Although we are still in a state of lockdown and daydreaming about pints with our mates in the hopefully not too distant future, we’re beginning to see a very faint light at the end of the tunnel. While public safety is indeed the most important aspect in this situation, it’s nice to imagine what we’ll do that first weekend after lockdown has officially come to an end.
There’s so much about Newcastle that I’ve missed over the last couple of months, so of course I have a huge list of places I want to visit as soon as it’s safe. But how can I fill that first glorious weekend of freedom with as much about what I love in the North East as possible? Well, I made a map to help!
To prepare for a weekend full of adventures you need a good breakfast to get you started. So, on Saturday morning a trip The Naked Deli on Gosforth High Street is a must. I’ll order my favourite from their breakfast menu, a smoked salmon scrambled egg with chives bowl and a peanut butter and banana protein shake. While my sidekick and lovely partner, Andy, always goes for their protein French toast with crispy bacon and maple syrup. A perfect energy boost for the day ahead!
After breakfast we’ll take a walk through Gosforth and head to Jesmond Dene. As always we’ll take a sneaky look at Jesmond Dene House on the way and talk about how amazing their restaurant must be!
After strolling through the dene and enjoying the gorgeous greenery, we’ll come to an end at Armstrong Bridge and then head towards Ouseburn, past the Biscuit Factory and along Ouseburn’s archways. Our second stop of the day will be at one of the sweetest spots in the city, Dreamworld Cakes, which is nestled in Arch 3. As someone with a huge sweet tooth and a love for local businesses, I really can’t speak highly enough of this cosy little patisserie. I’ve never seen cakes so lovingly and intricately created, and the staff are always fantastic. The cakes taste as wonderful as they look, too.
Afterwards, we’ll pop across the road to one of my most favourite places in Newcastle, Ouseburn Farm. The farm is a particularly special part of the city as it’s an incredibly unique city centre farm, sitting in the middle of Ouseburn’s pubs and creative studios, below Byker Bridge. It’s just a lovely place in Newcastle to see animals and enjoy a small corner of farm life. It’s also completely free to go to, but it does act as a fantastic charity, so of course we won’t forget to leave a donation!
After a morning of eating, walking and making friends with Ouseburn farms lambs and cows, it’s time for a drink. As we’re already in Ouseburn, it only makes sense to head to one of the local pubs, The Ship Inn. In an ideal world, the first weekend after lockdown will be nice and sunny, so we’ll sit outside on the deck and enjoy a nice pint in the sun. A pint of cider for me, and a beer for Andy.
Now that we’re celebrating, there’s a venue in Newcastle that I haven’t visited yet that’s definitely on my to do list. So, we’ll take a quick walk up to Hoults Yard to find Full Circle Brew Co., which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. The venue itself is an active brewery, but also has its own bar to sit down in and enjoy looking into the brewery itself as you try their beer first hand. Being newbies, we’ll ask the owner, Ben, what he recommends;
“I mean, I’d recommend them all but it very much depends on the style of beer you like. We have three cores which have all been designed and developed for over a year with tweaks on each version to maximise the taste for all, they’re our crowd-pleasers. Our Hoop American Pale Ale is designed as a ‘gateway beer’ for the drinkers who are just getting into craft beer. Less hop bitterness and haze but still packing the expected flavours celebrated in an APA. The Repeater Session IPA is built for those who want more than a few in a day, great citrus hop flavour with a light bittering on the background. Now for the flagship, our heavy hitter and our best in my opinion. Our Hazy, Hoppy and Fairly Boozy IPA standing at 6.4%. It has a softening New England water profile and is packed with Citra hops, this is a real star in the making.” – Ben Cleary, Full Circle Brew Co. Owner & Founder
After a lovely couple of drinks at Full Circle, we’ll hit the road again and head straight down to the Quayside. It’s a lovely day, so we’re off to enjoy some more drinks and a late lunch at By The River Brew, overlooking the Tyne. This place is great because they have so many different food vendors in their Hawker Market, so there’s something to keep everyone happy. We’ll pig out on an authentic parmo from Parm-O-Rama, and some amazing fries with steak, known as the Steak Supper, from Shanty Town. Of course By The River Brew have their own great selection of home brewed beers too, and the selection sometimes changes. So it’ll be a beer for Andy and a crisp cider for me.
