Family Friendly Festivals In And Around The North East

We, as a nation, love a good festival. It seems we like nothing more than live music, performance, dance, arts and crafts in a field with a bit of sunshine and, more often than not, some rain.

Festivals are something both Evie and Harry enjoy and we’re lucky to have some brilliant family friendly events here in the North East. Below are our favourites:

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, festivals may experience unforeseen restrictions and changes to their schedule.


Corbridge Festival, Tynedale RFC

A magical weekend of adventure, discovery, and inspiration. With over 50 bands performing across 3 stages, the festival will be showcasing a sensational mix of national treasures, guilty pleasures, great emerging talent and a spattering of true legends.

Planned Date: 2nd – 4th July 2021

Camping Available:

Dog Friendly:

Ticket Price: Adults from £38.50, Under 10’s FREE

Website: https://corbridge-festival.ticketline.co.uk


Mouth Of The Tyne Festival, Tynemouth

Starting back in 2005, the Mouth of the Tyne Festival takes place every July for a weekend of live music and international street theatre in the village of Tynemouth.

Planned Date: 8th – 11th July 2021

Camping Available:

Dog Friendly:

Ticket Price: Adults from £38.50, Under 4’s FREE

Website: http://www.mouthofthetynefestival.com/


Festival By The Sea, Blyth

Festival By The Sea (previously Chilli Fest) returns with performances from Martin Kemp, Craig Charles and many more plus a great selection of street food pop up vans.

Planned Date: 16th – 18th July 2021

Camping Available:

Dog Friendly:

Ticket Price: Adults from £10, Children from £5, Under 5’s FREE

Website: https://festivalbythesea.co.uk/tickets/


Blyth Live, Blyth Beach

Every year this free live music festival is hosted on Blyth beach. It includes fantastic headline acts and various local talent supporting.

Planned Date: 24th July 2021

Camping Available:

Dog Friendly:

Ticket Price: FREE

Website: https://www.blythtowncouncil.org.uk/northumberlandlive.php


South Tyneside Festival, Bents Park

Rescheduled from last years cancelled shows, Ella Henderson and The South will now appear on the same bill on Sunday 11th July 2021. Will Young will take to the stage on Sunday 18th July 2021, while Shalamar and The Fizz will close the Sunday concert series on Sunday 1st August 2021. Details of a concert on Sunday 25th July 2021 will be announced in due course.

Planned Date: Sundays throughout July and August

Camping Available:

Dog Friendly:

Ticket Price: From £6

Website: https://www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk/article/68715/South-Tyneside-Festival


Will you be attending any festivals this year? Let me know in the comments which one(s)

North East Outdoor Markets

As Lockdown Restrictions begin to ease, and non-essential shops are allowed to reopen, our favourite Outdoor Markets are back in business.


Alnwick Market

About: A weekly market in Alnwick’s Market Square plus a once a month Farmers Market. The traders offer a vibrant mix of food, drink, crafts and more.

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: Every Thursday & Saturday Plus The Last Friday Of Every Month

Returns: Thursday, 15th April 2021

Website: https://www.groupegeraud.co.uk/market/alnwick-market/


Blaydon Food Market

About: A new market in the great setting of Blaydon Rugby Club offering a range of top notch street food, baked goods, preserves, local meats and cheeses, artisan wines and spirits.

Entry Cost: Adults £1, Under 14’s FREE

Held: Once A Month

Returns: Saturday, 17th April 2021

Website: https://www.facebook.com/3rdspaceevents/


Brampton Farmers Market

About: A monthly market that runs from outside the Moot Hall.

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: Last Saturday Of The Month

Returns: January 2021

Website: https://www.sustainablebrampton.org/projects/brampton-farmers-market/meet-the-market/


Chester-Le-Street Monthly Market

About: Gift stalls, local produce, cakes & bakes, street food, antiques and collectibles

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: First Friday & Saturday Of The Month

Returns: Saturday, 1st May 2021

Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/988033831225737/?ref=share


Durham Outdoor Market

About: Held in Durham’s historic Market Place, this pop up market is a great addition to the permanent indoor market that operates alongside it.

Entry Cost: FREE

Held: Every Saturday

Returns: Saturday, 17th April 2021

Website: https://durhammarkets.co.uk/


Hexham Farmers Market

About: Hexham Farmers Market is a long established market in the heart of the historic town of Hexham in Northumberland. The producers come from within a 50 mile range of the town and they are all passionate about what they do. They make the products themselves using a high percentage of locally produced ingredients.

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: Fortnightly

Returns: Saturday, 24th April 2021

Website: https://www.hexhamfarmersmarket.co.uk/market-dates/


Jesmond Food Market

About: Bringing together the very best food and drink producers from across the North East of England on Armstrong Bridge, Jesmond.

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: Fortnightly

Returns: Saturday, 17th April 2021

Website: https://jesmondfoodmarket.co.uk/


Lanchester’s Monthly Farmers Market

About: A recently launched monthly market held at The Kings Head Hotel.

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: Last Sunday Of Every Month

Returns: Sunday, 28th March 2021

Website: https://fb.me/e/49SVsUPe7


Low Fell Food Market

About: An exciting monthly food and drinks market held at Saltwell Park, Gateshead.

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: Monthly

Returns: Saturday, 17th April

Website: https://www.facebook.com/LowFellFoodMarket/


Quayside Sunday Market

About: Sunday Market held on Newcastle’s Quayside

Entry Cost: FREE

Held: Every Sunday

Returns: Sunday, 18th April 2021

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Newcastle-Quayside-Sunday-Market-156612674483853/


Tynemouth Market

About: A vibrant weekend market held in Tynemouth’s Metro Station.

Entry Cost: FREE

Held: Every Weekend

Returns: Saturday, 17th April 2021

Website: https://tynemouthmarkets.com/


Wilde Farm Market

About: Held at Ponteland’s Memorial Hall, Wilde Farm Market offers food, drink and artisan products from local traders.

Entry Cost: TBC

Held: Fortnightly

Returns: March 2021

Website: https://www.facebook.com/WildeFarmPonteland/



Outdoor Adventure Parks In And Around The North East

One of the things I enjoy most about Outdoor Adventure Parks is, you pay one entry fee then (almost) everything inside the gates is included. Plus, now Evie and Harry are getting older, they’re more than happy to jump on the bigger, scarier rides with me. Bonus! If you, too, are a fan of Outdoor Adventure Parks, I’ve listed our favourites in the region below along with a few tips on keeping the overall cost of the day down.

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, attractions may experience unforeseen restrictions and changes to their opening hours. To avoid disappointment, I strongly advise contacting the parks directly before visiting.


Adventure Valley, Durham

Discover a world of family adventures at Adventure Valley, the North East’s biggest family adventure park. With over 50 attractions, activities and shows including Runaway Ranch, Action Creek, Play Town, Wild West Cannon Saloon, Showtime Theatre, Animal Farm and Adventure Golf.

