Friday 26 June 2015

Jesmond Tour Guides

When people ask what it is I love about blogging my number one answer will always be having somewhere that I can share my passion for the North East.  Above all else promoting this gorgeous part of the country is my main goal and nothing makes me smile more than someone sending me a message to say that I've inspired them to visit Newcastle.

Someone who's been wanting to visit me for a while now has been my favourite Yorkshire lass Kelly. Our friendship is based on a mutual passion for food (and cake in particular) and I've been tempting her up to the North East for a while now with all of my photos of delicious afternoon teas. 

When she messaged me a few weeks ago to say she was planning a weekend trip to Newcastle with her fella I was eager to play tour guide and immediately started giving a few ideas of where to stay and what to do.  This backfired slightly when she proceeded to book into our favourite hotel, Jesmond Dene House - JEALOUS!

I love playing host when people come to Newcastle so I put on my geekiest "I love the North East" hat to spend Saturday afternoon showing our guests round one of the best suburbs of Newcastle, Jesmond.

First on the agenda was brunch and I was keen to get a table in Arlo, somewhere I've been wanting to try for a while after seeing delicious photographs all over Instagram.

Every time I've walked past the Bistro it's been rammed so I was a little worried about getting a table at 11:00 am on a Saturday.  Luckily although it was busy there was plenty of room to wait in comfort whilst having a catch up and admiring all of the dishes of food that were rushing past us.

We didn't have to wait too long for a table and quickly put our order of teas and coffees in.  I went for a caramel latte which came with a little square of brownie.  Luckily it's perfectly acceptable to eat cake before breakfast on a weekend so I wolfed it down without a second thought.

Talking of brownies, I did spend most of my time in Arlo admiring the rather amazing looking counter of cakes, I think I may have even zoned out a few times mid conversations just because my eyes were constantly drawn to a stunning looking Victoria Sponge that was oozing jam and cream.   I think it's safe to say I will be returning to Arlo soon for some afternoon tea and cake!

The breakfast menu was spot on, with something for everyone.  I was quite tempted by Toasted Tea Cake or Homemade Granola, but my greedy eyes were soon distracted by the description of the Cooked Veggie Breakfast.  I've never ordered a vegetarian breakfast in my life, but it sounded so good it had to be done.

When my plate appeared in front of me I was one happy lady - spilling over the sides it was filled with two poached eggs, a mini saucepan of baked beans, mushroom, grilled haloumi and two slices of toast served with little pots of hummus, guacamole and sweet chilli.

Any breakfast that consists of cheese and sweet chilli is a winner for me and I absolutely loved it!  I just wish I could have had a whole loaf of bread next to me to mop up every single last bit.

Simon ordered Toasted Waffles with Bacon and Maple Syrup, still recovering from our Malmaison Brunch last week when I pinched one of his waffles (believe me he's gone on about it all week!), he was very happy to find me so distracted by my own food that I let him finish his entire plateful without asking for a bite. 

With full bellies we decided a walk may be a good idea so headed to Armstrong Bridge for the Jesmond Food Market that takes place on the third Saturday of each month.

I'm not sure strolling through a market full of the most amazing smelling food is the best idea when you're full from breakfast.  We were left a little frustrated that we didn't have enough room to join in and instead were forced to watch from the side lines.

This probably wasn't helped by me enthusiastically leaping about the market yelling out the names of all of my favourite vendors and telling Kelly how amazing they all are.  Teasing her by shouting "OH MY GOD FAT HIPPO" "WOW! Le Petite Creperie" and "Oooooooooh Longhorns" probably was a bit mean.

The Food Market is probably the prettiest market I've ever visited, located on the picturesque Armstrong Bridge with Jesmond Dene sitting below it, it was bustling with happy foodies.   The next one is on 18 July and we will be there, this time with empty tummies!

We decided to walk our guests back to their hotel through Jesmond Dene.  It was a pretty wet day but it meant that there was a lovely fresh smell in the woods and I was pretty hopeful that my too white Converse may finally get some mud on them.

Of course no walk through the Dene is complete without a stroll through Pet's Corner and we made a quick visit to see the rabbits and pigs before continuing on our way through the woodland.

One of my favourite things to do after eating food is walking and it was so lovely taking a stroll in the fresh air, chatting and pausing every now and again to take a few photographs of our gorgeous surroundings.   Letting my hair frizz in the rain and not even caring, this is what weekends are made for!

The big show off part of  Jesmond Dene is the waterfall so we had to take a little divert off the path to pause for a little while to appreciate the beautiful scenery.

We soon made our way back to Jesmond Dene House but there was no way Simon and I could be that close to JDH without popping inside and we very quickly persuaded ourselves that we might be able to fit in a hot drink before leaving our guests in peace.  Grabbing a table in the Cocktail Lounge our fun filled afternoon ended with Hot Chocolates and Chocolate Chip Cookies in comfy chairs.

Ahhhh Jesmond life! 


  1. My hubby is a vegetarian so I'm always on the look out for interesting alternatives for him, and that veggie breakfast looks so good, just a bit different but still very breakfasty! Might have to treat him next time we visit the north east! x

    1. It was seriously good ... as I said, I'd never consider ordering a veggie breakfast and missing out on my sausages but that one just sounded so good and tasted even better than I imagined!

  2. Mmm food markets, my favourite thing but also my downfall. It looks like you all had lots of fun (when will men learn that their plates are for sharing too? My fiance is the same!) I'm off to check out Kelly's blog now! xx P.S. Lovin' the Joules raincoat! Cute!

  3. It's so nice that you got to play tour guide! I really miss going to my old food market in Edinburgh so I'll have to get to my new local in Jesmond :)

  4. The breakfast looks wonderful and would be a hit with me. Jesmond always looks wonderful I would love to visit. Catching up with friends is always great Lucy x

  5. What a gorgeous place! Def want to visit the food market now!

    Kay x

  6. Thank you very much for showing us around! That breakfast was immense, I almost didn't have room for my Jesmond Dene House Afternoon Tea - but I managed ok! :)

  7. That food looks amazing - I love the waterfall too - a beautiful spot.

    Lizzie Dripping

  8. A cute way of presenting a breakfast! Playing tour guide obviously suits you; you sound very happy!


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