Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February Days

Not going to lie, I am so happy that Spring is just round the corner and with it the promise of lambs, daffodils, our Honeymoon and of course Easter eggs! We've had a pretty chilled month whilst we get prepared for our travels but I've still managed to share loads of adventures on my Instagram. Here's what we've been up to that didn't quite make the blog.

White Company Loving

I am very late to the party, but I've been loving The White Company this month. I decided to go for a stroll around the store in Newcastle whilst out and about sales shopping and I fell in love. I almost convinced myself to buy some fancy loungewear for our long haul flight, found myself lusting after cashmere socks and spent a silly amount of time sniffing their Winter candles. I don't think it'll be long before I make a purchase.

The White Company


Christening Travels

We travelled down to Simon's hometown, Manchester to catch up with family and go to a Christening. I loved the opportunity of being able to put on my beautiful Chi Chi London "Amber" dress again and we enjoyed the chaos of being in a room full of children (even if it did make us wonder if we'll ever feel ready to be parents ourselves). Being on a pre-Honeymoon healthy eating mission did make things a little tricky for us, we had to watch people munching their way through the most delicious looking buffet!

Chi Chi London Amber


Simply (delicious) Cheesecake

The delicious Simply Cheesecake and Friends finally opened on Dean Street and I couldn't resist popping in on opening day for a treat. As it was Valentines I bought a slice of Chocolate Orange Cheesecake to take home and share with Simon. I love Simply Cheesecake so much - they are heavenly creamy! The new shop has seating and a wonderful looking menu so I'm sure we'll be going for a proper visit soon.

Simply Cheesecake and Friends Newcastle


Walking back to goal

This month I made the rather shocking discovery that I had put on so much weight over Christmas that I was over my Weight Watchers goal (panic!)  Unfortunately I'm still not able to run every week due to my injury so instead have been going on fast 3 mile power walks most lunchtimes.  I've been treated to some truly spectacular views along the Tyne - it's so dreamy.  The hard work has paid off and I'm very happy to report that I'm now back within my healthy weight range.

Newcastle River Tyne


Gibside Wanders

Simon and I continued our National Trust mission this month with a visit to Gibside. We power marched up hills in our boots before realising that the gorgeous Winter sun was a little too hot for the amount of layers that we had on. To cool down we had a lovely long sit down on a bench enjoying the sun on our faces - it's got me feeling so excited for Spring!

Gibside







The Great Easter Chocolate Plan

Please tell me I'm not bonkers to have an "Easter Chocolate Plan"? I love to wander the aisles of the supermarket planning all the chocolatey bits I'm going to buy - Lindt bunnies, Malteaster goodies, Mini Eggs, Cadbury's Creme Eggs. If you don't go in with a plan it's impossible to indulge without overdoing it.  Unfortunately we're still working our way through Christmas chocolate at the moment, so I guess I need to work on my festive chocolate plan! 





Valentines Hot Chocolate

I discovered my favourite Starbucks drink this month, but unfortunately it was only available for a few days! The Valentines Day "Molten Hot Chocolate" was an absolute dream, I think it was the coffee flavoured cream on the top that made it.  Guess I'll be waiting an entire year to have it again! SOB!



For more adventures from New Girl in Toon make sure you follow me on Instagram.  I post a new photo every day!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Where to enjoy the best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day

Any day that celebrates eating one of my favourite foods is always, without fail, written into my diary. Tomorrow is Pancake Day, one of my foodie highlights of the year so I thought I'd share with you some tips on where to enjoy the best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day.

Where to enjoy the best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day


If you don't fancy the stress of trying to master the all important pancake flip or arguing with your other half about what fillings to get then I suggest you head out to Newcastle this Pancake Day and let someone else do the hard work for you.

Finding pancakes on a menu isn't always the easiest of tasks, but my tip is to take a look at breakfast and brunch menus across the city as that's where you'll usually find hidden pancakes. For those of us stuck at work tomorrow I've also managed to find a few places that will be serving pancakes at lunchtime or into the evening.

La Petite Creperie

You can't write a guide to the best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day and not mention La Petite Creperie in Grainger Market! I predict queues around the block for these authentic French treats and they are definitely worth the wait. Serving savoury and sweet with a variety of fillings - make sure you fill your boots.  Howay the crepes!

