I love a good accent, and one of my favourite accents is the Geordie accent, which developed from a crush on Dec of Ant & Dec fame in my early teenage years. Although I am (mostly) over that crush now, geordies such as Si King, Ross Noble and Sarah Millican means that I still love a Geordie accent.
Therefore, it's always been a ambition to visit Newcastle, so when me and The Boy got a three day weekend together we decided to make a short visit.
Not only is Newcastle a amazing city to visit, there are plenty of vegan friendly places to eat too.
The first stop once we got off the train at Newcastle station was Scrumpy Willow and Singing Kettle, which is an veggie friendly place by day, but completely veggie in the evening. If I was to change anything about our visit is that I wish we had planned where we were going better and gone to this place in this place in the evening. Instead, both times we went here, we went in the daytime, and both times I forgot to take a picture of my food. On the first visit I went for a falafel pitta, which was nice. As they did vegan dessert, I had to have the chocolate passion cake, which is a chocolate cake with a hint of ginger, that I really enjoyed. On the second visit, I went for the daal which was delicious, but really filling so I didn't have room for cake. I may not have pictures of the food, but I have a picture of the inside, which was homely and welcoming.
After lunch, we headed to our hotel to drop our bags off. We did try to come to Newcastle on another occasion but were put off by how expensive the hotels are, however we now realise that this is because a lot of the hotels (even the Premier Inn!) have views of the river Tyne. This time we managed to find a hotel room for £45 at Jesmond Hotel, which is a 10 minute walk from Jesmond metro stop (note: Newcastle's underground is cheap and efficient!). We were both impressed by the hotel, the staff were friendly and polite and although our room was small, it was really clean and tidy.
After dropping our bags off, we headed back into the City centre to explore and cross the High Level Bridge taking in the sights.
After a good walk around, we headed for tea at Mama Mia's, a Italian with a separate vegan menu, as well as vegan wine. I ended up ordering potato skins with garlic mayo and the Italiano pizza, complete with vegan cheese.
The skins were OK, but were more like potato wedges, however I really enjoyed the pizza, there were a few choices but this one had artichoke which I love. They also had a butternut squash risotto that looked amazing, but I just couldn't pass on the option of a pizza with vegan cheese in a non-vegan restaurant but if we went again I'd probably choose that instead. They also had vegan dessert options, but it was just some kind of crumble which was a bit disappointing, or maybe I was just being spoilt after the chocolate cake earlier in the day!
The next day, we headed over to Sky Apple Cafe, a vegetarian cafe for breakfast. The nearest metro stop is Byker, so it offers a good opportunity to sing the Byker Grove theme tune if you wish to do so.
This Cafe is the second best decorated veg*n cafe I've been (first being C-A-L-F in Scarborough), I loved the cloud effects and the chandeliers, which looks a bit odd when the place is a cafe, but would make total sense if you went in the evening when it becomes a restaurant.
A running theme with this trip was that we seemed to go to places at the wrong time of day, as although this place did breakfast, the lunch options seemed a lot more appealing. Especially since the most interesting thing on the breakfast menu, the breakfast burrito was pre-made and therefore couldn't be veganised which was annoying as it would be so easy to make vegan. So I ended up with a small vegan breakfast.
The breakfast was OK, I prefer the vegan breakfasts at The Kitchen on Great Moor Street in Bolton, however the meal was saved by spotting the array of vegan cakes.
Now, I go by the rule that if somewhere offers vegan cake, then it's the law to get some regardless of the time of day. I'm usually a sucker for chocolate cake, but the strawberry cake looked too stunning to pass by.
This cake was good, I was a little resentful after The Boy, who decided he didn't want a dessert (as it was too early for cake?!) and would just have "a little taste" of mine, ended up eating half of it. It was good cake. I was gutted to discover on Instagram the week after our visit that they had opened a vegan deli next door.
After our late breakfast, we headed to the bus station and got a bus across the Tyne to see Angel of the North.
After more exploring of Newcastle, failing to find the Painted Elephant vegan restaurant in the rain and having a bit of a tantrum because I was too thirsty to think about food we headed to Scrumpy Willow and Singing Kettle again for tea. Along the way I noticed a shop selling Tyne Cheases, which on closer inspection was the Far Place Rescue shop. I was impressed to find that along with Tyne Cheases they also sell Go Max Go bars and other vegan snacks as well as other charity shop goods. I tried the Tyne Cheases at The Great Yorksire Vegan Fair, and I really liked the ale and mustard flavour. It was really tempting to buy some, but as they are cashew based, one chease was around £9 and as well as being aware that I'd already spent a bit too much I don't eat enough vegan cheese to make it worthwhile. But the shop was a great discovery, and I'd love to come back another time.
I really loved Newcastle, the people were friendly and I loved being called 'pet'. We would definitely like to go back as it was only a flying visit and there was so much we wanted to do.