Sunday, 13 April 2014

Climbing for Cake

This weekend Sarah, one of my oldest friends, has been to stay.   We became friends in Norwich back in the 90s through our love of boy bands.  She moved to London in her early 20s to pursue her dream of being a journalist and then I joined her in the big city in 2008 and we became house mates.

It's taken us a while to sort out a visit but this week she arrived in the North East for her first ever proper visit to Newcastle.

I'm always very eager to show off my new home at it's very best when people come to say, I love it up here so much I make it my mission to make people go home a little bit in love with the North East.  So I wanted to make sure that our weekend was packed full of fun and cake.

I did have my camera with me at the weekend but spent most of my time capturing our adventures on my phone, so for the first time on New Girl in Toon all my photos are from my Instagram.

On Saturday we decided to catch the train to Durham, Sarah had spotted it on her train journey up and had commented on how beautiful the cathedral looked lit up at night so I knew it'd be a great place to take her to.   

We both love climbing up monuments for great views and having done the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Eiffel Tower together over the years I decided a climb up Durham Cathedral would be perfect. 

The climb up the tower costs £6.00 and is a journey up 325 steps.  I'm not going to lie, it's hard work.  We both have reasonable levels of fitness but had to take a few breaks to catch our breath.  The steps also get very narrow at the top so it does get a little tricky towards the end.  It is, however, completely worth it for the view.

After a light lunch in the Catherdral's Undercroft Restaurant and a quick stroll round the Town Centre we headed back to Newcastle for a quick look round Primark.  I'd told Sarah how huge our store on  Northumberland Street is so it became a must for her visit.

I can't actually get over how amazing the stock is in Primark at the moment, I might have bought a couple of things, and I might have spotted some more things I'd like to try on next time I'm there so I'm pretty sure there'll be a haul post coming very soon.

Like me, Sarah is very fond of a cup of tea and a slice of cake so an afternoon tea was always on the agenda.  My only problem was which one to choose, the North East has so many gorgeous places for cake it was hard to pick out one.  After some very serious thought, I decided on The Great British Cupcakery as it's a really beautiful place, the girls who work there are so lovely and the cakes are delicious (and huge). The Cupcakery is looking particularly great at the moment as they have a fantastic Easter display, the little fluffy chicks decorating the cakes make them look even more appetising.
We had the afternoon tea and it was a wonderful selection of treats.  I got to try the "Townie" (a chocolate brownie siting on top of a tart) which I'd been wanting to try ever since seeing a picture of it on their Instagram feed.  I was also really happy that one of the sandwiches was Ham and Pease Pudding as Sarah got to try an authentic North East delicacy, even if I did struggle to explain exactly what it is.
 
If you want to read a full review of afternoon tea at GBC, please check out my earlier blog review here and you really must follow them on Instagram because they post the most gorgeous photos of cake.

After stuffing ourselves with so much cake we were very full and couldn't quite finish the whole tea so lucky Simon who we'd left at home studying hard for his IT exams got to enjoy some of our leftovers.

The walk home took us past the Baltic so I couldn't resist taking Sarah up in the glass elevator for a look over the Tyne from the outside viewing platform.

Obviously you can't go to Newcastle without a night on the Toon, so after a little rest to let the cake settle we headed out into the night.   Unfortunately Sarah and I are getting a little too old for wild nights out.  After walking into a few bars and realising that there was nowhere to sit and the music was a little loud we decided that the best place for us would be a lovely peaceful bar in one of Newcastle's nicest hotels.  

So we headed to the Vermont and found ourselves a comfortable sofa, a lovely cocktail menu and a nice peaceful space to have a good chat.   I had a mojito and it was perfect, a really generous glass and not too much ice. 

Today we were feeling rather tired from all the walking, climbing and cake eating yesterday so we had a lovely filling brunch at the Pitcher and Piano before a quick stroll through the Quayside Market.
I had such a wonderful weekend, nothing beats someone coming up to visit me in my new home and I can't wait to welcome our next guest.

