Tuesday 31 July 2018

My July Days

I think we will always remember July 2018 as that time we finally got a proper Summer and England almost won the World Cup! This month has certainly been a special one and life admin has very much taken a back seat as we've been out and about enjoying the sunshine.

Here are just a few of the things that didn't make the blog this month!

Druridge Bay Country Park

The never ending heatwave meant we have spent almost every weekend exploring the coastal route of Northumberland and when our friends came to stay on a particularly hot weekend we knew a road trip along the coast would impress them. Our first stop was Druridge Bay Country Park, somewhere that Simon and I were yet to explore. We were so impressed with our little walk around the lake, it very much reminded us of a mini Kielder and I've made a note of it as a potential future picnic spot.

Drinks By The River

This month the whole of Newcastle has become obsessed with By The River Brewery - the new container park on the banks of the River Tyne has quickly become the coolest place to hang out in the Toon. With loads of outdoors seating, amazing views, buzzing atmosphere and a weekend street food market it ticks every box! The amazing weather has lead to many many hours sitting out with friends enjoying the sunshine by the river. If you haven't been yet what on earth are you waiting for?

My July Days - By the River Brew Co

Breakfast at Dil and The Bear

It's been a long time since I last had breakfast at Dil and The Bear so when we found ourselves in Tynemouth early on a Saturday morning it seemed like the ideal opportunity to rediscover the beautiful little cafe. My Coconut Bread with Poached Plums and Yoghurt really hit the spot and reminded me how wonderful this place is! If you want a truly delicious breakfast by the coast you need to get yourself here.

My July Days - Dil and the Bear

Great Northumberland

Great Northumberland is in full swing with a whole Summer of events planned across the county. We went to the launch day in Hexham earlier this month where we were greeted by a carnival atmosphere, crazy hot temperatures and a chance to top up our tan whilst watching previews by some of the events representatives. Safe to say our Summer is now fully planned and we don't have a weekend to spare!

My July Days - Great Northumberland

Fish n Chips at Pantrinis

We spent a fair amount of time this month exploring the North Tyneside coastline which inevitability meant a chippy tea was going to happen at some point! The good weather was the perfect excuse to finally try Pantrinis in Whitley Bay (can you believe this was our first visit!) Serving the good folk of Whitley Bay the most delicious menu of homemade, locally sourced food I can see why this place is so popular and why they have won so many awards.

My July Days - Pantrinis

Solo Adventures

When I lived in London I spent a fair amount of time out and about on solo adventures and used to love nothing more than exploring on my lonesome. For some reason this is something I haven't really done since moving to the North East so I loved the opportunity of two days of solo time in Newcastle this month and had the most fantastic time ticking places off my foodie list and discovering streets I'd never seen before. I enjoyed myself so much I'm thinking I should perhaps set aside a day in my diary every month to spend some quality time with myself!

My July Days - Solo Adventures

Red Heads Mac N Cheese

Food discovery of the month has to be Red Heads Mac n Cheese which I finally got to try on Quayside Market Day and I haven't stopped talking about since. Pots stuffed full of the most delicious cheesy goodness, it's hard to believe that as a child I didn't even like mac n cheese! If you haven't tried these guys yet, make it your mission to find them and have a pot!

My July Days - Red Heads Mac n Cheese
Sangria Time 

The lovely weather has meant seeking out refreshing beverages at every available opportunity and has given me the perfect excuse to become hooked on Sangria. I've become a regular visitor to Tapas Revolution at Intu Eldon Square whose bar area at the back of the restaurant seems to be undiscovered by most! So I'll let you into my secret, they have a rather lovely bar, serve five different types of homemade sangria and you can get half price jugs between 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm every Sunday to Friday. You're welcome!

My July Days - Tapas Revolution

Mate Date at Cote Brasserie

Last time I went to Cote Brasserie I ordered the completely wrong dish and spent my entire meal eyeing up this delicious Roast Duck Breast so when I visited there last week on a mate date with the lovely Sarah I knew exactly what I had to order (I WILL be ordering this every time I visit now, it's that good!) - we gossiped over glasses of delicious Pampelle Spritz and for a brief glorious moment I thought I was in Paris!

