Saturday 31 March 2018

My March Days

March arrived with a ridiculous amount of snow here in the North East, it all got a little crazy and we got so low on food in our cupboards we almost considered eating the Easter Eggs! Although there's rumours that we are due "Beast of the East Part 3" I'm choosing to ignore it and am instead planning all of the fantastic things we are going to do now that we have an extra hour of daylight a day. Here's what we got up to in March that didn't make the blog.

A Carpet of Purple

It wasn't until I shared our trip to Wallington to see the snowdrops that people started telling me about the beautiful crocus carpet that appears in the walled garden in March. How did I not know about it before? We went to visit them on a beautiful sunny Spring afternoon and wow it was a seriously impressive display, I wasn't expecting such a vivid display of colour! They wont be around for much longer so if you're yet to see them for yourself make sure you get yourself to Wallington ASAP!

New Girl in Toon - Wallington Crocus Lawn

Birthday Feasting at Kaltur

The pressure of choosing where to eat on your birthday is pretty immense. With so many restaurants still to tick off my list it was hard to decide which one to book for my special meal. In the end we opted for Kaltur and enjoyed a romantic evening in the beautiful little tapas on High Bridge. It was so good, although I'd recommend you go with an empty belly and not with a belly full of cake and gin like we did, it was a little hard to appreciate it fully!

New Girl in Toon - Kaltur

Hat Love

Another day, another baker boy hat! I'm surprised that Topshop in Eldon Square has any hats left as I've surely bought up their entire stock by now. This is my latest discovery and I love it, yes I know I look a little like a train driver!

New Girl in Toon - March Days


Luckily the "Snowmageddon" of early March is now just a distant memory and I have to say that being able to see the pavements is something that I will never take for granted again. I've never been the biggest fan of snow and when people started complaining about being stuck indoors for the third day or not being able to find bread and milk in the shops I did want to scream "I TOLD YOU, SNOW IS NOT FUN!" at them! We managed to find some use for the epic amount of snow we had in Newcastle, chilling Prosecco on a Saturday night and finally defrosting our fridge freezer whilst keeping our perishables cool in the snow was pretty smart thinking.

New Girl in Toon - Snowmaggedon

Lush Eggs

I'm a such sucker for the seasonal goodies at Lush and the brightly coloured eggs for Easter are no exception. Is there anything more indulgent than lounging about in the bath in delicious smelling bubbles (getting ever so slightly covered in glitter) and munching on Easter eggs - I think not! I may have had a bit of a raid on the Eldon Square stock so I hope the rest of you have managed to get some!

New Girl in Toon - Lush Eggs

Muddy Walks

Perhaps the most memorable day of our month was our walk at Seaton Delaval on a Sunday where the forecast had promised us sunshine but instead we were met with grey skies and a footpath so covered in mud we had to practically swim our way through. Simon wrecked his shoes and the sight of him clinging on to a fence for dear life as he tried to stay out of the bog of thick mud below him will remain with me forever. It's something that we will definitely laugh about one day (if I'm being honest it already gives me the giggles!)

New Girl in Toon - Seaton Delaval

Peace and Loaf

Thanks to my birthday (and its excuse to eat endless food!) I finally got to try Peace and Loaf in Jesmond this month and wow was it good! Their Prix Fixe menu is a bargain offering a three course dinner for £30.00. I enjoyed Cured Salmon, Stone Bass and finished with an indulgent Chocolate Rose. It definitely wont be long until I return, in fact I have my eye on their Sunday Lunch menu which I've heard is outstanding!

New Girl in Toon - Peace and Loaf

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

Thursday 29 March 2018

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle (and beyond!)

Easter is one of my favourite weekends of the year. Four days off work and the chance to scoff loads of calories without any guilt? Yes please! Before you make your plans for the weekend I thought I'd share with you some of the best Easter treats available in Newcastle (and beyond!) Whether you're a creme egg addict, love hot cross buns or go giddy for mini eggs, I've got something for everyone! Enjoy

Mini Egg Tiffin at Olive and Bean

The tiffins at Olive and Bean are legendary in Newcastle but over Easter you'll discover a special kind of tiffin that's only available when the Easter Bunny is in Toon. The mini egg tiffin is filled with crushed brightly coloured eggs, goes perfectly with a nice cup of coffee and, if you're feeling very generous, is a great treat to share with your favourite person.

