Everyone who knows me knows what a Greggs fiend I am. I think I’ve had about 5 Festive Bakes this winter and, jokes aside, their coffee is better than Starbucks in my humble opinion. For cheap and cheerful lunches or snacks they’re unbeaten on quality and price and the loyalty scheme on their app means you get freebies galore if you go there regularly enough. So imagine my delight when it was announced a partnership with another North East institution; Fenwick. I just had to visit Bistro Greggs.
It’s exactly what you imagine, it’s posh Greggs. There’s a small but perfectly formed menu for Breakfast or lunch/dinner of Greggs favourites but pimped up a little. I simply couldn’t walk away from the festive bake with duck fat roast potatoes whilst Dave went for the steak bake. I definitely made the right choice as the food was piping hot, gravy was really flavourful and the potatoes lovely and crispy – personally I could have done with a couple more but that’s just me being greedy.
With them having such a small menu, service was quick, so we tried some pudding too. I was torn between the Yum Yums which I love and the Caramel Shortbread mess – which I eventually went for and it was the right choice again. If I’d had that dessert in a regular restaurant I would have been impressed, as it was a really generous portion and tasted amazing. Dave went for the Peach Melba which he was slightly disappointed with as they’re not nearly as big as they used to be and I think it was all just a little bland.
Drinks wise we decided on a glass of wine and a bottle of Peroni so that instantly made it feel more upmarket. What didn’t make it feel upmarket though, sadly, was the ambiance. It’s a makeshift pop up restaurant and that’s exactly what it felt like. It was as if they cleared some space in a holding area and turned it into a restaurant. There were people queueing with kids to see Santa (we assume) right next to us and there was no natural light. Fenwick is a huge building which some iconic views of Newcastle like Northumberland Street or Grey’s Monument and it would have been lovely if they’d utilised some of that better.
Don’t get me wrong it’s a really novel idea and it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that they got fully booked almost instantly, but I think it’s a one time thing for the experience. We paid £40 in total which feels a lot when a Festive Bake in a Greggs shop is £1.95, so, good for a one off, but I can’t imagine they would get much repeat business if they were to open something like this permanently.