Our chef

Meet Natalie

behind the scenes at NP20 Bar & Kitchen

Peak into the kitchen at NP20 and discover the inspiration behind our delicious menu…
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cooking is like therapy

What inspired you to become a chef?

So, I started right from being a pot washer in my teenage years – then from here on a Friday and Saturday night, they let me run the dessert section in this little pub that I was working in. From that I just got hooked, to be honest!

I don’t see it as a job when I’m in the kitchen – to me, it’s like therapy – I go because I enjoy it so much. When I’m working, I feel like I’m with social friends. They’re my colleagues, but we’re having a good time and just doing what we love doing!

I also like developing people – when you see the Commis Chefs and they’ve just started and they’re doing their MVQS and then they move up to Chef De Partie, I’m such like a mother, as in the sense of achievement – I feel so proud.

Yeah, it’s not work if you know what I mean. I honestly could not see myself doing anything else.

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contemporary and modern

What can diners expect at Mercure Newport?

It’s a contemporary and modern restaurant with a huge social aspect. The restaurant is so modern and contemporary that it had to have a menu that would fall in that bracket. Plus, we’ve got a vibrant cocktail menu!

The atmosphere is good up here – it’s very relaxed – all the staff are really friendly, you know, they’ll have a chat with you about anything!

In terms of the menu, it’s got something from everywhere with influences across the globe including Welsh, British, Japanese, Mexican, and Indian cuisine. We’ve got an authentic Indian Curry made by one of our chefs from India – delicious! 

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made with passion

What’s your favourite meal on the menu and what makes it unique?

So, we’ve recently launched a new menu. We’ve gone with a bit more of a contemporary Gastro menu where it has your classics on there, but it also has unique dishes you won’t usually find somewhere else.

We’ve got a Teriyaki Salmon dish on there with Sticky Rice and Asian Veg – that is probably the most popular dish on the menu at the moment and I think it probably will be throughout the summer. It’s quite a light dish. It’s a dish that I’ve taken around places where I’ve worked – It’s sort of followed me and it’s always been one of my most popular!

And we’re just about to launch a small plate menu for the terrace. So, it’s a bit more of a social sharing element where you can help yourself…

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dishes to share

If you could cook for anyone who would this be and why?

My favourite Chef is Tom Kerridge – he throws out some very, very good food. But I can imagine I’d be too nervous to cook for him.

It would probably be a past family member like my Nan because she passed away when I was quite young, so she wouldn’t know that I was a chef now, so I’d like to be able to cook for her or other past family members. 

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fresh and authentic 

Which cuisine has been most influential in your culinary journey?

Oh, wow, let’s see. To be fair, I love Asian food. We went traveling around Bali last year – Indonesian food is amazing, so fresh! And I don’t mind a bit of spice as long as it’s not going to blow my head off. And you can’t go wrong with Italian. Everyone loves carbs; however, Indonesian food is probably at the top of my list.

I’ve traveled to lots of different places so you can get more of an authentic feel, like when I went to Morocco, their style of cooking was completely different from ours, so I’ve picked up lots of techniques along the way.

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unique dishes from across the globe

In your opinion what makes a dish truly memorable?

Something that you don’t find anywhere else, something that you wouldn’t put together yourself, and something you would remember that place for!

So, in terms of the Teriyaki Salmon we have at the moment, I’ve never seen that anywhere else. But I know there’s a customer that keeps coming back for that dish because they can’t find it in other restaurants.

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Delicious Seafood

If you could have a superpower related to food, what would it be?

A personal thing about myself is I’m really allergic to fish!

I love cooking it, so I’d love to be able to eat it – when we cook fish, and it just looks amazing! Garlic chilli prawns, or anything, even just fish and chips.

So that’s the one thing I would change about myself, that I’d be able to eat fish.

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contemporary Cuisine

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Mercure Newport Hotel
Chartist Tower, Upper Dock St, Newport NP20 1DW
01633 837 700

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©2024 Copyright Mercure Newport
Mercure Newport is owned by Innon Avenue Hotels Ltd and operated by Aimbridge EMEA
Registered office address: 19 Windsor Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BY

Innon Avenue Hotels Ltd is a company registered in UK with Company Number 11502932 VAT Number: 301 685 914