Amy’s of Cleadon

I am so excited to be doing a write up on this adorable cafe/deli that has recently opened up just across the road from our house.  

When I heard we were getting a new cafe just opposite where we live I couldn’t wait for it to open.  Anyone who knows us knows that Grant and I love nothing more than going out for coffee and a slice of cake, especially if it’s local so this was perfect for us.  We watched for weeks as it all came together, and would try and sneak a look inside when we saw the workmen there transforming the place that was once a corner shop.

When it finally opened, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was so much more than just a cafe.  I met Amy, the owner, and she explained that as well as a cafe, there would also be a deli, selling things like local cheeses, bread, coffee and ice cream as well as specially selected wine and rum.  I loved that it was something a little bit different and that it was our new ‘local’.

We have been to Amy’s a handful of times since it opened and each time we go there have been new developments.  Grant, as most of you know, is particular about his coffee, but he always gives two thumbs up to the coffee here.  Amy uses Ouseburn Coffee Company as her coffee supplier which is always good, and gets the seal of approval from us! As well as good coffee, they have a good selection of other drinks available such as teas and hot chocolates, and a great selection of homemade cakes and scones to go with them.

The menu has a range of breakfasts, lunches and snacks available, all freshly made.  I really want to try the corned beef pie, which my Mam and brother-in-law tried when they came round one evening, it’s one of my favourite treats and if it gets a good review from my Mam then it must be good.  We did, however, try the baked potatoes a couple of weekends ago when we were so busy doing housework that we couldn’t be bothered to cook so decided to head out for lunch.  I know a baked potato sounds basic, but it had to be the best one I’ve had in years! It was delicious.

I also have to mention the ice cream, another local treat, from Spurreli in Amble. I’m not usually one for ice cream but when I took two of my nephews over to Amy’s after school they both asked for ice cream and I couldn’t resist trying some and was really impressed.  Wonderful flavour and so creamy! I’ll definitely be treating myself to more of that over the summer.

The really exciting news is that Amy’s now offers afternoon tea as well as Fizz Fridays and Sparkly Saturdays, where you can go along and enjoy a saucer of prosecco or, if you like something a bit different, Alnwick Rum. I think their rum and ginger beer sounds perfect for cold winter days!

Amy is still working on setting up the deli, but it is almost there and what she has done so far is fantastic.  I love that so much of what she offers is locally sourced and she is always happy to promote other local businesses. She even uses De Giorgi, our local butcher in Cleadon, one of the best butchers around.  She has put so much work into the cafe and it really shows.  It’s such a cosy place and offers so much from delicious breakfasts to evening drinks, not to mention the foodie gifts you can pick up like Simply Pour and Bake cookie jars.

I would highly recommend popping along and supporting an up-and-coming local gem.  It’s definitely handy for us to take our friends and family there for a cup of coffee when they come to visit, and so far they have all been very impressed.

I’d just like to welcome Amy to the street and I know she is already a hit! Her hard work is clearly paying off.

Festive Menu at The Living Room Newcastle

I think we all need to acknowledge the fact that, like it or not, Christmas is just around the corner and the countdown has begun.  With this in mind you might want to start thinking about your plans for the festive period.  From late November onward most weekends, and a lot of week nights, are taken up with office christmas parties, festive drinks with friends, carol services, family gatherings etc.  If you are looking for a great night out with delicious festive food and drink, in a central location, look no further than The Living Room Newcastle.

We were lucky enough to be invited along to their Christmas showcase last week where we were treated to plenty of fizz and got to sample some of the delicious treats from their Christmas menu.

I must admit, I have never been to The Living Room before, mainly because I’m one for a couple of drinks somewhere local so I can be home early and into my pyjamas (hardcore, I know) but after sampling their food and looking at their festive menu choices I would highly recommend it to anybody looking to book their Christmas party or a festive get-together.


On arrival we were given a complimentary glass of prosecco and offered sweets and popcorn to keep us going until the food arrived.  We were then offered a range of festive nibbles including turkey and cranberry sliders, pigs in blankets and seasoned roast potatoes.  I was already impressed but then they brought out even more!

We were treated to delicious carrot and coriander soup, seafood pate, and baked camembert with plenty of bread for dipping, it was heaven! The seafood pate was my personal favourite but it was all really delicious and the lovely staff were there to make sure our glasses were never empty.

Once we had finished everything on our table we even noticed a few extra treats on the bar including cheese boards and cakes! I was already feeling quite full but still couldn’t resist trying them too.

