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First day back at work after two weeks away is always a struggle but I'm happy to get back into a healthier routine after far too much dim sum and ramen! 😋 I've added Hong Kong and Tokyo to my Stories highlights for those who missed my updates!

We found this pretty street in Shibuya, Tokyo, near the famous and very hectic Scramble/crossing. So nice to see some more traditional streets hidden amongst the super modern tower blocks and huge neon lights.

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First day back at work...

After a long hiatus from the blog, I've just shared some of my recent favourites. From @oddboxldn to @olio_ex, they're all helping to make our lives more sustainable! Click the link in my profile and let me know what you think.
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Featuring my beautiful WWF KeepCup!
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#sustainability #sustainableliving  #keepcup #london #thisislondon #wwf #noplanetb #sustainable #ecofriendly #londonblogger #plasticfree #londonbylondoners #climateweek #reusable #reducereuserecycle #foodwaste  #olio #oddbox #allplants #eatlessmeat #londonblog #ecofriendlyliving

After a long hiatus from...

Spending a few days enjoying Sicilian views, sunshine, food, and spritz!
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Spending a few days enjoying...

Take me back please!! 🙏🏻 The walk to the calanques near Marseille was tough in the heat but the views made it worth doing! Loved having a picnic in the shade before going for a swim in the clear waters.
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#calanques

Take me back please!! 🙏🏻...

When you spot a pretty backdrop! 🏃‍♀️ Marrakesh was 10x more beautiful than I had been expecting, with decorative arches, colourful tiled courtyards and orange trees being common sights. I loved the smells as well - argan oil, orange blossom and fresh mint all remind me of Morrocco now.
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When you spot a pretty...

I think the cats of Essaouira and Marrakesh deserve to have a post dedicated to them, given how much time I spent admiring them! 😍 #catsofmorocco
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I think the cats of...

Newcastle: A Foodie Weekend Guide

By Posted on 6 min read 758 views
Wylam brewery sunday roast

NEWCASTLE GATESHEAD

I had the pleasure of visiting Newcastle for a weekend thanks to NewcastleGateshead.com. Their latest campaign, #TheTyneIsNow aims to show people that Newcastle (and Gateshead across the river) is an amazing, underrated weekend destination.

The “Toon”, as locals like to call it, will be hosting the Great Exhibition of the North this summer so it’s the perfect time to visit! Over 80 days, Newcastle Gateshead will be filled with amazing art, exhibits, and live performances. Head over there between 22nd June and 9th September to see the city buzzing even more than usual! 

Newcastle Queen Street Tyne Bridge
Newcastle Dean Street

How to get there

Virgin trains East Coast first class

Virgin Trains East Coast only takes 3 hours to get from King’s Cross in London to Newcastle Central Station. We travelled First Class which was fabulous as they served us a light breakfast and plenty of much-needed tea and coffee. The same journey would take you 5 hours by car, so I’d recommend opting for the train for a quick and stress-free journey.

Where to stay

Jesmond Dene House is a lovely boutique hotel in a quiet neighbourhood just a 10 minute taxi ride away from the centre. Rooms are spacious, beds very comfortable and service was friendly and helpful. They do a great afternoon tea, which was the best way to end our trip!

I stayed in the city center on my first ever visit to Newcastle and wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to go clubbing – it can get pretty wild! Jesmond is a very nice alternative.

Eat your way around the city

Around 90% of our time in Newcastle and Gateshead was spent eating delicious food, so it only seems right to make this guide a foodie one. We had everything from elegant dinner and afternoon tea to lunch in a shipping container and snacks at a fancy food hall.

What I love about Newcastle’s food scene is that there seems to be a real community of restaurateurs, pub owners, and local artisans. Ask questions and people will happily tell you about where their coffee/beer/cheese/chicken comes from. Geordies (as the locals are often called) take real pride in supporting small businesses and using local produce, which is really lovely.