Find Olive and Bean at: 17-19 Clayton Street, NE1 5PN

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle - Olive and Bean

Creme Egg Ice-Cream at Di Meos

Last year we became a little obsessed with Di Meos ice-cream (you'll never get me to confess to you exactly how many cones we had!) and we spent many evenings driving to Whitley Bay for an ice-cream and stroll along the seafront. Therefore I'm definitely qualified to tell you that the Easter special Creme Egg ice-cream at Di Meos is, without a doubt, the best ice-cream you will ever have! Impossible to eat without a bright yellow chin, it's so creamy, so sticky and probably the best thing about Easter in the North East. Please make sure you go and get yourself one before they go!

Find Di Meos at: 9 Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay, NE26 1LX

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle - Di Meos

Creme Egg Bombs at The Brownie Bar

If Cadbury's Creme Eggs are your weakness then you'll find loads of treats at The Brownie Bar. Their Eldon Garden counter and Chillingham Road cafe are bursting with Creme Egg treats including their famous brownies. My favourite is this gorgeous Creme Egg Bomb, ask for it served warm and just watch as the molten creme egg oozes all over your plate. Delicious!

Find The Brownie Bar at: 237-239 Chillingham Road, NE6 5LJ or at Eldon Garden Shopping Centre

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle - The Brownie Bar

Hot Cross Buns at Mason + Rye

I love Hot Cross Buns, they are the perfect breakfast food over Easter! Slightly toasted and slathered in butter - perfect! We always stay clear of the soggy offerings in the supermarket and love to pick up fresh locally produced buns, you'll find these delicious guys at Mason + Rye in the Fenwick's Food Hall - with their perfect sticky top they are the ultimate Easter treat.

Find Mason + Rye at: Fenwick Food Hall, 39 Northumberland St NE1 7AF

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle -  Mason + Rye

Mini Egg Cupcakes at Pet Lamb Patisserie

If you want a guaranteed counter full of Easter goodies then you need to get yourself down to Pet Lamb Patisserie in the Grainger Market. The smell of creme egg brownies makes you tummy growl as soon as you get through the door and the huge variety of cupcakes on offer will make your eyes pop. To save yourself the drama of trying to decide I highly recommend the mini egg cupcakes, take them away and enjoy them on the sofa with a cup of tea - bliss!

Find Pet Lamb at: 19 Grainger Market, NE1 5QW

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle -  Pet Lamb Patisserie

Creme Egg Smash at Cake Stories

When I see the Creme Egg Smash out at Cake Stories I know that Easter is well and truly here. These little beauties always appear at this time of year and are the ultimate chocolatey indulgence for Easter. Combining my two favourite things - creme eggs and chocolate cake - they are, no exaggeration, one of the best things about living in Newcastle!

Find Cake Stories at:12 Brentwood Avenue, Jesmond, NE2 3DH

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle - Cake Stories

Hot Cross Bun Doughnuts at Proven

The Proven Doughnut obsession continues and they've really created something special this Easter with the arrival of their Hot Cross Bun Doughnut. Spiced dough filled with vanilla custard and orange soaked fruit, I think this may actually be the best doughnut I have ever had! The only problem is it's impossible to just leave with one doughnut and you will end up walking away with a box of 6 .. you have been warned!

Find Proven Doughnuts: popping up all over Newcastle!

The Best Easter Cakes and Treats in Newcastle - Proven Doughnuts

Make sure you let me know your favourite places to go for Easter Treats in the North East - I'm sure I can fit a few more in!

Wednesday 28 March 2018

A Day Trip to Hexham, Northumberland

We recently enjoyed the most beautiful Northumberland staycation at a luxury cottage on St Oswald's Farm and when we were looking at what there was to do in the local area we were very happy to discover that we were only a few miles away from Hexham, somewhere we'd been meaning to visit for a long time. So, with a little help from Visit Hexham, we planned ourselves a day trip to Hexham.

Confessions over first, I will admit that whenever we've been in the area we've always ignored Hexham and headed straight to the neighbouring town of Corbridge so we were keen to discover what Hexham had to offer for a day of adventuring in Northumberland.

A Day Trip to Hexham, Northumberland

Hexham Abbey

Our day began at the breathtaking Hexham Abbey, the real heart of the town, it towers over the rest of the buildings. Completed in AD678 it always amazes me how such huge magnificent buildings were built without all of the equipment that we have today (as we joked on our way round, the structure is a lot more solid than our new build house).