Reopens: 12th April 2021 (outdoor activities)

Entry Fee: Adults & Children from £9.95, Under 2’s FREE

Opening Times: Daily 10am – 5pm

Best Suited To: Under 12’s

Highlight: Water Wars

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options: Onsite cafe and your own picnics/packed lunches are allowed

Toilets:

Website: https://www.adventurevalley.co.uk



Flamingoland, Malton

Yorkshire’s ultimate Theme Park attraction and award winning Zoo, plus a luxury Resort Village, for fantastic family days out, holidays and short breaks.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Entry Fee: Adults and Children from £20, Under 4’s FREE

Opening Times: Daily 10am – 4pm

Best Suited To: Older children

Highlight: Lost River Ride

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: ✅ (theme Park only)

Food/Drink Options: Plenty of onsite outlets and your own picnics/packed lunches are allowed

Toilets:

Website: https://www.flamingoland.co.uk



Holmside Park, Chester-Le-Street

Holmside Park is a newly refurbished 50 acre adventure park in Durham. Full of adventure, play and family fun for all. Indoor and outdoor play with an array of all-weather activities. Indoor activities include a giant 100m inflatable obstacle course, pole joust, archery, roller skating, football, basketball and soft play. Outdoor activities include a play fort, outdoor obstacle course, karting track, zip line, jumping pillows and sandpits.

Reopens: 17th May 2021

Entry Fee: Adults from £5, Children (4+) from £12, Children (1-3) from £5, Under 1’s FREE

Opening Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 6pm

Best Suited To: Under 12’s

Highlight: Archery Taster

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: TBC

Food/Drink Options: Onsite cafe

Toilets:

Website: https://www.holmsidepark.co.uk



Lightwater Valley, Ripon

An amazing family day out in Yorkshire at Lightwater Valley Theme Park with exciting rides and attractions.

Reopens: 17th April 2021

Entry Fee: Adult and Children from £16.50, Under 4’s FREE

Opening Times: 10:30am – 5pm (certain days)

Best Suited To: Under 12’s

Highlight: Splash Falls

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options: Plenty of onsite outlets and your own picnics/packed lunches are allowed

Toilets:

Website: https://www.lightwatervalley.co.uk



Stockeld Park, Wetherby

In the heart of Yorkshire lies Stockeld Park, a place where magic is made and adventures begin. Nestled in a woodland, Stockeld Park is the home of original family fun with themed adventure playgrounds, climbing nets, ice skating rink, tree maze and enchanted forest.

Reopens: 27th March

Entry Fee: Adults and Children from £10, Under 2’s FREE

Opening Times: 10am – 6pm (certain days)

Best Suited To: Under 12’s

Highlight: Magical Maze

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options: Onsite outlets and your own picnics/packed lunches are allowed

Toilets:

Website: https://stockeldpark.co.uk



Keeping The Cost Down When Visiting An Outdoor Adventure Park

– Book your tickets in advance

– Check the parks social media pages for deals/savings

– If it’s allowed, pack your own food & drinks

– Bring essentials like suncream, waterproof ponchos, sun caps and, if there are water rides, a change of clothes

– Set a limit on how much you’re willing to spend inside the park

If you visit any of the regions Adventure Parks, have fun and enjoy yourself. Thanks for reading!

Historic Attractions In And Around The North East

History – right on our doorstep.

The North East has a fascinating wealth of history. With heritage dating back to the Romans, Normans, and even the Bronze Age, it’s easy to uncover some of the region’s historical riches. Here are the best places to do so

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, local attractions may experience unforeseen restrictions and changes to their opening hours. To avoid disappointment, I strongly advise contacting the venues directly before visiting.


Alnwick Castle, Alnwick

One of Europe’s most iconic castles and the largest inhabited castle in England. Alnwick Castle has witnessed battles, rebellions, tragedy and romance. It’s also been home to a variety of interesting people from Harry Hotspur to Harry Potter.

Reopens: 29th March 2021 (grounds only)

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Adults from £10, Children from £5, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.alnwickcastle.com

Alnwick Castle

Auckland Castle, Deer House & Park, Bishop Auckland

Experience over 1,000 years of fascinating history as you walk in the footsteps of the Prince Bishops of Durham. Auckland Castle is one of the best-preserved bishops’ palaces in Europe and is at the centre of The Auckland Project.

Reopens: Deer Park is currently open. Auckland Castle is due to reopen soon.

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: (in the Deer Park)

Entry Fee: Entry to the Deer Park is FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.aucklandproject.org/venues/auckland-castle/

Auckland Castle

Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh

Bamburgh Castle, England’s finest coastal castle, towers 150 feet above the sea. Set on 9 acres with outstanding views, Bamburgh Castle allows you to explore thousands of years of Northumbrian history.

Reopens: 29th March 2021 (grounds only)

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Adults from £6, Children from £3, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.bamburghcastle.com

Bamburgh Castle

Barnard Castle, County Durham

Set on a high rock above the River Tees, Barnard Castle takes its name from its 12th century founder, Bernard de Balliol. With fantastic views over the Tees Gorge, the fortress sits on the fringe of the working market town.

Reopens: 29th March 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Barnard Castle is an English Heritage property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £6.90, Children from £4.10, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/barnard-castle/

Barnard Castle

Beamish, Stanley

A living, working museum that tells the story of everyday life in the North East of England.

Reopens: 12th April 2021 (grounds only)

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Pay once and visit for a whole year. Adults from £19.50, Children from £11.50, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: http://www.beamish.org.uk

Beamish

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens, Belsay

Be enchanted by Belsay’s Grecian architecture, medieval castle and 30 acres of beautiful gardens. You can roam through the unique micro-climate of the Quarry Garden and enjoy the quirky spaces around the Hall.

Reopens: 29th March 2021 (grounds only)

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: ✅ (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Belsay Hall is an English Heritage property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £10, Children from £6, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/belsay-hall-castle-and-gardens/

Belsay Hall

Cherryburn, Mickley

The birthplace of Thomas Bewick

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: TBC

Entry Fee: Cherryburn is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members entry fees for 2021 TBC

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cherryburn

Cherryburn

Chillingham Castle, Chillingham

Chillingham Castle is a 13th century, Grade 1 Star-listed stronghold in Northumberland, famed for action and battles. With its fine rooms, gardens, lakes, fountains and tea rooms, the castle has an extraordinary ownership bloodline which runs back to the 1200s.

Reopens: 17th May 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Adults from £10.50, Children from £6.50

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻👻👻

Website: https://chillingham-castle.com

Chillingham Castle

Cragside, Rothbury

Cragside was created by two remarkable individuals, Lord William and Lady Margaret Armstrong. With Lord Armstrong’s passion for engineering and innovation mixed with Lady Armstrong’s love of natural sciences; this duo created the Cragside estate we know today. Together they transformed a rocky Northumberland heathland into an efficient landscape to create the first house in the world to be lit by electricity.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: ✅ (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Cragside is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £8, Children from £4

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

Cragside

Durham Cathedral, Durham

Durham Cathedral is one of Europe’s finest Romanesque cathedrals, perching high on the wooded peninsula of Durham City overlooking the River Wear. Built as the Shrine of St Cuthbert and also the burial place of the Venerable Bede, Durham Cathedral is unforgettably part of the cultural and religious history of the North East of England.

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Suggested donation of £3

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk

Durham Cathedral

Gibside, Gateshead

Gibside is one of a few surviving 18th-century designed landscapes and was fashioned with two things in mind: spectacular views and ‘wow’ moments. The estate, commissioned by coal baron George Bowes, offers a glimpse into the past and the compelling story of heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Gibside is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £8, Children from £4

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside

Gibside

Hadrian’s Wall

Stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, Hadrian’s Wall was built to guard the wild north-west frontier of the Roman Empire. Discover the remains of the forts, towers, turrets and towns that once kept watch over the Wall.

