We are very pleased to announce that we have made it into the Good Food Guide 2017 edition. The Guide has only three main entries for the entire of Northumberland and we are very proud to be one of them with a cooking score of 3.
We are described as -“A venerable refuelling point…. serves thumpingly good food with emphatic North Country accent and bags of local pride”.
The Feathers Inn in Hedley on the Hill, Northumberland is well worth the visit says Alastair Gilmour.
By Alastair Gilmour 22 Sep 2011
The name of the village is a giveaway. Hedley on the Hill is reached via a eardrum-popping, second-gear straining clamber from Stocksfield in Northumberland.
Hedley is high and it’s handsome, and like its sole pub – the Feathers Inn – it’s predominantly stone-built and solid. The pub’s owners have recently returned from an awards ceremony clutching the Publican’s Morning Advertiser Great British Pub of the Year 2011 title, having emerged victorious from the gastropub category. Until four years ago, the Feathers had been in the same ownership for three decades, serving its community as the retreat that befits a former drovers’ inn – but it needed a 21st-century push.
This it got from Rhian Cradock, a locally reared chef with experience at Chez Bruce and the National Portrait Gallery in London, and his partner Helen Greer. Out went the standard keg beers and lagers and in came four cask-conditioned ales, alongside a menu with its base in Northumbrian produce and a wine list dripping with bordeaux not normally found in pubs.
The three-roomed Feathers divides naturally into bar, lounge and dining areas with no formal demarcation. Huge fireplaces and stacked logs form a focus while framed monochrome photographs of the pub’s suppliers – such as Graham Willie with his pedigree Longhorns – offset stone-wall austerity.
Beer-wise, our single-hop Newcastle Pioneer Bitter from Hadrian Border Brewery is an afternoon delight; its lemon and grapefruit sharpness taken down a peg or two by a gathering of biscuit malt. Another handpull promises Mordue Workie Ticket, a former champion beer of Britain, while the “standard” lager is the mighty Pilsner Urquell, the original pilsner style from the Czech Republic.
An eclectic collection of cookery books catch the eye, The National Trust Book of Pies in particular, while Fergus Henderson’s Nose to Tail Eating reveals stuffed lambs’ hearts draped in streaky bacon as someone’s oft-consulted favourite. This sense of adventure influences the menu, with the likes of Stanhope moor grouse and Hedley Angus beef pudding with port and Guinness, creamed cabbage, bacon, mash and watercress (£15), or North Sea lobster, wild cep mushrooms, broad beans and Northumberland heritage potatoes (£13).
It’s said you can see four counties from Hedley on the Hill – we’re standing in Northumberland; one way is Cumbria, the other Tyne & Wear. County Durham’s dales loll behind.
The view and the Feathers Inn’s surroundings are – as the folks who live on the hill say – just champion.
The Chronicle 2011
The Guardian 2009