Contrary to freelancer Andrew Fisher's recent suggestion (Diary, 28 September) you don't have to look far to find a good eatery in Gateshead. One of the best is Eslington Villa, a Victorian hotel and restaurant tucked away in two acres of gardens, less than ten minutes from Newcastle city centre.
The venue is warm and welcoming, combining many original 19th century features with a stylish interior. It is a bit like stepping into the home of an old friend.
Whether you choose from the Table D'Hote menu or go a la carte, chef Andy Moore offers simple but innovative menus based on the very best seasonal and regional produce. For a main, the roast pork steak with courgette chutney, garlic potatoes and thyme is a winner. That said, the guest we went with recently would swear that he made the best decision with the chargrilled rib eye steak, served with good old-fashioned chips and salad.
Eating in the spacious conservatory area, overlooking the restaurant's stunning gardens, it's easy to see why Eslington Villa is a popular choice for business lunches and romantic meals. No matter where you sit, there's plenty of privacy -whether you're talking business or whispering sweet nothings. Andrew, next time you're up give us a shout and we'll treat you!
Where: 8 Station Road, Gateshead NE9 6DR
Contact: 0191 487 6017
How much: Lunch menu from £14 a head