Reopens: January 2021

Carpark: ✅ (at the forts)

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: FREE to visit the wall, charges apply at the forts.

Food/Drink Options: ✅ (at the forts)

Toilets: (at the forts)

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/hadrians-wall/

Sycamore Gap

Jarrow Hall, Jarrow

Travel back in time to Anglo-Saxon Britain at Jarrow Hall – Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, a historic and environmental oasis in the heart of South Tyneside.

Reopens: 13th April 2021 (grounds only)

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: Usually super dog friendly however there are restrictions currently in place due to avian flu – these should be lifted once all bird migration has stopped.

Entry Fee: Pay once and visit for the rest of the season. Adults from £7, Children from £4, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://jarrowhall.com

Jarrow Hall

Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island

Years of stories, discoveries and contradictions in a castle (that’s not a castle), on an island (that’s not an island).

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: ✅ (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Lindisfarne Castle is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members entry fees for 2021 TBC

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lindisfarne-castle

Lindisfarne Priory

Newcastle Castle & The Black Gate, Newcastle

Steeped in history, this imposing Norman fortress is a rugged reminder of northern England’s turbulent past. Newcastle Castle is where the story of Newcastle began and the reason it got its name.

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: TBC

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻👻

Website: https://www.newcastlecastle.co.uk

The Black Gate

Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough

Home to the Pennyman family, Ormesby Hall, garden and parkland is a green oasis in the heart of industrial Middlesbrough.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Ormesby Hall is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £4, Children from £2

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ormesby-hall

Ormesby Hall

Raby Castle, Darlington

Raby is without doubt one of the most impressive intact castles in the North of England. Built in the 14th century by the powerful Nevill family, it has a fascinating history.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Adults from £8, Children from £4, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.raby.co.uk

Raby Castle

Seaton Delaval Hall, Seaton Delaval

Seaton Delaval may have been one of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh’s smallest country houses; but it was home to the larger than life Delaval family. The house and surrounding landscape were in keeping with the style expected in Georgian society, yet behind the formality lies a story of theatrical mischief.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Seaton Delaval Hall is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £8, Children from £4

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seaton-delaval-hall

Seaton Delaval Hall

Tynemouth Priory, Tynemouth

Tynemouth Castle and Priory on the coast of North East England was once one of the largest fortified areas in England. Overlooking the North Sea and the River Tyne, it dominates the headland.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Tynemouth Priory is an English Heritage property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £6.90, Children from £4.10, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tynemouth-priory-and-castle/

Tynemouth Priory

Ushaw, Durham

Ushaw Historic House, Chapels & Gardens is a majestic estate in the heart of the Durham countryside.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Adults from £6, Children from £4

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.ushaw.org

Ushaw

Victoria Tunnels, Ouseburn

The Victoria Tunnel is a subterranean waggonway that runs under Newcastle, from the Town Moor down to the River Tyne. It was built between 1839 and 1842 to transport coal from Leazes Main Colliery in Spital Tongues to riverside staithes ready for loading onto boats for export.

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: TBC

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻👻

Website: https://www.ouseburntrust.org.uk/visit-vt

Victoria Tunnel

Warkworth Castle, Warkworth

Enjoy a day out at this mighty Northumberland fortress crowning the hilltop above the River Coquet, and see how the powerful Dukes of Northumberland, the Percy family lived.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Entry Fee: Warkworth Castle is an English Heritage property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £7.90, Children from £4.70, Under 5’s FREE

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/warkworth-castle-and-hermitage

Warkworth Castle

Wallington, Cambo

The Trevelyan family, who used to live on the 13,000 acre estate, loved being outdoors and close to nature. The house is surrounded by an informal landscape of lawns, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland, just waiting to be explored.

Reopens: Grounds are open

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: ✅ (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Wallington is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members, Adults from £13, Children from £6.50

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wallington

Wallington

Washington Old Hall, Washington

At the heart of historic Washington village this picturesque stone manor house and its gardens provide a tranquil oasis, reflecting gentry life following the turbulence of the English Civil War.

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: (in the grounds)

Entry Fee: Washington Old Hall is a National Trust property so entry is free for members. Non-members entry fees for 2021 TBC

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Spooky Rating: 👻

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/washington-old-hall

Washington Old Hall

Where’s your favourite North Eastern Historic Attraction? Let me know in the comments


Gorgeous Gardens In And Around The North East

I’m a huge fan of amazingly curated gardens (I think it comes with age!). Discover the most beautiful open gardens to visit around the North East with this list of my top picks.

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, public gardens may experience unforeseen restrictions and changes to their opening hours. To avoid disappointment, I strongly advise contacting the gardens directly before visiting.


Alnwick Garden, Alnwick

One of the world’s most contemporary gardens, The Alnwick Garden offers adventure and intrigue in the heart of Northumberland.

Reopens 29th March 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.alnwickgarden.com


Bide-A-Wee Cottage Gardens, Morpeth

If you are visiting Northumberland then a visit to the Bide-a-Wee Cottage Gardens is a must for all those that enjoy gardens and imaginative planting. The gardens contain a huge variety of perennials, shrubs grasses and ferns planted in a formal and informal style.

Reopens: TBC

Carpark: ❌ (street parking available)

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.bideawee.co.uk


Birkheads Secret Gardens, Gateshead

A rural garden run on eco-friendly principles with themed areas.

Reopens: 30th March 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: http://www.birkheadssecretgardens.co.uk


Bradley Gardens, Wylam

Bradley Gardens is a hidden gem situated on the edge of the Tyne Valley. This tranquil 18th century walled garden has now been brought back to its former glory and is continuing to grow and flourish.

Reopens: 13th April 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets: ✅

Website: http://www.bradley-gardens.co.uk/


Dilston Physic Garden, Corbridge

A unique and modern physic garden. Dilston Physic Garden is a dedicated enterprise exploring and educating on the science of plants for health and medicine.

Reopens: 3rd March 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://dilstonphysicgarden.com


Durham University Botanic Garden, Durham

This 10 hectare university Botanic Garden is set amongst beautiful mature woodlands on the southern outskirts of Durham city. Open to the public, the Botanic Garden is a leading attraction in Durham, with guests young and old visiting throughout the year. You can wander through the alpine garden, winter garden, bamboo grove, glasshouses and the recently developed woodland garden and wild flower meadow.

Reopens: 11th January 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.dur.ac.uk/botanic.garden/


English Heritage Properties

– Belsay Hall & Gardens

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/belsay-hall-castle-and-gardens

– Brodsworth Hall & Gardens

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/brodsworth-hall-and-gardens

– Mount Grace Priory, House and Gardens

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/mount-grace-priory


The Garden Station, Hexham

A restored Victorian Railway Station in a woodland garden in Langley-on-Tyne, near Hexham in beautiful Northumberland.

Reopens: January 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly: TBC

Food/Drinks Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.thegardenstation.co.uk


Herterton House, Morpeth

A sixteenth century farmhouse with a walled garden. There is topiary, a physic garden and a flower garden.

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: N/A


Howick Hall Gardens & Arboretum, Howick

Howick Hall Gardens & Arboretum, the ancestral seat of the Earls Grey since 1319, is set in over 65 acres of land – a united nation of shrubs and trees.

