The weather has been clear and sunny today so we ended up going on a little spontaneous adventure. I really love unplanned outings but don't often get to enjoy them as I'm one of life's planners. For some reason I always have to know exactly what I'm doing and like to go out and about armed with maps - I just can't help myself.
We got up early this morning to catch the bus to Newcastle Racecourse for a little look at Living North Live that has been taking place there this weekend. It's an Event which runs twice a year in Newcastle and York showcasing lots of local food, lifestyle, fashion and beauty businesses.
Kitty's Homemade Ginger" who make non alcoholic ginger wine which is absolutely delicious and would be amazing mixed with lemonade in the summer or added to a stir fry. We also had a lovely chat with the guys from Geordie Banger Company as we were selecting our sausages. We've been meaning to buy some for such a long time and finally got ourselves into gear to get some today.
Gosforth is an area I haven't really visited before, it's a suburb north of Newcastle and wandering around the pretty High Street this afternoon it's become our new fantasy place to buy a house. Unfortunately the prices of properties in the area are out of our price range but it's fun to dream of a life walking out of our beautiful house for a stroll beside the daffodils into one of the local coffee shops (maybe via the gorgeous Katherines Florists so Simon can pick me up a bunch of flowers) and then on for a brisk walk to the Park whilst having a nosy at the neighbours digging in their allotments.
Head out of the clouds and back to today!
By this point it was heading towards lunchtime and I suddenly remembered there was a pub in the area that I'd been wanting to try so we decided to make a fun lunch plan. We had a nice walk from the High Street to Brandling Villa in South Gosforth which is home to the "Burgers of Destiny".
The pub itself is quite dark and cold yet it's very popular which makes a nice atmosphere. We managed to get in just before the tables started to fill up with friends catching up, families with kids and people out dog walking (the pub is very dog friendly and even has a menu for your canine pal).
What it lacks in décor it more than makes up for with the food. The menu is so much fun to read, the author is clearly a bit of a comedian and there's also a lot of choice. The dishes are classic "pub grub" but with a twist, and using food that is sourced locally.
Whilst the main menu looked great, we were there to sample the famous burgers so there was only one menu that we were interested in.
I don't often eat burgers when I'm out, if I'm going to eat a burger I like it to be big and full of flavour, I'm not interested in a boring cheese burger unless it also features some mushrooms and maybe an egg and some onion rings and those kind of burgers can be hard to find.
The Brandling takes the added extras and then pushes it further than you could imagine. The menu is large and there's something for every taste, a lot for only the brave and some that just make you do a double take. Each burger has it's own name and the description of each one needs to be read quite carefully just to give your brain some time to process.
The highlights of the menu include "A Night in with Susan Boyle" (a burger with poached egg, pancetta, baked beans, potato cake and mushrooms), "The Day Emily Bishop Went Insane" (a burger containing thin slice pork pie, a free range egg and Bramley Apple Sauce) and then, the most talked about tribute to Newcastle's very own Princess, "The Dirty Thoughts of Cheryl Cole" ... you can see from the picture below what that burger contains!
Believe me these burgers are not for the faint hearted and should only be handled by true experts! I struggled with mine and we all know how much I love my food. I'd never had a chicken breast in a burger before and it was so delicious but very very filling. I really loved the fries which were homemade with their skins on and I always appreciate a bit of coleslaw on the side although on top of the burger it was all a little too much. I had a small bite of Simon's burger as well and it was huge. The meat portions in these burgers are man sized!
It's a good job an afternoon nap is just what Sundays are made for.