A huge makeover and multi million pound overhaul of Fenwick Food Hall in Newcastle upon Tyne has finally been unveiled to the public and man, is it good. I was invited along to the launch night and it didn’t disappoint.
The family run Fenwick department store on Northumberland Street has long been a mecca for shoppers, offering something for everyone and recently expanding into stocking more niche, desirable products such as vintage Chanel handbags and Fifty Pound Gin.
Plans for the new and improved Food hall have been well publicised but with a launch date under wraps, and cleverly cordoned off sections, the revamp was very much a secret operation and one which was overdue.
Award winning interior design consultancy CADA design have overseen the transformation of the Food Hall and created a much lighter, brighter feel. The world famous design company have previously worked with Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Charbonnel et Walker to name a few so there’s no doubting that our flagship department store has been in good hands.
With a brand new Wine Room featuring floor to ceiling bespoke shelving with sliding ladders and a chiller where customers can purchase wine by the glass, this new area really is something to behold. With attentive and knowledgable staff, Fenwick have gone the extra mile to make sure that whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll absolutely find it here.
There are three new dining areas offering different experiences for guests. Mediterranean restaurant Fuego serves hand stretched pizza and has a casual bar area for shoppers who just want to rest their feet in luxury surroundings with a glass of something cheeky. Pan Asian restaurant Ko Sai is billed as a noodle bar but on closer inspection it’s way more than that. It’s a deceptively spacious dining area with 43 seats for guests hungry for something a little bit different than the city’s usual offerings. Finally Mason + Rye, a patisserie with a dine in option and a cake display to die for, it’s worth visiting the Food Hall for this alone.
Other new additions to the Food Hall include The Saltwater Fish Company which brings with it an Oyster Happy Hour where fresh oysters are only one pound per shuck. With more of a focus on local suppliers and locally sourced foods, Fenwick will house produce from North Eastern favourite Doddington Dairy, The Honey Store in Ponteland (to sit alongside the in-house range of honey which Fenwick itself produces in store) and Durham Green Lane who are known locally for their herb preserves and jellies.
The Food Hall itself boasts a fresh new look which brings it right up to date with the larger department stores found in London. With high ceilings and clever use of light, the Food Hall feels twice the size that it previously was and with intuitive zoning, shoppers are guided fluidly around each area. There’s a whole area dedicated to artisan chocolate with counters displaying freshly made truffles and pre-packaged chocolates which make for the perfect gift.
Heaton’s famous Naked Deli have set up shop in Fenwicks offering healthy, gluten free lunch options, smoothies and salads and the genius positioning right next to the door means city workers can nip in and out with a healthy lunch option – something that has been thin on the ground in Newcastle, until now. Directly opposite Naked Deli is Ouseburn Coffee Company, set up like a bar, it’s a great pitstop for shoppers and has a handy seating area where you can ditch the bags and mull over your purchases with local coffee.
By opening itself up to a whole new audience, Fenwick has assured its place at the top of the food chain (pun intended) when it comes to gastronomic warfare. It would be easy to wax lyrical about the new Fenwick Food Hall, it’s been a long time coming and has been a certain success, but the best way to find out is to go there for yourself and drink it all in. My parting advice? Take comfortable shoes, you’ll be in there a while….
Fenwick can be found at 39 Northumberland Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE99 1AR