After our fantastic trip to The Rising Sun traditional Christmas grotto with the kids last year we were delighted to be asked back to sample their Christmas lunch this week. I had already planned a day of Christmas shopping with my mam and a Christmas lunch break was definitely something we were looking forward to.
Priced at £17.75 for 2 courses or £20.75 for 3 courses (with under 8's being charged £10 for 2 courses), the food is locally sourced, perfectly cooked and piping hot.
The setting in the Rising Sun Countryside Centre is beautiful with real Christmas trees, twinkling lights, decorations and Christmas music. The restaurant isn't licensed to sell alcohol however most of the other groups dining were prepared and had brought their own bottles of wine from home to share between friends - if you fancy a tipple, bring your own and glasses can be provided.
We got well into the Christmas spirit and pulled our crackers as we waited for our starters to arrive. Service throughout our meal was of the proper old fashioned variety - warm, genuine and friendly. There were obviously a lot of regular customers there who were greeted by staff as old friends. Newbies like us felt very at home too. It was lovely. Most of the other people dining were groups of friends or family and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.
Starter - Crispy Deep Fried Brie with a Pineapple and Sweet Chilli Salsa
Roast Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup served with a Kielder Cheese Crouton
Our starters were wonderful and just the ticket on a crisp, cold day. The Kielder Crouton was definitely my favourite part - delicious!
Main - Traditional Fresh Roast Turkey with all the trimmings
Side of vegetables and potatoes
Poached Supreme of Fresh Salmon with Asparagus Spears, Dill and Cream sauce and a puff pastry galette
I wouldn't normally order salmon however I have so many Christmas meals booked in December than I am starting to worry I may end up a little sick of the sight of turkey! When I booked the Salmon was recommended to me so I decided to go for it. I'm really pleased I did as it was perfectly cooked and served with a delicious sauce. My mam's Turkey was equally as good. It was lovely and moist and the portion was huge. We loved that she was given a jug of fresh turkey gravy all to herself!
For dessert we both had to order Christmas pudding (you can NEVER have too many in my eyes) which was full of booze and served with brandy sauce, ice cream and cream! Very indulgent. As if we weren't already full to the brim, we were then offered coffee with mince pies and chocolate. Well it would be rude not to wouldn't it!
Our lunch lasted around 90 minutes however some of the tables around us stayed longer for a few extra coffee and drinks with their friends. If you are looking for a pretty Christmas venue with real Christmas trees, delicious homemade locally sourced food and a place you can relax and catch up with friends, The Rising Sun Countryside Centre is for you. Next year, we will definitely get someone to drop us off so we can bring a bottle of wine too.
After lunch, we needed to burn off some of our calories and enjoyed a stroll around the park and lake. If you're lucky, you may even spot the Rising Sun Stag in the fields.
There are LOTS of events going on throughout December with North Tyneside Parks from Carol Services to Christmas lunches, Grottos and workshops. Make sure you follow the North Tyneside Parks facebook page to keep up to date with events.
If you would like to enquire about booking lunch at The Rising Sun Countryside Centre, please call 0191 643 2242. Must be pre-booked. Weekdays only.