A Day Trip to Hexham Abbey

The Abbey is free to visit and well looked after with plenty of people dotted around to give you some interesting facts about the building and to help you get the most out of your visit. We were particularly taken with the colourful stained glass windows and were surprised to learn that the most recent stained glass displays are only 6 years old!

The Big Story was the highlight of our visit, an interactive look at the history of the Abbey, it really  brought history to life with a good variety of interactive displays and dressing up costumes. Although I'm sure a lot of it is aimed at children I'll admit that I really enjoyed pushing buttons and playing some of the games.

Hexham Abbey

Coffee and Cake at The Refectory Cafe

Although there are a lot of amazing looking coffee shops in Hexham we decided to stay in the Abbey for our cake break. The Refectory Cafe serves up freshly baked cake and as soon as I spotted that they had coffee cake (my favourite) I knew I needed to order a slice.

Hexham Abbey - Coffee and Cake
Simon was equally thrilled to discover that they also had chocolate orange cake (his favourite) on the counter, they must have known that we were coming!

We were surprised at how large the cafe in Hexham Abbey was and it was a very welcoming warm shelter from the arctic temperatures outside. We were very thankful to be able to feel our fingers and toes again!

Cake at the Refectory Cafe, Hexham

Lost in the Streets of Hexham 

Hexham is a fantastic place to enjoy a little street potter and I recommend not burying your nose in Google maps and instead get yourself lost down the beautiful little roads to see what you can discover.

There are some real treasures - who knew that this art gallery has a secret vault underneath where you can enjoy live music and drinks!

Hexham NorthumberlandThere are a lot of independent gift shops, delicious looking restaurants and tea rooms, plenty of antique and art shops to mooch around and even on a very dull and Wintery day the sandstone coloured buildings looked really beautiful.

We made a quick visit to The Forum, Hexham's independent one screen cinema that shows the latest blockbusters as well as much loved favourites. Unfortunately there was nothing on when we visited but I've made a note to return to watch a movie, the screen looks beautiful!

Hexham Northumberland - Guide

My favourite discovery in Hexham was The Vintage Emporium, a Georgian building complete with hidden rooms, old wooden floorboards and tilting rooms filled with the most amazing vintage furniture, kitchenware and clothes. It was an absolute treasure trove and I loved discovering more and more every time I stumbled across a different room. I was gutted that we'd already eaten as Bea's Teas, a vintage tearoom set in the 1940s, is hidden away in the heart of the shop and it looked amazing!

Hexham Northumberland - The Vintage Emporium

Hexham Parks

Despite the freezing temperatures we managed a quick stroll around the park which offered some great views of Hexham Abbey and a pretty impressive display of Spring time blooms. I spent a lot of our walk saying "imagine how amazing this must be in the Summer"; and we definitely want to return in the warmer months to picnic on the grass and indulge in some people watching.

Hexham Northumberland - Hexham Park

So we discovered that yes, there really is plenty to do in Hexham! We could easily spend an entire day (and evening!) there enjoying the culture, history, food, shopping and green spaces of the beautiful little market town. We loved our first ever day trip to Hexham and definitely wont be overlooking the beautiful town again in future. We can't wait to return soon and get a few more tea rooms ticked off our list and hopefully catch a movie!

Let me know your favourite town or village in Northumberland! We need to know where to head next!

If you fancy planning your own trip to Northumberland make sure you check out our review of the beautiful Heavenfield Cottage at St Oswald's Farm !

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Luxury Self Catering Cottage at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - Our Romantic Break at St Oswalds Farm, Hexham

* This is a collaboration with St Oswalds Farm

Much to my husband's annoyance my birthday is never just one day. I usually declare March "my month" and I do my best to keep the celebrations going for as long as possible. This year I decided that we'd kick off birthday weekend with a staycation in the countryside. I loved the idea of a romantic break in a luxury self catering cottage at Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland so was over the moon when we were invited to spend a weekend at Heavenfield Cottage, a cosy cottage for two on St Oswald's Farm in Wall near Hexham.

