The long days of Christmas shopping in bustling Newcastle are nearly upon us, and so I thought it would be a good idea to tell you all about a café that I think is the perfect place for a pit stop after many hours searching for the perfect silver wrapping paper to match your Mum’s Christmas tree!
I’ve visited Mason & Rye, a bakery-patisserie-café set amongst the organised chaos of Fenwick’s Food Hall, several times now but it’s been a while since I last ate there. So, whilst in town the other day I decided to go and see if it had at all changed in the months since I was last there – thankfully it hadn’t!The first thing you see when you approach the counter at Mason & Rye is the most amazing selection of cakes and patisserie. Each cake is beautifully exact and colourful and could each in their own right be a Showstopper on GBBO!
In the past I have sampled a lovely chocolate torte, as well as a simple yet delicious afternoon tea consisting of sandwiches, a choice of scones with clotted cream and your choice of cake from the daily selection – bliss!
This time round I was immediately drawn to a rather large coffee and honeycomb cake, covered in a caramel-coloured icing and topped with shards of honeycomb. I’ve always been a firm fan of the classic coffee and walnut combination, but this cake may well have won me over. I can honestly say it was the lightiest, tastiest, but most indulgent cake I’ve eaten since my days at Tealicious Tearoom in Durham. The coffee sponge layers were identical and light, with layers of delicious buttercream in between. The honeycomb shards were also a winner – this cake is sure to hit the jackpot for anyone with a sweet tooth like me!
I’m very aware I’m getting ahead of myself talking about all the sweet treats here – can you tell I like cake? Mason & Rye also offers a great selection of savoury options; there are sandwich choices containing fillings such as homemade houmous, juicy Marie Rose prawns with rocket, as well as Manchego Cheese and Serrano Ham served in an array of different artisanal breads. The salad options also look very tempting and on many occasions I wish I hadn’t eaten so much cake so I would have had room for a fillet of salmon with some of the marinated vegetables and salad mixes you can pick from at the Mason & Rye counter.
Shopping can be a tiring business, and I can’t think of a better way to refuel and cheer up your begrudging shopping companion than with a generous slice of delicious cake and a hot drink! The chefs and servers at Mason & Rye clearly have an eye for detail, as everything exudes quality and precision, not to mention deliciousness! For continental sandwiches and patisserie and a decent cup of coffee, head to the bakery in Fenwick’s Food Hall for a well-earned pit stop.
Overall Rating: ****
Pro(s): I haven’t had a bad meal/cake from Mason & Rye. Everything looks and tastes like it’s high quality and just looking at the cake and patisserie selection is a treat in itself!
Con(s): It has to be said that you won’t be the only person in Newcastle heading to Mason & Rye with the same idea of a quick pit stop for coffee and cake. This little bakery can get very busy and a tiny bit noisy (it is in the midst of Fenwick’s Food Hall after all). But the large slices of yummy cake more than make up for that in my opinion!