THERE is so much to like about this popular wedding venue, which is conveniently situated near one of the North-East’s most famous landmarks, but there is also a lot of room for improvement.

The hotel and restaurant is just a stone’s throw from Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North, love it or hate it, which has become a must for the obligatory arms out tourist photos.

A cursory glance of the impressive sounding menu assured my mother and I we would be spoilt for choice and seemingly in for a treat when we visited one midweek lunchtime with my two children.

Stepping inside, the decor is smart and luxurious with an attractive garden in a central courtyard.

A handful of other diners were scattered around, no doubt making the most the two courses for £7 midweek special that must keep the good people of nearby Low Fell coming back for more.

We were greeted by a warm and friendly, attentive waiter who was more than happy to allow us to take our time to choose seats that would mean Tilda and Finn, five and three, caused as little disruption to other people as possible.

He then made a fuss of them bringing out colouring sheets, no crayons though, and a pack of cards to keep them entertained, with well-intentioned, but limited success.

To start, I ordered the diced black pudding with fried chorizo on a pea tendril and pomegranate salad with a ginger balsamic glaze (£5.95) while my mam went for smoked and roasted salmon with capers and chervil crème fraiche (£6.95).

I was pleasantly surprised to see that kids’ meals were £1 with each adult main meal so Tilda had a beefburger with chips and peas while Finn went for the chicken nuggets.

I asked for "no prawns" with my starter and not to have them cooked with it as I cannot bear seafood and also requested the kids’ meals came out with the openers.

Another waitress, not Michael the friendly waiter, had taken our order and brought it out. The prawns stood proudly on my plate and Tilda ended up with roast beef instead of beef burger – bizarrely, as beef was not even on the children’s menu.

Both dishes went back and about 15 minutes later, some 40 minutes after ordering, we got the dishes we had requested, but Tilda’s beefburger was so burnt it was inedible, so the poor lass ate her bun on its own.

My starter, when it came, was incredible and I have no complaints whatsoever and similarly mam seemed to wolf down her salmon.

Michael offered us a complimentary lager shandy and large rose wine for my mam to apologise for the mix-up and the matter was forgotten.

The mains arrived, but sadly failed to live up to the splendour of the openers.

I had gone for homemade mince with leek dumpling while mam had chosen the roast of the day, which was beef, with both costing £8.95.

Mince for me is beef, onion and carrot and I am sure kidneys are a popular addition, but not in my book. It was edible and well-made but needed some chunky veg and while the dumpling was impressively stodgy, as I suppose they should be, I could not finish it.

Mam fared less well and pushed her plate aide after a few mouthfuls and declared her food "too bland".

Service at this point, took a nose dive. We got a new waitress, and had to ask twice, by going to bar where staff were chatting, for a dessert menu, by which point the kids' patience was starting to wear thin.

Even their endless, unnecessary, trips to the toilet were starting to bore them.

A mediocre apple pie and pretty decent sticky toffee pudding later and we were after the bill.

Now this surprised me. After asking if was "OK" to pay by card our waitress said: “Yeah, just come to bar when you are ready,” which was straight away, and was amazed to find her machine not plugged to the till but wireless.

Could she really not be bothered to go and get it?

Is that not the point of waiting on your customers?

The venue is lovely, the food a bit of a mixed bag but generally good and the staff fantastic and also in need of a bit customer service training at the same time.

The Angel View: heaven and hell.


Angel View Inn

Low Eighton, Gateshead NE9 7UB

Tel 0191-410-3219


Opening times: Monday-Saturday Noon-9.30pm, Sunday Noon-8.30pm

Ratings (out of 10): Food 8, Service 6 & 9, Value 8, Surroundings 9