I took the boys to check out Box.Pizza, Northumberland’s latest shipping container eatery that’s popped up in a field in Swinhoe, a tiny hamlet just outside Beadnell.
We were visiting the in-laws along the coast in Seahouses, so when I heard about Box.Pizza I knew we’d be driving past – and as pizza is an easy win with the kids it felt like the planets had aligned for us to stop by and see what the fuss is all about.
Box.Pizza started life a couple of years ago as a seasonal pop-up outfit, feeding the summer crowds from the plentiful campsites and holiday lets nearby. Clearly emboldened by their success and with the trend for shipping container restaurants still at full steam, they opened as a permanent fixture in March 2019 with their website talking of big plans for the future to expand into more locations offering pizza to a wider audience. I like their confidence.
The Box.Pizza sell is traditional artisan wood-fired pizzas using fresh, local organic toppings with dough hand-made on-site from Antico Molino Caputo 00’ flour from Naples, Italy proved for 24 hours then baked in a hand-built oven at 600 °C for around 60 seconds; these combine to make ‘a truly authentic pizza experience’.
The sturdy charcoal grey shipping container complete with transformative glass wall and instagram-tastic interior, is nestled in a beautiful rural spot, boasting rolling green views right down to the coast at Beadnell. It feels very current, but not pretentious. You can’t get any more down to earth than being in a field in the middle of nowhere!
We showed up on the dot of 5pm as they were opening for the evening service, they also open for breakfast and lunch from 9am until 3pm.
If you are taking children I’d recommend going on a dry day so you can take up residence outside at one of the picnic benches. There’s loads of space for them to run around and even an old World War 2 bunker to explore! The boys had it scoped out immediately…
However it was raining when we showed up at the micro restaurant so we ended up sitting inside. It’s a beautifully designed interior that makes the absolute most of the views with it’s plentiful glazing, however if it’s busy it’s best to keep your elbows tucked in – which for those of us with shuffle-bottomed children is not ideal.
Saying that though, the beauty of this operation is that pizza is cooked in a matter of minutes so you’re not having to wait long!
The children were as adventurous as ever. Ahem. Sam went for the Napolitana (£8) – the standard cheese and tomato, while Arlo opted for a garlic pizza bread with mozzarella cheese on (£6). I was torn between the ‘Shroom and the Hot ‘Duja, but decided on the Goatee (£11) in a last-minute panic.
We didn’t have to wait long to be rewarded with three generously sized and topped pizzas. The base was crisp without being too charred, and I really loved the sweet n salty combo of goats cheese with caramelised red onions.
Sam hoovered up his gloriously cheesy Napolitana before I’d even eaten a slice of mine. Standard.
They forgot to put the cheese on Arlo’s garlic bread pizza, but the staff brilliantly stuck another one in for him at no extra cost and boxed the other one up for us to take home for Matthew. It’s great when a simple mistake gets swiftly dealt with like that, especially when you’ve got hungry kids.
You can help yourself to water, there was a variety of San Pelegreno fizzies up for grabs and they serve hot drinks including coffee from Luckie Beans roasted up in Berwick Upon Tweed.
If you fancy a beer or a glass of red with your meal, it’s BYO with a charge of £4 per table.
Ambience: A slice of hip pizza heaven in a field – it feels like THE place to be.
Best place to sit: Perch yourself on one of the high stools and munch on your lunch while daydreaming at those amazing views – there are even binoculars so you can get a closer look! The boys took full advantage which was a good distraction while waiting for our pizzas to come.
Value for money: It’s not cheap, it was £30 for three pizzas and three drinks, but the quality of the food and the stunning setting certainly justified the spend.
Would I go back? On a sunny day I really would, but then half of Northumberland will probably be there so we’d definitely get there early!!!!
Swinhoe, Chathill NE67 5AB
Open daily 9am-3pm & 5pm-10pm
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