Sitting pretty in the perfect location, Heavenfield Cottage is a stone's throw from Hadrian's Wall yet only a few miles away from the market towns of Hexham and Corbridge. The hustle and bustle of Newcastle city centre is only a 30 minute drive yet the cottage is situated in such peaceful countryside it's easy to believe you're in the middle of nowhere.  We loved having the convenience of nearby supermarkets, pubs and cafes to enjoy with the knowledge that if we really wanted to switch off and enjoy country life we could.

Luxury Self Catering Cottage at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland

When our plans were made I was excited at the thought of blue skies, daffodils and maybe even a cheeky cream tea out in the sunshine - unfortunately the weather had very different ideas. Our drive up to Northumberland was through thick grey skies, torrential rain and with the radio threatening snow by the end of the weekend, you'd be forgiven for thinking that our staycation was going to be a washout.

Luckily Heavenfield Cottage is the perfect escape from bad weather. Sure it was annoying not being able to get outside for long rambles but when you have a cosy little home for two to shut yourself away in who cares what's happening outside?

Cottage at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds Farm
We were welcomed to the Cottage by owner Lorraine who greeted us with the keys and showed us into our home for the weekend. She had very kindly got the wood burning stove started for us and we were so grateful to get in from the cold. The fire was so welcoming and the underfloor heating made the whole place really snug and cosy.

Lorraine and her husband John live close to Heavenfield Cottage so were easy to reach if we did have any problems. They were the perfect hosts - available when we needed them and invisible when we just wanted some peace and quiet.

Heavenfield Cottage at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds Farm

We spent most of our stay at Heavenfield Cottage snuggled in the open plan lounge and kitchen which was so cosy we spent more hours than we'd like to admit just sitting about doing absolutely nothing but enjoying the peace and quiet. Although we were living on a working farm there was no intrusive noise and I loved sitting on the sofa listening to the sheep and cows.

The lounge area was my favourite part of the cottage and gave me a severe dose of interior envy -  polished wooden floors, a beautiful brick fireplace, exposed wooden beams decorated in beautiful little fairy lights and the kind of sofas that hug you so nicely you're not sure you'll ever be able to drag yourself out of them.

Heavenfield Cottage at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds
Simon spent most of our stay carefully nurturing the fire, I have to admit I felt pretty jealous - I only wish he spent as much time mooning over me as he did that fire. He was constantly topping it up with logs, prodding it and I think I may have even caught him talking to it once or twice! He didn't let me go anywhere near it, probably a good thing as I'm pretty sure it would have gone out within moments if I'd attempted to touch it.

We had a nice big complimentary basket of logs that kept us going for our two night stay, but if we needed extra logs there was a stash of them outside our cottage door for £3.00.

Heavenfield Cottage Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds Farm

We may have been hidden away in the countryside but we had all the modern conveniences we needed including super fast wifi, a DVD player and TV (complete with Netflix) and if we fancied some quiet time there was a shelf full of books to read and some local magazines and brochures to enjoy.

I'll admit I almost dropped off to sleep on the sofa by the fire on more than one occasion and for someone that really struggles to relax at home that was a bit of a big deal!

Heavenfield Cottage Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds Farm Interior
The open plan kitchen had everything that we needed for our stay including a fridge to store all of our food, oven, dishwasher, washer/drier and fridge. The nearest supermarkets are around a 12 minute drive away in Hexham but if you're wanting to plan ahead you can get a supermarket delivery to the cottage or arrive fully prepared with a car full of all the essentials. With snow imminent we decided on a cottage diet of prosecco, pizza, pasta and hot cross buns!

Our little kitchen was already stocked with a few goodies when we arrived and we had a lovely little welcome hamper of local produce including a homemade birthday cake just for two (so thoughtful), free range eggs from Bowershields, Bardon Mill; Northumbrian Pedigree Milk from Marleycote, Slaley; Luxury Chocolate homemade in Newcastle and Northumberland Tea.

Heavenfield Cottage Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds Farm Local Produce
I was very happy that I managed to convince Simon to cook me up some scrambled eggs on our second morning in the cottage and they were delicious!

I will admit we cut into the cake within minutes of arriving, my first official birthday cake of the year, it was so good and the perfect size for two people with our large appetites, it kept us going for both nights of our stay and left me very annoyed at myself for not being able to make cakes myself (I really must learn to bake!)

