We booked to go to The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth for Mother’s Day weeks ago, as it’s so popular in such a lovely spot right on the sea front. The last time I was there in the proper dining room was for my dads 50th, and considering he’s 60 next year that tells you it’s been a while. I used to think of the Grand as quite old fashioned, it was somewhere my grandparents loved and would choose for every occasion. As they grew older and less able to go out, we stopped visiting the Grand, aside from the pub attached – Copperfields (cracking roasties FYI). My mum however has been a lot more recently, and chose it for our Mother’s Day venue this year.
We booked up weeks ago for me, Viv and Nige, as Caroline is still away in America, and we paid a deposit of £10 per person. After a pretty relaxed Mother’s Day morning we made our way along for about 1:30pm, for a drink in the bar before our table at 2pm.
As it was the first glorious weekend of sun this year, Tynemouth and the coast were obviously heaving, and while parking isn’t usually too much of a problem, this Sunday all the dog walkers, surfers, families and couples were out enjoying the sun, so it was a bit more difficult. If you can’t get a spot you can park in a permit area of Tynemouth and buy a permit from the hotel reception for your stay for £1.
The bar and lounge are on the right as you go in, with big windows overlooking Tynemouth longsands. We grabbed a table by the window for a glass of prosecco before our meal. While we were waiting for our table I had a look at the traditional afternoon tea menu, it looked very nice, and is available to have either in the lounge or more formally in the dining room.
At 2pm our table was ready, so we went across the lobby to the dining room where we were shown to our table. It was totally different to what I remembered from years ago, before the refurbishment. It was more modern, with mirrored details and deep grey walls, decorated with flowers and big wide windows that filled the room with light.
The Mother’s Day menu was a set menu, of three courses with about four or five options to choose from for each. There were appetisers already on the tables, olives and bread rolls and butter, as well as iced water.
We ordered a bottle of wine from the extensive wine list, and ordered our starters and mains. The dining room was busy, with plenty tables of parties of all sizes. Our starters arrived, I had the smoked salmon with avocado and orange and it was really good, the avocado was a bit hard, but the flavours were lovely together with the dressing.
For mains we all had the traditional beef roast, and having had a few recently I was a bit worried I’d be fed up of it but I think it was the best one I’ve had in a while. The meat was pink and juicy, exactly how I like it, with a big Yorkshire pudding and plenty roasties. A dish of veg including roast parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots came separate. I thought the one dish was for between three of us but they brought out two so we had more than enough, and an extra jug of gravy. Huge win – hate it when places are stingy on the gravy!
After our mains we had a short breather until we ordered desert, Viv went for the cheeseboard, Nige had the apple crumble which came served in a little dish, and I had the lemon tart with cream and raspberries. All three were lovely, but we were so full I don’t think any of us managed to fully polish it all off. It was so good though.
I’d say the service wasn’t the quickest in the world, but in that type of environment it was nice to not be rushed through, and it meant we could finish the bottle of wine at the table without having to move back through to the lounge. I really don’t like it when places try to hurry you out, and the atmosphere in the dining room for Mother’s Day was nice to just sit and enjoy at the table. In total we were there for two hours. There were children in the restaurant, but all I’m very pleased to say were so quiet and not the slightest bit noticeable – exactly how I prefer them ha (sorry, that’s not really in the spirit of Mothers Day is it)!
There were two big parties in on the day, with at least ten people each and they didn’t dominate the dining room or the staff at all. Nige paid the bill with no fuss, and Viv was given a little pink plant for Mother’s Day. The table next to us that arrived as we were leaving were there for afternoon tea, and the towers that came out piled high with sandwiches, scones and cakes looked really nice. I would definitely go back for afternoon tea, as I’d never really thought of anywhere down at the coast for that before, we usually have to get into town.
All in all we had a really nice Mother’s Day at the Grand Hotel, Tynemouth, it was a lot more modern than I expected and I would definitely recommend it for an occasion, it was perfect for Mother’s Day.
Prices were £30 per person for Mother’s Day, usually £21 for two courses and £24 for three. Afternoon tea started at £14.75.