We’re well and truly in the run-up to Christmas now and I’ve been making the most of all the fantastic things Newcastle is offering this festive season. For as long as I remember, we’ve had the Christmas Markets at Monument, but this year, my favourite city has outdone itself! From beautiful tipis and roaring fires, to bars dedicated to Christmas and twinkling lights lining the streets, Newcastle is just one of those places you want to be at Christmas.
Here are some of my absolute favourite places to go in Newcastle, to get into the spirit of Christmas:
Newcastle Christmas Markets
They’re back – but bigger and better than ever before! The Newcastle Christmas Markets have returned to the city with more stalls, seating areas and festive cheer than any year I can remember. Snack on roasted chestnuts washed down with deliciously-sweet mulled wine, or fill your boots with foods from all over the world and try the slightly unusual but tasty mulled gin!
As well as the usual favourites (paella, gyros, pick ‘n’ mix etc), this year’s Christmas Markets has seen the arrival of something us Geordies have long anticipated: a Yorkshire Pudding Wrap stall! Choose from turkey, beef, pork or pure veggies, select your trimmings and sauce and tuck in! Warning: although tasty, these Yorkshire pudding wraps are slightly on the messy side, so make sure you pick up plenty of napkins.
Stack and Hadrian’s Tipi
Newcastle has had the pleasure of playing host to Hadrian’s Tipi for a few years now and I was chuffed to hear it was returning at Stack on Pilgrim Street! The tipi is as warm, cosy and festive as ever, with some great local ales and mulled wine available to drink as you sit round the fire with loved ones.
The twinkling lights hung all over Stack itself and the live music give you that Christmassy feeling too – I’d say this is the perfect go-to venue for anyone looking to meet with friends this festive period. There’s a fantastic selection of food vendors too – I’d particularly recommend Hatch 76 for duck or Vietnamese fries!
Pleased to Meet You
I’ve become quite the regular at this bar on High Bridge – I’ve always been a big fan of their gin selection, cosy lighting and fab posh-pub-grub style food. But if you’ve never been to Pleased to Meet You at Christmas, you’ve never been at all!
The bar, restaurant and beautiful outdoor areas are transformed into the most magical winter wonderlands at this time of year, complete with a magnificent Christmas tree that rivals almost any I’ve seen before in a bar or restaurant. The finishing festive touch for me is the fact that the whole of the bar area smells of the White Company Winter Collection – in my house, we have one of the Winter Candles lit every Christmas and for me, the smell reminds me of some of the best family memories you can imagine.
Brand new for Christmas 2018, the Christmas Village at Times Square adds yet another festive dimension to Newcastle City Centre! As well as the stalls we’ve come to expect from a European Christmas Market, the pièce de résistance of the Christmas Village is its Bavarian Beer Hall. Party until late in the evening and enjoy live, traditional German music and steins of wheat beer with your friends and family. I think this is a fantastic addition to the city’s festivities.
I can’t quite find the words to explain why I find the Tyneside Cinema so wonderfully Christmassy. Perhaps it’s the history behind this 1937 news theatre and the fantastic, luxurious space it gives us in which to watch all the latest releases, as well as all our old favourites.
One of these old favourites (and definitely one of my favourite Christmas films of all time) is ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. I remember a few years back, my family and I went to see this classic at the Tyneside Cinema, followed by a delicious lunch at Pani’s Café – it was quite possibly the loveliest Christmas Eve ever! The Tyneside Cinema are showing ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ throughout December, so book your tickets for the ultimate festive film experience.
Link to event: https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/