Gastronomic Gorman on Tour: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

I recently went to Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a few days away and had such great food I just needed to give it some space here!

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I ate and drank as much as I possibly could while I was away, so this post is a little round up of my favourite places from the trip.

Best for breakfast: The Quay Ingredient
Starting the day with a proper breakfast is one of my favourite luxuries while I’m away. With a whole day of exploring ahead, I can’t be dealing with just cereal or toast. My favourite breakfast of the trip was Eggs Hebridean from The Quay Ingredient . Crusty toast, crisp fried black pudding, soft poached free range egg and buttery Hollandaise sauce come together in what I think is a perfect breakfast dish. Tasty, filling and very pretty.

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Best for lunch: Barça Art Bar, Tynemouth
With Newcastle being so close to the coast, spending a day at the beach was a no brainer and Tynemouth came highly recommended by my Geordie friends.

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After taking a tour of Tynemouth Priory, a quick jaunt on a very windy beach and a walk down the High Street, I spotted Barça Art Bar & Cafe and dragged my friends in for a spot of lunch. The interior features Moroccan styling with hanging lanterns, dark wood and tiled tables, coupled with modern art pieces on the walls. The menu was equally as eclectic. My other half and I decided to try the Mood Board – a board with a selection of whatever the chef fancied preparing that day. Ours arrived with  cumin sprinkled hummous, fresh bread, soft and blue cheeses, Parma ham, Satay chicken with salad, pulled pork nachos, fish cakes with fresh coleslaw and a pea and goats cheese dish, all of which were delicious. My friends’ lamb Souvlaki looked pretty impressive too!

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Best for beers & bar snacks: The Broad Chare
The Broad Chare is situated on, funnily enough, the Broad Chare just off Newcastle Quayside. Real ales and craft beers are plentiful, traditional bar snacks like Scotch Eggs, Crispy Pigs Ears and Pork Pies are available all day in the bar, and a relaxed (plus dog friendly for those who travel with four legged friends) atmosphere make this a brilliant place. As well as having my absolute favourite beer Jaipur IPA on draft, the Scotch Egg made with pork meat, haggis and a runny egg is divine.

Best for dinner & drinks: Hop & Cleaver
The Hop & Cleaver was probably my favourite of all the places I visited. Bare brick, rustic wood and quirky decor was the name of the game here, with a vast cocktail menu, specialising in Bourbon, great selection of craft beers and American Smokehouse food served in crates. The place was heaving when we arrived and we didn’t think we’d get a table, but the staff juggled some things around to accommodate us. I decided to go for the crate of ribs with cornbread and coleslaw. The ribs had a really dark, smoky bark on the outside and were smothered in a sticky barbecue sauce. They were so messy but so delicious. The slaw had just enough crunch to cut through the richness of the meat and the cornbread was a great little side to mop up the juices. My other half had the smoked sausage and chicken plate which he said was absolutely amazing, while our friends had steak and brisket and were equally as impressed.

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Other places worth a mention are Rani Indian Restaurant and The Red House.

Being from Birmingham, testing out the local curry has become a bit of a habit for me and my group of friends whenever we go away, so when we spotted Rani just around the corner from our hotel we had to give it a try. The staff here were so welcoming and made us feel like we were at home. The set meal for 4 was great value with poppadoms and chutney, starters, mains, rice and naan breads, as well as coffee or dessert. The curries were a good heat with lovely flavours. I left feeling very full!

Then The Red House on Sandhill caught my eye as a pie and ale house, with some fantastic beers on draft from Tyneside Brewery, The Wild Beer Co and Thornbridge, alongside a mix and match menu of pies, mash, gravy and sides. With two pies for a tenner it offered great value and a decent meal with some really good beers.

Newcastle has a really vibrant restaurant and bar scene, with big names like Brewdog sat alongside local breweries and a big variety of places to eat, all focussing on proper British grub. I had a brilliant few days, and I dare say left a fair bit heavier than I arrived! So cheers to Newcastle, I’m sure it won’t be the last time I visit.

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