Wednesday, 10 October 2018

My Favourite North East Instagram Accounts to Follow

If I were to ever sit down and work out how many hours I waste on Instagram I think I'd be pretty shocked. Scrolling through picture perfect images is my favourite way to procrastinate and if I have something important to do you can guarantee that rather than getting on with it I will find myself gazing at Instagram!

I am a self confessed Instagram addict! I love it and honestly can't get enough! My absolute favourite thing is to stumble across an amazing North East instagram account. I have built up a wonderful network on Instagram of locals who share the very best places in the North East and, I'll let you into a secret, most of my "must try" list is now made up of places that I've spotted on Instagram

My Favourite North East Instagram Accounts to Follow

So today I thought I would share with you my favourite North East Instagram accounts. Each one of these accounts shares photographs that show off our region in the very best way - whether it's beautiful scenery, food to make your mouth water or incredible adventures.

These people aren't insta famous, they don't have thousands of followers, they are just normal people taking amazing photographs because they love where they live and want to shout about it, and in my mind those are the very best kinds of people on Instagram.

Enjoy and please do let me know if there are any other amazing locally based Instagram accounts that I've missed!

Arguably Kelly

Kelly is a 20 something arts graduate with a great eye for capturing Newcastle. Her feed is a fabulous collection of bold photographs which quite often show places I stroll past without a second thought look truly beautiful. I especially love her building and landscape photography and each time she posts a photo I find myself falling in love with the North East all over again.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - Arguably Kelly

The Meli Adventure

I was over the moon when I first discovered Melissa's account as she posts the most fantastic food photographs that always make my mouth water.  A recently qualified nutritionist, Melissa often shares thought provoking videos on her Stories including myth busting, recipes and restaurant reviews. Until recently Melissa was based in Newcastle so her Instagram is a colourful collection of the best places in the Toon to grab some delicious food and although she's now left Newcastle she often returns to continue her food adventures in the North East (thank goodness!)

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - The Meli Adventure


Karen is another lady who knows how to show off the North East and her food photography is so inspirational I've often found myself making food plans after losing far too many hours drooling over her latest discoveries. When Karen's not sharing her scran she enjoys a spot of globe trotting which basically makes her Instagram feed picture perfect.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - Karen

Kate Dowell

Katie is a lass from Sunderland who I've been stalking on Instagram for a while now. The dark hues of her photos really make her images pop and she's the Queen of discovering the best spots for coffee (if you want to know where the most beautiful coffee shops in the North East are you really need to give her a follow!

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - Kate Dowell

Em Dark

I am obsessed with Emm's photographs and her Instagram is one huge colourful adventure that immediately wants me to explore more of our beautiful region. Emm's talent doesn't just end with creating a stunning Instagram, she's also the creator of The Little Confetti Company designing hand lettered gifts and cards.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - Em Dark

It's Amy Jane

Amy is the absolute queen of taking the most beautiful photographs of Newcastle. Most of the pictures she shares are of the city and she really has an eye for detail and is so skilled at picking out the most beautiful architecture to share. She has opened my eyes to so many buildings in Newcastle that I have never noticed before.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - It's Amy Jane

A quick glance at Zoe's instagram account and you'll immediately fall in love with our dramatic North East coastline. With splashes of vibrant colour, Zoe's photographs are a daily reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country. She has a real knack of finding unique view points and I'm always amazed by her wild flower shots at the Northumberland coast.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - Zoe

A Slice of the Toon

A Slice of the Toon is one of my biggest North East Instagram obsessions, with a great collection of inspiring adventures and the most delicious food photographs my "must try" list will forever be full thanks to this Instagram account. Probably best not to scroll this one with a hungry tummy!