Reopens: January 2021

Carpark: ✅

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://howickhallgardens.com


Longframlington Gardens, Morpeth

A 12 acre garden and arboretum, developed since 1998. You’ll also find rope art and a display about climate change.

Reopens: TBC

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: http://longframlingtongardens.co.uk


National Trust Properties

– Cragside

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

– Gibside

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside

– Seaton Delaval Hall

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seaton-delaval-hall

– Wallington

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wallington

– Washington Old Hall

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/washington-old-hall


Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden, Sunderland

The Winter Gardens, a 21st Century addition to the museum, is a tropical paradise and home to the resident Koi Carp. Over 2,000 plants thrive in the glass rotunda and from the tree top walkway visitors have a bird’s eye view of beautiful Mowbray Park.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drinks Options: ✅

Toilets:

Website: https://sunderlandculture.org.uk/our-venues/sunderland-museum-winter-gardens/


Wynyard Hall Gardens, Tees Valley

Spend a day exploring the stunning Rose Garden, Edible Garden, Wild Garden and Woodland Walk that are spread out over 150 acres.

Reopens: 29th March 2021

Carpark:

Dog Friendly:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.wynyardhall.co.uk


Adventure Attractions In And Around The North East

If you’re a family of thrill seekers, experience a different side of our region with these action-packed activities. From Axe Throwing and Quad Biking to Archery and Segway Safaris, check out the top ways to get your adrenaline-filled kicks with our pick of the most adventurous activities on offer in the North East.


Adventure Northumberland

Northumberland’s premier provider of watersports on the Northumberland Coast. Adventure Northumberland offer Coasteering, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Kayaking and Sea Kayaking with Seals at Coquet Island.

Reopens: 1st May 2021

Website: https://www.adventurenorthumberland.co.uk

Adventure Northumberland

All Out Adventures, Slaley

Situated on the grounds of Slaley Hall’s 1,300 acre country estate, All Out Adventures offer a wide variety of team building events and activity days.

Reopens: 29th March 2021

Website: https://alloutadventures.co.uk

All Out Adventures

Air Trail, Stockton

The UK’s biggest Sky Trail high ropes adventure course is set over 4 levels with 38 unique challenges. No equipment or experience is required, all you need is a spirit for outdoor adventure and a thirst for fun. Suitable for all the family.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Website: https://www.airtrail.co.uk

Airtrail

Clip ‘n Climb (Various Locations)

A fun and thrilling climbing experience with unique climbing challenges designed to stimulate the senses simultaneously. Clip ‘n Climb is for everyone aged 4 years and over regardless of climbing experience and ability.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Website: https://clipnclimb.com

Clip ‘n Climb, Cramlington

Diggerland, Durham

Children and adults can ride, drive and operate real diggers, dumpers and other full-size construction machinery. Diggerland is the perfect destination for action, fun and thrill packed family days out. Fun for all ages, with its 20 different rides and drives plus an array of additional activities, Diggerland is the ideal theme park for small to large groups looking for something exciting and truly unique.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Website: https://www.diggerland.com


Endless Adventure North East

Endless Adventure NE have an adventure for everyone; from full-on adrenaline-fuelled adventures to their more relaxed river or mountain tours.

Reopens: 29th March 2021

Website: https://endlessadventurenortheast.com

Endless Adventure NE

Flamingo Land

Yorkshire’s ultimate Theme Park attraction & award winning Zoo.

Reopens: 12th April 2021 (partially)

Website: https://www.flamingoland.co.uk

Flamingo Land

Go Ape, Matfen

Explore the forest canopy via a treetop rope course.

Reopens: 29th March 2021

Website: https://goape.co.uk/locations/matfen

Go Ape

Hatchet Harry’s Axe Throwing

Bringing indoor urban axe throwing to Newcastle since May 2019.

Reopens: TBC

Website: https://newcastle.hatchetharrys.co.uk

Hatchet Harry’s

Karting NE, Sunderland

Outdoor 1,200m Karting and multi-activity centre including paintball, archery, off-road buggies and tomahawk throwing.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Website: https://kartingnortheast.com

Karting NE

Lightwater Valley

A world of rides and attractions for a fun-filled family day out.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Website: https://www.lightwatervalley.co.uk

Lightwater Valley

North East Adventures

North East Adventures run a range of exciting outdoor activities and adventures across the North East, including in Sunderland, South Shields, Durham, Newcastle, the Pennines, and Tyne & Wear. With over 20 years of experience, they know what makes an adventure great while still being safe. Whatever your age or preference, they have the perfect adventure activity for you and your group.

Reopens: TBC

Website: https://northeastadventures.co.uk

North East Adventures

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, South Shields

The North East’s biggest free admission Fun Park.

Reopens: 12th April 2021

Website: https://www.oceanbeach.co.uk

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park

Tynemouth Park, Tynemouth

Tynemouth Park is the perfect place for a fun family day out as there are loads of things to do. Guidelines allowing, you can enjoy a game of mini-golf at Lost World Adventure Golf, have fun at the outdoor soft play areas – Jungle Wipeout and Baby Wipeout; find your way around the new Pirate Quest Maze and row around the boating lake. There is definitely something for everyone.

Reopens: 29th March 2021

Website: https://www.tynemouthpark.com

Jungle Wipeout @ Tynemouth Park

Tynemouth Surf Co.

Tynemouth Surf Co. is the hub of the surfing community in the North East. Their Surf School is brilliant for everyone wanting to learn the sport.

Reopens: 29th March 2021

Website: https://www.tynemouthsurf.co.uk/


Mazes In And Around The North East

Mazes; a challenge for all the family.

Do you enjoy the competition of being the first to find your way to the middle or is the fear of never getting back out too much?

If you’re a fan of mazes, prepare to be bamboozled among the bamboo and mystified in the middle of the maize as I share our favourites from around the region.


Alnwick Garden Bamboo Maze, Alnwick

In the Labyrinth, as bamboo sways and rustles noisily in the wind, obscuring the Garden’s other sights and sounds, the twisting paths of the maze run almost stream-like amongst the bamboo. A fun Labyrinth that was designed by Adrian Fisher, an international maze-maker. The maze is made from the bamboo Fargesia Rufa, a new Chinese variety.

Material: Bamboo

Permanent Feature:

Time: 10-20 mins

Price: Included In Garden Entry Cost

Difficulty: 🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.alnwickgarden.com

Image by Alnwick Garden

Copleys Corn Maze, West Yorkshire

Farmer Copleys have one of the largest Corn Maize Mazes in Great Britain with a mini maze for smaller children and a large maze for families to enjoy together.

Material: Corn

Permanent Feature:

Time: 1-2 hours

Price: TBC

Difficulty: 🤯🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://farmercopleys.co.uk/events/copleys-corn-maze/

Image by Farmer Copleys

Forbidden Corner, Leyburn

Forbidden Corner is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created within a four acre garden in the heart of Tupgill Park. A tourist visitor attraction unlike anywhere that you have been before, ideal for the adventurers and those young at heart!”