After enjoying the awesome scenes on the riverside, it’s time to head up into the city for some cocktails. And where’s best to go for a fine quality cocktail in town? Horticulture, of course! While it’s one of Newcastle’s newest additions to the bar and restaurant scene, Horticulture has already made it’s mark by specialising in an incredible selection of cocktails and percolators, as well an impressively creative kitchen. The drinks menu there is so boundless that I always have difficulty choosing which to order, so I’ll ask the bar owner, Mike, what he’d recommend;
“I would work your way through one of our world record amount of espresso martini flavours, or personally some of our signature cocktails are mind-blowing. My personal favourite is Wham Bam Rhubarb Jam which we use Rhubarb grown from our allotment, real tasty” – Mike Hesketh, Horticulture Owner & Founder
One Wham Bam Rhubarb Jam for me it is then, along with an Old Fashioned for Andy who likes his cocktails strong. A trip to Horticulture on a nice day also means sitting out on the gorgeous sun terrace, which is the perfect little sun trap in the city centre.
Once we’ve had our fill of drinking in the sunshine, in my ideal world, we’ll be off to see a show at The Tyne Theatre. Now, obviously there aren’t any shows lined up for the immediate future, but this is my perfect after lockdown weekend, so I’m going to pretend that Klub Kids are hosting a show starring some of the RuPauls Drag Race Queens. It’ll be a great night of entertainment and comedy and it means that we’ll get to spend the evening in one of Newcastle’s most enchanting buildings, as well as catch up with some of my friends working there.
Now after Saturday’s day drinking we’re likely feeling a little bit fragile today. So, what better way to freshen up than by taking a trip on the metro to Tynemouth? As it’s a Sunday, the famous Tynemouth Market will be in full swing as we get there, and it’s the perfect time for a bit of shopping and rummaging around antiques. I absolutely love the random mixture of things you find there, from stunning artwork to homemade candles to eclectic bric-a-brac.
After we’ve made our way around the market, we’ll head to King Edwards Bay for some fresh air by the sea and sandy toes, before heading back up the hill to the well known Marshall’s fish & chip shop for lunch. Their scampi & chips is a perfect hangover cure!
After picking up some chocolate from Gareth James Chocolatier (did I mention I had a sweet tooth?) and a quick look into Raspberry Bazaar, we’ll get the metro again and head to Monument. Now that we’re a bit more bright eyed and bushy tailed, we’ll grab a milkshake each from Shakeaholic. My favourite flavour is Black Jacks, sounds strange but it works, and Andy’s is a Milky Way. Shakeaholic has only just been renovated too, so the shop is all nice and shiny.
After getting our milkshake fix, we’ll make our way to Dog and Scone just off the Bigg Market, for a sit down with a coffee and some cuddles with the cafe’s lovely collection of friendly dogs. What could make a Sunday even more perfect then some quality puppy petting?
Next, we’ll pop up the road again for a movie at the historical Tyneside Cinema. Hopefully they’ll be playing some old cinematic favourites and we can watch a classic like Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Some Like It Hot on a Sunday afternoon. Watching a film like this in the Tyneside Cinema’s beautiful auditorium isn’t like any other cinema experience in the North East, and it’s the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday.
Top finish up a wonderful weekend, we’ll indeed be going for some more fantastic food. Seeing as we’re being indulgent, we’ll obviously be visiting Lola Jeans on Market Street for some of the best burgers in town. Now, as delicious as their burgers are, one of my favourite things to order at Lola Jeans is their Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls starter. It’s amazing! But for our mains, it’ll be a California burger for Andy, and a Clancy Wiggum for me!
Before rolling home to our bed, there’s just enough time for us to walk off some of the excess calories from the weekend with a stroll across the Millennium Bridge to take in the views on the way back to our flat in Gateshead.
Thank you so much for joining Tickets in Newcastle for an interview about your amazing chocolaterie in Newcastle City Centre, La Chocolatrice.
As we’re in lockdown at the moment we are doing this interview via email, but I can’t wait to visit your shop once it’s open again!
Making chocolate sounds like an incredible job. Could you please tell us how you got started as an artisan chocolate maker? Where did your passion come from?
I have always loved chocolate. For as long as I can remember it has been my favourite treat. Whether I was being given chocolate by grandparents, or saving my pocket money to buy two vanilla truffles from Thornton’s each Saturday, it was always part of my childhood.
