A foodie day in Newcastle

I went to Newcastle to get stuff done – sign my tenancy agreement and pick up a key for my new flat and speak to my PhD supervisor – but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t take regular breaks and enjoy foodie highlights of Newcastle.

First stop was Cafe Royal, somewhere I go pretty much every time I’m in Newcastle. Their breakfasts are always great, service is quick and the coffee is good. This time, as much as I love pancakes or waffles with bacon and maple syrup, I plumped for the “healthier” option of waffles with stewed apple and cinnamon yoghurt. A delicious error, as they were clearly going for a Halloween special with toffee apple with lashings of caramel. Oops. I quickly forgave them for ruining my best intentions.

Toffee apple wafflesAfter organising meetings over coffee and bombing around town between letting agents and flats, we headed to the refurbished Fenwick’s food hall to check out the new spice stand, Rafi’s Spice Box. The lovely people here hand-blend a curry mix based on your particular likes and dislikes. Choose from their popular selections or be bold and pick your own.

Rafi's spice boxThey start with a pre-made paste (a secret recipe I imagine) then add as much chilli as you think you can handle.

Rafi's spice boxThey then add spices, both whole and powdered and finish off with some fried and dried onion. You take it home, add water, meat and anything else it says on the packet et voila!

Rafi's spice boxAfter a meeting with my supervisor it was time for lunch, of course, so we headed to a very exciting and cool venture, Cook House. I will write about it in more detail soon but, in short, it is a cafe in a shipping container in Ouseburn – edgy. A one-woman show, serving up the most photogenic of lunches.

Cook houseIt rained all afternoon so it was time to escape back to the Borders, but we couldn’t finish the afternoon without tea. Our last stop was on route home, at the Blacksmith’s Coffee Shop, Belsay. Thoroughly welcoming in the downpour and we had just enough room to squeeze in a wee scone – it was a mini one after all.

Cream sconeJam before cream, yes? It didn’t last long anyway.


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