The best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day - Le Petite Creperie


Monsieur Crepe Cafe

You'll find the newly opened Monsieur Crepe Cafe in Heaton, where traditional French crepes are cooked fresh while you wait.  Offering sweet and savoury crepes, this is the perfect place to visit for a full on three course Pancake Day meal to remember.

Les Petits Choux

One of my favourite cake shops in Newcastle, Les Petits Choux are teaming up with The French Pop Up to host a very special one day only Pancake Day pop up from their store on Leazes Crescent. Serving sweet French crepes from 8:00 am, I recommend grabbing one early before you swing into the office (surely every working day should start with a crepe!)

Delicious Decadence 

Breakfast is served all day every day at Delicious Decadence in Jesmond, meaning that you can get your Pancake Day feast at any time. Choose between American pancakes served with warm Maple Syrup and streaky bacon (£4.95) or Smiley Face Pancakes (£3.95) and enjoy in the beautiful tea room.

The best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day - Delicious Decadence


Blakes

You'll find American style pancakes on the breakfast menu at Blakes, but as they're served until 2:00 pm you can also have a Pancake Day lunch to remember - served with bacon or fruit and maple syrup these beauties are far better than anything you can hope to make at home!

Heaton Ingredient

The pancakes at Heaton Ingredient are well hidden but don't you worry I've found them for you! The Cinnamon Pancakes are part of the Pastries and Cake menu so available all day. On Pancake Day it is, of course, perfectly fine to have your lunch off the dessert menu - go for it!

Naked Deli

If, like me, you are on a bit of a healthy eating mission then fear not, I have a great Pancake Day alternative for you. Naked Deli in Gosforth and Heaton have clean pancakes on their menu and believe me they are delicious! You'll find Protein Bancakes (made with banana, whey protein and eggs) on the Main Menu and Buckwheat Pancakes on the Breakfast Menu. There are plenty of toppings available making it one of the best pancake menus in the Toon.

The best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day - Naked Deli


Jam Jar

At Jam Jar in Jesmond they love pancakes so much that they are putting on a Pancake Day eating challenge. 10 pancakes, 3 toppings in 10 minutes!  If you fancy yourself a champion make sure you have a hungry tummy and be sure to send me some snaps of your pancake pile.

Long Play Cafe

The pancake menu at Long Play Cafe on the Newcastle Quayside offers three tempting choices of American Pancakes, Lumberjack Pancakes or Veggie Lumberjack - I recommend the Sultanas and Honey topping for a sweet start to your Pancake Day.

Butterfly Cabinet

The Butterfly Cabinet in Heaton is a very popular brunch spot so if you fancy a Pancake Day blow out make sure you get yourself there early to ensure a seat! There's a lovely pancake section of the Breakfast menu that offers plenty of choice including Triple Chocolate Pancakes (yes please!) and Apple Cinnamon Pancakes served with apricot jam and a jug of cream.

Crepe Affaire

For those wanting to grab a quick pancake in the centre of Newcastle, Crepe Affaire in the new Grey's Quarter of Eldon Square is a pancake chain that has recently arrived in the Toon. Offering the largest menu of pancakes in Newcastle you can expect to find every topping you fancy. Perfect for those in a rush, the crepes are available to takeaway so grab one for the office and make your colleagues jealous!

Best pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Diary - Crepe Affaire


Let me know where you to love to enjoy pancakes in Newcastle on Pancake Day! Am I missing any gems?

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Guide to Healthy Eating and Fitness in the North East

I'm sure many of us made New Years Resolutions that involved some element of healthy eating and fitness regime. As someone who battled obesity and lost 9 stone, I know only too well what a struggle it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So I've put together this helpful little guide to Healthy Eating and Fitness in the North East - I really hope that it inspires you!

Naked Deli

Healthy eating has never tasted so good. Naked Deli in Gosforth and Heaton serve up a huge menu of delicious clean food including fantastic brunches, filling lunches and even sweet treats. The dishes are so tasty that it doesn't feel like you're eating healthily at all! If you can't easily get to one of their restaurants there's no excuse as they also have a takeout store inside Fenwick's Food Hall in Newcastle.