Their Christmas menu has a range of different offers such as festive afternoon tea for two, a selection of buffets and 2 and 3 course deals.  They include some very tempting dishes such as chicken and pancetta terrine with apricots, grilled hake and chocolate praline torte as well as the classics such as turkey dinner and christmas pudding.

There really is something for everyone, so why not give them a call and book your festive get-together at the Living Room?  I promise you won’t be disappointed and the staff will take great care to ensure you have a fantastic time!

Supper Club at Calico Barn

I first came across Hemscott Hill Farm a couple of months ago when I was helping my sister look for quirky wedding venues in the North East.  The rustic barn is in such a fantastic location, right on the Northumberland coast and just a minute walk from the stunning Druridge Bay.  The more I looked into it the more I realised that this truly is a unique venue.

Not only do they host weddings but they also have camping and glamping facilities (their Shepherd hut looks adorable; it’s definitely on my list for next summer) as well as a bunk barn and a beautiful holiday cottage.  Over the summer months you can stay in one of their bell tents.  I love the idea of camping right on the coast, soaking in the views and enjoying beautiful sunsets over the fields behind the farm.  You can also hire the tents out for hen parties, which sounds really cool to me!

During your stay you can enjoy their afternoon tea, picnics and ice cream, or if you want to venture to the surrounding areas there are a number of cafes and pubs within a short driving distance.

Another little quirk is that the farm is home to 6 Alpacas.  You can actually book a walk with the them and take them out around the fields on the farm.  Something else I’d love to go back and do.  I can’t resist their adorable little faces and floppy hair!

Our first trip to the farm, however, was for their very first supper club in Calico barn.  I had seen a promotional post on Facebook for this and couldn’t resist booking tickets.  It sounded so cosy, which is perfect for this time of year when we are just starting to feel the chill in the air.

We were e-mailed a copy of the menu a few days before the event and asked if we would prefer a vegetarian option.  We both went for the meat option, which was roast pork, one of our favourites!

Sian and James joined us to make it a bit of a double date.  We have never been to a supper club before so we weren’t really sure what to expect but I was so impressed from the moment we got there.  As you pull up you see the beautiful farm house and the barns just across from the grassy dunes leading down to the beach on the other side of the road.  We were lucky enough to have nice weather, and got there just as the sun was starting to go down.

We were greeted by Alison, who together with her husband Phil runs the entire venue and had set up the supper club.  They have cleverly converted an old horsebox into a bar which is where Phil prepared our welcome cocktails.  Alison had created two beautiful cocktails recipes, one with elderflower and one with ginger.  I was spoilt for choice and had to try both! As it was a nice night we got to mingle with the other guests around the cosy fire pit until the barn was ready and the food prepared.

We were shown to the main communal room of the barn and seated around a big table with the other guests.  Alison and Phil joined us for food which was great as it gave us a chance to find out more about them and the venue and the plans they had for future events.  I was particularly interested in the star gazing supper clubs they have planned in the coming months.

Our food was cooked by Jill from Much-a-Do.  She sources local ingredients and offers dinner party dining at home.  You can basically hire her to be your personal dinner party chef! Her food is hearty, traditional and delicious.

For starter she prepared a beetroot and goats cheese salad on a bed of lentils and beautiful homemade bread.  I loved the casual feel of sitting round the table with all of the other guests, with big baskets of bread for everyone to share.  We were also treated to red or white wine or could order other drinks from the horse box if we wanted to (Phil was good enough to take drinks orders throughout the night).

Our main course was chestnut-stuffed fillet of pork with prunes and bacon. WOW! This was delicious.  It was served with gin soaked cabbage (genius), roasted caramelised shallots and celeriac and potato gratin.  I have to say, Jill really nailed it with this dish.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and the combination of flavours was fantastic.  I could eat it again right now!

I think my favourite course, however, was the dessert.  We were given an option of a cheese board or pudding.  both were laid out on the table and we were able to help ourselves to whatever we wanted.  Again, I loved this as it reminded me of lovely family Sunday dinners when I was a child.  I had the damson and almond pudding with cream and it was just my perfect dessert.  If I could have picked anything for pudding, it would have been something along the lines of this.  Jill is just a fantastic cook!

After dinner we carried on drinking and chatting.  It was so lovely getting to know all of the other guests, everyone was so friendly.  We were then treated to a shot of homemade Cassis that Jill had gifted to Alison.  It was a lovely end to the evening.


