A husband and wife team have left senior roles at one of the North East’s most esteemed restaurants to establish their own fine dining venue.
Jake and Laura Siddle are opening restaurant Faru in Durham, after building successful careers working at the Michelin-starred House of Tides in Newcastle.
Jake worked his way up from chef de partie to be head chef for five years, and Laura – who was part of the team at the prestigious venue since it opened in 2014 – became front of house manager.
Working alongside founder Kenny Atkinson, Jake and Laura supported House of Tides in its achievement of a Michelin Star and Four AA Rosettes, achieving a reputation as one of the most sought-after restaurants in the North East.
Now, the couple – who met at House of Tides and married last year – are embarking on the creation of Faru, on Durham’s Silver Street, which will offer a seasonal tasting menu created with local and British produce.
And their decision to embark on the opening of Faru has been given the blessing of their mentor and friend, multi-award-winning chef patron Kenny Atkinson.
Work is currently underway to create the restaurant, which was previously a Mountain Warehouse store, and will bring new high-end dining options to Durham city centre when it opens in spring.
The restaurant, which will have 10 tables, will feature an open kitchen set against a stained glass window which was discovered during the building work.
And the creation of Faru – which means ‘journey’ in Old English – marks the latest step in both the life and career journeys of Jake and Laura, who are fulfilling a dream by opening their own restaurant.
“After we both worked our way up through the ranks at House of Tides, then got married last year, we thought about what came next for us. We wanted to have our own restaurant one day, so decided now is the time,” says Laura.
“We have spent a lot of years learning the ropes and working alongside Kenny, helping the business grow and being part of such a brilliant place, and thankfully he is really supportive of what we’re doing.
“There is a gap in fine dining provision in Durham, and the high street isn’t what it used to be, so we hope Faru will help to draw people back into the city centre, or to stay for lunch or dinner during their visit.
“This is something we really want to do, and while COVID was a reason not to open a leisure business a couple of years ago, and now the cost of living crisis could be another reason – you can always look for excuses not to do things, but we want to be brave and go for it.”
The name of the restaurant was carefully chosen, says Jake.
“We wanted to use Old English in tribute to us being in Durham, and ‘journey’ is a word I think really resonates with everything we are doing,” he says.
“Laura and I are on our journey, and this is the next step, which is a massive one for us to take but we can’t wait to open. When people come to dine with us, we hope they are on a journey of their own as they move through the menu.
“We are really grateful to Kenny for his role in our journey – so many things in our lives wouldn’t have happened if not for him, and we’re really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead as we finally open our own restaurant.”
Jake and Laura have been supported in the acquisition of their premises by the real estate team at Sintons, with solicitor Sam Watts acting for the couple.
“Faru promises to be an outstanding addition to Durham’s culinary offering, and something very exciting for the city centre and its high street, which – like many high streets – has seen decline over the past few years,” says Sam.
“Jake and Laura have both built highly successful careers and are now using the benefit of their experience and expertise to live their dream and open a restaurant. We are very pleased to have been able to support them, and wish them the very best of luck with the opening – I am sure I am not alone in looking forward to dining in Faru.”