My July Days - Cote Brasserie

Fore more adventures from New Girl in Toon make sure you follow me on Instagram. I post a new photo every day and you'll find videos of my favourite North East adventures on my highlights.

Thursday 26 July 2018

The One Where Friends Fest Arrives in Newcastle

This is a collaboration with Comedy Central

After the huge success of last year, Comedy Central's Friends Fest has arrived back in Newcastle this week and I'm so excited to be sharing our experience with you!

I have very fond memories of watching Friends on TV when I was growing up. The sitcom first aired in 1994 and I remember me and my friends being completely obsessed with Ross and Rachel's "will they won't they" relationship and spending entire science lessons discussing it! I grew up with the show and to this day I still quote from it daily - I have started so many conversations with "it's like that scene in Friends" that I have honestly lost count.

Ask me to name my favourite moments and I would happily sit here for hours listing them - the one where Joey goes on a Game Show ("paper, snow, a ghost!"), the one where Ross and Monica perform their ridiculous New Years dance and of course, the one where Ross attempts to get a tan. In fact, just writing up this blog post saw me disappearing into an hour long YouTube hole watching my favourite moments.
 Friends Fest Arrives in Newcastle

So I was beyond excited to spend the evening indulging in my Friends obsession with a trip to Comedy Central's Friends Fest which is being held at Castle Farm Fields in Newcastle this week. Promising an evening of iconic moments, unique opportunities and the real highlight, a special set tour I couldn't wait to get started!

We were very lucky to be invited to a VIP night at Friends Fest which meant a slightly less crowded experience for us so please bear that in mind when reading this review. I have heard a few stories from others that the set tour in particular gets a little hectic.

 Friends Fest Newcastle

Once you've handed in your ticket and gone through security you're free to roam Friends Fest for as long as you like. With the exception of your pre-booked studio tour you're able to spend as long as you like exploring and taking photos and there are several opportunities across the site to geek out at Friends memorabilia and set recreations.  Make sure you keep your eyes open because there are photo opps around every corner.

We started our visit by "Recreating the Titles" - the famous orange sofa sitting in front of a fantastic back drop and plenty of umbrella props we were let lose to recreate our favourite moments and take as many photos as we liked. The staff at Friends Fest happily take photographs for you which means you can include all of your family and friends in the photos and I'd definitely say when it comes to this iconic moment the more the merrier.

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Recreate the Titles
We followed this by a visit to the mini set next door where we got to recreate the famous PIVOT scene where Ross, Rachel and Chandler struggle to get a sofa up the stairs. I'm sure we're not the only people to shout PIVOT at each other every time we're struggling to carry something - it's certainly a moment that's stuck in my mind ever since first seeing that episode.

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Pivot
It wasn't long before we'd started feeling a bit peckish so we decided to explore the food trucks on offer. The food at Friends Fest is all themed around the show and if you're a fan of typical American food you won't be let down.

Joey's Pizza sells pizza by the New York slice for £5.00 each and, if you're feeling extra hungry, the "Joey Special" costs £9.00 for a double slice sandwich which sounds pretty damn good to me!  Just remember to order enough because - Joey doesn't share food!

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Food

We decided to head for the Hot Dog van with Simon opting for an "Oh My God Hotdog" (£7.00) - a Beechwood Smoked Pork Hot Dog topped with a stack of Low 'n' Slaw BBQ Pulled Pork in a Brioche Bun and I opted for  The One with Halloumi Fries (£6.00

The best way to enjoy your food is at one of the tables in front of the huge screen. Favourite moments from Friends are played during your visit with a few live quizzes thrown in. I'd always considered myself to know quite a bit about the show before I heard the questions at the quiz - it may be worth swatting up on your knowledge before you go. There are prizes to be won but if you fancy getting your hands on a mug, t-shirt or poster there's a sizeable gift shop on site where you can buy some memorabilia without having to embarrass yourself trying to answer questions!

