Fenwick Roof 39 - Newcastle’s new rooftop cocktail bar and restaurant reviewed
Newcastle’s much-loved department store has opened a new rooftop cocktail bar and restaurant, Roof 39 - and this is what we thought of it.
With al fresco dining more popular than ever, many cafes and restaurants have got creative with their outdoor spaces, but Fenwick have taken it up a level with their offering.
The historic store’s East-facing 120 metre squared roof space had no access for the public, until now.
The area has now been transformed into a chic rooftop cocktail bar and restaurant, Roof 39, which really utilises the prime Northumberland Street location to best effect.
What’s the venue like?
Named after Fenwick’s door number in Northumberland Street, the terrace overlooks the hustle and bustle of Newcastle’s busiest shopping throughfare, but four floors up, it’s a haven away from the crowds.
Roof 39 can be accessed via its own lift through the florist entrance to Fenwick off Northumberland Street, and remains open after the shop has closed.
The location offers surprisingly wide-reaching views across the city, and is a beautiful spot the sun set over the city skyline.
Victorian railings on the terrace are adorned with a host of greenery and botanical-themed seating, making it feel like you are drinking in a garden in the sky. And thankfully there is a large awning to keep protected from the rain.
What’s on the menu?
The main menu is made up of small plates and snacks and larger dishes from the grill which are cooked on the coals of the specially-built outdoor kitchen.
Small plates options include charcuterie plate (£12), chilli and lemon prawn skewers (£5.50) and charcoal flat bread with crudites and dips (£6.50). The grill section offers rose harissa lamb with charcoal aubergine and yoghurt (£19.50), marinated spring chicken with charred corn on the cob and gem lettuce (£16.50) and cauliflower steak with preserved lemon butter and grated tomatoes (£12.50) among others.
How was the food?
We chose a selection to share: the charcuterie board (£12), grilled asparagus (£9), crab on toast (£12), charcoal flat bread with crudites (£6.50) and the grilled mackerel (£15) from the grill section.
As you’d expect from Fenwick, presentation was stylishly picture perfect.
The charcuterie was served on a satisfyingly chunky board laden with sliver upon sliver of cured meats and a pot of house pickles. We layered it up on the flat bread with its hint of smokiness thanks to the charcoal grill. Special mention too for the deliciously-rich labneh yoghurt dip with a crunchy dukkha which we could have eaten by the forkful it was so good.
The crab with a squeeze of lemon was a perfect light accompaniment to our bottle of Picpoul – it’s a simple dish which lets the fresh flavours speak for themself.
The grilled mackerel was also a triumph: a flavoursome fish, it was given extra oomph with a marinated tomato salad, fine beans and aioli.
What is the rooftop cocktail menu like?
The drinks menu complements the freshness of the food with a premium bespoke cocktail list created by Northumberland-based Hepple Gin’s cocktail and spirit creator, Nick Strangeway and drinks which are muddled with botanicals and herbs grown on the roof.
Cocktails cost between £10 and £13 and options include a gin cosmopolitan daisy (£12), a Hepple sundown spritz with vodka, Aperol, grapefruit juice and soda (£12) and Hepple southside, a twist on a mojito with gin, mint, apple juice and soda (£12).
We relished our refreshing watermelon and jasmine margaritas (£13), made with Ocho Blanco Tequila, watermelon, lime and jasmine tea which proved the perfect sundowners up on the roof.
Bottles of wine cost between £24 and £65 and a bottle of prosecco costs £35.
Opening hours and how to book
Monday to Wednesday open from 10am with last admission at 6pm.
Thursday to Saturday open from 10am to 9pm.
Sundays open between 11am and 5pm.
Booking is recommended - to book online visit www.fenwick.co.uk/roof39