Heavenfield Cottage Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds Farm Birthday

Luxury self catering cottages are pretty hard to find so we were so happy to discover that Heavenfeld Cottage at St Oswald's Farm really did tick every box. Everything had been thought of and I immediately regretted bringing so much luggage with us as most of our luxuries were already provided including snuggly dressing gowns, toiletries and even hot water bottles.

Every cupboard we explored we were surprised by yet more goodies, and when we stumbled across the cupboard containing the picnic and BBQ equipment I was gutted that we had snow outside!

Heavenfield Luxury Cottage Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland - St Oswalds Farm

It was the bathroom that really made us appreciate how luxurious our holiday cottage really was and if it's a romantic break for two you are after then you will definitely want to book yourself into St Oswald's Farm.

We had a huge freestanding bath with a little table sitting next to it (complete with a perfect Prosecco bottle shaped hole), waterfall shower and fluffy towels. I had every intention to enjoy a lovely long soak in that tub with a glass of fizz but unfortunately both nights of our stay I was so comfy on the sofa I couldn't convince myself to stand up.

Romantic Break for 2 at St Oswald's Farm Hexham

Our bedroom boasted a huge super king bed, perfect for losing your husband in and fully wrapping yourself up in the duvet without any wars. As much as I love him I have to admit that I really appreciated having so much extra space in such a huge bed. Two nights of perfect uninterrupted sleep were just what we both needed and we definitely left the farm feeling far more refreshed than when we arrived.

Romantic Break at St Oswald's Farm Hexham

Luckily the bad weather took a very brief break during our stay and allowed me to step outdoors for a short stroll around the grounds which is a must if you're visiting! There's some beautiful walks recommended in the guest information book including a ramble over the fields to St Oswald's Church that sounds beautiful.

St Oswalds Farm has been owned by the family for 50 years and it's a working farm with over 500 sheep. If you're a fan of farmyard rambles and talking to the animals guests are welcome to potter around the 217 acre farm. Very thankful for my wellies I splodged my way through deliciously thick mud to the fields where I was greeted with the most stunning views of the Northumberland countryside.

St Oswald's Farm Hexham
You know you've been on a good ramble when you come back with your boots covered in mud! Although I think you can tell that my wellies are definitely city boots rather than farming boots.

St Oswald's Farm Hexham - Romantic Break for 2

We were very lucky that our stay at Heavenfield Cottage timed perfectly with the start of lambing season on St Oswald's Farm. If you're keen to learn a little bit more about life on a farm, Lorraine and John enjoy chatting to guests about the farm and as soon as they discovered that I was very keen to see a lamb they welcomed me into the lambing pen to say hello.

St Oswald's Farm Hexham - Lambing Season

Little did I realise that I was going to get to cuddle one. I had the biggest smile on my face as I snuggled up to the cutest little lamb who was only a few days old. It was a truly unique experience and definitely a very special way to celebrate my birthday. He had a little sleep in my arms and I honestly don't think I've ever felt more content.

St Oswald's Farm Hexham - Lambs

I'm never a huge fan of leaving anywhere to return back home but climbing back into the car to leave St Oswald's Farm I felt particularly sad. We had had the most fantastic time and it was definitely a birthday to remember. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be returning, I'd love to see St Oswald's Farm in a different season and I can picture us enjoying the perfect Winter hideaway at Christmas time or indulging in a long Summer evening with a BBQ or picnic.

If you're planning on exploring the beautiful countryside of Northumberland this year then I highly recommend booking yourself in for a stay at St Oswald's Farm - I don't think it'd be possible to find anywhere better!

To book your own Northumberland break for two at St Oswald's Farm check out the tariff, availability and booking here. The cottage is available for week long breaks, mid week breaks (Monday to Friday) and weekend breaks (Friday to Monday). Prices start from £300.00 for a weekend.

Find Heavenfield Cottage at:

St Oswald's Farm

01434 689 015

We were invited to Heavenfield Cottage and were treated to a complimentary stay in exchange for this honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.


Monday 26 March 2018

The Botanist Newcastle - Spring Menu Review

Spring may have got off to a slightly snowy start but it hasn't stopped The Botanist embracing the changing of the seasons with a brand new menu, perfect for those lovely lighter days and longer evenings. I love Spring and the opportunity it brings to crawl out from under my duvet and start filling my diary with date nights and catch up with friends, and what better place to indulge than at The Botanist? Starting with a night out with my husband.