Material: Everything

Permanent Feature:

Time: At least 2-3 hours

Price: Family (2 adults + 2 children): £48.00

Difficulty: 🤯🤯🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk

Image by Forbidden Corner

The Great Ryedale Maze, North Yorkshire

The Great Ryedale Maze is an attraction for all the family nestled in beautiful countryside at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds. There’s a field full of fun with nine acres of maize plants and never-ending paths to explore, and for younger adventurers there’s a two-acre Scarecrow Mini-Maze. The Vintage Funfair offers thrills for adults and children alike aboard the 1930s Speedway, Dodgems and Chair-o-plane, while the Hush Hush train ride and Swing Boats will delight the little ones. Test your skills at the game stalls and win a prize every time. For some competitive family fun have a go at Football Darts, then enjoy live entertainment in the Big Top.

Material: Corn

Permanent Feature:

Time: 30-45 mins

Price: TBC

Difficulty: 🤯🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://m.facebook.com/greatryedalemaze/


Leases Park Maze, Newcastle

This 24-metre square maze is made up of (adult) waist-high hedges and is overlooked by the Moffat Pavilion. The maze was designed by Newcastle school children and sees the maze split into quarters, each a different colour, to represent the four elements – red for fire, blue for water, yellow for air and green for earth.

Material: Evergreens

Permanent Feature:

Time: 5-10 mins

Price: Free

Difficulty: 🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://urbangreennewcastle.org/our-green-spaces/find-your-park/leazes-park

Image by H.Duff via Facebook

Minotaur Maze, Kielder

The Minotaur Maze is located in the grounds of Kielder Castle and is a must for children and adults alike. The adventurous will discover a number of special features that include a set of stairs taking visitors above the walls. The final goal, a small glittering room formed from rocks of recycled glass is a quiet place from which to contemplate the task of discovering a return route to the outside world.

Material: Stone

Permanent Feature:

Time: 10-15 mins

Price: Free

Difficulty: 🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: http://www.visitkielder.com/garden/minotaur-nick-coombe-shona-kitchen-2003

Image by Kielder Waterside

Nelly’s Labyrinth, Cragside

Nelly’s Labyrinth at Cragside, named after a reputed local witch, is a tangle of secret paths and tunnels which are cut into a huge rhododendron forest.

Material: Rhododendron (woody plants)

Permanent Feature:

Time: 20-30 mins

Price: Included In Property Entry Cost

Difficulty: 🤯🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

Image by National Trust

Pirate Quest, Tynemouth Park

This interactive maze and scavenger hunt will test your seafaring skills. Are you brave enough to walk the plank or face the scurvy seadogs? Can you sail the seven seas and find the wreck of the pirate ghost ship or will you be all washed-up? Your swashbuckling kids can take part in the exciting treasure trail and win a few pieces of eight!

Material: Artificial Hedges

Permanent Feature:

Time: 10-20 mins

Price: £2 per person

Difficulty: 🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.tynemouthpark.com/attraction/pirate-quest/

Image by Tynemouth Park

Saltwell Park Maze, Gateshead

A small maze ideal for the younger ones. The entire maze can be observed from a higher view point so if your children get lost you can help guide them.

Material: Evergreens

Permanent Feature:

Time: 5-10 mins

Price: Free

Difficulty: 🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/3958/Saltwell-Park


Spilmans Maize Maze, North Yorkshire

At Spilmans you can have a go at finding your way through the corn crop, which has been cut into a magical unicorn.

Material: Corn

Permanent Feature:

Time: 10-20 mins

Price: £3 per child

Difficulty: 🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.spilmans.co.uk/maze/

Image by Spilmans

York Maze, York

Created from over one million maize plants, York Maze is not just the largest maze in the UK it’s an award winning fun filled, day out in the country. With over 20 different rides, attractions and shows to enjoy, York Maze offers an amazing fun-filled family day out.

Material: Corn

Permanent Feature:

Time: 1-2 hours

Price: TBC

Difficulty: 🤯🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.yorkmaze.com

Image by York Maze

Lakeland Maze Farm Park, Kendal

A little out of our region but well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. Back in 2004, farm owners Graham and Jane decided to grow a maize maze and open their doors to the public. Since then the park has expanded to include play equipment, petting areas, purpose built all weather mazes, a cafe and soft play areas.

Material: Corn

Permanent Feature:

Time: 1-2 hours

Price: TBC

Difficulty: 🤯🤯

Food/Drink Options:

Parking:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.lakelandmaze.co.uk

Image by Lakeland Maze Farm

These are our favourites, if I’ve missed yours out let me know in the comments.

Image from the first time we attempted Nelly’s Labyrinth

Skate Parks In And Around The North East


Chester-Le-Street Skate Park

Postcode: DH3 3QX

Image from Google

Chopwell Park Pump Track

Postcode: NE17 7DA

Image from Google

Coxhoe Skate Park

Postcode: DH6 4SZ

Image from Google

Cramlington Skate Park

Postcode: NE23 6EA

Image from Google

Crossfield Skate Park, Gateshead

Postcode: NE10 9RZ


Exhibition Park Skate Park

Postcode: NE2 4BF

Image from Google

Herrington Skate Park, Penshaw

Postcode: DH4 7EL

Image from Google

North Shields Skate Park

Postcode: NE29 6TL

Image from Google

Preston Park Skate Park

Postcode: TS18 3RH

Image from Google

Seaburn Skate Park

Postcode: SR6 8BJ

Image from Google

Shibdon Bank Skate Park

Postcode: NE21 5EZ


Silksworth Skate Park, Sunderland

Postcode: SR3 1JX

Image from Google

South Shieds Skate Park

Postcode: NE33 2JH

Image from Google

Spennymoor Skate Park

Postcode: DL16 6JJ

Image from Google

Whitley Bay Skate Park

Postcode: NE26 1RS

Image from Google

Beautiful Bao Buns In And Around The North East

Bao Buns. Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe you haven’t (if you have, skip to the next section). Baos are a popular street food originating in Taiwan. They consist of meat (or vegetarian alternative), vegetables and condiments sandwiched between a flat steamed bread known as lotus leaf bread. A good bao is warm, fluffy and slightly sweet. Delicious!

I’m a huge fan of baos and have tried (almost) all of those listed below. If you fancy giving baos a go, here are my recommendations:


Bao Bar Newcastle, Chillingham Road

About: A cosy bar offering Bao Buns and Small Plates. Open from 8-11:30am every day for breakfast before the lunchtime menu kicks in at 12 noon.

Price: 2 Baos For £5

Menu Highlight: Slow cooked pork belly, sage stuffing and apple sauce

Website: https://www.206chillinghamroad.com

Currently Open: Takeaway only

Image from Bao Bar’s Instagram Page

Bao Down Newcastle, STACK

About: The new bao on the block. Serving bao buns, gyozas and fries from inside STACK Newcastle

Price: 2 Baos For £7.50

Menu Highlight: I haven’t experienced Bao Down yet but the Sticky Teriyaki Chicken sounds like a must try

Website: https://www.facebook.com/baodownnewcastle/

Currently Open: Not yet. Opening day is set for Monday, 12th April 2021

Image from Bao Down’s Instagram Page

Don’t Stop Me Bao, Cramlington

About: A bao bun pop up working out of Kings Snax, Astley Business Park

Price: From £4

Menu Highlight: The guest appearances on the specials menus and the duck fries

Website: https://www.facebook.com/dontstopmebao/

Currently Open: Yes, keep an eye on their socials for the next pop up date


Dumpling & Bun, Grainger Market

About: A proper hidden gem nestled away in the Grainger Market. Dumpling & Bun proudly serve freshly handmade dumplings, stuffed buns & noodle soups plus high quality green teas.