32 comments:

  1. Mmmm those cakes look so yummy, I'm definitely going to have to visit the GBC!! Such a lovely post and such a fun day out :) xxxx

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    1. Yes you really really must! I'm amazed I manage to stay out of there, I work so close! Saying that I have tried nearly all of the big cakes now, I just need to move onto the cupcakes and brownies!

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    2. Haha just as well I don't work near it, I'd turn into a cake I'd eat so much ha! Xxxx

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  2. What a wonderful view from the top of the cathedral certainly would build up an appetite for cake after that. Always lovely to catch up with friends and looks like you both had a great time Lucy x

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    1. As we were climbing we kept telling ourselves we were exercising for our cake :D

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  3. I've never considered visiting Newcastle before but your posts make me really want to!

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    1. Do it! I'd never ever been up here before I met Simon and I had very wrong ideas about what Newcastle would be like. I was so shocked the first time I visited and realised what a beautiful city it is :D

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    2. Will let you know when I do then you can be my guide and I can pay you in cake ;)

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  4. What a gorgeous view!! And the cakes look great too. Its really amazing the kind of photos that you can get on you phone now and instagram is a bit of a revelation!!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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    1. I know, sometimes I think my phone takes better photos than my camera!

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  5. My gran grew up in a house right in front of Durham cathedral, always such a lovely city to visit!

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    1. OMG I bet that was such a beautiful place to live! I love the area all around the Cathedral, it's very pretty x

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  6. Great British Cupcakery is definitely on my to-do list once I'm back up north. Anywhere that does ham and pease pudding gets my vote (you can take the northerner out of the north but you cannit take the north out of the northerner!) and a townie sounds interesting!

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    1. I'm still not entirely sure about pease pudding, I don't dislike it but I don't go out of my way to have it. The food that has completely won me over though is stotties, I really really love them! x

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  7. You're posting photos of delicious food again! I must remember to eat something before reading your blogposts - my stomach always makes lots of noises as I scroll down the posts!
    Looks like a lovely trip anyway; I haven't been to Durham in ages, it's lovely.
    x

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    1. HA HA sorry! If it makes you feel better I just scrolled through my pictures and made myself hungry :s x

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  8. I've never 'done' Durham but always wanted to, looks fabulous. Good effort with the steps too - did you chant 'cake, cake, cake' with each step?? It's the only thing that got me through a clamber up the Arc de Triomphe!
    M x Life Outside London

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    1. More or less! Ooooooooooh I haven't climbed the Arc de Triomphe, I've done the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame but that's as far as I got!

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  9. This sounds like a lovely weekend! I need to do everything you've done! Definitely checking out the cupcakery!

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    1. :) Hope you manage to get your table booked x

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  10. I neeed to try a townie! I've lived in Durham my whole life (well until I moved to 'boro for uni but sssh) and I've never been up the top of Durham Cathedral! I've been inside so many times though, it's just so beautiful.
    Kloe xx
    skullsnkisses.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. OMG you should climb! It's worth the £6.00 ... great exercise, good fun and the most awesome views!

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  11. Aw I went to university in Durham so I know that climb well - it's so worth it for the views though! I also LOVE GBC, it's so tempting for me on my lunch hour! xxx

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    1. I have the same problem, it's so close to my office and I walk past it all the time! I don't know how I resist going in there every week! :D

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  12. Oh man, you always get me with those cake pictures, this looks amazing! :)

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    1. HA HA! I'm pretty convinced that love and cake make the world go round! x

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  13. Climbing for cake, the most well deserved cake I imagine!

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    1. We liked to think so, although in reality I think we ate far more cake than we burnt off climbing the cathedral .. and we went to the top of the Baltic in the lift :s

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  14. Replies
    1. Believe me I don't usually climb before cake, I usually just eat the cake!

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