Chef is cooking up a storm as he opens cafe in home village

Tom Heslington (right) with Thomas McDonough, Kristina Knaggs and Michaela Wate at The Boatyard cafe.'Picture by Jane Coltman
Tom Heslington (right) with Thomas McDonough, Kristina Knaggs and Michaela Wate at The Boatyard cafe.'Picture by Jane Coltman
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A chef is cooking up a storm as he breathes new life into part of Cullercoats.

Tom Heslington has transformed the former Copper Kettle in John Street into a new-look cafe called The Boatyard.

The Boatyard cafe.'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Boatyard cafe.'Picture by Jane Coltman

The 30-year-old chef, who honed his skills in ski resorts in the French Alps before working as a private chef, has maintained the venue’s heritage with a copper kettle on display as a fond nod to the previous establishment.

Tom, who was born and raised in the village, said: “I am passionate about Cullercoats’ history, beauty and sense of community.

“So when the Copper Kettle was put up for sale, I knew it was too good an opportunity to miss. I could not pass on the chance to open so close to Cullercoats Bay in my home town.

“Residents have been excited by the changes and hugely supportive of our venture.

I could not pass on the chance to open so close to Cullercoats Bay in my home town

Tom Heslington

“My aim is to contribute to the exciting direction Cullercoats is headed. Local businesses are attracting more visitors and there are lots of events approaching which appeal to the artistic and nature of our community.

“I want The Boatyard to be a place where people can share information, host events and connect with each other.”

The renovation of the café took ten weeks to complete, with significant investment, and has helped create five new jobs.

The Boatyard is open for breakfast and lunch daily, although closed on Wednesdays, with the menu ranging from sandwiches, scones and cakes, to burgers, scollops and fritters.

Tom added: “We serve honest, nutritious food which is locally and sustainably sourced whenever possible.”

“We have created a relaxed setting where locals and visitors can come for a coffee and cake or a more substantial meal, always content that the quality and service are of the highest standard.

“We are dog friendly so encourage walkers to stop off for a drink and a bite to eat.”

The Boatyard is also available to hire in the evening for parties, groups and community events.