Price: Stuffed buns are from £1.50 each

Menu Highlight: Pork & Cabbage

Website: https://www.facebook.com/dumplingandbun/

Currently Open: Takeaway only

Image from Dumpling & Bun’s Instagram Page

Kogarashi Newcastle, Quayside Market

About: Inspired by Asian flavours, Kogarashi offers a variety of tasty steamed snacks

Price: 2 Baos For £5

Menu Highlight: Pork Belly Bao

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kogarashifood/

Currently Open: The Quayside Market is due to reopen soon


Pablo Eggs-Go-Bao, Whitley Bay

About: Breakfast and brunch covered – Pablo Eggs-Go-Bao is open daily serving fusion fun in a bun

Price: From £4

Menu Highlight: The Breakfast Bao – crispy hash brown beneath sausage patty topped with melty cheese, soft omelette and a slightly spicy & sweet sauce. All nestled into a super soft, warm, big, bouncy bao bun

Website: https://www.eggsgobao.com/

Currently Open: Takeaway only

Image from Pablo Eggs-Go-Bao’s Instagram Page

Umai Mi, Eldon Square

About: The chic, pan Asian restaurant, that draws in bold flavours from the orient with a contemporary twist, has recently launched their Make-It-At-Home Bao Kits.

Price: The £10 kit comes with everything you need to make 3 Baos

Menu Highlight: Pulled Beef

Website: https://www.umaimi.co.uk/

Currently Open: Takeaway only


If you’re feeling creative and want to make your own bao fillings, check out Wing Hong Cash & Carry on George Street in Newcastle. They sell loads of frozen, pre-made steamed buns. We bought a bag for a couple of £, deep fried them and made dessert baos – they were flippin’ lush!

Ridiculously Indulgent Ways To Eat Your Easter Chocolate

Have you ended up with a little more chocolate than you bargained for over Easter? Help make a dent in your stash with these Easter chocolate recipes and serving ideas.

Cereal Bowl

Fill half a chocolate egg with cereal. Add the milk. Get stuck in.

Image from Pinterest

Dippy Eggs

Creme Eggs and shortbread soldiers.


Chocolate Bark

Melt some chocolate. Spread it out on greaseproof paper. Add chocolate and sprinkles. Leave it to set. Smash and enjoy.

Image from Pinterest

Chocolate Nests

The classic. To melted chocolate add cornflakes. Pop in to cupcake cases and push chocolate eggs in to the “nests”. Leave to set then serve.


Easter “Scotch Eggs”

These can be made by wrapping a Creme egg (or Oreo egg or caramel egg or Hershey’s egg…you get the idea) with whizzed up brownie or cookie dough then rolling in chocolate crumbs.

Image from Pinterest

Ice Cream Sundae

Fill a chocolate egg with ice cream. Add wafers, sprinkles, sauce, whatever you fancy.

Image from Pinterest

The Best Hot Chocolate

Add a chocolate egg to hot milk and wait for it to melt.


Easter Irish Cream

One for the adults. Serve Irish Cream in a chocolate rabbit.


Do you have any other ways to use up left over Easter chocolate? If you do, let me know in the comments.

Incredible Ice Cream Parlours In And Around The North East

Here in the North East, we might not always be basking in glorious sunshine but a cone filled with delicious ice cream can be enjoyed regardless of the weather. Evie & Harry are massive ice cream fiends and any day out usually includes a frozen treat. Below are a list of our favourite parlours around the region:

Details correct at time of publishing. Pricing and opening hours are subject to change.


Ciccarelli, Blyth

The Gregorio family have been in the ice cream business since 1966. All of their gelato is made on site using ingredients sourced from Italy and milk & cream from the local dairy

How much for a small cone? From £2.40

Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 9am-7pm

Parking: Yes, Mermaid Carpark has over 200 free spaces.

Points of interest close by: Blyth Beach, Blyth Battery, Beach Huts, Play Park

Website: https://m.facebook.com/coastlineciccarelliofficial


Delaval Ices/Arrighis, Seaton Delaval

Serving traditional homemade Italian ice cream since 1925

How much for a small cone? From £2.50

Opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday, Sunday 10am-6pm

Parking: Street parking outside

Points of interest close by: Seaton Delaval Hall

Website: http://www.arrighis-ice-cream.co.uk


Di Meo’s, Whitley Bay

Award winning Italian ice cream

How much for a small cone? From £2.60

Parking: None immediately outdoor/next to but there are carparks at Spanish City and at the Playhouse

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 10am-8pm and Friday to Sunday 9am-8:30pm

Points of interest close by: Whitley Bay Beach, Spanish City, Play Park

Website: https://www.dimeos.co.uk


Dibbley’s, Tynemouth

Dibbley’s Gelato is made with authentic Italian flavours. Each week they add guest flavours to their menu so always check with the team what’s new this week

How much for a small cone? From £2.50

Opening times: Daily between 9am-5pm

Parking: Street parking outside

Points of interest close by: Tynemouth Park, Longsands Beach

Website: https://dibbleystynemouth.business.site


Doddington Dairy Milk Bar, Wooler

Serving the famous and award winning Doddington Dairy ice creams which are made down the road from their own cow’s milk

How much for a small cone? From £2

Opening times: Daily between 8am-5pm

Parking: Yes, parking is available along the river

Points of interest close by: The town of Wooler

Website: http://www.doddingtonmilkbar.co.uk


Giacopazzi’s, Eyemouth

The long established, family run business serves up multi-award winning ice creams or sorbet which is made fresh each day on the premises.

How much for a small cone? From £2.50

Opening times: Sunday to Thursday 12-7pm and Friday & Saturday 12-8pm

Parking: Town Centre parking available, lots of street parking is residents permit only

Points of interest close by: Eyemouth Harbour

Website: https://www.giacopazzis.co.uk


Lickety Split, Seaham

Dishing up their artisan, multi award winning ice cream (which is produced on the premises) alongside ingredients and products from the local area and across the globe, Lickety Split’s 1950’s inspired diner is something really special

How much for a small cone? From £2.50

Opening times: Monday to Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm

Parking: Yes, parking is available across the green

Points of interest close by: Seaham Beach & Tommy The Soldier

Website: http://www.lickety-split.co.uk


Mimis Ice Cream Emporium, Gosforth

High quality ice cream cafe in Gosforth

How much for a small cone? From £2.75

Opening times: Daily 2-6pm

Parking: Yes, there is a carpark directly outside

Points of interest close by: Weetslade Country Park

Website: https://mimis-ice-cream-emporium.business.site


Morwick Dairy Ice Cream, Morpeth

Traditional farmhouse dairy ice cream with an Italian twist

How much for a small cone? From £2.50

Opening times: Daily 12-4pm

Parking: Yes, there is an on-site carpark

Points of interest close by: Morwick Farm and play area

Website: https://morwickdairy.co.uk


Spurreli, Amble

Opulent ice cream made on the premises

How much for a small cone? From £2.70

Opening times: Daily 10am-5pm

Parking: Car park and street parking available

Points of interest close by: Amble Marina and Amble Harbour

Website: https://www.spurreli.com


Toney Minchella, South Shields

Based in South Shields, Toney Minchella is an independently owned manufacturer of multi-award winning ice cream products. Gathering fans world wide, and locally, the Minchella name has become well established in South Shields, synonymous with delicious ice cream.

