Wednesday 15 July 2015

My North East Story: Gingerbread Smiles

It feels like only two minutes ago I began My North East Story and now here we are, 7 blog posts later and in July.  This month's story comes from Danni from Gingerbread Smiles, a great local lifestyle blog packed full of delicious food, beauty, travel and everything in between.

1.  What is your North East Story

I was born in Teesside and lived in the seaside town of Redcar which is known for its lemon-top ice creams from Pacittos. When I was still quite young we moved to London for a few years for my Dad’s work. I think at such a young age I didn’t understand the differences between the North and the South but looking at it now I would say that up North we definitely are a nicer, friendlier bunch. 

We came back up when I was in around Y5/Y6 and settled in what was at one time reputed to be the largest private housing estate in Europe, Ingleby Barwick. As far as I can remember now we’ve been living in our family house in Ingleby Barwick until recently when I moved into my own house with my boyfriend. We’ve moved about 20 minutes away into Middlesbrough, Marton to be exact. Here we feel at home. We love the local area, how easy it is to get to local amenities and also the ease of getting to town.

To me the North East will always be my home. Whether one day we decided to emigrate to Europe or America, my roots will always be here and I will always crave a parmo.

2. Why do you love living in the North East?

Although the North East gets a lot of flack it has so much more to offer than people realise. People hear the negative press the area gets and decide to disregard it as a place with nothing to offer, filled with smoke and smog of industry. Well the industry is one of the things I love about living in this area.

Last year I wrote a guest post for Chloe about living in Middlesbrough and the reasons I liked it. Industry was one of the top reasons as I believe it makes Teesside and the North East what it is. Yes we have chemicals, oils and gases; we import and export all sorts of weird and wonderful products, but guess what without all this you wouldn’t be living the life you are. Think about paint, the pigments for this have to come from somewhere and be made into paint somehow? Your gadgets, yes they come from China, how do you think they get here? The fuel that we use to drive our cars or power our laptops, this has to come from somewhere, be transported and created into what we know as petrol, so what if it comes through Teesside. I’ve embraced our industrial skyline and am proud of what we offer the whole of the UK through our hard work and dedication.

Getting away from my rambles about industry, what I also love about the North East is the countryside and the seaside. Both are easy to get to from Teesside and we are so blessed with what we have. Lastly it’s the people. Being part of the blogging community has proved to me even more that Northerners are very friendly. We are always up for a cuppa and a piece of cake and are there to support and help each other whenever.

3. Where's your favourite place in the North East to relax?

Probably my living room, but I can’t invite you all around here. I’d probably say somewhere that I can get a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Failing that, I do love to get out and about round Teesside to see the local area on foot. It is lovely to walk around places as you get to see things you wouldn’t normally when you are driving.

4. Recommend some yummy food places

Since meeting Matt, I have been to a lot more country pubs that I had before. There are some wonderful places like; The Shorthorn Inn (Appleton Wiske) and The Bay Horse (Great Broughton). Each brings amazing food to the table with such a homemade, yet gourmet vibe. For foodie delights that are more central I’d recommend Purple Pig (Yarm), Sticky Fingers (Middlesbrough) and Kaminaki Greek Taverna (Stockton).

5. Describe your perfect day in the North East

My perfect day would begin with a big English breakfast, possibly in Baker Street Kitchen, with sausages, bacon, mushrooms, beans and tomatoes. Following this I’d get out into the open air and scale Roseberry Topping. Although I’ve only been there a few times, and the walk is a killer, I do love the views you can get when you finally reach the summit.

After that we’d have to go for another meal, to satisfy our hunger from walking, which we’d have at one of the country pubs mentioned above. I’d have to pick the Teesside delicacy of chicken parmo (deep-fried chicken in bread crumbs topped with a white b├ęchamel sauce and cheese), chips and salad with garlic sauce! Then it would be home to laze on the sofa.

Make sure you check out Gingerbread Smiles and if you want to get involved with My North East Story drop me an e-mail at   


1 comment

  1. Not sure why the North East gets so much flack, beautiful beaches historical icons from bygone years and wonderful food. Hopefully with posts like this you can re educate people Lucy x


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