When I was 18 I moved to Avallon, a small town in the centre of France. While there I worked as an au pair and one of my jobs was to make the afternoon snack. I’ve always liked cooking but this was where my chocolate love story really came into its own. Over the course of the year, the afternoon snack became bigger and more complicated, and I’d often visit the local patisserie for ideas and inspiration. I also spent a lot of time sampling the delicious treats at the local patisserie, which I enjoyed immensely!
I moved to Paris a couple of years later, and took every opportunity to improve my baking and patisserie skills. I attended quite a few courses while I lived there, but the one thing that stood out to me was chocolate! I will never forget the first time I made an Easter egg – it was so much fun! I started experimenting with chocolate and different chocolate recipes, and upon returning to the UK, I began working part time for a chocolatier in Leeds, while studying at University.
You recently opened your own premises on Westgate Road called La Chocolatrice. What made you decide to open your own shop and is there a story behind it?
Until June 2019, I had been working for a few years in the North East, as a French and Spanish teacher. Owning my own chocolate shop has always been my dream, and although I loved my job, I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I never would.
After handing in my notice, I spent the whole summer making plans, but the one thing I couldn’t decide upon was the name. I was on holiday with a friend, and I’d told her the problem that I had. She spent the whole week making suggestions (some of them okay, some of the ridiculous), and it was on the last night, we were in bed and it was dark and she whispered, “What about La Chocolatrice?” and we both loved it. We had lived in France together, and studied together at University, and in French, a lot of professions have a masculine and a feminine title. Chocolatier didn’t so she made one up, La Chocolatrice.
Could you tell us a bit about what you offer at La Chocolatrice?
La Chocolatrice is the only independent chocolate shop in the centre of Newcastle. We stock a range of handmade chocolate bars and other chocolatey treats, and we also teach Chocolate Making Workshops.
During a Chocolate Truffle Making Workshop, you will learn how to make delicious chocolate truffles, chocolate flakes, and chocolate crisps, experimenting with flavours and techniques. Workshops are all very hands-on and you take home everything that you make – lots of delicious chocolates! Each workshop lasts from between 90 minutes to two hours and is the perfect way to celebrate any special occasion, or just have fun!
I am currently working on some new workshops which I will be releasing soon, such as a chocolate bar making workshop and an Easter Egg making workshop next year.
What’s it like running the chocolate making workshops and do you have loads of fun doing them?
I love running workshops. I always say that I have managed to create myself my dream job. I have combined my love of teaching with my love of chocolate, and I get to chat to people while making delicious treats.
No two workshops are ever the same and I meet so many lovely people every day. I feel really lucky to be doing something that I love.
What kind of feedback have you received from the good people of Newcastle about your products?
People seem to be really enjoying both the chocolate and the workshops, which is lovely! In the shop I have my regular customers, some who have been coming since my very first day. It’s lovely because you get to know people. I was worried, leaving teaching, that I wouldn’t like working by myself but I meet new, interesting people every day.
What is your favourite type of chocolate and why?
I always find this question really hard because the honest answer is that I love it all! I think I have a different favourite for every occasion. I love really good quality dark chocolate. One of my favourite things that I’ve done recently was a chocolate tasting, and we tasted lots of different single origin chocolate. There was a variety of chocolate, made from beans grown all around the world. It was amazing to taste the difference between chocolate made from beans grown in Ecuador, and chocolate made from beans grown in Tanzania. They were both delicious, but completely different flavours!
My current favourite bar from my range is the caramel filled milk chocolate bar. I made it as a one off, but I enjoyed eating it so much that it is now a permanent addition to my range. I think enjoying chocolate is about more than just the taste. Obviously you want a fantastic flavour, but it is the whole experience that makes a great chocolate bar. The appearance, the snap, the smell, and more all have to be amazing to make it just right.
What are your plans for yourself and for La Chocolatrice once we are safely out of lockdown?
During lockdown I have been working on developing the range of chocolate I stock at La Chocolatrice. I have also been running Friday Night Chocolate sales. At 7pm every Friday I open my online chocolate shop, and each week I sell a different chocolate treat box. Treat boxes contain three bars of chocolate and a pack of delicious chocolate buttons, and the flavours change each week. This has been going really well. I’m really enjoying this project, but I’m also very new to selling online.
