What a time to live in the North East of England! This year has seen so many exciting things happening in Newcastle and the surrounding areas – not only are we playing host to The Great Exhibition of the North, but I have been so blown away by how many fantastic bars, cafes, restaurants and visitor attractions have been popping up around the region in 2018.
Although I’ve lived in the North East my whole life, I still feel like I’m discovering more about it all the time – I’m sure there are even more hidden gems waiting to be discovered too. I’ve put together a list of my top 10 North East discoveries (both old and new) in 2018 so far:
Hesleyside Huts – Bellingham
Around Easter this year, I had the pleasure of staying in one of Anna and William Charlton’s beautiful huts in the grounds of the magnificent Hesleyside Hall, near Bellingham. Bracken Hut and the other huts on the Estate take luxury glamping to a new level – every home comfort you can think of is catered for. I can’t wait to go back!
Turknaz – Whitley Bay
Voted Best Regional Kebab Restaurant in 2018, this eatery on the Whitley Bay seafront serves up some pretty spectacular Turkish cuisine. With barbecued meats cooked over charcoals, zingy dips and tasty Turkish flatbreads, the dishes served up here are real crowd pleasers and a must try if you’re in the area!
Brinkburn Priory – Northumberland
Earlier this year I attended the most stunning wedding at Brinkburn Priory near Rothbury. This English Heritage site consists of a 12th-century Augustinian church, alongside a beautifully-eerie, ruined manor house and superb facilities for small and intimate wedding parties.
Milkhope Centre – Blagdon
Just last week, I stumbled across The Milkhope Centre in Blagdon completely by accident and couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before! This delightful country food and shopping destination is home to the wonderful Blacksmiths Coffee Shop (great lemon meringue pie!), as well as a variety of independent traders. The onsite Blagdon Farm Shop is an absolute gem!
The Garage – Shieldfield
I love discoveries like this one – The Garage is a fantastic little independent café in the most unassuming of venues – an old MOT garage! Driving past this Shieldfield garage, if you didn’t notice the courtyard and rather large CAFE sign, you totally wouldn’t know that this place serves the best breakfasts, iced coffees and sweet treats in the area! Not to mention the delicious salad bowls and burgers at lunchtime.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thegarageNCL/
Settle Down Café – Newcastle City Centre
The Settle Down Café, tucked away on Thornton Street in Newcastle, describes itself as your ‘home away from home’. Having been there myself, I can see why! Curl up in one of the cafe’s cosy corners with a hot chocolate and homemade pizza slice and engross yourself in a good book or magazine.
Delicious Decadence – Jesmond
I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered this gorgeous little tearoom by Ilford Road Metro Station – apparently it’s been around for years! I had the yummiest afternoon tea there recently. Everything from the sandwiches, to the homemade baked goods was fabulous, and the service was lovely too. Afternoon tea for one, plus a pot of tea or coffee at this ‘pretty in pink’ tearoom will only set you back £8.50 – bargain!
The Northumberland Hussar – Heaton
It’s always great finding a decent pub, but it’s even better when you find a decent pub that also serves cracking grub! Located down one of the streets leading off from Chilli Road in Heaton, this boozer prides itself on its real ales and real-good food. I personally recommend the homemade pizzas and Poutine (posh chips and gravy).
Heaton Perk – Heaton
I feel truly blessed that this gorgeous little café is only a stone’s throw away from where I work – lunch breaks will never be the same again! Along with the quirkiest of interiors and the cutest of courtyards, Heaton Perk serves up some lovely breakfast and light lunch dishes. My favourites range from Mushrooms on Toast, to Chorizo Melt Paninis and everything in between!
The Cloister Café and Restaurant- Newcastle City Centre
No more grabbing a quick Boots meal deal before I hop on the train at Central Station – I’m now going to make the effort to have my lunch in the quaint Cloister Café in St Mary’s Cathedral before I head over to the station opposite to catch my train. The volunteers who work in this café are some of the nicest people you’ll meet and the food is simple but hearty and delicious. Try the home-roasted ham salad, or the scampi if it’s on the specials board!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cathedralcloistercafe/
Get in touch with your favourite North East discoveries and happy exploring!