Cook House

Cook House restaurant Newcastle

Head to Cook House for delicious food cooked by the lovely Anna Hedworth using fresh local produce. Eating at her restaurant feels like sitting in her kitchen – in a good way! Cook House was featured on Channel 4’s ‘Hidden Restaurants’ TV show and The Guardian has called it a hidden gem, so you know it’s good! Have a look at the website for supper clubs and food market dates, and keep an eye out for Anna’s upcoming book, merging recipes and stories of starting a food business. Her food blog is fantastic too.

Update: cook house has now moved to a bigger venue which is super exciting! I’ll be dropping by for some lunch next time I’m in Newcastle.

Wylam Brewery

Wylam brewery building
wylam brewery sunday roast


Visit Wylam Brewery in Exhibition Park for Sunday roast and craft beer. We were taken on a tour of the brewery and weren’t meant to eat anything there, but the lovely Dave couldn’t resist giving us a taste of the Sunday Roast. It was one of the best I’ve ever had! The roast pork was incredibly tasty. Book 3 to 4 weeks in advance to make sure you get a table – it’s very popular at the weekends.

Dobson and Parnell

dobson and parnell newcastle
dobson and parnell dessert

Book a table at the elegant Dobson and Parnell restaurant for a sophisticated meal. This is modern British cuisine with some pickling, curing and smoking incorporated. I really enjoyed my rack of Yorkshire lamb and the other girls only had good things to say about the halibut. Go for lunch Tues-Sat and get a 3 course set menu for only £19 – bargain!

Fenwicks Food Hall

fenwicks newcastle food hall

Visit Fenwick food hall for locally sourced treats including gin, baked goods, locally roast coffee, and cheeses from nearby farms. Try Doddington Cheeses or the Northumberland Nettle cheese, they’re delicious. Gin is the best selling category here and I can understand why: the variety of gins on offer is amazing and a pretty bottle from a local distillery makes for a lovely gift. The food hall reminded me of Selfridges Foodhall in London, but friendlier and with more local products. 

Grainger Market

Grainger market for retro signage and a variety of shops and cafes. One of Marks and Spencer’s original penny bazaars is here, and its beautiful signage dates back to 1895!

Try some freshly prepared dumplings from Nan Bei – I recommend the excellent house special!

Riley’s Fish Shack

rileys fish shack opening
rileys fish shack

Head over to the beach in Tynemouth for the best seafood in town, from a shack (two containers) on the beach. Riley’s is incredibly popular on a sunny day, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it have a prime location on the beach next to Tynemouth priory and castle, it also serves up fresh, seasonal and delicious fish dishes cooked on a wood fired oven. The menu is ever changing but you can expect it to feature dishes like monkfish kebab, chargrilled lobster, and stuffed squid with chorizo.

House of Tides

If you feel like trying the very best fine dining in Newcastle, House of Tides is the place to go. This is the only Michelin Star in town, and Chef Kenny Atkinson has become quite the celebrity chef. He’s a double winner of The Great British Menu and is a regular on shows like BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen & ITV Saturday Morning with James Martin. Sadly we didn’t have time to visit on this trip, but the food has been described by the Michelin guide as “creative dishes which are well-balanced and attractively presented”.

Try some local watering holes

Ouseburn Valley is a fantastic place for craft beer lovers. Our guide for an evening, beer writer Alastair Gilmour, took us around this area of Newcastle and showed us all the best places. He is an expert and a fountain of knowledge, so check out his website and get in touch if you need a guide!

Cumberland Arms

Walk up a hill to The Cumberland Arms, my favourite of all the pubs we visited, and take a seat in the beer garden or inside by the log fire. The owner was happy to chat us through all of the different types of Northern Alchemy beers and I loved the sweet Pineapple IPA and the breakfast-inspired Marmalade & Assam Tea IPA.

Free Trade Inn

Head to the Free Trade Inn just before sunset to enjoy some real ales and the amazing views over Newcastle and Gateshead from one of its two beer gardens. Rumour has Jimi Hendrix used to spend time here!

Wylam Brewery

As mentioned above! The Tap Room is open Thursday to Sunday, and the beer is brewed in this beautifully restored building from 1928. There are tours of the brewery on Saturdays. We were told that it’s dog friendly, child friendly, and caters to everyone from hipster to hip replacement! Try the coffee-flavoured Macchiato beer while you’re there.

