November 5, 2019
There’s a new arrival at Newcastle central station. Richard Dawson visits Destination 1850, a bar and eatery combining no-frills food with a taste of antiquity
Few locations make a more practical setting for a business lunch than the new boutique bar and eatery within Newcastle central station – Destination 1850.
Situated in the station’s glazed portico entrance, the new venue is in prime position to become a regular meeting place for travellers of all stripes.
What’s striking about this place on first impressions is how close attention has been paid to the station’s history from a design point of view. A mixture of copper-plated bar tops and coated walls combine with jade green glass and plush brown leather upholstery give off a genuine feeling of antiquity.
Gold brushed fixtures and fittings hark back to the kind of aesthetic one might have expected when the station was first opened by John Dobson in the mid-19th Century.
Destination 1850 is the latest development from Danieli Holdings, the company which brought STACK, Muddler and Yolo Townhouse to Tyneside.
It’s a bold strategy opening a semi-outdoor venue just before winter sets in, but the developers have taken certain measures to mitigate the impact of cold weather on the customer experience.
Along the back of the restaurant are brown leather heated seats and there’s also heated lamps, spread out right across the space. On a fairly fresh autumn day, it was very comfortable to sit and chat, with the heated furniture providing all the warmth one could possibly need.
Adding to the warm welcome is a no-frills menu full of hot and spicy snacks, light bites, sharers, salads, wraps and pizzas, which ensures guests are as warm on the inside as they are on the outside.
Brunch is also served all day with breakfast favourites like eggs benedict, breakfast ciabattas, omelette stacks and American pancakes on offer.
We opted for the southern-fried chicken wrap with sweet chilli cream cheese, mozzarella and red onion (£6.50) and the Mexican beef chilli burrito with zaatar-infused rice, cheddar and the classic assortment of guacamole, sour cream and red chillies (£7).
To share, we chose the Asian Thai fries topped with hoisin sauce, crushed peanuts, spring onions, sriracha and vegan mayo (£6.50) and a slice of the hand-stretched, freshly-baked diavola pizza with salami and red chillies (£3.50).
Both the wrap and the burrito were creatively presented with a tasty pomegranate coleslaw garnishing the former and technicolour tortilla chips atop the latter.
The plate of the afternoon, however, was the Asian Thai loaded fries.
Lashings of hoisin sauce and vegan mayo were tempered by the crunch of the crushed peanuts and fresh spring onions.
If I had to use one word to describe the food at Destination 1850, it would be sustenance.
The menu has clearly been designed to appeal to anyone and will go down well as something to pick at while enjoying drinks with friends or something to nourish you ahead of a long journey.
Although it is positioned to capitalise on the foot traffic going through Newcastle central station, Destination 1850 definitely has the capacity to become a regular haunt for the city’s natives, especially in the summer months when the bright and airy location will come into its own.
The setting literally couldn’t be more central and it’s a very pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by.
There are crowds of people coming in and out of the station all the time and tonnes of natural light shining through. The coffee is very good too.
As an introduction to the ever-growing and ever-changing food and drink scene in Newcastle, you couldn’t ask for a warmer welcome.