Posh wine and crème brûlée: How senior Newcastle Uni staff spend your tuition fees on lavish meals out

They had a three course meal with wine


Newcastle's finance director quaffed fancy wine and crème brûlée at a lavish dinner before charging the nine person, £418 bill to the uni, The Newcastle Tab can reveal.

Nine Russell Group finance chiefs dined out at the uni's expense, enjoying a three course meal at one of Newcastle's nicest restaurants.

It comes as part of a cache of receipts obtained by The Newcastle Tab under Freedom of Information laws. This cushy receipt from the beginning of the last academic year shows one of a number of lavish meals expensed by senior uni staff.

Newcastle’s Exec Director of Finance took his guests to Blackfriars, a swanky city centre restaurant based in a 13th century friary and boasting “the oldest dining room in the UK”. They offer a “medieval banquet” and food which looks like this:

The cushy three course meal was enjoyed by nine diners as they tucked into fancy wine, steak, crème brûlée and washed it down with wine and coffee – all to the tune of £418.67.

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They began with a nice starter, think ham hock terrine or ‘light and crispy’ fishcakes.

The main meals included choices of fish pie, faggots and fish and chips and their Instagram proves that it is good food, not the cheap stuff to any extent. It looks head and shoulders above the offerings of Castle Leazes catered food.

They even went all out and made it a three course affair. They tucked into desserts like crème brûlée and sticky toffee pudding. Sounds delicious.

They treated themselves to two bottles of Dao Vinho for £50. Another two bottles of Picpoul de Pinet, which is described as "crystal clear with green highlights, though can be more golden from older vine" were added to the bill for £56 – there were plenty of cheaper wines on the menu.

A range of other coffees, craft beers, soups and sides rounded the total up to a mighty £418.67 – that’s almost 42 new uni smartcards!

Other expenses obtained by The Newcastle Tab include £10 tips on curries, almost-weekly trips to fancy bistros by uni bigwigs, and rounds of drinks at Hotel Du Vin.

This revelation comes the week after the SU ran a “Cutting costs week”, advising students on how to save precious pennies and avoid unnecessary expenses

The Executive Director of Finance, Richard Dale, has been in post since 2008.

Newcastle Uni told us: "We were pleased to host a group of nine Russell Group Finance Directors to discuss sector issues ahead of a meeting in Newcastle." However, they would not share details of specifically who was at the dinner.