The Cluny

the cluny newcastle

Family-friendly pub by day, intimate bar venue by night – check The Cluny‘s website for listings.

Ouseburn bridge Newcastle
Ouseburn Newcastle
tynemouth castle and priory

More places to see

  • Quayside, as the banks along Tyne river are called, is lovely for a scenic stroll. Take in the views along the river, including some of Newcastle Gateshead’s seven bridges. For a spot of culture, visit the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art housed in an old industrial building on the Gateshead side. In the summer enjoy Quayside Seaside, Newcastle’s very own little beach.
  • Grainger Town is the historic heart of Newcastle, with classical architecture designed in the 1830s by Richard Grainger. Head South down Grey Street to admire some of the city’s finest buildings, including the much loved Theatre Royal.
  • Tynemouth Castle and Priory used to be one of the largest fortified areas in England, and enjoys views of the coast and out onto the North Sea. A nice picnic spot!
  • The Angel of the North is a huge sculpture in Gateshead that has become a symbol for the North East.
  • Next time, I want to visit Saltwell Park in Gateshead. It looks very pretty!
Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Newcastle Blog

This foodie weekend made me fall in love with Newcastle. I had visited the city once before but hadn’t been convinced – it just goes to show that knowing the best places to go instead of just wandering around can sometimes make a huge difference! I can honestly recommend all of the places listed above, and would encourage you to start conversations with every local person you meet. They’re usually more than happy to recommend their favourite places and share interesting stories about their beloved Toon!

This post was written in collaboration with NewcastleGateshead.com. Thanks to them for organising such a fun foodie weekend!

A foodie's weekend guide to the best food, restaurants, pubs and breweries that Newcastle has to offer. Taste the best that the city has to offer in only two days.

4 Lovely Places for Breakfast in Newcastle

By Posted on 2 min read 170 views

My boyfriend Chris whisked me away to Newcastle last weekend. Yes, I know, not the most romantic destination, but when we first started dating over a year ago he promised that he would be my guide in the city one day. So finally, I got to see the the lovely capital of the North East, its (old) new castle, and its many, many, hen parties. As with all my city trips, food played a big part in this weekend! Breakfast was my favourite meal in Newcastle, and there are a few places that I would really like to go back to.

Brunch at Blakes Newcastle

Blake’s – 53 Grey St
We found this place by accident, but according to a local friend “that’s where you go for breakfast”. It feels really cosy and unpretentious, but breakfast is presented beautifully and the fresh sandwiches look delicious. It feels like a very welcoming family business and would be a great place to sit and read a good book in.

Brunch at Quay Ingredient Newcastle

Quay Ingredient – 4 Queen Street, Quayside
Okay, so we didn’t actually manage to try this place (it was on the list but closed on the day we wanted to go), but friends have confirmed that this is the perfect place for brunch. Not only does it have a great name (guess where it’s located!), but it serves wonderful treats like cinnamon pancakes and eggs benedict with parma ham.

Dil and the Bear Tynemouth Review

Dil & The Bear – 18 Front Street, Tynemouth
Alright, so this one isn’t in central Newcastle but Tynemouth is only a few metro stops away! After wandering around the local market and walking by the sea, we stopped here for brunch. Their cakes were amazing and I loved their little tea cosies and mini milk bottles – it’s all in the details!

Breakfast at Baltic Kitchen Newcastle

BALTIC Kitchen – Gateshead Quays, Southshore Road, Gateshead
On the ground floor of the impressive BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the Kitchen has a lovely view over the River Tyne and the Millenium Bridge. Go there for fresh scones or a smoked salmon and avocado toast, then head upstairs to check out some exhibitions and watch the bridge tilt from a viewing platform.

Although Newcastle’s nightlife wasn’t really my cup of tea (and that’s an understatement) I really enjoyed walking around the quayside, having a few nice meals, and visiting nearby Tynemouth and Durham. I’ll probably be back soon to meet more of Chris’s friends and try the other places on my foodie list!

Have you ever been to Newcastle? 
What places would you recommend?