Healthy Eating and Fitness in the North East - Naked Deli


Katie Bulmer Cooke Fitness

You may remember Katie Bulmer Cooke from BBC's The Apprentice, I'm sure I'm not the only person in the North East who was rooting for her to win! Lord Sugar's loss is definitely our gain as Katie Bulmer Cooke is getting the North East fit with her Fitness Classes, Group Personal Training and her Real Results programme which helps you achieve your goals through diet and exercise. Check out her website for loads of inspiration and advice.

parkrun

You'll find parkrun across the country and they have a fantastic presence in Newcastle and beyond. Organising free 5k timed runs every Saturday morning at 9:00 am, they are the perfect workout whether you're a keen runner or gentle jogger. There's a wide range of courses in the region ranging from the very flat Town Moor to the more picturesque Saltwell Park. It doesn't matter how fit you are or how fast you go, parkrun is for all abilities and you will find yourself chatting to people from all walks of life.

Healthy Eating and Fitness in the North East


Super Natural Café

Super Natural Café in Newcastle serves solely Vegan and Vegetarian food including plenty of delicious treats for those watching what they eat. Being very mindful of the food that they serve, Super Natural Cafe is a great spot to grab lunch with a friend, safe in the knowledge that you know exactly what you're eating. You'll find plenty of tasty dishes packed full of veggies and if you feel like a naughtier cheeky treat there are also some very tasty cakes on offer.

These Girls Can Run

These Girls Can Run is an inspirational group that come with my personal recommendation as I'm actually a member myself. Encouraging ladies in the North East to put on their running shoes and pound the pavements the group is for beginners who want to achieve their running goals. Even if your experience is limited to running for the bus this group is so incredibly supportive you'll be running 5k in no time. Word of warning, joining this group is addictive and before you know it you'll be calling yourself a runner and living in Start Fitness!

Healthy Eating and Fitness in the North East


The Happy Organic

Supporting the local organic farms, The Happy Organic in Sunderland source the finest seasonal produce ensuring traceability from farm to fork. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their food is happy, tasty and healthy - just what your insides need. Eating the Happy Organic way doesn't have to stop inside the cafe as they also sell takeout and veg boxes for home.

Skinnypigs

Desperate to kick start your fitness routine but don't know where to start? North East fitness fanatics Skinnypigs have women's fitness classes all over Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Middlesbrough and South Tyneside. Designed to "make you look better naked", they offer effective classes and nutrition plans and your first session is free!

Keeping fit at Gibside

Gibside is one of our most cherished National Trust sites but did you know that they have a great range of fitness activities throughout the year? You'll find parkrun there every Saturday Nordic walking classes and Get Active health walks - with such beautiful countryside to enjoy, getting fit at Gibside doesn't feel like exercise at all!

Healthy Eating and Fitness in the North East- Gibside


Grab and Go at Ugot

Newcastle train station might not be the first place you think of for healthy food on the go, but Ugot in Central Station provides a healthier alternative for the hungry commuter. Serving honest food, fast you'll find plenty of healthy snacks and lunches perfect for your train journey.

Northern Juice

New kids on the block Northern Juice have recently opened on my favourite street in Newcastle, High Bridge. Serving fresh fruit and veg juices they guarantee raw goodness with no added extras - giving you that much needed natural vitamin boost to get you through your day.

Walking in the North East

Of course exercising doesn't have to involve joining a group or spending any money. We have miles and miles of beautiful walks all over the North East to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Whether it's marching up the hill from the Quayside to town, strolling the stunning coastal paths of Northumberland or trecking along Hadrian's Wall - walking is an easy activity that can be enjoyed at any level for great health benefits.

Healthy Eating and Fitness in the North East


I'd love to hear how you keep yourself fit and healthy in the North East!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Party at Home with Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service

As I'm sure you all know, I am the self proclaimed Queen of Afternoon Tea in the North East. I've enjoyed finger sandwiches in posh hotels and slabs of cake in the countryside, but one thing I haven't done is throw my own afternoon tea party at home. I love the idea of enjoying a fancy afternoon tea in my house but being absolutely useless at baking I've always assumed I'd never be able to do it. So imagine my excitement when I discovered Mrs Dellow's Delights - a North East based family run company who can deliver afternoon tea to your home.

Party at Home with Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service

Pinch me now, I must be dreaming? An afternoon tea delivery service based in the North East?!

