tyneside bar cafe hot dog

Tyneside Bar Café Review, Newcastle

Honestly, I’ve always loved the Tyneside Cinema. It’s one of Newcastle’s under-appreciated landmarks. Open since 1937,  you just can’t put it in the same breath as the Odeon, Cineworld, and the other shite cinema chains that populate every city centre.

If the Tyneside Cinema – grand, classic, and charming in equal measure is the picture house equivalent of The Shawshank Redemption, then consider whichever faceless cinema it is in the Gate, Gigli. The Tyneside endeavours to evoke memories of cinema of old – the non-CGI, actual curtain drawing before every film; Britain’s last remaining full-time newsreels; the fact it was designed and built by Ridley Scott’s uncle. Yes, it’s a quid more than your Cineworld, but it’s an experience in itself, and it’ll make you think twice about going back to a retail park to sit among sweaty popcorn-throwing gypos for your next cinema visit. It’s the best cinema in town, and probably the best in the North East.

ANYWAY. The TC has always had a number of food options for pre-movie snacks, and now there’s a new one – the slightly awkwardly named Tyneside Bar Café. They’ve employed a serious head chef – Tom Adlam, an alumnus of Café 21, so obviously this is where they are taking their food most seriously. Is it any good though?

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the botanist scotch egg

The Botanist, Newcastle Review

Ah, it seems like only yesterday the Newcastle lost their collective minds at the opening of chain favourites, Jamie’s Italian and Carluccios in town. We’re truly a bunch of magpies, as even though those particular hype trains seem to have passed, it’s now onto the latest new and shiny thing this season, The Botanist (NE1 5AU).

Those PR girls over at OPR must be doing a bloody good job because it has been heralded with considerable fanfare since it opened, quickly propelling it to “talk of the toon” status. Having been to and loved, sister venue The Alchemist in Manchester, I thought, great, we’re in for another quality cocktail bar with well made cocktails to match. Which can only be a good thing. Right? (more…)

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autumn 2014 featured

Autumn 2014

So…Christmas 2014 has been and gone. It’s been a good one, but I’m definitely already looking forward to properly getting cracking in 2015 and getting “back on the wagon” – in both actually writing on here, and trying out a meat-free and alcohol-free January given that the festive bloat is at 7lbs and rising…oh boy.

The past few months have been only mildly interesting with a few new openings in Newcastle – some good and some bad – as well as a couple of great new events. There hasn’t been any Michelin star goodness to report on, or even any meal which I would say was brilliant, but here’s the last three months in my eating, in pics and a handful of easily digestible words. (more…)

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perfect banana bread

Recipe: Perfect Banana Bread

We’ve been on a bit of a health kick this week, buying only fruit and veg from the Grainger Market in an effort to cut down on the norm of pasta/bread every single day. The veg bit went well, but as for the fruit, well the bananas, despite a smoothie here and there, always outstay their fruit bowl brethren – and end up in one of my favourite easy bakes.

There’s always a few hanging around, this takes less than ten minutes to prepare, and I’ve made it so many times, this is absolutely a perfect  version for me.

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chefs' academy newcastle college

Newcastle College Chefs’ Academy

A quick one on Newcastle College Chef’s Academy. Perhaps not your first choice of dining destination, but the quality of the food the students are putting out there on a daily basis is better than I’ve experienced in some restaurants, and bloody incredible value.

We went on their Thai-themed night – pitched as “a Thai inspired sharing evening consisting of six Thai dishes and deserts” more out of curiosity than anything – expecting at best, good home cook calibre food. Wrong. (more…)

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sausage emporium

The Sausage Emporium, Newcastle

It seems like there’s now an awareness/celebration week for everything these days, but surely British Sausage Week is one worth giving some time to? An absolutely British classic, perfect comfort food for these colder autumnal days, it should be about supporting British farmers and their quality produce. I know it is easy to give the supermarkets a kicking, but it’s usually their meat offerings which are weakest. Duchy by Waitress or not, they all seem to miss the point on what i want for my cooked breakfast/massive sandwich/pile of mash. It’s really not that hard to find a good local farm shop or butcher nearby, and my undisputed favourite at the minute is Knitsley Farm shop. Go and try it; thank me later. (more…)

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summer 2014 (featured)

Summer 2014

With these 5oC mornings lately, it seems as though the sun has finally gone down on summer 2014, and my those depressing dark early starts and finishes will soon be back. While I don’t understand people who prefer the autumn, or it’s bastardised name “fall”, there’s something to be said for autumnal food – and no, that doesn’t mean Starbucks patented “pumpkin fucking spice” in everything. It’s stews, risottos, celeriac and kale, all things gamey and fungi. That’s all to look forward to, but for now, here’s a quick snapshot of some of my summer highlights in eating.

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jesmond dene house afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea in Newcastle

If I had a quid for every time I’ve been asked, “where is the best afternoon tea in Newcastle”…I’d have a few quid to spend on another afternoon tea, of course. Can’t get enough!

It’s a hard life, but over the past few years, we’ve tried most of them.  Here are links to some of my favourites, as well as some pics from some of the others too. Prices indicate “traditional afternoon tea per person” or thereabouts. (more…)

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