After lockdown, I’d like to continue working on my Online Chocolate Shop, as I find it really exciting sending my chocolate all around the country. Really though, I can’t wait to reopen La Chocolatrice, start running workshops again, and welcome back all of my lovely customers!
You can find out more about La Chocolatrice as well as purchase Zoë’s workshops and chocolate on her website, here;
Local food vendor Parm-O-Rama have announced they’ll be doing a free live cookalong!
Parm-O-Rama have become renown in Newcastle for offering authentic and delicious parmos! Owner Jonny Hesketh, who originally hails from Middlesbrough, spent months perfecting his parmos and building his parmo wagon to offer the North East the best parmos around, and has been incredibly popular at venues and events like By the River Brew’s HWKRMKT and Wylam Breweries Battle of the Burger.
Jonny is passionate about the Middlesborough born delicacy and wanted to give Newcastle a taste of what an original parmo should taste like. If you’re not familiar with what a parmo is, they’re traditionally made out of chicken covered in breadcrumbs, bechamel sauce and cheese. As you can imagine, they’re not healthiest options, but they sure are yummy!
Jonny has stated on Parm-O-Rama’s Facebook page;
“We’re all living through difficult times at the moment, so we’ve decided to try bring some cheer and joy to everyone. The Parm-O-Rama Cookalong live! Wether you’re at home on your own, with a partner or the family everyone can get involved and make Teessides finest delicacy!”
The cookalong will be held on Instagram Live from Parm-O-Rama’s Instagram page @parmorama at 5pm on Tuesday 7th April.
Although they won’t be giving away their signature bechamel sauce recipe (believe me, it tastes amazing), they have posted a list of essential ingredients for the “Lockdown Parmo” which will be an easy to make from home recipe;
Breadcrumbs (or alternative)
Salt & Pepper
Cooking Oil (vegetable, rapeseed or sunflower)
Grated Cheese (Jonny recommends Red Leicester and/ or grated mature cheddar)
To serve, the parmo tastes best with sides such as chips, wedges, coleslaw and salad, as well as some garlic sauce!
So, to give yourself a new cooking challenge and a delicious meal whoever you’re eating with either at home or through a Houseparty call, don’t forget to to follow Parm-O-Rama’s Instagram page and log in on Tuesday at 5pm for a truly unique experience.
After the Government’s calls to close all restaurants, pubs, gyms and shops for the foreseeable future, it comes as no surprise that this leaves smaller and local businesses worried about how they will cope.
In the North East, shy bairns get nowt. So a lot of local food vendors and restaurants are venturing into new takeaway and collection ventures in bid to adapt, overcome and power on.
Loo In supporting our local businesses we can help our friends, neighbours and community here in Tyne and Wear to weather the storm of this strange situation. And, of course, fill our bellies with some of the best scran going!
To help make it easy for you to find some of the best restaurants and artisan food vendors in the North East now that we’re on lockdown, I’ve put together this list of excellent foodies, as well as how you can order from them. Fill your boots;
Goodtimes Tacos specialise in delicious Mexican inspired food, including their full to the brim burritos.
They are currently able to deliver in NE3 and Great Park, but may expand if there’s enough demand for it – so get those orders in!
Note; This vendor is currently contactless so can only accept card payments. Their driver will have a card reader, or if you are self-isolating they can send you a link to make payment from your phone.
Comfort food doesn’t get more comforting than mac n cheese, and these guys have nailed it.
They are normally open for business at Newcastle’s Grainger Market, but are now offering a contact free delivery service within a 10 mile radius of Newcastle city centre for ‘pop it in the oven’ orders. Which just means that you can heat up Redhead’s yummy mac n cheese dishes from the comfort of your own home.
Deliveries are every Friday, and orders must be placed by 8.00am on Fridays mornings.
Gingerinos is a hidden gem kept in Ouseburn, and an absolute must try for pizza lovers!
They are operating with a takeaway service for collection and delivery. They have different specials each week so keep an eye on their menu and social media. Gingerinos are currently available between 11.30am – 9.00pm Monday – Saturday.
If you thought you could only get a decent parmo in Middlesbrough, think again. Parm-O-Rama has been serving up authentic Northern parmos in Newcastle for just over a year now, and are too good not to try.
While their parmos are top notch, Parm-o-Rama’s owner, Jonny, is still working his magic on his parmo wagan to offer deliveries around Newcastle. As soon as this is sorted, we’ll keep you posted!
