2012. The world didn’t end, we won at the Olympics, and even celebrated our Queenie.
Best cheese in class.
Eating with your eyes closed.
There’s been lots going on over at Vallum Farm recently – and to celebrate, they are throwing a right gala this weekend celebrating the North East’s best food, drink, and craft producers at their new event down on the farm.
The Vallum Christmas Fayre takes place in their newly renovated “Old Cow Barn”, and sees some of the best local producers come together selling tapas sized snacks (similar to this), at a family & foodie based event, this Saturday 17th November only.
Of course our interest lies in the foodie side of it – there will be dozens of stalls and scran from Riley’s Fish Shack, Bywell Smokery and more, as well as those chef demos we can’t pull ourselves away from. One of these is from David Kennedy of River Cafe, and Food Social fame, who happens to be opening a new restaurant at Vallum that we are pretty excited about. An adjoining farm shop/deli extension to the existing ice cream parlour should be very popular, and it’s vegetables will no doubt come from similarly local vegetable god Ken Holland and his North Country Growers – producing some of the best veg produced in this country, if not the world.
We’ll definitely be there – you should be too. Support your local farmers & producers!
Best French Restaurant
When our favourite little Quayside cafe, Bistro Buee closed down a couple of years ago, it left a sad looking gap in the market for French food in the area. Overlooking chain-type Café Rouge, it’s only actually Bouchon Bistrot (NE46 3NJ) that springs to mind. Is classic French food just too much for our little Geordie palettes?
Cheap & not so cheerful.
As we’ve said before, everything Terry Laybourne touches seems to turn to gold, and before even clicking on this, you’ve probably already guessed that afternoon tea at Cafè 21 in Fenwicks is nigh on perfect.
**UPDATE – La Tasca is now completely gone from Newcastle, and Las Iguanas Quayside now sits here**
Last week we were invited to another new menu launch – this time at La Tasca Quayside. “Paella to the People” was an event with La Tasca’s exec. chef Antonio Bennetto showcasing the autumn/winter menu and giving us a bit of a paella masterclass. Admittedly, the last time we ate at La Tasca it was pretty damn disappointing, so we went into this with some trepidation…
We’re pretty modest around here, never actively seeking attention and will always take the stance of “whatever happens happens. However, while casually checking Google Analytics today there was a referral from blognorthawards.com…
We’ve been eating here there and everywhere this year – by a giant map of Britain made from cake, in Jesmond at Spring Graze, in the lovely Hotel du Vin courtyard, and not forgetting by the Tyne at the big EAT! weekend, but there’s still time before the clocks go back for one more street food party.
Urban Night Feast is the brainchild of Indian born but local private chef Maunika Gowardhan and features a dozen or so street food stalls packed into the Boiler Shop, always an interesting location.
The nights are slowly drawing in, along with the festival season, but there’s time for a few more, including this Saturday’s second High Bridge Quarter festival.
Following the success of the first festival a mere five months ago, the Autumn festival looks bigger and better, with plenty of new faces joining some old classics, and most of them foodie-related.
High Bridge Street Quarter is becoming a fairly trendy are of town, and has some great independents selling all sorts of stuff, so if you’ve never been, there is really no better time. Expect to see now-at-every-festival French Oven, and getting-good-at-street-food Marco Polo, amongst a ton of other names. Now a favourite and worth a look, we had our first taste of Soupie Face at the inaugural festival, and Dabbawal serving actual street food is always welcome – go for the bhel puri. Zizzi are also there (last year doling out free pasta), and some smaller places serving some good stuff; heard of a good bahn mi for starters.
Have a look at the full PR after the jump, and we look forward to seeing you there on Saturday 10am-7pm – sunshine is predicted, and entry/entertainment is free!
There’s a lot to be said for making a first impression, and unfortunately, the first time we visited the recently opened Browns (Grey Street, Newcastle), we walked out after not being served at all for over twenty minutes. A good start then…
Luckily enough, customer service took charge and invited us back in only a few days later, offering a bottle of prosecco and some bar snacks, pictured. Too tempting!
Based in our very home town, it has taken us long enough to visit local take on pancakes with a twist, Pots and Pancakes (NE29 0BL), but now that we’ve been once, it might just become an addiction!
Open since 2005, and not far from North Shields Metro, hides the former Dragon’s Den contenders – no, they didn’t receive investment (boo!), episode is worth a watch here though. Nonetheless, some 25,000 pancakes on and doing better than ever, the girls even making an appearance at the recent Tynemouth Food Festival.
We go on a late Saturday afternoon, so thankfully not overrun with kids this time, but apparently they often are – probably a good place for a kid’s party. We go for a (massive) pot of tea, and a couple of the pancakes – choosing from a typical selection classic sugar and lemon (£1.95) and my choice (pictured), nutella and banana (£2.95). Also available are savoury offerings like goat’s cheese and spinach, and toasties. The pancakes should satisfy anyones sweet cravings, but the star of the show are the “pots”.
It’s that time again already? August 20-26 again sees the regions restaurants team up with NE1 and offer great deals on some great food. Somewhat disappointingly, the amazing £10 deal seems to have crept up to £15 in many cases, making some of them pretty typical menus, but some bargains are still to be found nonetheless. Check out the full list – to be updated as a few surprises tend to come on closer to the date: