Two Northumberland restaurants awarded Michelin Stars including new arrival open only nine months

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Inspectors from the world’s most prestigious restaurant guide have judged two Northumberland restaurants to be worthy of star status.

After putting Northumberland on the Michelin Guide map a year ago, Restaurant Hjem at Wall, near Hexham, has retained its place in the illustrious restaurant bible for its 2022 edition.

And it has been joined for the first time by Restaurant Pine at East Wallhouses, near Heddon-on-the-Wall.

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The debut restaurant of Cal Byerley and partner Sian Buchan was also awarded a Michelin green star for its ‘outstanding sustainable commitments’ just nine months after opening.

Restaurant Hjem head chef Alex Nietosvuori.Restaurant Hjem head chef Alex Nietosvuori.
Restaurant Hjem head chef Alex Nietosvuori.

"We are overwhelmed and incredibly grateful to @michelinguide and the whole team,” they posted on social media.

Head chef Alex Nietosvuori from Sweden, who runs Hjem with his Northumberland-born partner, Ally Thompson, said: “We are honoured and delighted to have retained our Michelin Star.

"It’s a fantastic recognition of what we’re doing at Hjem and I can safely say that the news never gets old!”

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Hjem attracts food lovers from all over the North East and far beyond thanks to its exquisite £120 tasting menu and unique atmosphere.

Having attracted the attention of Michelin Guide inspectors just weeks after opening in May 2019, Hjem, which combines the best local produce with Scandinavian values and cooking techniques, sits proudly at the North East’s exclusive top table.

Ally said: “Retaining our Michelin star after what has been another challenging year for hospitality in the UK is wonderful news and testament to the whole Restaurant Hjem team and our amazing suppliers.

“Being in lockdown last year meant we had to wait to celebrate with them and our guests, so we’re delighted that this year, we’re able to raise a glass straight away!”

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Alex, who lists some of Scandinavia’s most celebrated restaurants on his CV including Maaemo in Oslo (3 Michelin Stars) and Daniel Berlin Krog in Skåne Tranås (2 Michelin Stars), added: “We started Hjem in 2019 with a dream to do exactly what we are doing, and that feels pretty wonderful.”

Bookings at Restaurant Hjem are typically full three months in advance.