TAKING over as the new bosses of a Gosforth hotel was a challenge during the pandemic, but the Ancell family have risen to the occasion.

David and Michelle Ancell are the new owners of the well loved Red Admiral hotel, restaurant and pub.

Since taking the reins in December 12, they and their team have received rave reviews.

Their chef Lorne Jeffrey has masterminded a new menu including carrots three ways –24degree egg yolk, hazelnut and rye crumb and winter berries crumble with hay custard.

Lorne, who has previously worked in restaurants across Europe said: "The past few weeks have been wonderful, very busy indeed.

"I was trained in classic French cooking and so I am now able to bring these techniques to the area; combining these techniques with my experience from working throughout Europe to create exciting dishes that I hope people will enjoy."

The team endeavour to use local suppliers when sourcing ingredients for their meals. Co-owner David Ancell said: "It’s been fantastic these past few weeks here at The Red Admiral. The support we have received has been very encouraging, and running a pub and hotel is certainly a job to keep you on your feet.

He said: "We are also grateful to our guests for their support, they have always adhered to the Covid restrictions."

Despite taking over just before Christmas, the couple have had to close the Red Admiral's doors again due to Tier 4 restrictions.

The team remains optimistic, David said: "Michelle and I are thoroughly enjoying the new venture and we are looking forward to the year ahead with optimism. We have a lot planned for the coming year. We are particularly looking forward to sunnier days as we hope to develop the beer garden serving delicious BBQ & house smoked food. "We also have our permanent marquee which can be used for functions and weddings when Covid-19 restrictions end