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Sad Demise of Belle & Herbs

Those of you who live in Heaton know that Belle & Herbs sadly closed just before New Year. There have been a large number of rumours kicking around as to what happened, everything from regular financial difficulties to some sort of coup by an investor, taking the business from the original founder.

Whatever has happened, we’re gutted. Though we’d been accused of losing interest in B&H, in reality we had just covered the menu* (which is what we originally set out to do) and we continued to go there very regularly, enjoying our favourite meals.

The location itself is reopening under a new name, but the level of vitriol and unprofessionalism** on the Facebook page frankly makes us want to avoid rather than try it out. It also seems the new cafe doesn’t have the involvement of the original founder of B&H, who over the past 5 years was a big part of the Belle & Herbs experience for us, so we’re a little doubtful that the food will be as innovative, or the atmosphere as good, as once was.

Either way, seems Belle & Herbs is truly gone — we’ll have to find a new place to lure visitors from far & wide to Newcastle with…

* The astute amongst you will realise that we hadn’t covered all the veggie meals. Given we’re not vegetarian we figured most of our reviews would be “would be nicer with real bacon” which isn’t exactly the sort of review anyone wants to read so we accepted defeat on that front.

4 Responses to “Sad Demise of Belle & Herbs”

  1. Miki Says:

    I can’t believe what i am reading, really sad news about my favourite place in my favourite city in England.

    I used to work there from september 2005 till february 2006 while i was studying so i’ll write a few words about good memories i keep and how magnificent was the atmosphere : when i got in, first time, to ask for job, Sam told me “you’re the french michel, ok come back tomorow”, then the day after Graham (who was still in it), explained me what i gonna be doing, sandwiches, but his accent was so tough, i could not get a word, and it was like that for the nexts months, trying to understand the local dialect 🙂 Workers were all wonderfull, same spirit and since these days in B&H i have never been so well welcomed in any places in Europe. In the job itself, there were no constraints, client had to know and follow the easy going spirit of the place without complaining and the schedule for the week was made on sunday before with everybody, drinking beers from the catholic club next door. Few times, it happened that Sam came to wake me up in my bed (i was living very close to, on meldon terrace) to ask me or my girlfriend for an helping hand in the cafe when someone was missing!

    The inimitable and unique place which Sam managed to create could have been the model for a franchise (like the too-standardised hard rock cafe), because this would work in France for example, without any doubts, but the risk of loosing the soul of the cafe by getting rich did not fit with the character of its creator.

    I hope for Newcatle’s residents, that there will be a restaurant capable to provide such a good food as in B&H.

    I go to make myself a goat cheese panini

    The french Miki

  2. A Says:

    Trust me, the former owner had nothing to do with the awesomeness of the place, and everything to do with its demise. I can’t tell you any more, but I do have insider information from a family member who’s a long-serving member of staff.

    Have you been to the Butterfly Cabinet since it re-opened? It is awesome – still retains the old B+H charms, but it’s spacier, lighter, and the food is cheaper, yet just as fun, good and generous. The staff is more or less exactly the same as before, but since the shakeup they are *so* much happier and more motivated – I think it’s a vast improvement.

  3. Rich Says:

    I worked there for a long time.

    This Sam figure whom you praise so much was abusive, two-faced and a thief. A man who could push a sweet girl up against a wall and scream at her. A man who could rob his staff of their wages because he thought they would never notice. A man who would greet you with a smile, a warm handshake and a dagger behind his back.

    Good riddance to crap, over-priced food and the most horrible man in Newcastle.

  4. Team Says:

    ‘Innovative’? Haha, yeah certainly was – where one ingredient was listed on the menu, a completely different one featured in the dish.

    We’re glad that its gone and long live the Butterfly Cabinet. Food is better. Staff are happier. And that horrible little man is gone.

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