Any excuse to start my birthday a month early, I decided to invite my ladies Katie and Sam over for an early birthday afternoon tea party at home. Mrs Dellow's Delights are a great idea for special occasions - baby showers, birthday parties, engagement soirees - their mobile afternoon tea is ideal. They deliver afternoon tea to any location you fancy, set up beautiful vintage crockery for you to use and then when you're done come and take it all away again leaving you with no washing up.

In an attempt to be the perfect hostess I decided to set the scene for our afternoon tea by clearing some space in our lounge, making sure I had plenty of comfy seats on hand and hanging up my special wedding bunting that I've been dying to use ever since our big day. Who needs to head out to a tea room when you have your own pastel coloured bunting?

Special mention to my husband who thought it would be funny to change my "LOVE" sign in the background to read "VOLE" - anyone want him? He's free to a good home!

Party at Home with Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service


After the "Vole incident" Simon was banished upstairs to play on his Xbox, leaving the ladies to settle down to an afternoon of gossip and cake - safe in the knowledge that if we overindulged we'd be able to undo our top buttons without embarrassment. Oh the joys of afternoon tea at home!

Mrs Dellow's Delightful Afternoon Tea Delivery Service offers four different afternoon teas to serve every appetite and budget. From the modest Bronze Menu for £9.95 per person to The Bubbly One for £16.50 per person which involves more food and, of course, the all important glass of Prosecco. A list of sandwiches fillings is available before you order meaning that you get to pick exactly what you have as part of your afternoon tea.

Party at Home with Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service
Mrs Dellow's Delights arrived to set up the afternoon tea bang on time and after a few minutes I couldn't recognise my coffee table as it was transformed into the perfect afternoon tea display. They had thought of everything - beautiful cake stands, mismatch vintage china, a sugar bowl, a little jug of milk and our table was even decorated with a vase of daffodils - such a wonderful added touch.

Cozying up with my favourite ladies it didn't take us long to really enjoy the benefits of having an afternoon tea party at home. Free to be as loud as we fancied, stuff as many sandwiches as we could manage without the need for table manners and, my personal favourite, slathering my scone in jam and cream whilst wearing slippers.

Party at Home with Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service

Our afternoon started with a full on attack of the sandwich tier. No fear for fussy sandwich eaters we'd banished our least favourite fillings which resulted in a delicious feast just for us. Fresh squishy bread overflowing with generous fillings, we had a never ending supply of triangle sandwiches on a mixture of white and wholemeal bread. We worked our way through Wensleydale & Carrot Chutney, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese, Egg & Cress and Mature Cheddar with tangy pickle.

Mrs Dellow's Delights provided us with a selection of tea and coffee for our feast, presented in the cutest jars, all we had to do was keep the kettle full to refresh our cups. Bottomless cups of tea all round! I particularly appreciated the lose leaf Yorkshire Tea, the best afternoon teas are always served with proper tea.

Party at Home with Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service
We each had a cheese scone and fruit scone and they were huge.  I couldn't quite manage both mine (needing to save room for that all important cake) so had half a cheese slathered in butter followed by half a fruit scone that I covered in an embarrassing amount of jam and cream. Why do I always have to be so greedy when I'm presented with the jam and cream?

Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service - Scones


The all important cake tier was something very special. All homemade by Mrs Dellow we were treated to huge slabs of moist Lemon Drizzle Cake filled with an indulgent lemon buttercream, Super Squidgy Chocolate Cake bursting with fresh cream and topped with milk chocolate and (my personal favourite) White Chocolate Cheesecake with fresh raspberries.

Wow!

Some of the best homemade cake I have ever had, each mouthful was heaven.

Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service - Lemon Drizzle Cake
I hate to say it but Mrs Dellow's Delights afternoon tea completely defeated us! Yep, the North East cake eating champion failed! The portions were so generous there was no way we could finish it between the three of us, which meant we all got rather lovely goodie bags to save for the next day. Result!

Mrs Dellow's Delights North East Afternoon Tea Delivery Service - Super Squidgy Chocolate Cake

The best part about the afternoon was that after eating all that food all I wanted to do was have a little kip, which I could absolutely do as I didn't have to worry about any clearing up.  Mrs Dellow's Delights turned up afterwards to clear the whole lot up and take it all away - they were in and out so fast with so little fuss that when I crashed out on the sofa a few moments later I was left wondering if it had all been a rather amazing dream?