How much for a small cone? From £1.80

Opening times: Various but the outlets are open 7 days a week

Parking: Yes, all of Minchella’s retail outlets have parking within walking distance

Points of interest close by: South Shield’s Beaches, Marine Park, Funfair

Website: https://www.toneyminchella.co.uk


Wheelbirks, Stocksfield

Dairy farming was first introduced to Wheelbirks in 1925. The Wheelbirks herd of pedigree Jerseys are the oldest established and the only pedigree herd in Northumberland. It’s their milk that is used to produce Wheelbirks Ice Cream on site, at the farm

How much for a small cone? From £2.30

Opening times: Daily 12:30-5pm

Parking: Yes, there is a car park on site

Points of interest close by: Wheelbirks Farm

Website: http://www.wheelbirks.co.uk

So, where’s your favourite place to grab a scoop or two? Let me know in the comments

Sharing this ice cream van cake I made last year just because

Animal Attractions In And Around The North East

Adventure Valley, Durham

Adventure Valley is the North East’s biggest family adventure park. Amongst their Farm Yard Friends are Micro Pigs, Pygmy Goats, Shetland Ponies, Rabbits and Chipmunks. Handling sessions run throughout the day as well as pony grooming and owl encounters.

Re-Opens: Monday, 12th April 2021

Entry Cost: Adult & Children from £9.95, Under 2’s Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.adventurevalley.co.uk


Barnacres Alpacas, Heddon-On-The-Wall

Turpin’s Hill Farm is home to over 300 alpacas as well as donkeys, Pygmy goats, angora goats, Wensleydale sheep, chickens and cats.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Alpaca Walks are priced at £25 per person

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://barnacre-alpacas.co.uk


Big Sheep Little Cow, Bedale

A small, family run farm offering guided farm tours and animal interactions. There’s also an indoor play barn, go karts, cafe and onsite bakery.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Adult & Children from £8.50, Under 12 Months Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.bigsheeplittlecow.co.uk

Bill Quay Community Farm, Gateshead

A community farm whose main activity is the husbandry of endangered breeds of livestock. The farm is also a Rare Breed Survival Trust Approved Conservation Park.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://m.facebook.com/BillQuayFarm/


Broom House Farm, Durham

An organic farm situated high up in the Browney Valley. They breed, rear and sell their Aberdeen Angus beef, lamb and pork. There is a farm shop, coffee shop and Forest Adventure School.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Forest Adventure School is priced at Adult & Children from £5.50, Under 2’s Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.broomhousedurham.co.uk


Butterfly World, Stockton

A tropical rain forest complete with trees, flowers and up to 120 species of butterfly flying freely.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Adults £4.25 and Children £3.75

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.prestonparkmuseum.co.uk/park/butterfly-world/

Down At The Farm, Houghton-Le-Spring

A small family run farm which has been in the Sunderland area since 18th century. They have a wide variety of farm animals to see and stroke; from sheep, cattle, donkeys, and pigs. There is also a small collection of non native species of animals such as Reindeer, Snowy owls, Meerkats, Raccoons & Reptiles.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: TBC

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.downatthefarm.co.uk


Falconry Days, Hexham

Falconry Days are a professional falconry business that trains and flies around 90 Birds of Prey. They are an activity centre with fully trained, working Birds of Prey which are managed and flown in rotation on a daily basis, both on and off site.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Adults from £10 and Children from £5

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.falconrydays.com


Farne Islands, North Sea

A group of rocky islands, a perfect habitat for seals and many species of seabird.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Boat trips to the island are priced at about £20 per adult and £15 per child with under 5’s travelling for free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/farne-islands

Hall Hill Farm, Durham

An interactive farm with the opportunity to feed, see and stroke the animals.

Re-Opens: Monday, 12th April 2021

Entry Cost: Adults from £9.45, Children from £8.50 and Under 1’s Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: http://www.hallhillfarm.co.uk


Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre, Ford & Etal

A farm dedicated to the importance of Heavy Horses. Not only will visitors see the Clydesdales Heavy Horses but also other animals which would have been common place in the era of the working horse. These include the now very rare British Lop Eared Pigs, the Sebastopol Geese and the Oxford & Lincolnshire Longwool sheep.

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: TBC

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.hayfarmheavies.co.uk


Jarrow Hall, Jarrow

An Anglo-Saxon village complete with animal residents. Learn about the primitive, rare breed and rescued animals that would have been present in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria.

Re-Opens: Tuesday, 13th April 2021

Entry Cost: Yearly tickets are priced at Adults from £7, Children from £4 and Under 4’s Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://jarrowhall.com

Kielder Birds Of Prey, Kielder

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: http://www.kielderbopc.com


Kirkleatham Owl Centre, Redcar

Re-Opens: TBC

Carpark:

Entry Cost:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.kirkleathamowlcentre.co.uk


Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, Ponteland

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.northumberland.ac.uk/for-visitors/northumberland-college-zoo/

Newham Grange Farm, Middlesbrough

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://newhamgrangefarm.co.uk


North East Falconry, Ryton

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: http://www.northeastfalconry.co.uk


Northumberland Country Zoo, Morpeth

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.northumberlandzoo.co.uk

Ouseburn Farm, Newcastle

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.ouseburnfarm.org.uk


Pets Corner, Jesmond

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://urbangreennewcastle.org


Rising Sun Farm, Wallsend

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.risingsunfarm.co.uk

Saltwell Park, Gateshead

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost: Free

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/3958/Saltwell-Park


Tweddle Farm, Hartlepool

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.tweddlefarm.co.uk


Tynemouth Aquarium, Tynemouth

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.tynemouthaquarium.co.uk

Washington Wetlands, Washington

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/washington/


Wetheriggs Animal Rescue, Durham

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.wetheriggsanimalrescue.co.uk


Whitehouse Farm Centre, Morpeth

Re-Opens: TBC

Entry Cost:

Carpark:

Food/Drink Options:

Toilets:

Website: https://www.whitehousefarmcentre.co.uk

Family Friendly Outdoor Mini Golf Courses In And Around The North East

With Outdoor Sports & Leisure Facilities allowed to reopen from Monday 29th March 2021, it’s time to practice your par, hone your handicap, aim for an ace…or just have a bit of fun hitting a ball around a few obstacles! We, as a family, enjoy a game of crazy golf (don’t listen to the kids when they say we’re too competitive, they’re just as bad) and below are a list of our favourite family-friendly courses in and around the North East.

As always, the opening times listed are subject to change so check with the venue direct before planning a day out. With these activities being outdoors, they are weather dependant and can close early. Continue to follow COVID guidelines when out and about.

Adventure Golf At Adventure Valley, Durham

Made up of 18 themed holes, each with their own challenges, it’s guaranteed fun for all the family.

Opening Times: Daily from 10am

Ticket Price: £5.50 per person

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://www.adventurevalley.co.uk/things-to-do/adventure-golf/


The Bunker Crazy Golf, Seahouses

The 18 hole themed crazy golf course is a lovely trip out for the family. With each hole based on a local landmark, you can really get up close with the local history and culture of Seahouses and it’s surrounding areas.

