Browns - Grey Street, Newcastle

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STEP back in time to the bygone days at Browns.

With a dash of 1920s luxury and a splash of cool sophistication, this chic chain is now whipping up alcoholic and edible treats on one of Newcastle’s main streets.

This was my first time visiting a Browns, but my friend had tipped me off about the bar and brasserie’s quality.

Enjoying the spoils of a victory over the Echo rota with a lieu day, I decided to join the ladies that lunch brigade and visited on a Friday afternoon for a lazy lunch and decadent afternoon cocktails.

The venue was busy, but as it occupies one of Grey Street’s capacious 1830s buildings we didn’t struggle for a seat.

Even though we were given the “lunch and early menu”, which is oft lacking in choice, we were presented with oodles of delectable-sounding dishes from which to choose.

Options such as ricotta, beetroot and white truffle tortellini (£12.95), wild boar and chorizo burger (£12.95) and stilton, sweet potato, squash and spinach filo parcel (£10.45), sounded simply mouth-watering.

Indeed, it all sounded so good we couldn’t single out just one dish each so chose four dishes from the lighter bites section to create our own little Tapas-style lunch.

Soon after, we were presented with salmon, smoked haddock and lobster croquettes (£6.45), crab and avocado stack (£7.95), roasted goat’s cheese (£6.95) and a prosciutto flatbread (£6.95).

Though we’d underestimated the portion size, they were gastronomic gems and we savoured every forkful.

Our meal was washed down by some pretty fantastic cocktails. The drinks list is huge, but we headed straight for the cocktail section.

In a refreshing twist, there’s a low calorie section for those watching their waistlines which are made with less alcohol and sugar.

My skinny berry martini (£6.95) tasted just as good as the full-fat version and was polished off all too quickly for a lunchtime.

My friend’s kajuma (Disaronno amaretto, Chambord, blueberry, pomegranate, lime and a touch of Merlot, £6.95) was also divine.

It’s not often that chain establishments tick all the boxes for me, but Browns did just that.

Katy Wheeler

Twitter: @sunechokaty