Another very welcome addition to Newcastle’s bar and restaurant scene is the recently opened Roof Thirty Nine, the rooftop terrace at Fenwick’s. Bars and restaurants in the city seem to quite literally be reaching new heights at the moment, and I’m all for it. Last weekend Kieran and I were in town early for some shopping, and I was desperate to try it. Here’s my first impressions and experience of Roof Thirty Nine.
Roof Thirty Nine is accessed through the food hall, next to the coffee counter in the corner opposite Mason & Rye. There is a host with a clipboard and they’re stood where the exit next to the florist used to be.
We arrived at about 10:45, and were told it was full at that point but to leave our name and phone number and they would ring us when a table became free. This is great as it means you can carry on with your shopping and don’t have to stand queuing. There just wouldn’t be room for it in the food hall.
It opens at 10am every day except Sunday which is 11am, so I figured it wouldn’t be too long to wait for a table after the first lot had been let in at opening. We got the call literally ten to fifteen minutes later saying a table was ready for us, so we went back along to the host.
Although it is walk in only, there was a lady asking to put her name down for a table at 12pm, and the host let her so it might be worth a try if you have a specific time in mind to see if they will take your name, but don’t hold me to that as it’s not their advertised practice.
Once checked in and tracked and traced we were taken along to the lift and sent up to the 4th floor, where the next member of staff was waiting for us. From here we were walked through – every bit of it has been decorated on theme even the lift – and escorted out onto the terrace.
It’s so gorgeous, with a mix of table sizes, some sofas and low coffee tables, parasols and the bar at one end and the charcoal grill at the other. Our table for two was right by the big Fenwick sign, which really reminded me of the Fenwick window launch video they did last year when we couldn’t go in person. You can actually see the Santa on the rooftop area which is one more level up.
At the moment though there’s no snow or Santa in sight, despite being so high up it’s a sheltered sun trap overlooking Northumberland Street and beyond.
With it just being 11am we ordered coffees, orange juice and pastries for a late breakfast. The breakfast menu is quite small, mainly croissants, muffins and granola, rather than hot food. That’s fine though and it arrived to the table quickly.
Because it’s walk in, there’s no time limit on your table, so we enjoyed breakfast in the sun while watching what was going on the street below. It got pretty hot, we could almost have been on holiday.
As time ticked on we thought it got to an appropriate time for us to be ordering something a bit more fun, so Kieran got a beer and I got a pink Prosecco.
They have a big wine list including everyone’s favourite at the moment – Whispering Angel served by the bottle, and the cocktail list has been created for them specifically by Hepple Gin in Northumberland. There was a good selection of refreshing, summer cocktails to choose from.
The unmistakable smell of barbecue came over us, and the charcoal grill oven looked to have been lit at the far end. The main menu includes a range of fish, meat and vegetable options that you can order from the charcoal oven, and small plates and appetisers too. Find the full Roof Thirty Nine main menu here.
The menu is designed to be seasonal, so although it’s very summery now I would be interested to see what it’s like later in the year. It could be gorgeous in winter and Christmas time up there too.
It was very relaxing and you could easily pass hours sipping on cocktails or wine if you’ve done your shopping and have nowhere to be. It’s also a good place to go for a drink in the evening after you’ve ate at Saltwater fish or Mr Porters in the food hall, as it’s open slightly later.
Opening hours are 10-6pm Mon – Wed, 10-8pm Thurs – Sat and 11-5pm on Sundays. They are closed for Monday 14th – Wed 16th June as they’re getting a retractable roof awning fitted, so that they’ll be sheltered and able to open in all weathers going forward.
I really enjoyed our spontaneous couple of hours up on Roof Thirty Nine, and looking forward to going back next week. As always in Fenwick’s the staff were great, they all seemed pretty excited by this new addition and were happy to discuss any questions you might have on the menu.
Other posts you might like: