most important mercantile town houses in the North and has medieval origins.

Next week’s launch event, on May 11, will give diners the chance to dine in the Grade I listed building which still retains its decorative plasterwork.

Hugo Embleton-Black

•20 places are available for a four-course meal on May 11 complete with a fizz reception and two glasses of wine. Tickets, priced £70, are on sale now from

Simon Whitehead
The historic dining room at the Grade I-listed building
Hugo Embleton-Black
Simon Whitehead