The major refurbishment of the King’s Arms Hotel in Berwick has been complemented by the opening of a new restaurant.
Limoncello, which offers a loosely Italian-themed menu, opened for business at the end of last month.
Before our visit on opening night we weren’t sure what to expect. When we’d popped in to reserve a table earlier in the day there were still workmen drilling and banging the final pieces of the refurbishment into place.
However, any worries soon disappeared when we returned in the evening to be welcomed into the lavish surroundings of Limoncello, located towards the rear of the ground floor.
The beautiful furnishings complete with decadent chandeliers and huge wall mounted mirrors create a fantastic first impression.
The sights and smells from the open-style restaurant kitchen are also pleasing on the senses.
A quick look at the extensive menu had me nodding my head in approval. Starters were priced at around £3-£4 with many mains at between £5-£7. How do they manage that? Small portions, that must be it, I concluded. How wrong I was!
Our starters duly arrived, attractively presented on slate style platters - a plentiful helping of garlic mushrooms and side salad for me and a generous portion of ripe sliced avocado and prawns for my wife along with a garlic bread starter from the children’s menu that was a full meal in itself.
Mine was very tasty, although the chef had perhaps gone a little over the top with the garlic. My wife was impressed that hers was not completely smothered in the marie-rose sauce that so often accompanies this dish.
After helping out with my five-year-old daughter’s half-eaten starter I was already on the verge of being full.
Nevertheless I was happy to press on and was soon presented with a substantial and perfectly cooked calzone pizza for my main course.
Decision-making is not my wife’s strong point so it took a while for her to choose her main from the wide-ranging menu.
She eventually picked spaghetti and ‘Limoncella’ sauce since it was the house speciality and was pleased with her choice. The vegetarian sauce with peppers, tomatoes and garlic was tasty and the spaghetti cooked ‘al dente’ as they say - not too soggy and light enough not to leave the diner feeling uncomfortably full.
A nice glass of house red for both of us went down well.
What seemed to me like a full-size margherita pizza arrived for our youngest which she was never going to manage. She wolfed down a couple of slices, said she was full and we feared the rest was destined for the bin. Not so, however, as our server kindly offered to box it up for us to take home which was a nice touch.
Our eldest son was delighted to be presented with a mountain of chicken goujons on a slate plate alongside a bucket full of chips and side dish of tomato sauce.
While some restaurants do not exactly welcome children with open arms, I am happy to say that Limoncella does so.
Limoncello at the King’s Arms provides great value for money and quality to match - a welcome addition to Berwick’s restaurant scene.