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - A Slice of the Toon

Lucee Loves

Lucy loves an adventure in the North East and her Instagram is full of the greatest looking walks and adventures. Lucy lives her life to the full and always makes me want to grab my hiking boots and go on an adventure. If there's a hill to climb or a waterfall to discover you can guarantee that Lucy will be there! She makes me wish every day that I had more time to truly explore the North East.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - Lucee Loves

Katy Wheeler

Being a blogger I sometimes bump into the local press at events and by far my favourite is the lovely Katy, who I once had the pleasure of sitting next to at a press dinner. Writer at the Sunderland Echo, Katy's job takes her all over the North East sampling the region's best hotels, restaurants, bars and experiences and every day she's sharing somewhere amazing on her Instagram.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - Katy Wheeler

The Squeaky Peach 

My latest discovery on Instagram, I'm pretty new to The Squeaky Peach but am already hooked on all of the delicious North East food to be found on the grid. A great one to follow if you're vegan, I'm always inspired by all of the colourful dishes with plenty of places that I'm yet to try to add to my list.

North East Instagram Accounts to Follow - The Squeaky Peach

I think you'll agree with me that all of these accounts are very inspirational and as I'm always looking out for more please let me know if I've missed your favourite!

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Best Breakfasts in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Durham - The Ultimate Guide!

A couple of years ago I wrote this guide to the 10 best breakfasts in Newcastle and whilst I still enjoy eating at every single one of the places that I mentioned, times have certainly changed and brunch culture in the North East is far more alive than it used to be. Over the last few years I have discovered the best breakfast dishes and brunch time treats in the North East and thought it was about time I shared!  So here it is, the ultimate guide to the best breakfast and brunch in Newcastle, North Tyneside (and beyond). Make sure you let me know if I've missed your favourite.

Dil and The Bear, Tynemouth

The cutest little cafe in Tynemouth, Dil and the Bear is one of my favourite places on the coast for beautiful food in a wonderful setting. Although we usually stop by for coffee and cake we've recently discovered it's a great spot for breakfast. With a menu full of tempting dishes, the Sweetcorn Fritters topped with Bacon, Avocado and Fried Egg is my favourite and, the best thing about brunch in Dil and the Bear is that if you can grab a cake to take out afterwards.

Best Breakfasts in North Tyneside - Dil and the Bear

Flat White Kitchen, Durham

Judging by the queues that form down the street outside Flat White Kitchen within minutes of it opening I'm not sure I really need to be telling you about it as I'm sure everyone knows! Their mammoth pancake stacks are legendary and waiting outside to get your bum a seat in this gorgeous little place in Durham is well worth it. Their pancake menu is often updated with new flavours but the classic Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Syrup is my favourite.

Read my full review of breakfast at Flat White Kitchen here.

The Boatyard, Cullercoats 

The Boatyard in Cullercoats is very cosy and pretty tiny so getting a table is a bit of a moment to celebrate. I've walked past so many times when it's been full but when we finally managed to bag the last available table one Saturday morning we both agreed it had been worth the wait. Pushing the boat out and ordering the Full English is well worth it - the Northumbrian Sausage is beautiful and, if your feeling extra fancy, a Mimosa on the side is a must.

Best Breakfasts in North Tyneside - The Boatyard

Filmore and Union, Newcastle

I was so excited when I heard that we were finally getting a Filmore and Union in Newcastle, then we got two. The small cafe in Jesmond is lovely and cosy and the larger offering in John Lewis Eldon Square ensures you'll actually manage to get a seat! Their breakfasts are all prepared with fresh food using healthy cooking techniques and the dishes are all filling, delicious and nutritious. I highly recommend their Gluten Free Winter Spiced French Toast with Greek Yoghurt and Plums - so good!

Read my full review of breakfast at Filmore and Union here.

Monsieur Crepe Cafe, Heaton

If you want the very best pancakes in the North East for breakfast then Monsieur Crepe Cafe in Heaton is the place to go. It's also worth knowing that you can phone up and book a table so no need to break into a sweat trying to get there for opening to make sure you can get a table. Their menu is huge with every pancake topping you could possibly imagine. The Banana, Ginger Crumb and Salted Caramel crepe is my favourite and the perfect way to start your day.

Read my full review of breakfast at Monsieur Crepe Cafe here.

The Best Breakfasts in Newcastle - Monsieur Crepe Cafe

The Post Box, Ponteland

Resisting the cakes on the counter when you place your breakfast order is a bit of a challenge at The Post Box in Ponteland, but as long as you have the willpower to resist the sweet treats you will find some delicious savoury dishes on their breakfast menu including my favourite, the Halloumi Poacher - perfectly runny poached eggs served with halloumi in wholemeal toast.

