THROWINGSTONES restaurant has long been an eaterie of choice for me.
The food is always top-notch, well-presented, and you get to enjoy it with the backdrop of the River Wear as it makes its way out to sea.
Now, the area’s been divided with a cornered-off, less formal, cafe section for lighter bites.
To be honest, the cafe menu doesn’t appear vastly different to the restaurant menu, but it does focus on the basics: sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes, salads and cakes.
I visited with pal James on a mate date and, as the sun had his hat on, it was glorious to sit in the glass-fronted building as the rays shone in.
In keeping with the warm weather, I opted for a salad.
There’s plenty of choice in this section: tomato, mozzarella and red onion; Wensleydale and home-made chutney; chicken Caesar, Cajun spiced chicken, brie and bacon with homemade chutney and more.
I ordered the tomato and mozzarella option (£5.95) which was divine: light, refreshing and loaded with flavour. It was served on a pristine white plate which fits in with the venue’s simplistic, contemporary decor.
James, meanwhile, enjoyed a tuna melt panini which was generously portioned for £4.45.
The service wasn’t the fastest in the world and I had to awkwardly motion to the waitress to take our order and for drink top ups, but she was friendly enough.
We felt no pressure to free up the table and stayed a good couple of hours putting the world to rights.
For those after something more substantial, there’s a good choice of jacket potatoes for £4.95 and various hot sides such as chips and garlic ciabatta.
I was tempted by the mouth-watering display of sweet bites on the counter but, with a bikini to shoehorn myself into next month, I managed to resist.
But for those who do want to indulge, there’s a regularly-changing cake of the day, served with fresh cream for £2.95; caramel shortcakes for £2 and toasted teacake for £1.60.
You can also pick up a simple classic – two slices of toasted bloomer bread with butter and jam for £1.60.
The restaurant area has a greater selection of hot dishes such as omelettes with fries and salad from £5.30 and various burgers priced from £4.50.
If you’re visiting on a Sunday make sure to have the Sunday lunch which has the biggest, fluffiest Yorkshire puddings I’ve had that side of the Wear.
It’s £15 for three courses and is served between noon and 2.45pm. Just make sure you book – word has got out about the roasts and it’s always busy.
After our light lunch, we took a walk along the river’s sculpture trail right up to Liebherr. If you’ve never done this before, you should try it out. As well as giving us a chance to walk off our lunch, we discovered pockets of the city we’ve never explored before.