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The 2014 Secret Diner Awards: And the nominees are....

Here come the nominations for the 2014 Secret Diner Awards, which celebrate culinary excellence throughout the North East

Nicely grilled fresh squid, dressed with a mouth-tingling chilli, garlic and coriander sauce
Nicely grilled fresh squid, dressed with a mouth-tingling chilli, garlic and coriander sauce

It’s awards time again.

This week, with the Golden Globes kicking off the Hollywood nomination glamfest, a rather less glitzy, but, to many of us, equally important awards season is also launching.

These are the nominations for the 2014 Secret Diner awards, which give us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the owners, chefs and front-of-house staff in local restaurants throughout the North East, who have all worked so hard to achieve culinary excellence throughout 2014.

Many congratulations to all of them.

Today we’re also celebrating newcomers to the region’s growing culinary landscape.

And we’d particularly like to thank you, the customers, who have supported our region’s restaurants through the harshest recession in living memory with your hard-earned cash.

Without you, none of these wonderful establishments could have survived to reach 2015.

Next week on this page I’ll be announcing a single winner from each category. From that group I will choose a single restaurant to be named 2014 North East Restaurant of the Year.

The finalists listed on these pages are the lifeblood of our local hospitality industry.

They are what make nights out worth looking forward to.

They are some of the very best restaurants in our region, divided into 10 categories.


2014 Secret Diner Awards – the finalists



Immaculate service and an ambitious and complex menu in Durham

House of Tides

Kenny Atkinson’s ‘casual fine dining’ on Newcastle’s Quayside

Peace & Loaf

An intriguing menu that’s modern, imaginative and fun

The Raby Hunt

The North East’s only Michelin-starred restaurant continues to amaze


Doxford Hall

British classics with local ingredients in an elegant setting

Hotel Indigo - Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill

Consistently good city centre brasserie

Jesmond Dene House Hotel

From breakfast to tasting menu – immaculate service and cooking

Rockliffe Hall – The Orangery

Excellent wine list and some fine cooking


Bistro 21

Terry Laybourne’s atmospheric Durham restaurant

Bouchon Bistrot

Authentic French bistro in the centre of Hexham

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill

Consistently good city centre brasserie

Six at The Baltic

Food with a view of the Tyne


The Bay Horse, Hurworth

Classic and more complex cooking in relaxed atmosphere

The Staith House, North Shields

Former Masterchef finalist John Calton’s gastropub

The Broad Chare, Newcastle

Newcastle’s first real gastropub, from Terry Laybourne

Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland

Reinterpreted old British recipes in a medieval inn


The Staith House

Great fish in a traditional pub on the Fish Quay

House of Tides

Tasting menu and Sunday lunch from Kenny Atkinson


Bowling and burgers in this fun city centre venue

Brasserie Hudson Quay

At last – a quality restaurant in Middlesbrough


Bouchon Bistrot

Authentic French bistro cooking in Hexham

Caffé Vivo

Terry Laybourne’s busy osteria and cicchetti bar

Café Lilli

French, Greek and Italian influences mingle in this relaxed café


Sardinian specialities and a fine wine list



Indian fine dining in Darras Hall

Hei Hei

Newcastle’s first genuine Szechuan restaurant


Authentic Keralan cuisine on Newcastle’s Quayside


Ambitious cooking in Hexham curry house


A Taste of Persia

Great value authentic Persian cooking

Café Lilli

A Teesside gem

Eslington Villa

Three course lunch for less than £17

Sky Apple Café

Great vegetarian cooking with extraordinary value



Lively, authentic Italian with great pizzas and an even better wine list

Pizza Express, Gosforth

Newly refurbished with a much-improved menu


Popular Morpeth family Italian

Scalini’s Gosforth

Extremely relaxed and popular local Italian restaurant


Quay Ingredient

Excellent breakfasts and lunch directly under the Tyne Bridge

Café Lilli

Norton Italian gem with Greek influences

Latimer’s Seafood Café

Fish café, perfect after a long walk by the sea


Quirky, laid back, Ouseburn café bar with an eclectic menu


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