THE tastes of Northumberland and Scandinavia will come together in the picturesque village of Wall with the opening of a new fine dining restaurant.

Restaurant Hjem (pronounced ‘yem’) is the project of Swedish chef Alex Nietosvuori and his partner Ally Thompson, and will open on May 1.

After spending 20 years gaining experience across some top restaurants in Scandinavia and the UK, the couple felt ready to create their own restaurant which would bring the flavours and style of Scandinavia to the Tyne Valley with an ambitious tasting menu. In fact, the name itself, Hjem means ‘home’ in both Northumbrian and Scandinavian.

Diners at Restaurant Hjem, attached to The Hadrian at Wall, can choose from the 12-course tasting menu or the more concise six-course tasting experience. While the menus will change from day to day, diners tasting their opening menu can expect the likes of wild rabbit broth; sunflower seed tart with chicken liver and pine and pink fir apple potatoes and blackcurrant.

All ingredients are being sourced from the surrounding farms and gardens and diners in the 24-cover restaurant will be able to see their food being prepared in the open kitchen.

Alex said: “Having worked in some amazing restaurants, I always knew I wanted to have my own restaurant one day. I want to lead my own team and mentor my chefs in the way that previous chefs have mentored and inspired me.

“I have a real passion for developing new dishes and menus and love finding new techniques for working with ingredients. Northumberland is an amazing place for sourcing top quality produce and I’ve loved developing a whole range of dishes.”

Ally, the restaurant manager, said: “I grew up in Northumberland and didn’t appreciate how beautiful it was until I left. I want to show off the best of the county and its produce to the rest of the UK and beyond.”