I would definitely go back for another supper club, and would love to stay over next time.  When we left it was like saying goodbye to friends.  Alison and Phil had been so lovely and welcoming, we had all had such an enjoyable and relaxed night.  They have done so much to this venue in the time they have had it and their passion for what they do really shows.  It is definitely well worth a visit. I just want to say thank you to to Alison and Phil for hosting us and congratulations on a very successful night!

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Autumn has definitely arrived and there is a chill in the air.  This is the perfect comforting breakfast on a chilly weekend morning and takes hardly any time to prepare!

Serves 4

250g Canned Pumpkin Puree

2 Eggs

3 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar

200g Plain Flour

25g Melted Butter

130ml Milk

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until a smooth batter forms.  Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add a ladle of batter at a time.  I can usually fit about 2-3 pancakes in the pan at once.  They will be quite thick but this is how they should be.  Heat for a couple of minutes before flipping them and repeating on the other side.  I usually put the cooked pancakes in a heat proof dish in a warm oven to keep them hot while the next batch cook.

When the pancakes are done, stack them up on a plate and serve with crispy bacon, maple syrup and a sprinkle of pecan nuts.  Delicious!!

The Hudson

I’m always on the lookout for new places to visit, especially if there is new food to try, so when I heard that the County Hotel in Newcastle was opening a new bar and restaurant I couldn’t wait to pay them a visit.

The promotional pictures on social media looked fantastic and the menu sounded very tempting so I suggested to Sian that we go one night after work for a few cocktails and a bite to eat.  Last week they had an offer on for 50% off all meals and drinks so it was the perfect time to try it out.

When we arrived I was really impressed with the look of the place.  From outside it looks quite grand and traditional, in keeping with the County and Vermont hotels.  Inside is just as chic, with a beautiful bar area leading through to the restaurant.  We were shown to a booth which had a private, luxurious feel to it.  The interiors have been well thought out and the overall look is very decadent but there is still a laid back feel.

Our waiter was really friendly and helpful and when I asked for their non alcoholic cocktail options he was happy to speak to the barman about various mocktails and even recommended one for me which was delicious! The menu is a relatively small selection of really good dishes.  There is something to suit everybody’s taste from the a la carte menu as well as a sophisticated selection of bar bites and even a breakfast menu.  Even though they don’t overwhelm you with too much choice I still found it difficult to decide what to have. I decided to go for the rolled goats cheese with asparagus, beetroot and chive salad while Sian went for the Hadrian beef carpaccio with horseradish cream, shallot and parsley oil.  I must admit we wolfed them down so fast that by the time the waiter came to ask if we were enjoying them we’d already finished! What can I say? We were hungry and they were delicious.

For drinks I stuck to mocktails as I was designated driver.  I forgot to get the name of the one I’d had as it was made by the barman and wasn’t actually on the menu but it was strawberry and passionfruit flavour so if any of you don’t want to drink alcohol, I would highly recommend it.  However, I was quite disappointed that I had the car because the actual cocktail menu looks fantastic with loads of drinks I wanted to try.  Sian chose a cocktail called ‘Colour of Gin’ which consisted of Star of Bombay Gin, lime, hudson homemade tonic and magic ice.  It changed colour when adding the tonic and looked pretty cool.  I did have a little sip and it tasted very summery and refreshing.

For the main course I was again undecided between the sea bass and the belly pork but I decided to go for the fish and Sian chose the pork so we could both see what the other dish was like.  I was really pleased with my choice, the sea bass was infused with lemon and accompanied by coconut & coriander roast potatoes, green beans and served with a delicious lemon cream.  It was absolutely amazing and just the right amount of food.  Sian’s main course was slow cooked belly pork with pan fried pork tenderloin, carrot texture, buttered mash potato and kale served with thyme jus.  It looked absolutely fantastic and both dishes were beautifully presented with edible flowers.

After the quality of the food for the starters and mains we couldn’t resist having a look at the dessert menu.  Sian decided to order the sticky toffee pudding with brandy snap tuile and vanilla ice cream while I decided to try the trio of desserts which consisted of double chocolate chip brownie, Paris brest and Lemon tart.  It was all so tasty but I particularly liked the Paris brest which was definitely worth the calories!

The staff were so attentive and friendly and made sure we were happy with all of our choices.  I think the entire dining experience was just lovely and you would never have guessed that they had only recently opened.  Some places can have teething problems for the first few weeks but everything here was perfect.


I will definitely be back to try some of the other dishes and I’d also like to try their Sunday dinner and breakfast menus.  Thanks for the staff for making us feel so welcome!

