My husband, two little ones and I visited the most magical, breath-taking destination recently- The Treehouse Restaurant in Alnwick, Northumberland.
Set amongst an idyllic backdrop, you follow a winding wooden structure up to the restaurant itself, meandering across a wobbly bridge high in the trees first. The kids jumped about and played, excitedly reaching The Treehouse. About 45 minutes north of Newcastle, Alnwick is really easy to reach- and if you’re looking for a UK based summer holiday spot, with beaches and countryside aplenty Northumberland is it. And it’s worth noting that this is the largest treehouse in Europe, sitting amongst mature lime trees.
Renowned (and Britain’s oldest) company Searcy’s are the newly appointed caterers for The Treehouse and they bring with them an impeccable standard which shines. The restaurateurs behind St Pancras Brasserie, Helix Restaurant at The Gherkin and The Orangery at Blenheim Palace, their roots began in Northumberland. In 1847 a young John Searcy started his career as the pastry chef for the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, before setting his own catering company up. Safe to say, this pairing is an organic relationship and true homecoming.
Met with a lovely warm welcome, the team were kind, insightful and extremely family-friendly. Walking into The Treehouse (featuring full disabled access too) we were all awe-struck by its composition, and fairy lights and wooden rustic furniture further added to the chic charm.
Beginning with a couple of cocktails, these are all an homage to Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland, who created the adjacent Alnwick Garden, a charity offering community support and connecting garden lovers in this beautiful space.
I sipped a Plain Jane, the signature mocktail with freshly squeezed orange juice, passion fruit syrup and grenadine. Equally tasty, my Mr sampled a Desirable Jane, made up of ingredients such as Alnwick White Rum, sugar, soda and mint leaves.
There to tuck into a hearty family Sunday lunch, our two children marvelled at their surroundings while the team also made a fuss of my husband, whose birthday it was. We had balloons at the table, and noticed a few other celebrations going on with similarly special details.
Our eldest daughter and I have specific food requirements which were noted without any problem whatsoever, and I also overheard a team member beginning another family’s order by checking whether they had any allergies or intolerances. Such details really make a massive difference to a dining experience, and immediately set us at ease.
My husband and I’s starter arrived at the same time as the kids’ mains, meaning we could all enjoy our food. I had the beetroot, goats cheese, leaf and pumpkin seed salad while Chris savoured the ham hock terrine with piccalilli and radish.
For our main meals, the boys enjoyed roast beef rump, roast tatties, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish while L and I had roast chicken and roast tatties- plus, each meal came with a good amount of veg. The food was plentiful and extremely delicious.
And so much so that we were *gasp* too full for dessert, but next time I visit, the bitter chocolate mousse, salted peanut brittle and macerated cherries will be calling my name. Leaving with happy hearts and tummies all round, the kids told me that I needed to include 11 out of 10 in my review, and ratings don’t come higher than very (sometimes too) honest children.
Also within the same setting, you’ll find The Potting Shed for a lighter bite, and with equally incredible views. Onto The Alnwick Garden next, finishing off our afternoon in style. Whether you fancy a coffee in the Pavillion, or a look at the amazing Grand Cascade, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Other key features are the Poison Garden and Maze, boasting so much to do and see.
A brilliant day out and dining delights enjoyed all round, I urge you to make the trip and check out The Treehouse yourself. It’s a place for magical memories and family-friendly foodie indulgence.