Blackmores ploughs a revitalising furrow

PUBLISHED: 20:47 17 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:45 20 February 2013

Blackmore's in Alnwick, hosts the latest North East Life Commercial Lunch

Business people and clients of North East Life came together in Alnwick to enjoy the magazine's first northerly commercial lunch. The location was the stylish and massively remodelled Blackmore's Boutique Hotel, at Bondgate Without.

Formerly the rather tired-looking Plough public house and hotel, the contemporary Blackmore's has been transformed over the past year to become one of the most desirable hotels in North Northumberland. Its clean lines of light-coloured wooden floors, furniture and fittings complement the contrasting cream and richly-dark walls, unfussy direct lighting and ample subdued and cabinet illumination.

The private and intimate first floor dining room was made to measure for the 40 or so Commercial Lunch guests who arrived to be welcomed by attentive staff serving Champagne and canaps. Proprietors of stately halls, hotels, estate agents, marketing, design and public relations companies, designer outlets, a 'Lady' and a regional television presenter mingled with the staff of North East Life before taking their places for lunch.

Guests were welcomed by 'Life' publishing consultant Trevor Lee, who explained that electronic checkout auditing at leading supermarkets placed North East Life as the biggest-selling magazine across the region.

Head chef Leon Dodd and his staff had served up a dish called "Lobster Three Ways", comprising lobster salad, lobster mousse and a lobster bisque.Washed down with a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, it was light and distinctive.

North East Life co-editor Andrew Smith, recalling how he used to work next door to Blackmore's while editing the Northumberland Gazette, said it was wonderful to be back in Alnwick. He described the response of readers, contributors and advertisers to the magazine as "extremely rewarding and encouraging" and said it was one of the few sectors of the media to be enjoying consistent month-onmonth increases in sales.

Pierre Lacroix introduced the main course wine from the Cote du Rhone before the attentive Blackmore's staff served a delicious dish of Northumbrian hill lamb with beetroot, broad beans, peas and herb gnocci. The meal was completed with strawberry and cream pannacotta served with shortbread biscuits and a balsamic and cracked black pepper ice cream, followed by coffee and fudge.

The overwhelming response was entirely favourable as guests departed congratulating North East Life and, especially Blackmore's, on a wonderful occasion.

Contact: Blackmore's of Alnwick, Bondgate Without, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1PN. Tel: 01665 602395. Email:

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