As a vegan it can be a struggle on the fine dining front. Certain local Michelin star restaurants have said they won’t accommodate (I shan’t name names, but one website even draws the line at vegetarian!), so what happens when it comes to celebrations or special occasions when you have specific dietary requirements?
Hjem has recently opened not far from Hexham and has no issues in terms of providing quality vegan fare. We contacted in advance to ask if they could accommodate, but it was only a day beforehand so it’s clear the team didn’t make a fuss about adapting their 6 course tasting menu for me. It also didn’t seem like the vegan dishes were poor relations to that of my meat-eating dining companion.
The restaurant itself is open plan and you can see your food being prepared behind the pass. Everyone is so welcoming it makes you feel like you’re in someone’s house as opposed to a fine dining establishment. I guess that’s where the Hjem – it takes the moniker from the Scandinavian and Northumbrian for home – comes from. The food itself is locally sourced and this is celebrated when each plate of beautifully presented food is placed in front of you. Familiar names like Acomb and Gilchester mean those concerned about their food miles can rest easier here.
Enjoy the pretty food pictures..
As the menu will likely change from week to week I won’t go into too much detail about what we ate other than putting descriptions on my photos, something I’m routinely told off for not doing. You can enjoy a 12-course tasting menu for £75 but, to be honest, the 6 was more than enough for us. Naturally there is a wine pairing available but, as we were driving, we didn’t indulge. It was a bit too ‘out in the sticks’ for us townies to get a taxi but perhaps for a special occasion. Every plate was constructed beautifully and the flavours complemented each other well. My favourite was the Porridge dish that reminded me of a savoury version of Sugar Puffs or buttery popcorn.
Based on our experience we’d definitely recommend Hjem for those wanting a top notch dining experience. I feel it will be ‘one to watch’ for the future and imagine it will become difficult to get a booking once word gets out about what Alex and Ally are doing in Wall. As they are also running the adjoining Hadrian pub I wonder whether this influence spreads across the other dining room.
Thanks for reading,