I honestly can't recommend Mrs Dellow's Delights mobile afternoon tea enough - it's a brilliant concept, an absolute bargain and the food is delicious!  To book your own Mrs Dellow's Delights Afternoon Tea Party give them a call on 07961 825 556 or drop them an e-mail at contact@mrsdellow.com.

Mrs Dellow's treated us to a complimentary afternoon tea for review purposes, all opinions are our own - these guys are amazing!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust

Whilst I'm not a huge fan of the Winter, I love those beautiful days that remind us why it can be great. When there's a clear blue sky, a crisp chill in the air and a beautiful beaming sun I love to get out for a Winter walk to blow away the cobwebs. Care to join us for some Winter walking at Wallington?

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


For Christmas Simon's Mum bought us a joint membership to the National Trust and it was easily my favourite present. Every time I say that Simon likes to remind me of the beautiful Jo Malone candle he bought me as a surprise! I obviously loved that too, but it's the National Trust membership that has me excited. You know you love a present when you're sitting in a pub ignoring your husband because you're too busy happily flicking through the National Trust guide planning adventures.

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust
Seeing how happy I was Simon promised that we could go on a National Trust adventure as soon as we got a nice clear day. Being completely cheeky I asked him if we were limited to the North East and after being told that we definitely couldn't go exploring sites in Cornwall I happily chose our very first trip as members to Wallington in the beautiful Northumberland countryside.

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


As we clambered our way out of our car on a beautiful sunny day in January, I was so thankful that I'd decided to bring my wellies. Every path was either glistening with sheets of ice or thick with mud. I wouldn't have lasted two seconds in the boots I'd originally planned to wear.

Note to self - still need to buy some walking boots!

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


Wallington was completely packed with families enjoying the Winter sunshine. Simon never really understands why I love to head outdoors in the freezing cold, but judging by the amount of families out and about that day it seems I'm not the only person in the North East who appreciates a Winter walk in the sun.

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust

Once I'd finished prancing about on the wet lawn appreciating the beautiful views of the Northumberland countryside and taking far too many photographs for Instagram, it was time to decide on our plan of action!

There's a great selection of beautiful walks at Wallington but for our first visit we decided to stick to the main grounds of the Estate and not wander too far. We were in the mood for a potter rather than a hike.

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


We decided to ditch all maps and plans and just go where our feet decided to take us. It wasn't long before the noisy playground had faded into the distance and we were more or less alone wandering round the beautiful woodlands of Wallington. Although it was freezing it felt so good to be strolling out in the fresh air!

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


Just as our toes had begun to feel a little numb from the cold (note to self, buy thick socks when purchasing walking boots) we stumbled across the bird hide and eagerly made our way inside for a bit of shelter and hopefully some good wildlife. Anyone whose been reading New Girl in Toon for a while may remember our holiday to Center Parcs a few years ago where Simon and I spent over 2 hours sitting in a bird hide. We just love them!

Winter Walking at Wallington, National Trust


Before our adventure I'd read a little about how Wallington are working with Red Squirrels North England to save the red squirrel population. I never expected to see any on our trip, but as we took a seat in the hide alongside the other wildlife spotters we were thrilled to be treated to a visit from a red squirrel only a few moments later.

Wallington, National Trust - Red Squirrel
With a massive amount of lens envy sitting with so many wildlife photographers and their amazing cameras, we enjoyed a good 5 minute red squirrel spot as he happily helped himself to nuts and munched on them just a few metres away from us.

I feel so lucky that we live in a part of the country where red squirrels are slowly becoming more common, since moving north I've been very fortunate to see a fair few red squirrels and it always feel so special.

Wallington, National Trust


We decided to treat ourselves to a cup of coffee to warm our hands on as we headed back to the car so stopped off at the Clock Tower Cafe. Queuing up for our drink don't ask me how we managed to resit all of the tempting cakes on display, the amazing looking sticky toffee cake looked particularly good!

Wallington, National Trust


Wallington, National Trust


As we returned to the car I stopped to peruse the National Trust map by the entrance gate. One down, 499 to go I told my husband happily as I started planning our next adventures. He was pretty quiet, I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm joking!

