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Review: A Supper With... Admiral Lord Collingwood, Trinity House, Newcastle

IF YOU could swap your usual dinner companion and chat over canapes or trifle over trifle with somebody from a different walk of life, who would you choose?

Trinity House, Newcastle Quayside

IF YOU could swap your usual dinner companion and chat over canapes or trifle over trifle with somebody from a different walk of life, who would you choose?

Organisers of EAT! festival have given it some thought and come up with a varied selection of  characters  to add  extra  flavour to your supper.
On Monday night (and last) it was our own Admiral Lord Collingwood and the themed evening proved a great success.

While this year marks the 200th anniversary of his death, Admiral Nelson’s right-hand man  was there in every cleverly thought-out detail of a hugely interesting and well-hosted  night.

I’d never been to Trinity House. What a  gem it is, hidden  behind Broad Chare. Being surrounded by 500 years of history and  mingling with some in period costumes  was like stepping back in time.

Setting a suitably nautical and jovial note as we assembled in the board room – with champagne corks popping for our aptly-named  Admiral’s Flip (given an added kick of rum) and delicious canapes such as quails’ eggs with celery pepper – was Captain Stephen Healy, deputy master of Trinity House.

He gave us a tour of the   maritime building which has a library,  a chapel and, apparently, a friendly ghost. A displayed hand-written letter by Collingwood was an extra fascinating touch. And, if there was ever a man with an inside line on him it is surely  his biographer Max Adams who, as fellow host,  was at our table for dinner, served in  the banqueting room.

Between courses of a Trafalgar-themed menu, the hosts swapped  tables so everyone had a chance to ask them about Collingwood – a national hero not just a local one, points out Max.

Imagination came into play in the excellent menu by Boldon Farmhouse Pantry, which was in keeping with EAT!’s emphasis on local. Dishes had   titles  such as St Vincent’s Terrine – of  shellfish,  accompanied by scallops – and Sovereign Royale. This time TV  presenter John Grundy,  the  third host,  joined us for   deboned, stuffed suckling pig and asparagus.

There was a vegetarian option too  and wines – a French Sauvignon Blanc and robust Claret – were picked to complement the food. A  summery, creamy “posset” dessert  was followed by  wonderful cheese and port.

The company is, of course, as important as the food and many people who  sat down as strangers had a few shipmates by the end.

For other Supper With ... events visit www.eatnewcastlegateshead.com

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