Eat, Pray LOVE…

Eat, Pray LOVE…

REVIEW Craig Wilde

Filmore & Union, John Lewis, Intu Eldon square, Newcastle upon Tyne

I’m on a diet! No it’s true, I head off on my summer vacation soon and I have an urgent need to reduce my chances of being mistaken for a stranded whale in the tropical sunshine.
My reticence to become a food reviewer turned to delight when I was assigned Filmore & Union, the uber healthy Restaurant Cafe and Deli chain established in 2012 in York and now with eight (soon to be 10) across Yorkshire and the North East; including the most recent, and our destination today, situated in John Lewis in Newcastle’s Intu Eldon Square.

Stepping through John Lewis into the Balcony Restaurant which overlooks the central Arcade of Intu Eldon Square, we were met with a calming pastel white interior, supporting pillars of green, traditional oak farmhouse tables and benches with neat wooden shelves displaying Filmore & Union’s range of in-house products. Florentines, granola, coffee beans, candles and more – all available to ‘take away’ along with much of their freshly made meals, wraps, salads and cakes; the opportunity to take some of their healthy ethos into your own home.

Drinks were the first order of the day, with both of us opting for one of Filmore & Union’s ‘Super Smoothies’; vain to the last I chose the ‘Collagen Berry Blast’, made with strawberry, blueberry, coconut milk, lemon, maple syrup and infused with actual Collagen. My dining partner Filipe, decided on the ‘Vegan Bench Press’ made with banana, blueberries, coconut water, vegan protein and granola.

The menu of ‘Gluten free’, vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous options is crisp with healthy choices designed to quench your thirst, fill your belly, and leave you somewhat ‘guilt free’ by the end of the meal.

Kick-starting our healthy lunchtime jamboree, I opted for one of their delicious Goodness Bowls – the ‘Bench Press Salad’ made with quinoa, avocado, maple syrup, pecans, sweet potato, feta, hummus and mixed seeds and served with a coronation cashew dressing. ‘The Goodness Bowl’ comes with a choice of protein, from vegan options to meat and fish. I chose the ‘Peanut Butter Chicken Schnitzel’. Meanwhile my dining partner Filipe opted for a more traditional beef burger made with chorizo, smoked cheese and red onion marmalade, served with sweet potato wedges and raita dressing. Filipe opted for a side of the most beautifully cooked poached eggs I’ve seen in many years, whilst I went for a ‘Raw Slaw’ with almond and cashew dressing.

Service was friendly, with a genuinely attentive team, headed up by Manager Jack Brown, who joined Filmore & Union back in January with the opening of this, the company’s flagship site. Jack is a seasoned hospitality professional with years of experience driving some of the region’s most prominent brands and it shows.

Filmore & Union is in a class of its own in terms of destination restaurants, it’s menu feels like a ‘Gastro Spa’, a holistic approach to healthy nutritional dining that combines incredible flavours with fresh produce and expert culinary skill, to deliver first class cuisine for almost any time of day. From their luxurious ‘all day’ breakfast to a glass of vegan friendly Prosecco and an indulgent slice of Gluten free cake with friends, an epic Lunch, or a very early Dinner. Definitely a real find, go try it, you won’t be disappointed.

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