Simon and I grabbed ourselves a table overlooking Monument (so happy that the lighter evenings mean that we can once again people watch from the best seats in the house!) and spent a happy few minutes carefully studying the menu to spot what's new whilst sipping on my favourite cocktail (Passion Fruit and Basil Crush, in case you were wondering!)

The Botanist Newcastle - Spring Menu Review

There are some obvious changes to the Botanist's food menu including additions to the Deli Boards and Activated Charcoal Flatbreads but there are also some changes that are, perhaps, not very obvious. Most of the dishes on the menu have had a slight refresh for Spring, making the favourites even tastier than before.

Before we carry on, let me just pass on a bit of life advice for you. If you're planning on heading to The Botanist to try out the new Spring menu for yourself, please make sure you go with a friend who loves cheese as much as you do. There is an AMAZING new addition to the menu - a whole camembert baked in garlic and rosemary sourdough with braeburn apple and smoky apple ketchup, and I stupidly went with someone who doesn't like camembert!  I do sometimes find myself questionning my life choices - how on earth could I marry someone who doesn't like camembert?

Cheese related sulks over, I opted for Creamy Garlic Mushrooms (£5.50) as my Starter and was very amused when it turned up in a a "perfect for Spring" flower pot. Peering into the pot it honestly did look like I had been given a pile of soil but once I'd dug my spoon in I was delighted to discover a never ending well of delicious creamy mushroom and garlic. It went on and on and on and once it had all gone I got to mop out the last remaining parts with a mini Hovis loaf ... I was in heaven!

The Botanist Newcastle - New Spring Menu Review
Simon opted for the Cumberland Scotch Egg with homemade piccalilli (£5.95) which he declared to be the best he'd ever tried in Newcastle. It was only a few weeks ago that he'd announced that their Sticky Toffee Pudding is the best so it seems that when Simon is dishing out awards The Botanist takes their fair share!

Botanist Newcastle - Spring Menu Review
One of the new additions to the menu that really caught my eye was the Flat Iron Steak Sandwich (£11.95) served with whipped garlic goat's cheese, fried onions, seasoned chips and rotisserie gravy. It was mammoth! So huge that I couldn't actually finish it.

The steak was the perfect shade of pink and I loved the delicious flavour combination of tender beef with goat's cheese. I wish that it was perhaps served on a slightly softer bread as it was very hard to try and cram this giant sandwich into my mouth and in the end I had to leave most of the bread as it was just too much for me.

Botanist Newcastle - Spring Menu

Simon chose the Paella with Chicken Thights, King Prawn and Chorizo (£12.50). I was surprised that he hadn't gone for one of the famous Botanist Hanging Kebabs but he said he'd wanted to try something different.

It looked delicious but I'll admit I didn't actually try any because I was too busy doing battle with my steak sandwich!

There was one addition to the desssert menu that I was desperate to try - the Homemade Banana Doughnuts served with salted caramel sauce and peanut milkshake (£5.75), unfortunately my nut allergy made this one a no go so I had to do the next best thing - convince Simon to order it and then spend an agonising 10 minutes watching him eat it without being able to try any myself.


I desperately tried to get him to describe what it tasted like but was mostly met with mmmmm as he stuffed yet another fried banana ball into his mouth. So if one of you could go and try it for me and report back I'd be very grateful!

Botanist Newcastle - Spring Menu Banana Doughnuts

I decided to go for the next best thing - Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with salted caramel ice cream and toffee sauce (£5.95), now known as the sweetest dessert I have ever had. This one really is for the sweet tooth, it was pretty sickly and after all of the food I'd just had it was a real struggle to eat.

This one is definitely only a dessert for the brave!

The Botanist Newcastle - Spring Menus
We really enjoyed trying out the new Spring menu at The Botanist and I'm looking forward to a long hot season (fingers crossed!) of endless food and cocktails with my favourite people in my favourite spot in Newcastle.

Find The Botanist at:

Monument Mall

0191 261 6307

We were invited to enjoy a complimentary meal for two in exchange for this honest review.

Friday 23 March 2018

The Best Gin Bars in Newcastle

I became obsessed with gin last year, yes I was a little late to the party (nothing new there!) but believe me I am now making up for lost time. I've been having a great time playing catch up and discovering my favourite gins, botanicals and mixers - luckily Newcastle is the perfect city to do that as there are so many great places to drink gin! With so many to choose from I thought I'd share with you the best gin bars in Newcastle

Here are just a few that I've discovered in my quest to become a gin connoisseur.

