THE OWNER of a Northumberland pub has hit out at two people who allegedly dined and dashed on Saturday afternoon.

The Blackbird in Ponteland was the target of a man and a woman who left the pub’s tepee without paying for their meals and drinks, according to its owner.

Stuart Young, of The Blackbird, said: “Given the last year we have gone through, it’s a kick in the teeth.”

But he added that what the man and woman had not banked on was that the pub had their details, because they had booked online.

He continued: “This chap asked for the most expensive whisky and had five or six doubles over the course of his stay.

“He also had our most expensive meal, fillet steak, and cleaned the plate. The lady he was with, who he later claimed was his wife, had king prawns to start – our most expensive starter – and three glasses of rose, which is an entire bottle. Then they legged it before dessert arrived.”

Stuart didn’t immediately call the police, instead exchanging WhatsApp messages and calls with the man.

“He told me he wouldn’t be paying for the rubbish food because his pregnant wife had to go to hospital because she was so ill. It didn’t make much sense that a pregnant person would drink a bottle of wine.

“When I challenged him that he’d eaten all the food, he made claims that the waiters must have eaten the food off his plate. Our staff wouldn’t eat food off customers plates, and the waitress serving him is a vegetarian.”

Stuart added: “At the end of the day, we have invested heavily in the last year to make the premises Covid safe. It is great to be back and hearing the sound of people enjoying themselves and seeing smiling and happy faces, whether they’re having a beer or something to eat. In general our customers have been fantastic, and thankfully this is only the second time something like this has happened in the six and a half years we’ve been here.

The matter has been reported to Northumbria Police.