The Shipwrights, Ferryboat Lane, North Hylton

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I CONFESS that I didn’t really know what to expect on making my first visit to The Shipwrights

You can imagine when the Wear was home to one of the largest shipbuilding industries in the world, that there were plenty of other pubs like this on the river bank and that most were packed each day.

This is the first time I’ve visited this part of North Hylton for a drink and a bite to eat, but I left pleasantly surprised.

The inside of the pub is cosy and comfortable – but not the biggest.

Landlord Alan Waters, who also runs The Mill, in Rainton Bridge, Houghton, took over The Shipwrights last year and has set about putting his own mark on the pub.

Certainly the food on offer looks like it will be a big part of the revamped establishment, so me, my uncle and sister decided to sample what was on offer.

I opted for tomato and basil soup to start, which was rustic and filled with flavour.

My uncle chose the pâté, while my sister was presented with a mountain of nachos and cheese, which she struggled to finish.

For my main I went for the Thai red curry with juicy king prawns, peppers and jasmine rice.

The dish was hot and spicy, but not too hot and took me a while to get through.

It came in a healthy portion and I savoured every mouthful.

My fellow diners went for the roasted lamb shank and there were no complaints from either.

My sister and I even had room for a large slice of chocolate fudge brownie with a dollop of ice cream, which I devoured after loosening my belt a tad.

The bill came in at a more than respectable £62 for three courses each, plus drinks.

Despite being fairly empty when we arrived, as late afternoon made way for early evening the bar started to fill up and become busy.

You can imagine it may be hard to tempt punters away from the city centre towards a place like this for a night out,

It’s off the beaten track, but well worth a visit, with staff pleasant and courteous.

Drink prices are wallet and purse-friendly too, with cask ales £3 a pint, the same as Fosters and Carling.

Stella Artois and Guinness are £3.40 a pint. A small glass of wine is £3.79 with a large glass £4.30.

David Allison

Twitter: @davidallison88