Let me know where we should go next folks! I plan on making full use of our membership this year!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

La Yuan Newcastle Menu Review

Writing New Girl in Toon has introduced me to restaurants, cuisines and experiences that I probably never would have experienced before the blog and for that I am very grateful. My most recent foodie adventure was to Sichuan restaurant, La Yuan in Newcastle to review their menu.

Like me, you're probably pretty partial to sweet and sour chicken on a Friday night from your local Chinese takeaway, but La Yuan offer something completely different and will make you question whether you really know much about Chinese food at all. La Yuan serve up Chinese food from the Sichuan province of China - famous for its bold flavours, it's a real taste experience.

La Yuan Newcastle


After many years of sticking within my comfort zone when eating out, recently I've enjoyed discovering new type of cuisines and experiencing different flavours - I've managed to slowly build up my tolerance to spice and am adventurous enough to try most things on a menu. So, as you can imagine, I was very excited to try out La Yuan.

You'll find La Yuan on Gallowgate, the perfect central location in Newcastle a stone's throw from Eldon Square and a few steps from St James Park. During our visit there was a lovely buzzy atmosphere, with groups of friends enjoying tables full of food. It really is a great spot for a "mate date" and I loved the simplistic feeling of the decor which almost felt cafe like and gave La Yuan a wonderful laid back feeling.

La Yuan Newcastle


If, like me, you are pretty new to Chinese cuisine, La Yuan is a great place to head as the menu is small and perfectly formed and the lovely waitresses are keen to help you out with menu choices. I was very happy that the menu came with a "chilli sign guide" for those not liking their food too hot and the staff were great at answering my questions and accommodating my nut allergy.

Our lovely waitress gave us a brief introduction to the menu and explained that many diners love to order a mixture of cold and hot dishes to share. I absolutely love shared dining, nothing makes me happier than sharing with a friend - for me its the ultimate social experience.

My friend Sarah was my date for the evening, she's one of my favourite dining partners as we both have very similar tastes in food and we aren't afraid to roll up our sleeves and dig in. She is the perfect friend to share food with!

La Yuan Newcastle Menu Review


We decided to order two large hot dishes and two sides to share - taking a sneaky look at the tables around us we could see that the bowls of food looked pretty huge so we knew that this would be a good amount of food for us both.

First up the Beef with Shia Mushroom (£12.00) - diced beef fried with Shia mushrooms. The dish was packed with strong flavour and the mushrooms provided a beautiful earthy taste that kept us going back for more. We were very thankful we had nice big spoons so we could scoop plenty of delicious food onto our plates. I've honestly never tasted a dish so beautiful - I can't wait to go back and order it again.

La Yuan Newcastle Menu Review


For our second hot dish we ordered the Yu Shiang Pork (£10.00) - finely sliced pork, flash fried with wood ear mushrooms, red pepper and bamboo shoots. The pork was so deliciously tender and, again, the dish was packed with flavour. I couldn't get enough and was so thankful for the generous portion.

La Yuan Newcastle Menu Review

There were loads of rice options on the menu so it took us a while to decide which one to go for but we decided on the Vegetable Fried Rice (£6.00). Served in a never ending bowl I couldn't believe how much rice we had. It didn't matter how much we dug at it, it was never empty! The perfect accompaniment to our meaty hot dishes.

La Yuan Newcastle Menu Review


Wanting to try something slightly different we also ordered Steamed King Scallops with Garlic and Rice Noodles (£3.00 each) - neither of us had ever tried Scallops and when they appeared in front of us we were so excited to give them a go. Beautifully presented in giant shells they were plump, juicy and so delicious.

La Yuan Newcastle Menu Review


I'm afraid to say that our delicious feast defeated us!  I was definitely far greedier than Sarah when it came to digging my spoon in, but despite my efforts we couldn't quite polish the lot off.  We reluctantly had to call it quits and leant back in our chairs enjoying that happy feeling you only get from eating a truly satisfying meal.

As we left we noticed a rather intriguing looking tea tray complete with a cute little ceramic frog sitting on the counter so couldn't resist asking what it was. The tray is part of La Yuan's Chinese Tea Ceremony which you can enjoy after your meal or in the afternoon as an alternative to afternoon tea. Showcasing some of China's best teas in a beautiful traditional ceremony, I'll definitely be ordering it on my next visit.

