England North East Northumberland

North East: The Elk’s Head, Whitfield

The Elk's Head Pub, Whitfield, Northumberland

Trying to build up a calorie deficit for Christmas my husband and I were very prepared when we recently visited Northumberland and stayed in a self catering lodge. So much so we even took our own soup maker and only ate out once in the whole 5 days we were there. The place we chose to eat at was The Elk’s Head in Whitfield.

Every time we had passed the car park and most of the overflow car park had been full and it was the same the day we decided to stop there for lunch with bright white Mercedes looking quite out of place next to all the mud covered Land Rovers and 4x4s. The pub was packed that random Thursday afternoon at 2.00pm and we struggled to get a seat in the bar area. We were politely informed by the girl behind that the bar that unfortunately the restaurant was being used for a private shooting party’s Christmas dinner – not to worry.

Gammon & pineapple at The Elk's Head, Whitfield, Northumberland
Gammon & pineapple at The Elk’s Head, Whitfield, Northumberland

Being from a large city and only recently moving to a town I struggle sometimes with village pubs. It is foreign to me the way everyone knows each other and each other’s business. I myself like the anonymity when in a pub/restaurant etc. But I suppose when there is only one pub in a 20 mile radius (probably an exaggeration but you get my point) that is always going to be the way. This pub was no different everyone chatting merrily to each other whilst sipping their pints of ale dressed head to toe in ‘Old English Gentleman’ tweed with stereotypical Barbours and carrying a shotgun by their side. I must reiterate the ‘Shooting Club Christmas dinner’ thing and not allow you to think that everyone in Northumberland carries firearms with them at all times!

Frenchie burger with sweet potato fries at The Elk's Head, Whitfield, Northumberland
Frenchie burger with sweet potato fries at The Elk’s Head, Whitfield, Northumberland

Anyway lunch….after deliberating the varied and substantial menu my husband decided on the 10oz gammon steak with pineapple (or egg if he’d wanted) served with chips and I the Frenchie burger which was a Northumbrian beef burger topped with goats cheese and onion chutney with sweet potato fries (my favourite!) and because we were on holiday a portion of onion rings on the side to share. Service was prompt and friendly and the portions were hearty. And even when our bellies were full the offer of dessert was one I couldn’t turn down. Cue a piece of Rocky Road with vanilla ice-cream. I asked for 2 spoons so I didn’t look greedy but when it came I’m afraid it was too yummy I couldn’t share!

Rocky road & ice-cream at The Elk's Head, Whitfield, Northumberland
Rocky road & ice-cream at The Elk’s Head, Whitfield, Northumberland

Full to the brim and ready for a nap we paid the bill (which also included a pint of Guinness and a pint of diet coke) totalling £33.25 which I thought was marvellous considering the amount and quality of the food we had been served. We were even given a mint chocolate coin each as we were leaving which I couldn’t eat so popped in my pocket for later on – very unlike me ;0)


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