Northumberland Gazette April 2008
Gazette editor Paul Larking and his family were
tempted to dine at Topsey Turveys restaurant in
Warkworth by a dazzling array of desserts in the
“SUNDAY LUNCH” You can’t beat a bit of nostalgia –
it brings back such happy memories! I was whisked
back 30-odd years, when I saw the lunch menu at
Topsey Turveys restaurant in the centre of Warkworth.
One of the last home-made steak and kidney puddings
I’d had was the one my grandmother used to make when
I was a lad…. I had a plate piled higher than me
with suet pudding and meat that had been cooked the
night before and left to stand to tenderise and
infuse the gravy with a most wonderful flavour. … So
when I spied homemade steak and kidney pudding among
the choices, my head was sent in a spin of
Topsey Turveys is attractive from the street for a
different reason – a chiller unit crammed with
deliciously –naughty desserts, all creamy and
homemade. They dare you to walk past. Judging by the
popularity of the place on Sunday, few could resist.
We had decided to book to avoid disappointment but
could not get a table until 3.30pm. It was a modern
version of the Old Curiosity Shop, although maybe
“modern” is stretching a bit. There was a cornucopia
of prints, paintings, framed Newcastle United
cigarette cards and knick-knacks aplenty. A
sideboard was adorned with an eclectic mix of items
for sale – tumblers, a dipping set, a Pink Lady
jacket. The whole place was like a large tombola
Plastic flowers graced the bright yellow and orange
plastic tablecloths. Tables were crammed in – it was
cosy, quaint and homely, with some appropriately
soothing music playing.
No sooner had the children sat down that they were
presented with a basket of Play-Doh (hence the
plastic tablecloths – clever!) and egg containing a
fruity surprise. They felt immediately at ease.
Three roast dinners were available – beer with
Yorkshire pudding, pore with stuffing or lamb with
mint sauce – but with a full menu, overflowing to a
specials sheet, from which to choose, we decided to
have a change.
We all started with leek and potato soup .. It came
with a hot, crusty roll and butter. The soup was
very good – tasty without being overpoweringly
peppery for the children. All bowls were licked
My steak and kidney pudding landed with a familiar,
unmistakeable and delicious aroma. I was instantly
transported back decades. My grandma made the best
pudding in the world, of course, but I have to say
this came a very close second – some accolade. It
was agreeably stodgy and packed with meat. The steak
and gravy that didn’t fit inside the pudding was
spread over the rest of the plate – I couldn’t have
asked for more.
The vegetables (carrots, swede, mash, boiled
potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower) too were
plentiful and nicely-cooked .. It was a meal fit for
someone with a colossal appetite.
My wife’s quest to find the top lasagne in north
Northumberland almost reached a conclusion on
Sunday. She chose her favourite dish and was bowled
over by the whole experience. The lasagne and salad
was equally homely and filling. It had just the
right balance of meat and cheese, and was just what
the doctor ordered after a heavy Saturday night (if
you see what I mean!). The salad was an interesting
mix of bright peppers, fresh tomatoes, lettuce and
onions.. The children both had small portions of the
roast beef. They enjoyed their meals.
Verdict : Quaint and truly scrumptious.
Dial Place, Northumberland, Morpeth NE65 0UG
Tel : 01665 711338