For anyone with a sweet tooth, Pet Lamb Patisserie are your girls! Their gorgeous little patisserie in the Grainger Market is a haven for brownies, blondies, cupcakes and occasion cakes, but while things are a little bit different at the moment, the girls are working hard to offer a delivery service.
Delicious and fresh authentic Italian pasta is Zucchini’s speciality, and is available to be delivered or collected from their restaurant in Newcastle city centre or their kitchen in Great Park.
They offer collection, takeaway and bakeaway services for their heartwarming menu. Which means you can order to eat it straight away, or take it home to cook whenever you’d like it. Perfect for a family meal at home.
Zucchini pasta bar are offering free delivery Tuesday – Saturday between 12.00pm – 3.00pm and 5.00pm – 9.00pm.
If you’d like to order from their Newcastle city centre restaurant, you can call or text; 07376545373. Or if you’d like to order from their Great Park premise, you can call or text; 07809234570
Scream for Pizza recently opened their own restaurant in Sandyford and are a huge hit in the North East for their speciality pizzas.
They’re receiving a lot of takeaway orders right now as they’re in high demand, so they are now operating with 10 minute slots for people’s to book in to collect pizzas. For everyone’s safety, as they are only a small restaurant, they politely ask that everyone wait outside of the restaurant for them to bring your collection to you.
They also have their own pizza truck, so hopefully they will be able to deliver more pizzas in different areas shortly.
You can place an order at their restaurant by calling;01912617974
You may have noticed the Brownie Bar on Chillingham Road or inside Eldon Square before, and their brownies are to die for!
The Brownie Bar are still offering delicious brownie boxes for delivery, with over 16 flavours to choose from. Brownies are usually delivered within 48 hours of ordering and if ordered before 10.00am Monday – Friday they will be sent same day.
St Sushi are experts in classic Japanese cuisine, and are the perfect local restaurant to get your sushi and bento box fix from.
Based in Newcastle city centre on Westgate Road, they are currently offering both delivery and collection options for orders. Deliveries must be within a 5 mile radius of the city centre and are available from 12.00pm (days and times tbc).
Serving some of the best and most decadent burgers this side of the Tyne, Fat Hippo is still open for business.
Operating with a collection and delivery service from each of their restaurants in Newcastle, Jesmond and Durham, Fat Hippo orders are available from 11.30am – 11.00pm! They have even just extended their delivery radius to help to serve even more customers with their burgery goodness.
You can order with them on Deliveroo, via; www.fathippo.co.uk to find your nearest branch. Or order for collection by giving your nearest restaurant a call.
Prima is one of the Quayside’s most homely restaurants and always offers a great choice of Italian based food at great prices.
They are now providing their A La Carte Menu and Sunday lunches as a delivery service, as well as buy vouchers from their website.
For a limited time they are currently also offering free delivery and 25% off all orders over £15.
To order, you can give the restaurant a call on; 01912331011
For authentic Greek gyros, look no further than Acropolis! A huge hit at markets with their food van and now a popular favourite in the Grainger Market, Acropolis is one of the North Easts best for a Greek experience.
Their Grainger Market restaurant is offering takeaway and they are also now providing delivery between 11.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Saturday.
They have kindly asked that customers be patient if there is any delay, as this is their first time in offering a delivery service. To order a delivery, you can text or call; 07761464917
Hinnies has become a North East hit for offering ‘Geordie comfort food’ by the sea in Whitley Bay.
The popular restaurant has now launched ‘Hinnies at Home’ to help you get your fix of their wholesome menu.
Payment is contactless on ordering, and deliveries can be made within a 4 mile radius of their restaurant. Collections and deliveries are available 5.00pm – 9.00pm Monday – Saturday and 12.00pm – 5.00pm on Sundays.
Pensioners and NHS workers (with an NHS card) are also eligible for a 20% discount.
Lola Jeans is well known in Newcastle for serving some of the tastiest and award winning burgers around. Winning Battle of the Burgers for the last 5 or so years in row, they’re certainly a foodie’s dream.
While Lola Jeans have promised me that they are currently working very hard on a new takeaway service, it hasn’t launched quite yet. More information to follow.
A fairly recent addition to Newcastle’s Clayton Street, New Delhi is a gorgeous Indian restaurant offering ‘delhi-cous’ tasting streetfood, inspired by the street hawkers of Delhi.
