Weekend Snapshot: What To Do In Newcastle
Wow. Like the fantastic model student I am, I took a break from Uni work for the week while my boyfriend came to visit. Max has previously only visited for weekends before, but he treated me to a whole week of his company. And it's probably been the best week in Newcastle yet because it was jam packed! (although my grades and bank account will probably beg to differ). I thought I'd combine a snapshot of my week while recommending a few things for you guys to explore in Newcastle.
Day 1) Me and Max love food - I mean I went to bed full and feeling sick every night. I had never been to Cake Stories but I'd seen loads of people on my Instagram go so I thought I'd save it and take Max. It did not disappoint. The cafe is so sweet and cosy: perfect to find comfort on a winter's day. It was busy but somehow the decor made it feel tranquil, quiet and charming. The cakes on display looked divine and I could have eaten every single one! the portion sizes are just right and the cakes change constantly so you'll never be short of choice. Our eyes are bigger than our bellies so we opted for red velvet, chocolate orange and Oreo Cookie Monster - we couldn't decide on one each so we got a third to share which I would not recommend doing because they're a lot more filling than they look, especially with a hot chocolate too! Wow though. Amazing cake.
After unbuttoning my trousers I really fancied a walk so of course, I thought of Jesmond Dene. If you ever need a break from the city, this forest is perfect for relaxing and having some alone time. It completely transports you into a new world. There are multiple routes to get lost in and the changing colours of the leaves look magical at this time of year. The petting corner and cafe make it a perfect visit for families. Nothing is more peaceful than a crisp walk when the air pinches your nose.
For dinner, I'd been wanting to try the restaurant 'As You Like It' since my housemate visited: as soon as I saw her snapchats I booked a table. The elegant lighting and decor made the atmosphere extremely romantic. It's definitely the type of restaurant to get dressed up for and have a few cocktails. Usually for me, I did not fancy dessert so we opted for starters instead. I chose the duck bao buns while Max chose the crayfish salad. Mine was absolutely delicious and I could have eaten another plate full, but Max was disappointed. For main I chose the halloumi and veg skewers with pitta bread and Max chose cannelloni. Again, mine was delicious although I couldn't finish it and Max was envious of my decision! so mixed reviews from the both of us. Max said 'next time I won't bother trying to be cultured and I'll stick with a burger'. There were plenty of options on the menu and I would definitely go back!
It was only 9:30pm and there's a bar / restaurant right across the road called The Holy Hobo. Newly refurbished and heaving with life, the bar is perfect for a lunchtime date (the nacho's are amazing! if you're into carbs then this is the place for you) or a cocktail in the evening from the extensive quirky menu. You get student discount and the food is already cheap so what more could you want! Head there on a Wednesday and try your luck at the quiz, it's harder than you expect.
Day 2) An early start but worth it - it's Dog and Scone time. I've already been but enough is never enough. Isn't that the dream job? cuddling puppies all day. It's only a couple of pounds deposit with your first drink included, not a bad price to pay considering the joy you're going to reap from that one hour. The puppies are so lively and joyful, one nearly crept into my bag and I was so tempted to shut the bag and run out. But sadly my plans of persuading Max to buy a puppy failed.
We were going to head home for lunch but as we were buying fruit in Grainger Market we remembered the amazing pizza slices you can buy there! Grainger Market is one of the coolest I've ever been to - it is so versatile and full of unique things. The freshly baked pizza slices are bigger than my face and cost only £2.50. There are plenty more food options too if you're not in the mood for pizza so take a stroll around and see what tasty things are on offer.
I also have to mention the Fenwick's Christmas floor. Every year, Fenwick's open a whole section of the floor to Christmas gifts. It is the best thing I have ever witnessed. It is magically decorated and full of delicious, pretty and unique gifts for everyone in the family.
In the evening we celebrated Halloween early. My friends got to meet Max properly and we all dressed up (the fake blood got everywhere, including my bedsheets!!). We went to a nightclub called MSA which was super fun and scary. The photos are hideous but the night was fab and the following morning was hangover free!
3) We had a very chilled morning watching The Office and I was craving some fresh air! so we thought we'd wander around town and down towards the quayside. It has been my mission to make Max try sushi for two years now and we finally got around to it. I love sushi and desperately hoped he would like it so we could eat it much more often! and luckily, he did like it! Katsu curry and California rolls are my favourites. But of course, I was still craving some chocolate. We bought mini Nutella pancakes and strolled through the quay market. Every Sunday, stalls pop up all along the quayside selling amazing food from various cultures, art, interior, little gifts and all sorts! Definitely worth a look, especially if you're peckish or looking for a birthday gift.
The sky was clear as day and the air felt so fresh. We had a look at the exhibitions at The Baltic which were fascinating and one of my favourite exhibition over the 2 years I've been in Newcastle. The viewing box was open so we could admire the view in the sunlight too.
4) I did actually have university to attend so we didn't get up to much exciting in the day. But in the evening we went to STACK, a creative social hub of bars, offices, classes, boutiques and much more! it's a place for independent and new companies to get started without spending unnecessary money on a venue etc. We wandered around all the food stalls with a pink gin in hand before we chose. It all looked amazing and I can't wait to go back (we went back the next day whoops). We had fried chicken wings in a honey soy sauce glaze, pizza, duck loaded fries and Mac and cheese bites and honestly, it's some of the best food I have EVER tasted. We sat outside on the benches and we were toasty warm from the heaters. We bought funky hot chocolates (red velvet and unicorn glitter) and walked home with yummy snacks to watch a movie. This was my favourite evening.
5) Our last day together. We had planned to go to the beach but the weather decided against that. We chilled for ages wondering what to do and decided on the cinema. First we went to STACK again, but at least we got different things this time - we bought bacon and cheese loaded fries, Mac and cheese bites and a halloumi flatbread wrap. Divine, once again. We watched Bohemian Rhapsody. The acting was amazing and the movie made me feel good because it was so celebratory of difference and made me feel like I can be anyone I want. I really liked it. But I didn't love it. For me, it lacked something but I'm not sure what. In the evening we watched the final of Bake off in the living room while eating cake that we had ordered. If you live in Newcastle and haven't ordered desserts delivered yet then you're missing out!!! we bought lemon meringue pie, red velvet cake, two brownies and Ferrero Roche cheesecake for just £13. Perfect when you're watching three bakers make delicious cakes on your TV screen.
So a lovely 5 days of exploring Newcastle with my beloved came to an end. Now back to deadlines and saving money. I hope you've enjoyed this post and head to STACK straight away to try those loaded fries.
"Laugh at the men who tell you you're pretty. You are more than that" Emmanuelle