Read my full review of breakfast at The Post Box here.

Great British Cupcakery, Newcastle

After a busy week sometimes a naughty breakfast is all that you need on a Saturday morning and there's no better place to visit than The Great British Cupcakery on the Newcastle Quayside. Before I start telling you that eating cake for breakfast is perfectly acceptable I should probably point out that you can actually get a "normal" savoury breakfast at Great British Cupcakery .. but where's the fun in that? Personally I'd recommend the Nutella French Toast (I can't actually eat this one due to my nut allergy but Simon gives it two thumbs up!)

Read my full review of breakfast at The Great British Cupcakery.

The Best Breakfasts in Newcastle - Great British Cupcakery

The Garage, Ouseburn

The Garage in Ouseburn saved my morning a few months ago when I was wandering about looking for breakfast and everywhere I tried was shut or having kitchen dramas. By the time I crawled into The Garage I was so hangry and they really rescued me with the most incredible mushroom on toast. The quirky little cafe is inside an old car garage and comes with perfect interiors as well as incredible food.

Cafe 19, Whitley Bay

Cafe 19 came so highly recommended to me by so many people that I just had to go and visit them and I can see why so many residents in Whitley Bay love to pop into the cafe for their breakfast. Their pancake menu comes with so many topping choices that I tend to stand at the counter debating for at least 5 minutes about what to order (never stand behind me in the queue!) Next time I go I'm definitely going for the English Skillet - a full fry up served in a frying pan.

Read my full review of breakfast at Cafe 19

Best Breakfasts in North Tyneside - Cafe 19

Dirt Health, Heaton

If you prefer a healthier start to the day then Dirt Health in Heaton have you covered with their menu full of freshly made dishes crammed full of local produce and delicious flavours. One of the best vegetarian and vegan offerings in Newcastle they welcome everyone into their place to enjoy some of the most colourful breakfast dishes you'll find in the North East. I highly recommend the Sweet Potato Pancakes served with Coconut Caramel and Banana.

Read my full review of breakfast at Dirt Health

Kith and Kin, Whitley Bay 

One of the most popular places for breakfast, you really haven't lived your North East life to its full potential until you've been into this lovely little place in Whitley Bay. Their breakfasts are perfect and they are masters of French Toast offering seasonal variations every few months. Kith and Kin is one of those places where you want to revisit every week just to make your way through the entire menu.

Read my full review of breakfast at Kith and Kin

Kiln, Ouseburn

I've been recommending Kiln in Ouseburn to anyone that will listen, it's my favourite place in Newcastle at the moment and their brunch dishes really hit the spot. My favourite discovery is the Baked Apricot on Sourdough Toast but every time I visit there's something new on the menu that takes my fancy - their dishes are ever changing and if you're passionate about your food this really is a place you need to check out.

Read my full review of breakfast at Kiln here 

The Best Breakfasts in Newcastle - Kiln

Obviously this is just a very small handful of some of the best breakfasts in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Durham and there are so many that I'm yet to discover so if your favourite hasn't made the list please do share!

Monday, 1 October 2018

Oktoberfest at The Broad Chare, Newcastle

Oktoberfest has arrived at the Newcastle Quayside with the Broad Chare's annual week long celebration of the world's biggest beer festival. So you don't need to worry if, yet again, you haven't managed to plan a trip to Germany, the party is coming to you!

I've been wanting to experience Oktoberfest at The Broad Chare for a long time but every year I'm too slow and the week passes by before I realise that, yet again, I have missed out on the opportunity to eat plates full of sausages. So this year I made myself a note, cleared the diary and booked a table as soon as the dates were announced. To say I was excited would be an understatement!

Oktoberfest at The Broad Chare, Newcastle

If you didn't already know (and I'm sure you all do!) the Broad Chare is the best pub on the Newcastle Quayside. A cosy haven away from the stags and hens - where the beer is great, the Sunday lunches are legendary and you walk through the door to a proper Geordie welcome. It's the kind of place where you arrive, take a seat and then forget to leave!

