The Bridge Tavern, Akenside Hill, Newcastle

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Good food, good beer, and good books!

Tapping into the city’s current – and hopefully remaining – obsession with proper beers and bar snacks, the pub is now owned by Greenan Blueaye, which has teamed up with Wylam Brewery to create Newcastle’s first brewpub.

First thing to catch your eye as you come through the door is the large, gleaming workings of a micro-brewery.

My boyfriend enjoyed a Sazerac, the oldest American cocktail – rye whiskey and bitters in a glass rinsed with absinthe. It was a classic, done simply and well, he said.

Sunday’s dinner was being served up when we arrived, but we sought out lighter bites.

First there was a short wait for a table, which there seemed to be a lack of, until a temporary power cut drove us upstairs, which has additional seating and a balcony.

We gambled our tastebuds on pig’s head croquettes, pork rinds and crispy lamb’s belly with caper mayonnaise, £3 each.

For more extensive eating, there are also sharing planks of either meat or fish on offer, for £11.95 each, and a host of light bites over and above the usual pub bait offerings – chicken-fried whitebait, mussels, stout and bacon. Devilled lamb’s kidneys caught my eye.

Comfort food at its finest, the lamb was served up as chunky slices of juicy meat, the pork rinds were suitably puffed up to a crisp taste and the croquettes contrasted a golden shell with a melting centre packed with meat.

The only gripe was the mayonnaise, which was a victim of its own success – too rich to slather on a luscious fatty meat like lamb.

The bar has a range of local real ales and some from further afield, as well as a well-stocked fridge of trendy craft ales and world lagers.

As well as excellent taste in food and drink, the pub boasts a corner lined with books once owned by Newcastle jazz legend Keith Crombie, so you can eat, drink and read well.

Jane O’Neill