Cherry and Almond Crumble

There is nothing better than a delicious homemade dessert after a Sunday dinner and this one is perfect.  Nostalgic and retro but still delicious and so easy to make!


800g pitted cherries (I use tinned pitted black cherries)

4tbsp sugar

1.5tsp cornflour

1tsp almond extract

Juice of half a lemon

For the Crumble 

120g plain flour

85g butter (cubed)

4 tbsp golden caster sugar

4 tbsp ground almonds

Flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.  Put the cherries in the pan with 50ml water and the sugar.  Bring to the boil then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 mins.

Put the cornflour in a small bowl and stir in a couple of tablespoons of the juice from the cherries.  Stir until the cornflour is dissolved then add to the cherries and stir until combined.  The mixture will soon start to thicken up.  Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and almond essence and transfer to a baking dish.

For the crumble, blend the flour and butter together in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.  Fold in the sugar and ground almonds until everything is combined.

Sprinkle the mixture over the cherries and add the flaked almonds and bake for around 40 minutes until the cherries are bubbling and the crumble is starting to go golden.  Serve with custard or cream.


My Favourite Cafes and Coffee Shops

Holmeside Coffee

Situated in the centre of Sunderland, Holmeside has become one of the most popular coffee shops in the area.  These guys know their stuff when it comes to coffee, offering an extensive range of brewing methods.  As well as this, they have a delicious range of snacks and meals including avocado smash, pancakes, flat breads and even a bagel named after the village we live in. Love this!


Happy Organic

In the heart of Cleadon Village, this popular healthy cafe offers a huge range of delicious hot and cold drinks, smoothies and cocktails.  I personally love their Matcha green tea latte and pistachio cannoli.  Their food menu is full of delicious, healthy meals using fresh, colourful ingredients.  Keep a look out for their cocktails and tapas evenings with live entertainment.

No4 Cafe & Bistro

This is my happy place! Just a short walk from our house, this little cafe/bistro just makes me think ‘hygge’.  From the interiors, to the food, to the friendly staff, there is just something so cosy and comforting about this place.  We have visited several times since moving to Cleadon and I can highly recommend both the breakfast and the daytime menu.  This is really good quality food cooked well. I also love their little knitted teapot cosies and the fact that they light tea light candles on dull days to make the place feel warm and welcoming.


Another coffee specialist, these guys have got skills.  If Holmeside do the best flat white in Sunderland, then I have to say Laneways does the best flat white in Newcastle (IMO).  Last time I visited here I decided not to go with a coffee and had a chai tea instead and it did not disappoint, it was a perfect pick me up on a cold, rainy day.  Oh, and have I mentioned the dark chocolate brownies?  They just cram-packed of gooey deliciousness!  I love the simplicity of this place, the menu is small but less is definitely more in this place.  What they do, they do right!


This is my most recent find and I am so pleased it has opened.  You can read more about it in my recent blog post.  If you haven’t visited yet, have a trip down to Ouseburn.  Whether it’s beer, coffee or cake you’re after, you won’t be disappointed.

Love Lily 

This adorable little cafe on the sea front at Roker is a cake lover’s dream.  Their extensive selection of cake changes daily and every one is homemade.  You really can tell that they are made fresh and a lot of thought goes into the flavours. The only downside is not being able to try them all! As well as cakes, they also do a great selection of sandwiches, breakfasts, lunches and snacks as well as hot and cold drinks and alcoholic beverages.  Living close to Love Lily is quite dangerous for me as it isn’t Slimming World friendly but every calorie is worth it!


Navaho in Jesmond has so much to offer but their drinks menu is well worth the visit.  My personal favourite is the rose latte, definitely the most instagramable coffee I’ve ever had and one of my all time favourite flavours! I also love the fact that they do healthy lunches and snacks.  The breakfasts are really good and the spinach omelette flatbread with hollandaise sauce was to die for! You will definitely have to visit more than once to try all of the delicious options on the menu.

Flat White Durham

I first visited Flat White on a trip to Durham on my 30th birthday.  I think I’d already had cake for breakfast but, hey, it was my birthday it’s only right to eat cake all day! I love the location of this quaint little coffee shop, tucked away in a quiet lane not far from the river.  It’s a lovely space to sit and relax.  As the name would suggest, they do a great flat white and beautiful homemade cakes to go with it.  Although it’s nice inside, I do like to wrap up and sit outside when it’s not raining as it’s just such a pretty little spot.