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Hot Dog
One of my favourite parts of our visit was popping into Central Perk for a Smelly Cat singalong. A Phoebe inspired busker took to the stage to sing some of the classic songs from the show and believe me you haven't lived until you've partaken in a massive singa-long to the most ridiculous songs you've ever heard. I'd completely forgotten how amazing Phoebe's  Holiday Song is - "and please tell Joey that Christmas Will Be Snowy" - brilliant!

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Central Perk

I loved having the opportunity to pop behind the counter, move over Gunther I'm coming for your job, and of course that giant orange sofa was there for everyone to sit on for photographs. The best part, there was an actual counter in Central Perk where you could buy coffee meaning you could sit on set and enjoy a latte - bliss!

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Central Perk Counter

Other things around the site included the chance to hop into Phoebe's famous yellow taxi and fancy dress stations including a photo opportunity to wear wedding dresses. Every photo opportunity is manned by the fantastic staff who are more than happy to help out with your photographs.

The main reason most people go to Friends Fest is, of course, the set tour. When you book tickets you select an alloted time so go into the studio as part of a group tour. There are three apartments to explore - Joey and Chandelers Bachelor Pad, Monica's Apartment and Ross' apartment. You are let into each one separately and given 10 minutes in each.

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Apartment Tour

It is a little crazy trying to get photographs, with everyone wanting photographs in the famous reclining chairs, looking at Ugly Naked Guy and leaping out from behind Ross' curtains it got a little tricky at times to get nice clear photographs without people in the background. It was just about do-able if we were very quick but it did get a little hectic and I've heard from friends that some studio times are busier than others.

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Monica Apartment

One good part that we really appreciated was at the end of each apartment tour everyone was asked to come off set to clear the room so that people could get photographs of the apartments without anyone in the way. The staff are very good at controlling the situation and helping people get the photographs that they want - although do note that you're not guaranteed to be able to get every shot that you want without people in the background!

 Friends Fest Newcastle  - Monica Apartment

We really enjoyed our evening at Friends Fest but at £27.50 a ticket we did both feel that the ticket price was a little steep and could only be justified if you're a  really huge Friends fan who doesn't mind the crowds.

Friends Fest is at Castle Farm Fields in Newcastle until Sunday 29 July before moving on to Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and London. Tickets cost £27.50 per person  Click here for full information on tour dates and to buy tickets.

I was given two complimentary tickets to VIP Night of Friends Fest as well as food and drinks tokens. I was not asked to write this blog post but thought it might be an interesting read if you were planning to visit 

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Discover Great Northumberland - The Music and Dances of Northumberland at The Alnwick Garden

We are loving our Summer discovering more of Northumberland and thanks to the brilliant Summer of events put on by Great Northumberland we are learning far more about our favourite county whilst getting out and about in the sunshine.

Discover Great Northumberland - The Music and Dances of Northumberland at Alnwick Garden
At the weekend we headed to Alnwick, one of our favourite little towns in Northumberland and home to the award winning The Alnwick Garden, for a celebration of Northumbrian music and dance. A musical day out for all the family, it promised a day of discovering Northumberland's music traditions whilst enjoying the sunshine and beautiful gardens. What a way to spend a Sunday!

We arrived at Alnwick Gardens for their opening at 10:00 am and were greeted through the gates by the Northumbrian Smallpipes which I'll admit I had always thought were little wooden pipes rather than a bag pipe style instrument. How silly do I feel now?

We'd not even made it through the gate and I was already learning something!

The Music and Dances of Northumberland at Alnwick Garden

It was a very hot day in Northumberland so we spent quite a lot of our day lying out on the grass by the Grand Cascade Fountain, people watching and enjoying the wonderful music played by the young musicians from the Duchess of Northumberland's Busking Scheme. Showcasing the amazing talent that we have in the county, the buskers performed at various points throughout the gardens.

A young girl playing the pipes was particularly impressive and we enjoyed some wonderful violinists too. I love that children are still picking up traditional instruments and learning the beautiful songs of Northumberland's past.

Alnwick Gardens Northumberland

The gardens are beautiful to wander around in the sunshine and having only ever visited the garden before in Autumn and Spring I personally think that Alnwick Gardens truly comes to life in the Summer months and the colours and smells as you explore really are something else.