They are now offering an express takeaway service and have orders for collection and delivery available within a 3 mile radius of the city centre. They also have a contact free delivery and collection option on request.
Their opening hours are currently 5.00pm – 10.30pm daily.
Online ordering is coming soon, but for you can phone in your order on; 01912302302 or WhatsApp your order to; 07588896045
Gosforth High Street has been home to San Lorenzo for many years now and it’s a firm favourite with locals. Offering a wide variety of Italian food and (arguably) the best potato skins in the North East as well as delicious pizza and pasta.
You can order for takeaway collection by calling; 01912130399
Orders are available to order and collect between 4.00pm – 9.00pm daily (days tbc).
One of Newcastle city centres most loved and unique restaurants, famed for their high quality dining, you can now order Blackfriars to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
You can order for collection or delivery between 5.00pm – 9.00pm Monday – Saturday and 12.00pm – 5.00pm on Sunday’s. Payment is contactless and they cannot accept cash. Delivery is available within a 4 mile radius of their restaurant.
To order, you can call them on; 01912615945
Pensioners and NHS workers (with NHS cards) are also eligible for 20% off.
Cookie freaks are an amazing choice for anyone with a big sweet tooth. They usually trade at Tynemouth market, but have changed things up a bit to offer a delivery service further afield across Newcastle and Durham.
This particular vendor is a little bit harder to list as they deliver in different areas on different days. But they’re super friendly and awesome at what they do, so if you have a specific order you’d like to make, you can email them on; email@example.com
All payments must be prepaid by card payment.
To find out exactly when and where they are delivering on weekends as well as which yummy cookie selections they have, keep an eye on their Facebook page, here; https://m.facebook.com/cookiefreaks/
NU TU GO
NU TU GO have become the go to place in Gateshead centre for healthy eating and superfood smoothies.
They have just started providing ‘NU-Isolation Meals’ to help people who are self-isolating. They are offering fresh healthy meals on a collection or delivery takeaway service, with deliveries up to 5 miles radius of their café in Gateshead’s Trinity Square.
For collections, they can also offer to bring your order out to your car for you.
You can order by giving them a call on; 01914775732
The UK is home to numerous celebrated Chinatowns, and Newcastle’s very own Stowell Street is at the heart of the Chinese community within Newcastle.
Stowell Street in Newcastle’s city centre, just a stones throw away from Eldon Square, is laden with authentic Chinese restaurants. So if you’re in the mood for Chinese cuisine then it’s the perfect place in town to head! After doing some research online, my partner Andy and I decided to try Amaysia, who describe themselves as ‘The Uniquely Asian’.
Finding Amaysia is easy, as it’s right in the middle of Stowell Street. When entering the restaurant we were greeted by a friendly member of staff at the bar before being taken up some stairs to the main floor.
One of the first things we noticed was the decor, as it’s a mixture of neutral tones and furniture, with a few additions of more eclectic decorations (including a Pikachu and collection of other Chinese New Year inspired animals hanging above some of the tables!)
The restaurant has a very modern feel, while serving traditional Chinese and Malaysian food (or what we know as traditional in the UK at least). The menu is noticeably huge, and the size of a book rather than a standard menu. It was packed full of a lot of our favourite Chinese dishes, as well as some more alternative options. Their drinks menu is also really impressive, including lots of their speciality non-alcoholic cocktail style drinks. Iced Lychee and Grass Jelly in Syrup, or a Malt Cereal & Crushed Ice? No problem!
After eventually deciding what we were going to order, I chose Salt and Pepper King Prawns for starter and Beef in Black Bean Sauce on Crispy Noodles for my main. Andy went for Prawn Toast for his starter and Chicken Satay with Egg Fried Rice for mains. To say the least, we chose well!
As we waited a short time for our starters, we noticed a large party at a round table behind us enjoy an absolute feast of sharing plates! Our eyes were definitely growing bigger than our stomachs from nosying at their table!
Our starters were incredibly tasty and I’m still thinking about the Salt and Pepper King Prawns, they were delicious! I’ve already planned to try out the Salt and Pepper Tofu next time we go! It’s worth pointing out that Amaysia had lots of veggie friendly options too.
We were served by three or four different waiting staff, and all of them extremely polite and friendly. There was no awkward waiting time and they were very attentive without being overbearing.