Cullercoats Coffee

This one is a bit of a drive out for us but it is definitely worth the trip.  Grant has visited a few times when he’s been working at home and had been telling me how nice it was so I had to try it out for myself.  This speaks volumes as Grant is very picky with his coffee but he was right. Not only is their coffee top notch but their food is great too.  I would highly recommend the burgers, they are absolutely delicious.  They even have a separate takeaway counter, in case you fancy sipping coffee whilst walking along the sea front.


One of our most visited coffee shops as it is close to where we live and it’s dog friendly.  Grant absolutely loves their coffee but they also offer a good selection of lunches and snacks as well as beautiful cakes including vegan friendly and gluten free!  I do enjoy their flat white with a nice slice of their homemade chocolate tiffin. An added bonus is the lovely view of Roker Beach right outside!

Dill and the Bear

Another one that is a bit of a drive out for us but we still visit when we can.  This is such a cute little place with the added bonus of also being dog friendly.  They have an extensive range of drinks to keep you refreshed in the summer (I love to sit outside and people watch) and keep you cosy in winter.  Their food menu is great if you want a spot of lunch but my absolute favourites are the cakes.  They have a great selection but I can never resist their cake truffles.  Perfect with a coffee or a pot of tea.

BLK Coffee

I have only visited BLK once but I must admit I did love it.  It’s only small but it offers a great selection of coffee, friendly service and delicious cakes. This place brings back great memories for me as it’s where Grant and I went for half an hour of time to ourselves before I left to go to our wedding venue the day before we got married.  So it reminds me of the lovely calm before the craziness of the wedding build up.  I will definitely be back again.

Do you have any recommendations for good coffee shops in the region?  We are always looking for new places to try, and if they do good cake that’s always an added bonus!

Almond Macaroons

These are so easy to make and so delicious.  They go great with a nice cup of good coffee.

125g finely ground almonds

150g caster sugar

1 egg white (medium egg)

Almond Extract 

Icing Sugar to dust

Almonds to decorate

Pre heat the oven 180C and line a tray with baking paper.

Start off by blitzing the ground almonds in a food processor to ensure they are extra fine.  This gives the macaroons a better texture.  Once this is done, add the almonds to a bowl along with the sugar and combine.  Next add the egg white and a few drops of almond extract and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture has come together to form a dough-like consistency.

Roll the dough into 10 balls and place on the baking tray, making sure to leave 3 or 4cm between each one as they will spread when baking.  Flatten each ball slightly and lightly dampen with water using a pastry brush.  Sprinkle each one with a little icing sugar and top with an almond.

Place in the oven and cook for around 12 minutes.  Keep an eye on the macaroons while they are baking to ensure they don’t go too brown.  They should still be light in colour once baked.

Leave to cool slightly then enjoy.  These go great with coffee and can be stored in an airtight container for about a week.

Our Honeymoon

When planning our honeymoon, we really couldn’t decide if we wanted to visit somewhere hot, with a nice pool, a beach and cocktails, or if we should go for a city break with plenty of sight-seeing. So we decided to do both.

We booked to go to New York City but decided we would wait until December as we wanted to see it in all its festive glory, just like in the movies.  So when we decided to look for a sunny honeymoon for right after the wedding, there was one clear choice for both of us.

Back in 2014 we visited Croatia for the first time.  Kolocep Island to be exact.  This beautiful, tranquil island was in a perfect location just a short boat ride from the stunning Dubrovnik Old Town.  We both absolutely fell in love with the place so we decided it would be perfect to visit again for our Honeymoon.

Kolocep is a trafficless island with less than 200 inhabitants.  Kalamota Island Resort is the only resort on the island and is situated right on the main beach with stunning views across the bay.  The resort is small but perfectly formed.  The rooms are fresh and bright with views of the bay or the gardens.  We requested a sea view room which was perfect and meant if we wanted to go back to our room on an evening we could still watch and hear the entertainment from our balcony while enjoying a bottle of wine.

There is a buffet restaurant which serves the most amazing range of food I’ve ever had at an all inclusive resort.  There is so much selection and every day is different so you get to try all sorts of delicious dishes. There are also two a la carte restaurants.  One is situated by the main hotel restaurant and entertainment area and has great views over the bay, the other, the Culinarium, is a short walk from the hotel and is perfect for watching the sunset.  Here you can also enjoy a food and wine paring night which I would highly recommend.  The local delicacies are exquisite and the served some of the best wines I had ever tasted.