A visit to the rose garden was a must and I loved wandering around smelling the colourful roses. Roses always give me the loveliest memories of my Grandad, I was fairly young when he died so don't remember much but he was a very keen gardener and had the most amazing beds of roses and whenever I see them I remember him (pretty sure he wouldn't be very happy if he knew I used to use his rose bed as a playground!)

The air was thick with the sweet smell of roses and with the gentle breeze carrying the sounds of the Northumbrian music across the gardens it was such a peaceful and relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Alnwick Gardens Northumberland - Rose Garden

A recent addition to the gardens, and something that Simon insisted we got involved in is the Forgotten Garden Adventure Golf course which costs £3.80 if you have a ticket for the gardens. Beautifully landscaped and nicely tucked away in the shade (essential on such a hot day!) they are well worth a visit next time you're at the Gardens.

The real show stopper of our day was the family friendly Ceilidh hosted by the fantastic Windy Ghyl, a traditional ceilidh band who amazingly managed to get loads of people up dancing despite the soaring temperatures.

The easy to follow steps made the routines simple to follow even for dancing newbies like us and the traditional stories that each dance told really added to the fun. I loved watching everyone join in from older couples to young mums with their babies - everyone was having a fantastic time.

I only wish I could spend every Sunday in beautiful surroundings swinging Simon around to the sound of violins - it was such a great way to end the weekend.

Music and Dances of Northumberland at Alnwick Garden

Experiencing Alnwick Garden with traditional Northumbrian music really did add something special to our day out and if you're planning a trip to the gardens this Summer I highly recommend that you pop along on Sunday 29 July, Saturday 4 August or Saturday 11 August where you can experience it for yourself.

Entry to Alnwick Garden costs £13.20 for adults and £4.95 for children (£12.57 and £4.72 if you book in advance online)

For more information about other events happening as part of Great Northumberland check out their webiste here - https://www.greatnorthumberland.co.uk/ 

Find Alnwick Garden at:

Denwick Lane
NE66 1YU

This post has been written in collaboration with Great Northumberland 

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue - Discovering Wild Northumbrian

What do you usually do with your evenings? Let me guess! Too tired to talk to your family you hastily cook dinner and spend the rest of the night crashed out in front of the TV? Last week we rediscovered the joy in long Summer evenings and broke away from our usual dreary routine to travel into rural Northumberland for Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue at Wild Northumbrian.

Wild Northumbrian Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue

If, like us,  you're not experts in rural glamping in Northumberland you may have never heard of Wild Northumbrian but if you love the great outdoors, getting back to nature and the stunning dark skies of Northumberland you really need to plan a visit.  Wild Northumbrian is a camp site with a difference, home to five yurts, a shepherd's hut and tree house it gives a full rural glamping experience in the most perfect setting.

It's also home to mini expeditions run by Wild Intrigue. Passionate about "rewilding" visitors they host the most fantastic nights at Wild Northumbria - educating and inspiring their guests to fall in love with this beautiful part of the world - the perfect chance to rediscover a beautiful country life that many of us have probably long forgotten.

Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue - Discovering Wild Northumbrian

The journey from our home in Newcastle took just over an hour and, following the detailed directions from Wild Intrigue rather than our useless SatNav (pretty sure Simon hasn't forgiven it yet for leaving us stranded on a single track road covered in cows) we managed to find Wild Northumbrian where we were met by Wild Intrigue's leaders Heather and Cain and were taken to our base for the night, the most charming Pole Barn.

Wild Northumbrian - Pole Barn
Sitting down at a beautiful table (far prettier than the table at home where we'd usually have our evening meal!) we each had a bowl of ready made pizza dough in front of us to prepare for our pizza base.  The perfect way to combat the stresses of the day, we happily chatted in the sunshine whilst kneading our dough into something resembling a pizza shape.

Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue
Trust my husband to be Northumberland's best pizza maker. We were all stunned into silence at his perfect round base (he took it so seriously he ended up with flour all over his nose!) and, after refusing to swap with me (how mean!) he proceeded to cover it in toppings as fast as he could before I could swipe it.

I've never seen anyone move to a pizza oven so fast!

Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue

Stone Cooked Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue

My efforts definitely weren't as good as Simon's and my pizza couldn't really be described as round. It started to look a bit better once I'd got the toppings on and the extra cheese I layered on the top certainly made up for its less than perfect shape (everything can be fixed with cheese, I'm telling you!)

Our stone-baked pizzas took only a couple of minute to cook in the pizza oven and then we got to enjoy them with hot cups of tea whilst enjoying the last of the evening's sunshine. They were far superior to any pizza I've ever had before - made extra special by our beautiful surroundings. When we'd arrived at Wild Northumbria I'd hoped that my husband would soon be planning us a little glamping trip, but instead I caught him googling pizza ovens!

Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue - Pizza Oven

With full tummies it was time to explore and we followed Heather and Cain around Wild Northumbrian for a little look at the campsite whilst foraging for blackberries (something that immediately reminded me of my childhood) and keeping our eyes open for wildlife.

Heather and Cain thrilled us with stories of their expeditions and conservation work and told us all about the camera traps they had set up around Wild Northumbrian as part of their survey of the wildlife at the camp. As soon as I heard we were near a badger's set I had everything crossed we'd get to see one and although we weren't lucky this time I did get to see one on one of the camera traps and it was such a lovely moment.

Wild Northumbrian Campsite

The badgers may have been in hiding but we did spot something very special - a red squirrel sitting in the trees staring straight at us. Simon and I are a little obsessed with red squirrels and have been known to spend many an hour sat in the woods waiting for them so it felt amazing to be squirrel watching with other enthusiasts.  We all quietly crept through the trees for a closer look and it was so great that we all got to see him before his fluffy red tail vanished off up the trees.

We celebrated our successful adventure with hot chocolate and marshmallows by the camp fire. Cain expertly made us the perfect marshmallow toasting sticks out of Willow and we helped ourselves to endless little pink and white pillows, claiming that each one had "gone wrong" in an attempt to justify getting more.

Wild Northumbrian Campsite - Marshmallows

I'd forgotten how amazing marshmallows taste when they've been singed in the camp fire - the secret is to let them catch light just a little, blow out the flame and then you're treated to the most amazing smoky taste with a gooey sweet centre.


Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue - Wild Northumbrian

We were having so much fun toasting marshmallows and chatting about our red squirrel encounter we'd almost forgotten about the real stars of the night - the bats!

Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue - Wild Northumbrian Camp Fire

Heather gave us a little taster of what was to come by describing the different types of bats that you can find in Northumberland and demonstrating how to use the bat detectors. Bats call to each other using high frequency sounds that are almost impossible to hear but with the help of the detectors these sounds become audible allowing us to track the bats.  Each type of bat makes a different kind of noise which makes it easy to identify them.

With the sun just beginning to go down we headed off to the grave yard to see if we could find some bats. It wasn't long before our detectors were making a clicking noise and then we suddenly spotted a bat circling above our heads. Before we knew it there were loads of bats and the clicks of my detector were so clear each time a bat flew over my head it really did feel like we were eavesdropping on their private conversations.

It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and something I know I'll remember forever.

Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue - Wild Northumbrian Bat Safari

My night with Wild Intrigue transported me back to a  time long ago - where Summer night's lasted forever and I'd run outside for hours, grass in my hair, mud on my knees, fully immersed in a world of nature. I'm not sure exactly when I'd stopped feeling so carefree and swapped my evenings of adventure for mountains of laundry  but I'm so thankful that for a few hours on a Tuesday night I managed to feel truly content, something that I've not felt for years.

This probably all sounds a little too good to be true, but I promise you, an evening with Wild Intrigue and you'll find yourself heading home with the same feeling!

Bats and Pizza Night with Wild Intrigue - Wild Northumbrian Bats
As for my reluctant glamping husband, it seems that Wild Northumbria truly worked its magic on him too because he's agreed to organise a trip there one day!

Watch this space!

