Planning a BBQ in the North East of England during summer isn’t exactly straightforward, thanks to the temperamental weather fronts we frequently see battering the coastline. But one thing’s for sure when we do get to BBQ, we take full advantage and we do it properly. Prior to this week the last one I attended included a wheelbarrow filled with alcohol, lots of emergency chairs, and frequent shouts of ‘Alexa! Play techno!’.
Amidst the mayhem of music arguments, and losing the bottle opener every ten minutes, the one constant we can all rely on is the quality of the food from Nicholson’s of Whitley Bay.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary BBQ pack for this review, but Nicholsons are our local butcher, and my family and friends have bought meat here for as long as I can remember. Some photos are from past BBQ’s but all meat is Nicholson’s.
Need a bit of background on the Park View based, family run butchers? Well, they’ve been there for over 100 years, with four generations running the show, and staff around them who between them have decades of service. Frequent shoppers are used to the same faces, and a friendly welcome.
The business itself it award winning, and they’ve been members of the Q Guild for over 50 years, meaning they’re one of the UK’s leading meat retailers recognised for quality of produce, hygiene standards, and customer service.
So last weekend to round off our bank holiday we decided to BBQ, and Nicholson’s very kindly gifted us one of their fabulous BBQ packs. They come as two different options depending on what you want and how much you want to spend, but both serve 4 people.
The standard pack is 4 pork sausages, 4 garlic and herb kebabs, 4 steak burgers, 4 burger buns, and 1 600g coleslaw, all for £20. The deluxe BBQ pack is 4 Lincolnshire sausages, 4 gourmet steak and roasted onion burgers, 2 sirloin steaks, 1 coleslaw and 1 potato salad, for £35.
Personally I think this is incredible value especially when you consider that you’re getting high quality, hand selected meat, traditionally made products, and sides are homemade on site too.
We had the standard pack, and it was more than enough for four of us, and the food was so good, especially the kebabs. They’re one of my favourite things ever to BBQ, and according to my dad the most beneficial thing was that everything included cooked at roughly the same time of just under ten minutes. It was really easy as everything was included, and we didn’t have to go shopping for anything extra.
If you’re not exactly a BBQ chef whizz yourself, or you usually go for the quick and easy portable BBQ options but fancy something a bit more substantial, which I’d suggest especially if you’re entertaining, or if you’re just after a BBQ fit for the standard of meat you’re getting here, Nicholson’s are more than happy to go the extra mile to help you.
BBQ and utensil hire,bags of charcoal, lighter fuel, cutlery, plates, napkins and even a gazebo are available to hire, all from Nicholson’s as well as your food. If that’s not enough, they’ll also help you light the thing too. These services do come with extra costs, so the best thing to do is discuss it with them, as they’ll tailor the experience to what you need.
If you don’t need all the extras, they will deliver just the BBQ packs to you if you’re based in Whitley Bay or Tynemouth, and will make exceptions for larger meat orders outside these areas too.
Obviously as a full service butcher’s there’s so much more on offer than just the BBQ packs. I had no idea until last week that above the shop in Whitley Bay, they have a full onsite bakery which is where all their pies and pastries are made, and there’s all sorts of other deli options, products and vegetables that can be bought in the one place.
Their other deals are pretty good value as well, including 3 for £10 deals on marinaded chicken breasts, sausages, kebabs and burgers, but the reall winner is Steak Friday. Fillet, sirloin, ribeye and rump steaks are a set price of £6 each (!).
When you consider what you get in a pack off the shelves in a supermarket I’d much rather go fresh and I’ll absolutely be trying them at some point this summer.
I think it can be really easy to get into the habit of just buying what’s there at chain supermarkets, but the difference is so noticeable when you take the time to go elsewhere.
Quality shouldn’t be compromised when it comes to what we eat, especially if it’s for an occasion or even just making the most of the BBQ opportunities we do get here in the North East.
Shopping local has so many benefits, and Nicholson’s are a great example of a local company who have stood the test of time, fine tuned their product and service, and provide excellent value.
What more do you want except for guaranteed sunshine?!
Take a look at their full BBQ brochure here, there’s just too many delicious options to choose from, but the BBQ packs are a great place to start.