Recently, I was kindly invited to have a poke around The Ship, Eighton Banks after a recent redecoration and new Head Chef. A really promising rebrand, Chef Stuart Niven is looking to switch things up. He came to The Ship a couple of weeks ago and has great aspirations for turning the place into something really special. The decor is already beautiful; cosy, industrial and even botanical in parts. I couldn't help myself but to even include a picture of the bathroom sink! With a separate section for the possibility of formal dining, a fantastic outdoor space with plans for a new childrens' play area and marquee, Stuart's excitement began to rub off on me.
Previously famous for it's Thai food, The Ship still operates their famous "Thai Tuesdays", a popular with the locals. They still hold live music every weekend (in my opinion, always worth a visit). For the other six days of the week, Stuart is wanting to promote quality "British pub classics, with a twist".
While currently working through stock and organising menus, I got to try a lot of his experiments. I fancied some stinky cheese so I had a lovely burger with stilton. The beef was a really good quality even though I was almost immediately full from also devouring a sharing platter with a "proper" garlic dip while Lisa had an amazing lamb shank from the specials board. Later, during my visit, Chef started bringing through his creations, and I could instantly see into his vision for the place.
Baby steps though, I see so much potential for The Ship and can't wait to see what they come up with. The location is perfect, fields and horses as far as you can see, The Angel of the North on one side, and Penshaw monument on the other, so I'm sure a popular destination for walkers. It has a fantastic car park so would be so easy for people to come from the surrounding cities of Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Durham. Personally, I think they would really benefit from a more formal dining experience in the separate restaurant section with a different menu from the bar, table service and pre bookings.
What would make you get into the car to visit The Ship?