The real star of the island, however, is Villa Ruza.  This beautiful 1930s villa was built on the edge of Donje Celo bay, overlooking the water with a great view of the other islands (stunning at sunset). It has the most beautiful terrace which leads down to the main restaurant which is just the most tranquil setting for a romantic dinner.  It is also available for weddings and I couldn’t think of a more beautiful setting.  All the seafood on the island is caught fresh and they really know their stuff.  I never knew how much I loved seafood until I visited Croatia.

The staff at Villa Ruza always go the extra mile, bringing us homemade bread and appetisers while we perused the menu.  They are also great at recommending a good wine to match your food choice and always treat us to a cocktail or two after dinner.

There is so much to do while visiting the island, there are a number of walks you can take to the various churches and beaches or you can take to the sea and do a spot of snorkelling or kayaking.

There are several boats that take you to the mainland or the neighbouring islands.  We took a day trip to the island of Lopud which is slightly more populated than Kolocep with a bustling ferry port and several bars, restaurants, markets and even an ice cream parlour/bakery.  We stopped at one of the beach front seafood restaurants for a glass of wine and a spot of lunch.  The sea bass and the risotto were to die for.  I could definitely get used to island life!  We also stumbled across a quaint little park tucked away just off the main promenade, it was beautiful and quiet and such a nice little surprise when we were exploring.

The real star of the the show was Dubrovnik Old Town.  From the moment you step inside the walls of this amazing place you are totally blown away by how beautiful everything is.  For somewhere so busy and bustling it has such a relaxed, laid back vibe.

There are so many amazing restaurants and cafes to choose from, you could stay for  month and still not have time to try them all.  Even the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants tucked away down the back streets are fantastic. One evening we decided to just pick a restaurant at random and found one called Azur which would have been easy to miss as it was tucked away in a narrow street and just looked like a kitchen with some tables outside. I was a little bit worried that we might be disappointed but how wrong I was.  We had two beautiful courses each and the menu choice was so different. It just goes to show there are hidden gems around every corner here.

  One of my absolute favourite restaurants in the Old Town was Above 5, a small rooftop restaurant above a gorgeous boutique hotel that overlooks the entire old town.  It is so romantic with great food and a fab cocktail menu and is perfect for dinner at sunset but make sure to book in advance as it fills up quickly.

Wherever you go in the old town you will find somewhere to eat or drink.  From traditional, local dishes to sushi, tapas or wine bars, there is something for everyone.  I strongly recommend spending an evening in the Old Town.  The atmosphere is just wonderful and there are plenty of places to sit out with a glass of wine and watch live music.  If you get a chance, definitely check out the Troubadour Jazz Cafe, they have some great acts on an evening and it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine or two and watch the world go by.

Croatia is definitely an absolute gem that I would recommend to anyone.  We would definitely go back a third time to sample even more of the incredible places it has to offer.  It has the perfect combination of quiet islands, bustling towns and brilliant nightlife.  What more could you want?

Block & Bottle

by Sian Colman  
The North East is being well and truly spoilt with so many local businesses and pop-ups appearing! It is a very good time to be in this little part of the world. The beer world has exploded with new bars and breweries in the area, and on a sunny day all you want to do is sip a cold one and throw some sausages on the BBQ. Luckily you don’t have to go far to do both! Block and Bottle have set up a shop within the bridges corner of the Gateshead Arches. It stocks meat and beer. What more could you ask for in life?!
I’ve been pestering James to visit this place for a little while now since eyeing them up on Twitter. We’re all about craft beers! So When I saw there was a new place, pretty much on our doorstep, we were filled with delight. The seed had been planted so James had to come too.
We parked at Tesco’s car park and walked down the hill, it’s a 5 minute walk down the bank. First impressions are always good, and it was lovely to be greeted by the friendly faces of Steven and Kate, the owners and masterminds behind everything.
As you walk in, the first thing I personally gravitate to is the meat. It’s just all so fresh and local. I’m very much about supporting local business and local produce so I’m glad I’ve got somewhere close where I can do both. They have everything from steak to sausage, it’s a meat lovers delight. You turn around and you’re greeted by fridges of beer. From IPA to Stouts they stock a wide range from local brewers like Wylam to many of the popular ones like Tiny Rebel. They also serve off tap, providing a growler filling services, or just a cheeky pint whilst you eye the meat up.
If you haven’t paid them a visit yet get yourself down. A lot of local North East beer is showcased here, and selection varies with new stock coming in constantly. This time round we treated ourselves to some spicy pork breakfast sausages, black pudding and 3 half litre growlers filled. Check out their twitter for their most up-to-date happenings!