La Yuan Newcastle Chinese Tea Ceremony


We left La Yuan with very happy tummies and excited to have found such a gem in the centre of Newcastle. I need to take Simon ASAP - it's too good to keep it to myself!

We received complimentary meals for the purposes of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The best places and ideas in the North East for a wedding proposal

With Valentines Day approaching I'm sure there are a few people out there who are thinking about popping the big question with a romantic gesture fit for the occasion. But where are the best places in the North East for a wedding proposal and how do you go about it?

Being a huge romantic (and wedding obsessed!) I thought I'd help you guys out with a few ideas!

The best places and ideas in the North East for a wedding proposal
 Photo by Katie Byram Photography 

Top of Newcastle Castle

With a breathtaking view of Newcastle as your backdrop, Newcastle Castle has to be one of the most romantic places in the North East for a wedding proposal. Potter round the Medieval Castle before leading your love up the 99 stairs to the roof where you'll find your picture perfect location (and, if you time it right, hopefully some privacy!) Just be very careful not to drop the ring!

The best places and ideas in the North East for a wedding proposal - Newcastle Castle


Grainger Market Carpet Picnic 

If you want your proposal to be a private affair for two then a carpet picnic  in the comfort of your home would be the perfect way to pop the question. With fresh bread from the French Oven, cheese from Matthew's Cheese Shop, Pet Lamb cupcakes and, of course, a bottle of wine from La Casa Delicatessen there are plenty of goodies at Grainger Market to put on a tasty spread. Lay out a rug in your lounge, bring out your fancy crockery and you have the perfect start to a romantic proposal.

Weekend away at Jesmond Dene House

For the ultimate dream proposal, whisk your other half away for a surprise weekend at Jesmond Dene House. The beautiful hotel is the perfect balance of comfort and luxury with beautiful suites, delicious afternoon tea and fine wines served by the fire. If a pretty backdrop proposal is what you're after take a stroll through Jesmond Dene where the stunning waterfall will provide you with the perfect location before you return to the hotel for a night of indulgence.

The best places and ideas in the North East for a wedding proposal - Jesmond Dene House

Personalised cheesecake

Fancy giving your love a proposal to remember? How about asking "will you marry me" with cheesecake? Simply Cheesecake make full sized cheesecakes to order in a huge variety of flavours - they're deliciously naughty and creamy! You can order your cheesecake with a message iced on the top, Simon got me a "Happy Birthday" cheesecake for my birthday and it was definitely one of his finest moments! Just imagine your partner's face when they see your surprise proposal on their favourite dessert!

Bench at Bamburgh

Did you know that we have an award winning bench in the region? There's a beautiful little spot overlooking Bamburgh Castle where you'll find a bench offering fantastic views. The short up hill climb makes it easy to access yet not too busy and I can honestly think of nowhere as beautiful for a proposal. It's a dream location!

The best places and ideas in the North East for a wedding proposal - Bamburgh




Angel of the North

Countless couples have got engaged in the shadow of the Angel of the North, but with it being such an icon of the North East it's easy to see why. Whilst it can be pretty busy during the day, you can enjoy some peace and quiet with epic pink skies if you time your trip well.

Glitterburst Balloons

You might not immediately associate balloons with romance, but believe me they can be so romantic! Glitterburst Balloons create the most stunning giant balloons and have a huge passion for beautiful and original creations. Decorate your bedroom with feather filled balloons or hide a message inside a beautiful confetti filled balloon - this is the perfect idea for a truly unique and creative proposal.

The best places and ideas in the North East for a wedding proposal - Glitterburst Balloons








Walking blankets, mugs of coffee

We are very spoilt in the North East and have miles and miles of beautiful walks. Whether you're a lover of woodlands, coastline or countryside it's easy to find somewhere special for a stroll. Pack some snuggly blankets, a flask of coffee and that all important ring box for a proposal full of romance and adventure. Some of my favourite walks in the area include the South Shields to Sunderland coastal path and Whitley Bay to Seaton Sluice offering great views of St Mary's Lighthouse.

The best places and ideas in the North East for a wedding proposal



 Photo by Katie Byram Photography 

For anyone already married or engaged, I'd love to hear your proposal story and if I've missed out any beautiful places in the North East for a wedding proposal, let me know!