As our main courses arrived, it was clear that there was no chance I was ever going to finish it! The portion sizes were huge and there was no chance of either of us going home hungry. Just as with the starters, the mains were full-flavoured. Andy pointed out that his Chicken Satay was spicier than he’d expected, as it’s one of his favourite dishes. But he was chuffed with this as he can handle his spice! I, on the other hand, am not at all good with spice, so I was glad that the Black Bean Sauce wasn’t unexpectedly spicy.
Just as I anticipated, I wasn’t even halfway through my main course before I was full. Being a liiittle bit hungover from the night before though, having too much food was a lot more appreciated than not enough!
We both very much enjoyed our meals, and have already planned to organise a get together with friends so that we can enjoy one of the amazing party tables that the people behind us had.
As we left, we were kindly said goodbye to from a few of the waiting and bar staff, which always goes a long way in my book.
As anyone who comes from Newcastle will be able to tell you, the city has become a bit of a foodie haven over the last few years. With new local eateries, trendy food trucks and chain restaurants popping up all over Newcastle upon Tyne in recent times, there’s no shortage of choice when deciding on where to eat out. The same goes for bars, pubs and, most recently, breweries within and close to the city centre.
Being a lover of good food and drink myself, this comes with no complaints from me. In fact, I feel like there’s so many good places to eat in town now that I’ve heard others rave about, that I wouldn’t know where to start first. Luckily for me, the decision of where to have Sunday lunch with a group of friends today wasn’t up to me, as myself and my boyfriend were invited to a friendly catch up meal with some of our couple friends.
It goes without saying, we didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation as soon as Sunday lunch at Wylam Brewery was mentioned. We’d heard great things about the meals there, and are already fans of the regular food stall competitions that are held there across the summer, so we couldn’t wait to give it a try!
It gives me great pleasure to say that we were not disappointed. If you haven’t already visited Wylam Brewery, which opened in Exhibition Park in 2016 after taking over the historic Palace of Arts building, it’s a unique and gorgeous venue with a mix of modern and authentic features. Although equally casual and perfect for day drinking on a sunny weekend.
While the grand hall within the building is normally only open to private or promoted events, the restaurant and bar area, known as the tap kitchen, remain open for drinks and small plates Thursdays to Saturdays, and for traditional Sunday lunch each Sunday. Though the menu wasn’t huge, I was impressed with everything on it.
I opted for the belly pork option, but there was also a choice of lamb, beef and vegetarian terrine. Luckily all of my friends on the table chose at least one of each option collectively, and I have to say that each one looked as tasty as the other!
When the meals arrived we were all very impressed with the portion sizes, and accordingly did the typical ‘oofft!’ reaction out loud as the plates were presented to us by the lovely waitress (absolute props to Wylam Brewery on your staff, they were all fantastic). The belly pork was absolutely delicious and came with a bonus of crackling on the big portion of meat, which I wasn’t expecting but was more than happy with. The vegetables were cooked to perfection, the Yorkshire puddings were giant and the light gravy accompanying the meal was perfect as it wasn’t either too rich or too watery. We were even offered extra gravy for the table, which obviously we didn’t turn down!
Another factor which adds to the loveliness of the venue is that it is dog friendly, so our friends brought along their pug, Olly, and border terrier, Freddie. The staff were more than accommodating of the little dudes and were happy to bring out water for them. They just chilled out under the table, or at least until the smell of our food got a little bit too exciting for Olly.
After our mains, which took us all a fair amount of time to polish off due to the sizes, we went for dessert. There were three choices including a cheese board, blood orange cake with rhubarb, pistachios and cream cheese, and my favourite on the menu, chocolate and cherry sundae. Guys, if you trust me on one thing throughout this review, please make sure you don’t skip dessert. It was a dream.
Of course Wylam Brewery also has an excellent selection of drinks, so is the perfect spot for any beer lover as they have over 30 on offer. I’m more of a cider girl myself though and opted for the guest cider, which honestly tasted like summer in a glass, why is it still only February?
So, to sum up; myself and my splendid group of friends all had a wonderful meal at Wylam Brewery, and it was a fantastic place to catch up with pals we hadn’t seen in a while. The staff were great, the menu was brilliantly put together and I will most definitely be bringing my Dad here the next time he suggests going for a Sunday dinner.