Wild Intrigue are hosting family friendly Bat and Pizza Nights this Summer on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 August between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm as well as an adult only night on Monday 13 August. Tickets cost £10.00 per adult, £8.00 for under 18s and under 5s are free. For more information and to to see what else they offer check out their website -http://wildintrigue.co.uk/

Find Wild Northumbrian at:

Old Rectory
NE48 1NA


We were invited to enjoy a complimentary experience with Wild Intrigue in exchange for this honest review 

Monday 23 July 2018

The Opening of Spanish City, Whitley Bay - What Restaurants are Inside the Dome?

Simon and I spend so much time at Whitley Bay we've actually had discussions about buying a house there. With the amazing redevelopment of the seafront it really is the place to be this Summer and the opening of Spanish City is the real cherry on top.

After months and months of desperately trying to see through the gaps in the scaffolding to get a glimpse at what's been going on the wait is finally over and today Spanish City in Whitley Bay finally opens its doors to the public and I, along with everyone else in North Tyneside am beyond excited.

The Opening of Spanish City, Whitley Bay - What Restaurants are Inside the Dome?
Being forever nosy I managed to get into Spanish City before it opened to the public for a little look around and to discover what we can expect from inside the Dome, I don't know about you but I've spent quite a lot of time wondering exactly what is going to be inside the beautiful building and couldn't wait to get in for a look.

Spanish City has played a huge part in Whitley Bay's history, opening in 1910 as a concert hall it became a famous landmark on the seafront delighting residents and tourists with its restaurant, roof garden, tea room and, of course, its famous funfair.  As with many British seasides, the visitors to Whitley Bay fell with the arrival of package holidays abroad and by the 1990s the once beautiful building had fallen into disrepair before it was finally closed to the public in the early 2000s. For over 15 years the once much loved building has been sitting deserted overlooking the sea, its glory days a distant memory.

Spanish City, Whitley Bay - What Restaurants are Inside the Dome?
Led by North Tyneside Council and with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the redevelopment of Spanish City has cost £10 m and has taken years to complete. Restored with great care, the new Spanish City has been rebuilt to its 1910 design using historical images and drawings as a reference with many of its previously lost original features visible for the first time in decades.

So now that the scaffolding has been taken down how is Spanish City looking? Approaching it for the first time I have to say it gave me goosebumps. Having never experienced Spanish City as anything other than a very sad looking abandoned building it felt amazing to see it looking so glorious on the sea front. The real jewel in Whitley Bay's crown, I was pretty overwhelmed looking at it properly for the first time, and I think the opening will be a very special moment that we'll all remember for a long time to come!

Spanish City, Whitley Bay
Venturing into the building for the first time I wasn't prepared for how emotional I would feel. Spanish City is so incredibly important to so many residents and visitors to North Tyneside. For many it holds special memories - meeting friends, falling in love and raising families - Spanish City played such an important role in the community and now in 2018, it's opened its doors once again to become the heart of Whitley Bay.

It seems so incredibly sad to think that such an important building has been left to decay for so long and I think there will be a lot of very emotional people taking their first steps into the building this week, many probably thought the building would be lost forever!

Having only moved to the North East five years ago it was my first time ever stepping foot inside and my jaw hit the floor! Every single person walking through the doors had the same reaction - "wow! It is stunning - beautifully finished with plenty of huge windows letting in loads of light and offering fantastic views across Whitley Bay.

Spanish City, Whitley Bay North Tyneside

Spanish City will be used to host weddings, dances and events as well as being home to some rather lovely looking eateries! I can't wait to head back and try each one and am already wondering if I can justify doing a day-long Spanish City food crawl!

1910 Steak & Seafood

Fine dining with sea views, 1910 Steak & Seafood serve the very best food from the sea and land with creative dishes. Each table offers a fantastic view across the sea and this is going to become one of the most beautiful places in the North East for date night!

Open for Lunch:

Friday and Saturday 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Open for Dinner

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 6:30 pm to late

Spanish City, Whitley Bay 1910


You can't visit the seaside without a British classic - fish and chips! Spanish City is home to famous Whitby restaurant Trenchers who have opened their first place outside North Yorkshire. Sitting under the dome it's my favourite space in Spanish City with fantastic views of the ceiling of the dome and some lovely booths for proper family occasions and, if the weather is too nice to sit inside, they also offer takeaway.