Oktoberfest is at the Broad Chare between 29 September and 6 October. A week long Bavarian celebration where you'll get to enjoy a special menu that you can either enjoy in the comfort of the upstairs restaurant or, if you prefer a proper pub experience, as bar snacks. There are wurstplatte a plenty and steins of beer with your name on it.

Oktoberfest The Broad Chare, Newcastle

Simon and I popped to the Quayside yesterday lunchtime and after somehow managing to resist all of the amazing Sunday Market food along the River Tyne, turned up at the Broad Chare with grumbling tummies that were more than ready for Oktoberfest. Taking our seats in the upstairs restaurant we spent a little bit of time studying the menu (I'm not sure why I had to read it again when I've been reading nothing else for the last two weeks!).

There are three starter options but wanting to make sure we had room for dessert we decided to head straight for the main course. We ordered the Bavarian Wurstplatte for Two - Mixed Sausage Plate with Sauerkraut and Potato Salad (£26.00). I'm not sure why I ever think it's a good job to share a dish with my husband (honestly, you have to eat so fast to keep up with him and ensure he doesn't swipe your share of the food!) but it sounded like a fun way to enjoy the celebrations so after making him promise he wouldn't eat my food we went for it.

Oktoberfest The Broad Chare, Newcastle - Bavarian Wurstplatte
When the huge platter of sausages was put in front of us we were stunned into silence - our entire table was covered in food. So much sausage, how were we ever going to get through it all?

There were several different sausages to try, each one really delicious.  Simon particularly loved the "hot dog sausages" (definitely not their official name!) and I was particularly taken with the larger more chargrilled offering which had such a lovely smoky taste.  The giant mountain of Sauerkraut was so generous that we couldn't even make a dent in it and we only just managed to polish off the potatoes!

Oktoberfest The Broad Chare, Newcastle - Wurstplatte

The bread rolls were really lovely although I was a little disappointed that they didn't come with some butter, maybe that's not the way they are traditionally served but I do love a nice generous spread of butter on my bread if I'm eating out - it's like a special treat that I'm not usually allowed at home.

Oktoberfest The Broad Chare - Wurstplatte

Slightly out of shot is my G&T glass! I know, I know, you're probably all thinking exactly the same as our waiter, "you can't have a gin with this man!" - I'd love to be able to tell you all about the Oktoberfest beer on offer (there are two to choose from in either pints or steins) but the truth is I'm not really a beer fan and as Simon was recovering from man flu he decided it wouldn't be a great idea for him to start chugging on steins of beer either.

Oktoberfest The Broad Chare Newcastle

Silly confession time, the main reason why I've been wanting to go to Oktoberfest at the Broad Chare is because every year they serve up Black Forest Gateau which is my favourite dessert of all time. It's almost impossible to find so when it appears on a menu it is such a treat. The Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte (£6.00) at the Broad Chare is the cake of my dreams. Made with the most indulgent chocolate with plenty of hidden cherries and a very generous dollop of proper cream. I will admit it didn't look as impressive as photographs I've seen of the dessert from previous years, the chards of chocolate and cherries on top were noticeably absent but it was still delicious so no complaints from me.

Oktoberfest The Broad Chare Newcastle - Black Forest Gateau

Simon decided to order the other dessert on the menu, the Apfelstrudle (£6.00) which I was very happy about as it meant I got to try both dishes on the menu. I couldn't help but sing "Favourite Things" from the Sound of Music as it appeared in front of him ("cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels"), he refused to join in, completely distracted by his delicious looking dessert. If we're going to start handing out awards for puddings (move over Paul Hollywood!) then this one surely has to take top prize. The perfect flakey pastry around the cinnamon and apples was so good, the perfect Autumnal dish.

Oktoberfest The Broad Chare Newcastle - Apfelstrudle

We loved our first ever Oktoberfest at The Broad Chare and if you're looking for the perfect way to kick start your Autumn then you need to book a table!

Find The Broad Chare at:

25 Broad Chare

0191 211 2144
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