The Best Bars in Newcastle to Drink Gin
Pleased to Meet You

One of the best gin and tonic menus you'll find in Newcastle, Pleased to Meet You is where a lot of people's gin obsessions started in the city. I believe it was the first gin bar in Newcastle to open and was soon followed by a flurry of others making Newcastle a real gin bar destination.

Pleased to Meet You serve over 100 gins and it pays to leave yourself plenty of time to properly read the gin menu because it runs several pages and you'll find yourself changing your mind several times. Offering so many combinations of gins, tonics and garnishes, it's an amazing pick and mix G&T menu that has me going back again and again.

Find Pleased to Meet You at: 41-51 High Bridge, NE1 1EW

The Best Gin Bars in Newcastle - Pleased to Meet You


When I asked my followers on Instagram for their gin bar recommendations I had so many messages telling me that we had to try Dacantus and having now visited I can see why so many say it's the best gin bar in Newcastle.

Gin served in fish bowl glasses with extra large ice-cubes and complimentary tapas to go with your drink - Dacantus is definitely my kind of bar! They stock a range of gins from around the world and the menu is huge, it's going to take us forever to get through but that's OK because the obsession is real and I don't think it'll be long before we're there again.

Find Dacantus at: 30-32 Grey Street, NE1 6AE

The Best Gin Bars in Newcastle - Dacantus

The Gin Bar

You can't really go wrong with a gin bar called The Gin Bar can you? Attached to the Crowne Plaza hotel just behind Central Station, The Gin Bar is my favourite place to head for gin based cocktails when I fancy something a little fruity.

Their one off signature cocktails combine local gin and fruity prosecco for the most delicious drinks to enjoy in the Summer months and I particularly love The Sloe Gin Royal (Plymouth Sloe Gin with Fruity Prosecco) and Tyneside Fizz (Durham Gin, Fresh Mint and Elderflower with Fruity Prosecco).

Find The Gin Bar at: Forth Street, Stephenson Quarter, NE1 3SA

The Best Gin Bars in Newcastle - Crowne Plaza

Bealim House

Bealim House is the home to Newcastle Gin and you'll find their beautiful copper gin still sitting pride of place in the bar. With its beautiful industrial decor and delicious gin selection it's one of the best gin bars in Newcastle.

The Bealim House gin list features 17 varieties of gin which all come with a garnish recommendation and plenty of tonics to choose from, but it's usually the gin cocktails that catch my eye. With plenty of seasonal options my current favourites from their Spring Menu are "Apple and Cinnamon" and "Rhubarb and Ginger".

Find Bealim House at: 17-25 Gallowgate, NE1 4SG

The Best Gin Bars in Newcastle - Bealim House

George's Great British Kitchen

When you think of George's Great British Kitchen you probably think huge dishes of food rather than gin, but they actually have a cosy little gin bar to the side of the restaurant. Their G&T menu is given an extra little kick with their homemade fresh fruit and sugar syrups and if you love your gin extra fruity you'll love their Sweet Gin and Fragrant Gin menus and their Tea Party gins to share are a great way to kick start your weekend.

Find George's Great British Kitchen at: Intu Eldon Square, NE1 7JB

The Best Gin Bars in Newcastle - Georges Great British Kitchen

The Continental

The Continental describes itself as a palace of gin, and I have to say when we stepped through the doors it was a little like jumping into a fairytale. The shelves behind the bar are stacked to the ceiling with gin bottles only accessible by a beautiful golden ladder!

The menu is mammoth (they have over 500 gins!) so no surprises that The Continental is actually home to the largest amount of gins in Newcastle. The A-Z list at the back is pretty impressive stuff and if you have a favourite you are bound to find it here.

As an added incentive they also have an entire page of the menu dedicated to 2 gins for £10.00 - surely the best bargain you'll find on the Diamond Strip!

Find The Continental at: 29 Collingwood Street, NE1 1JE

The Best Gin Bars in Newcastle - The Continental

Safe to say I have a bit of a headache after trying out all that gin (the things I do for you lot eh?!).  At the moment I've decided I'm never going near a gin bar ever again ...

until the weekend!

I'd love to know your favourite places to drink Gin and if you have any recommendations for what gin I should try next I'd love to hear from you.

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