Open 7 days a week from 12:00 pm to late

The Champagne Bar

The perfect end to the perfect day, Spanish City's Champagne Bar is the place to go for a glass of fizz, beers, largers, wine and cocktails - with sea views and live music it sounds like the perfect place to spend an evening.

Open 7 days a week from 12:00 pm to late

Spanish City, Whitley Bay - Champagne Bar

Waffle and Pancake House

My husband's personal favourite, Spanish City has its very own Waffle and Pancake House, perfect for an indulgent treat on the seafront. With a menu packed full of sundaes, waffles and crepes I can't wait to try! Unlike the other eateries it can't be accessed from inside Spanish City so it's a lovely spot to just wander into.

Open 7 days a week from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Valeries Tea Room

Keeping with tradition, Valerie's Tea Room will give a real taste to times gone by at Spanish City with their classic tea room. Serving pastries, muffins and cakes as well as breakfasts and Valerie's Afternoon Tea (I managed to try a few samples and the food was delicious!)

Open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm

Spanish City, Whitley Bay - Valeries Tea Room

Spanish City is now open and I can't wait to hear what you all think!

Find Spanish City at:

Spanish City Plaza
Whitley Bay
NE26 1BG

0191 691 7090



Friday 20 July 2018

Newcastle in the 1980s and 1990s - What Did I Miss?

All of my friends in Newcastle were born and bred in the North East and I love to hear their memories of growing up in the region.  Sometimes I long to go back to Newcastle in the 1980s and 1990s so that I can experience the Newcastle that my friends speak so fondly of.  I'm convinced that not going to Beamish on a school trip and not growing up on a diet of pease pudding and Greggs sausage rolls has left my life somewhat lacking.

So today I thought I would share with you some of the things that I really wish I hadn't missed out on.

Newcastle in the 1980s and 1990s - What Did I Miss?

Geordie Jeans

Apparently back in the day EVERYONE in Newcastle bought their clothes from Geordie Jeans which makes me wonder how on earth I coped growing up in Norwich without them? Providing the people of Newcastle with a well-made cheap alternative to brand named denim, apparently they had five shops which makes me think that everyone in the Toon must have been wearing them.

The Quayside

I can't even begin to imagine what the Quayside was like before the influx of bars and restaurants - no Millennium Bridge (how on earth did you all get across the river?) and no Quayside Seaside! I would love to go back in time to see what life on the Quayside was like before, I hear it looked very different.

The Tuxedo Princess

Which brings me nicely on to something that I'm constantly hearing stories about - the Tuexdo Princess - a nightclub, on a boat in the River Tyne! So many questions! Did people get mortal and fall in?  Did the combination of revolving dance floor and the choppy Tyne not make you feel a bit icky?  It makes me so sad that I'll never get to experience it for myself.

Newcastle River Tyne

Newcastle United Glory Days

Although the city is very passionate about its football team the glory days of Newcastle United in the 1990s are something that I would love to experience.  When every kid in the Toon wanted to be Shearer and the Magpies were one of the top teams in the Premiership - the closest I've got to the glory days is bumping into Peter Beardsley at the Tesco Petrol Station last year!

Monument Mall

To me the Monument Mall is where you'll find the fancier shops in Newcastle but apparently it's where you all used to go for your food?  In fact you all get very misty eyed about memories of "Eldon Square the early years" - can anyone explain to me while you're all obsessed with giant pencils?

Newcastle Monument

Byker Grove

My first introduction to Newcastle was Byker Grove (imagine my disappointment when I moved to Newcastle and realised the youth club isn't even in Byker!), and I like to think that you all spent your spare time as extras at the Grove being mentored by Jeff and hanging out with PJ and Duncan.  Please tell me this is true!


The one thing that gets mentioned more than anything else - Metroland!  A giant funfair inside the Metrocentre! This one blows my mind! When I'm sitting in Nandos enjoying my chicken I just can't imagine what it must have been like having a rollercoaster racing round the mall - I definitely missed out.

Newcastle Geordie Gifts
If you have any stories or funny memories from Newcastle in the 80s and 90s I'd love to hear them!  What else did I miss out on?
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