Northumberland Restaurant Hjem wins national award for its fine food

Diners at a Northumberland restaurant can now boast that they’ve been enjoying a meal at one of England’s best.

By Katy Wheeler
Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 12:42 pm
Restaurant Hjem head chef Alex Nietosvuori
Restaurant Hjem head chef Alex Nietosvuori

Restaurant Hjem, in Wall, near Hexham, was given a bronze-plated seal of approval at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020, which took place as an online event on Monday, August 17.

At the end of July, the fine dining restaurant, which enjoys a stunning location in the village of Wall in Northumberland, was named as a finalist in the national awards, which recognise excellence across England’s tourism industry.

Combining the best local produce with Scandinavian values and cooking techniques, Hjem has attracted food lovers from all over the North East and far beyond since its May 2019 opening thanks to its tasting menu and unique atmosphere.

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Restaurant Hjem - head chef Alex Nietosvuori and restaurant manager Ally Thompson

The restaurant, which began welcoming back diners in July after the lifting of lockdown restrictions, also attracted the attention of VisitEngland judges who were looking for worthy winners in the category of Taste of England.

Restaurant manager, Ally Thompson, who runs the restaurant and adjoining pub, The Hadrian with her partner and Hjem head chef Alex Nietosvuori, ‘attended’ the ceremony digitally.

Alex, and her sister Liza clinked their wine glasses as the results were announced and will now have to find a space in their foyer for Hjem’s latest accolade.

Ally said: "We were delighted to have been shortlisted in these national awards alongside established and Michelin-starred restaurants, and we’re honoured to have been given the Bronze award.

Restaurant Hjem - Horseradish & apple

“The lockdown meant we weren’t able to celebrate our one-year anniversary in May, so I think we might be using this as a great excuse to have a bit of a belated party with everyone who has helped us realise our dream.”

Since opening, Restaurant Hjem has racked up a number of accolades. Entries in both The Good Food Guide 2020 and The Michelin Guide 2020 and rave reviews - including one from The Sunday Times’ Marina O’Loughlin - are among the achievements the couple have notched up since welcoming Hjem’s first diners.

Ally added: "We always wanted Hjem to be a destination restaurant, offering a food experience people were willing to travel for, and ensuring we showcase the very best of Northumberland produce is a big part of that.

“We’re really thrilled to be given this recognition by the VisitEngland judges and look forward to welcoming more and more visitors from all over the UK and beyond.”

The kitchen at Hjem

Restaurant Hjem’s online bookings for January to March 2021 will open on November 5th at 9am. Those wishing to book a table should set a reminder and alarm call now as reservations are usually fully booked before lunchtime.

Restaurant Hjem serves a tasting menu for £85; with wine and juice pairing options. There are also Dinner B&B packages available. To find out more, make a booking or get yourself on the waiting list – visit or call 01434 681 232.

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The restaurant brings people from far and wide to Wall, Hexham

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