REVIEW: The Flying Hippo, Newcastle Airport

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There’s only so much shopping you can do to waste the waiting time ahead of a flight, and the tempting wafts emanating from this new smokehouse soon persuaded us that eating was a much better way to while away the hours.

Cardboard-texture plane food is never particularly palate-pleasing, so we decided to fill up here instead.

The layout is easy to navigate with cases and hand luggage, but there’s also a line of cosy booths which make you feel more like you’re in a stand-alone restaurant.

In a refreshing twist for an airport eatery, there’s nods to local food on the menu: stotties for breakfast and meats sourced at nearby butchers.

There’s also more than a whiff of Americana about the place, with racks of ribs, Texas-style beef brisket and North Carolina pulled pork all featuring on the menu.

Feeling sensible(ish), I chose one of the lighter options – a chicken Caesar salad for (£9.50). Not too creamy, plenty of anchovies and chunks of chicken and generous shavings of parmesan, this was a whopper of a salad and made what can sometimes be a drab dish seem like a feast.

Despite my dish perfectly hitting the spot, I was soon eyeing up my friend’s choice.

She’d gone for the house speciality – the pulled pork burger (£11.50),

This was a masterclass in the art of burger. No flaccid patties here, this was a perfectly plump home-made burger, tender and juicy.

It was topped with shreds of the ubiquitous pulled pork, which was slow cooked just right, pulling apart at the lightest of touches.

For those who like their burgers with plenty of bite, there’s added extras you can apply such as chilli cheese for a small top up fee.

Dining here may not help those hoping to shoehorn themselves into a bikini or Speedo, but it will get your holiday off to a flying