A Stay At Innside By Melia & Dinner At Gino’s Restaurant Newcastle

Checking in to the recently opened INNsIDE by Melia a couple of weeks ago, it felt like I was on holiday – not spending the night in my own city on the Newcastle quayside. It helped that it was a very warm day, giving that summer holiday feel, but the whole experience of the hotel, and our dinner at onsite Gino’s Restaurant Newcastle took us away from real life for the evening in the best way. Here’s what I thought of both the hotel and restaurant.

Disclaimer: Our stay at INNsIDE by Melia Newcastle and dinner at Gino’s was complimentary for the purposes of this review.

So to set the scene the hotel is right on the beautiful Newcastle quayside, accessible from both the quayside path and the road behind, with some on site parking that does cost, but we used the car park just up the street that was free overnight. From the quayside first impressions are going to be good as the view is straight down the river at the bridges, and the outside terrace of Gino’s Restaurant looks very inviting in the sun.

Check in was straightforward, with all the usual Covid protocols at the moment. First impressions are that it’s very modern, and all the souvenirs behind the desk and artwork are tailored to the city. Ahead of the check in desks I could see the space totally open out into the bar, lounge and the restaurant at the far end. 

It is gorgeous, very bright and airy with a spiral staircase up to the mezzanine and a huge feature light fitting hanging into the room. Before we tackled the bar though we went up to our room to unload our bags and get changed.

Similar to the rest of the hotel the rooms themselves are very contemporary, with modern furniture, a huge shower and sink/mirror area, and floor to ceiling windows with views over the river. Some of the rooms you could see have sit out terrace areas too. 

There was plenty storage space, and all the usual amenities that you’d except. It was still giving me holiday vibes too!

Once changed we made our way down to the bar, and I love this area. It’s so bright and open, with plenty seating across high bar tables and low bar lounge seating.

Gino’s Restaurant Newcastle 

The bar menu is part of Ginos Newcastle bar and restaurant menu, so there’s all the usual drinks of a bar but many of them had an Italian twist or theme. Reading through it honestly brought so many good memories back of visiting Florence and Rome.

Gino does a great job of describing drinks as though you’ll be sipping on them by the Grand canal in Venice, or on a hot Rome summer night – and I’m all for that at the moment. 

I went for the Pino Spritz, a mix of Prosecco and elderflower that is highlighted in the menu as being inspired by Gino’s travels to the Italian island of Sardinia, with his friend Pino Spano who introduced him to it. It was so refreshing I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

We were booked in for dinner at Ginos restaurant, and although it was warm enough to sit outside on the big terrace, I’m glad we had a table in the restaurant itself as it was such a good atmosphere – especially as the night went on. 

Ginos menu is huge, honestly have a look at it here there were about four or five things I’d struggle to choose from. To start we ordered some olives, and we both went for the arancine.

They were incredible – filled with warm gooey cheese that just melts in your mouth I can’t stop thinking about them either. I’m not sure if you can actually do this but if I was having a drink in the bar in future I’d ask to order them as a snack. 

For mains I had to get my go to, something seafood related. I just can’t form a real opinion on a place unless I’ve tasted their king prawns, or seafood spaghetti/risotto dishes. I went for the king prawn risotto which is served with asparagus, peas, leak and cheese. Perfect for with the crisp white wine. 

Kieran went for the pappardelle with meatballs, a hearty staple that I tried and also loved. We both polished off the lot and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Like I said before have a look at the full menu as there is so much choice – but good choice with a huge range of everything from pasta to pizza, meat options and vegetarian choices. The description of each dish just makes it all sound so nice, with loads of unique flavours and ingredients. It’s a great menu. 

Price wise I’d probably say it’s on the same level as any really good restaurant in town, definitely more than just your average, but worth every penny for really good delicious food that’s been well made and thought out. As much as I love that for a Saturday night, it would also be a good spot for an occasion lunch in the sun by the river, with a bottle of wine and one of the lighter dishes. 

We did find room for desert, the creme brûlée and the chocolate fondant which I can only describe as fabulously indulgent. Get one regardless of if you can finish it or not and you won’t regret it. There’s nothing small about the desert menu either – see the full version here.

There were far too many cocktails on the menu that I wanted to try so after dinner we went back to the bar for another drink. Kieran stuck to the wine but I went for a peach Bellini, and very much enjoyed it in what was by this point a busy spot. 

Retiring to bed I was feeling very content fed and watered. The room had black out curtains and I had the best sleep. 

Has anyone else really missed hotel breakfasts? Because this was another part of our stay at the INNsIDE Newcastle that I was most excited about. The breakfast buffet serving both hot and cold dishes, as well as a full range of pastries and continental food was laid out the next morning and I was in my element. 

We had a table by the window so I enjoyed my coffee with a view of the Tyne Bridge, and kept revisiting the buffet for a bit of everything.

I had a wander around the mezzanine of the hotel after breakfast, spotting the fabulous Newcastle mural on the wall – not sure how I’d missed it previously as it’s huge. I thought about staying for the morning and working remotely in the bar area with a coffee, which would have been lovely but other commitments that morning meant I sadly couldn’t. 

Checking out was quick and painless, so just a word on the staff at this point – they’re all so nice and welcoming both in the hotel and the bar and restaurant. There’s plenty of them so you’re never waiting long for anything – something that is definitely noticeable at the moment with so many places struggling for staff. 

The whole experience of INNsIDE Newcastle and Gino’s Restaurant Newcastle was a very welcome escape from reality for the night. It was very polished, I didn’t notice any of the new restaurant teething problems at all, and the hotel was gorgeous. Would highly recommend for a really good city staycation if you’re local, or as a lovely spot to stay in if you’re visiting the city – right on the quayside. 

If you are thinking of booking, use code INNNCL for a 20% discount on your stay, you just have to sign up for Melia rewards to be able to use the code and get all the extra reward perks.

Disclaimer: Our stay at INNsIDE by Melia Newcastle and dinner at Gino’s Restaurant Newcastle was complimentary for the purposes of this review.

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