'Decadent' new Sunderland burger named after Edwardian architect part of new food offering at The Peacock
A ‘decadent’ new burger named after an Edwardian architect forms part of the new menu offering at The Peacock as the historic pub looks to the future.
Topped with Stilton sauce, crispy smoked bacon and red onion marmalade, the 6oz ground steak burger is a rich ode to Hugh Taylor Decimus Hedley, the architect who designed the old Londonderry pub and its grand Gothic Edwardian features.
The pub opened its doors in 1901 and was one in a number of buildings he designed in the area including Kayll Road Library, The Central pub in Gateshead and the distinctive white pavilion at Ashbrooke Sports Ground, close to Hugh’s old home in The Grove.
The architect, whose middle name was Decimus as he was the 10th child in his family, passed away in 1939, but publican Barry Hyde said they felt it was important to honour his work in creating such a landmark building in the city.
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The Hugh Hedley special is one of 10 burgers on the new menu by head chef Mileide Godoy, including three vegan options.
Barry, who runs the pub with partner Cindy Godoy, said: "The Hugh Hedley burger is decadent, rich and delicious which we thought was befitting of the architect. He made some fantastic buildings in the area, which were so well made. During those awful storms we had I was driving to the pub, worried about damage, but there was not a mark.”
He added: “Our burgers are a popular part of the menu. We have a great chef and, although our kitchen is small, we give people a really good offer.
"Our classic is really popular and is topped with salsa verde which is quite unusual for a burger, we also have a version topped with sriracha mayo which is everyone’s favourite hot sauce.
"Our salt and pepper chicken burger is also a firm favourite.”
The pub has seen an increase in footfall in recent months thanks to city events and SAFC’s promotion, with the pub a popular pre-match spot thanks, in part, to its ham and pease pudding stotties on the bar.
"With Sunderland getting promoted, it’s been a real adrenaline shot into the city’s attitude, we need more optimism and something like that is massive for us all. And of course having Ed Sheeran and Elton John, you could hear Elton across the Wear and he sounded fantastic. Things like that elevate the position of the city and increase footfall,” said Barry, who is also known as one quarter of The Futureheads.
"Because they are such big name acts, we had Dutch people in the bar, people from Japan and America. It was very cosmopolitan.”
Speaking about the changes in the city, of which The Peacock lies in the centre in the heart of Keel Square, he said: "In the past four years there’s been more landscape progress in Sunderland than there has been in the last 20 years and it’s really put the wheels in motion to give Sunderland the offering it deserves.
"Places like the Auditorium have really changed the scene and is the perfect size. But that’s not to detract from the businesses that have been running for longer, such as Vesta Tilley’s and Greens who also do great work. It all comes together to give people a varied offering.”
As well as the main bar, The Peacock has an upstairs function room, which hosts everything from gigs to weddings, which is building up a firm following thanks to its music offering which has seen acts such as The Skids and Martin Stephenson perform.
Meanwhile, the once disused attic rooms have been transformed into Birdland recording studios and learning space for the Northern Academy of Music Education, giving students hands on experience of the music industry.
*The Peacock is open Thursday to Saturday from 12pm to 12am, with the kitchen open 12pm to 7pm and Sundays from 3pm to 8pm.
Just some of the dishes from the expanded Peacock menu.
::The Peacock classic burger – 6oz ground steak American cheese, house burger sauce, salsa verde, lettuce and tomato. £9.95.
::The Hugh Hedley special – 6oz ground steak, American cheese, sriracha mayo, lettuce and tomato. £9.95
::The Bangkok Bad Boy – spicy, Asian inspired vegetable burger with lemongrass and lime leaf in a crunchy red lentil crumb, sweet chilli sauce, vegan mayo, lettuce and tomato. £9.75.
::Afternoon Tea. Needs pre-booking. £12.50 per person.
::Open Sandwich – artichoke, roasted peppers, white bean hummus, balsamic glaze. £5.75.
::Salad – grilled goats cheese, beetroot, walnut, honey, salad greens. £6.75.
::Buffalo fries – fries topped with hot sauce, stilton dressing and crispy fakin’ bacon bits. £5.90.
::Kids meal – chicken bites, fries and cordial. £4.50
::Specials – pies, peas and a pint. £8.50.