Opening Times (Summer): Daily from 10am

Ticket Price: Adults £4, Under 16’s £3

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: http://www.thebunkerseahouses.co.uk/crazy-golf/


Crazy Putt Adventure Golf, Morpeth

All 18 holes are inspired by famous golf holes from around the world, mixed with a Sparrow Island Pirate Adventure, surrounded by Pirates, Lighthouse, Large killer Whale, Crossbones Skull, Rafts, Jolly Tavern and a Graveyard, this truly is a facility for everyone to enjoy.

Opening Times: 10am-10pm Monday to Friday and 9am-8pm Saturday & Sunday

Ticket Price: Family (2 adults, 2 children) £20

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://morpethgolfcentre.com/adventure-golf/


Dinosaur Encounter, Morpeth

This 12 hole course is designed to test the novice as well as the seasoned golfer. As golfers make their way around, they will see a selection of beautiful waterfalls and water features crashing down over Jurassic boulders and rocks. Shaded by looming palm trees and featuring a host of life-sized dinosaurs throughout the course, golfers will be delighted at the magnificent moving Spinosaurus and Brachiosaurus.

Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10am-5:00pm and Sunday & Bank holidays 10:30am-4:30pm

Ticket Price: Explorer Group (family with max. 2 adults) £18.00

Parking:

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Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://www.golf-attractions.com/dinosaur-encounter-morpeth/


Forgotten Garden Crazy Golf, Alnwick

This 13 hole course is filled with creatures, plants and beasts within a mystical world.

Opening Times: TBC

Ticket Price: £17 for 2 Adults and up to 4 Children

Parking:

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Food/Drink Options:

Website: http://www.alnwickgardenadventuregolf.co.uk

Haggerston Adventure Golf Course

Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you make your way through the meandering walkway and over the bridges but watch out for the water!

Opening Times: TBC

Ticket Price: Adults from £4.50, Children from £3.50

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://haggerstongolf.co.uk/adventure-golf/


Lost World Golf, Tynemouth Park

In a land that time forgot, amongst giant spitting dinosaurs come and test your skills on the award winning tropically landscaped adventure golf course.

Opening Times: Daily 9.30am-5pm

Ticket Price: Adults £5, Under 16’s £3

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://www.tynemouthpark.com/attraction/lost-world-adventure-golf/


Lofty’s Crazy Golf, Hartlepool

The themed 10 Hole Crazy Golf Course is based on Hartlepool’s glorious past and present with each hole having its own unique level of easiness or trickery. Sited next to the Promenade the course has been designed to suit players of all ages and abilities

Opening Times: TBC

Ticket Price: Group (4 Players) : £12.00

Parking:

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Food/Drink Options:

Website: http://loftyscrazygolf.co.uk


Mapping Mini Golf, Kielder

Mapping mini golf is located at Landal Kielder Waterside. The route has been designed based on maps of the Kielder area, one of the present landscape and the other dating from before Kielder Water was built. Fairways and obstacles have been created, with start points and end holes identified by place names spread out across its playing surface.

Opening Times: TBC

Ticket Price: £2.60 Adult, £2.10 Children

Parking:

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Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://www.kielderwaterside.com/activities/mapping-golf/


Parklands Mini Golf, Gosforth

The Mini Golf provides synthetic putting greens, obstacles and water features and has been designed to suit all abilities from the novice to the experienced golfer. Scorecards are provided to enhance the fun and competitiveness.

Opening Times: Everyday, 10am-6pm

Ticket Price: Family Ticket £14

Parking:

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Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://www.parklandsgolf.co.uk/play/mini-golf/

Saltburn Mini Golf, Saltburn-By-The-Sea

Small but popular course suitable for all ages.

Opening Times: Daily 10am-6pm

Ticket Price: £3 per person

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://m.facebook.com/SaltburnMiniGolf/


Smugglers Cove Golf, South Shields

A pirate-themed 12 hole mini adventure golf course set in the heart of South Shields seafront.

Opening Times: Daily from 10am

Ticket Price: Adults £5, Under 16’s £4

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: http://smugglerscovegolf.com


The Sneaky Fox Adventure Golf At The Jack & Jill, Saltburn-By-The-Sea

A licensed tea room with an 18 hole mini golf course attached. There’s also a play area and outdoor table tennis.

Opening Times: TBC

Ticket Price: Family Ticket £10

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://m.facebook.com/TheJackandJillTeaRoom


Stokesley Mini Golf, Middlesbrough

The course has 12 tricky holes for you to meander amongst ending with the trickiest hole on the course.

Opening Times (Sunmer): Monday to Friday 9am–9pm and Saturday & Sunday 8:30am–7pm

Ticket Price: Family Ticket £12.50

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: https://www.stokesleygolfrange.co.uk/crazy-golf/


Whitley Bay Mini Golf & Foot Golf

Whitley Bay Mini Golf & FootGolf has a scenic 9 and 18 hole pitch and putt golf course situated on the Links, Whitley Bay. The course is well kept with challenging bunkers and a coastline boarder.

Opening Times: TBC

Ticket Price: Family Ticket from £12.50

Parking:

Toilets:

Food/Drink Options:

Website: http://www.sportnorthtyneside.org.uk/whitleybay-mini-golf-and-footgolf/

Boys Vs. Girls – who do you think won?

Which is your favourite course? Let me know in the comments.

Chasing Waterfalls Around The North East

For me, there’s something magical about watching a waterfall, especially when they are in full flood following heavy rainfall. The constant movement and sounds are mesmerising. If you fancy going on a Waterfall Hunt, I’ve listed our favourites below:

Ashgill Force, Alston

Ashgill Force is a waterfall near Alston, Cumbria. The fall is located on Ashgill Beck and is reasonably easily accessible from the B6277 or from Garrigill village, downstream of the fall.

Image of Ashgill Force from Where2Walk

Cauldron Snout, River Tees

Cauldron Snout is a cascade on the upper reaches of the River Tees, immediately below the dam of the Cow Green Reservoir. It is upstream of High Force and is on the boundary between County Durham and Cumbria. The waterfall lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Image of Cauldron Snout from Where2Walk

Corby Letch, Edlingham

A fairytale waterfall hidden behind the trees which flows in to Edlingham Burn.

Image of Corby Letch from Tom Pugh Photography

Crammel Linn, Gilsland

For two miles above the village of Gilsland, the River Irthing flows through the Irthing Gorge. Within the upper section of the gorge lies the spectacular 25 foot Crammel Linn waterfall.

Image of Crammel Linn from Strolls With Poles

Davidson’s Linn, Morpeth

In the extensive Uswayford Forest lies arguably the finest waterfall in Northumberland, Davidson’s Linn.

Image of Davidson’s Linn from Northumberland National Park

Hareshaw Linn, Bellingham

The walk to Hareshaw Linn leaves the village of Bellingham and follows the pretty stream, Hareshaw Burn, up along the gorge through beautiful woodland before reaching the impressive waterfall.

Image of Hareshaw Linn from Northumberland National Park

Harmby Waterfall, Leyburn

Harmby Falls is an attractive and easy to access waterfall located in the small village of Harmby, a short distance to the east of Leyburn in Wensleydale.

Image of Harmby Waterfall from My Yorkshire Dales

Harthope Linn, Wooler

Harthope Burn carves a deep dale almost in a straight line north-eastwards down towards Wooler through Harthope valley in the Cheviot Hills. The burn tumbles over the Harthope Linn and down to Langleeford.

Image of Harthope Linn from Geology North

Hen Hole, The Cheviots

There are a number of ways to reach the Hen Hole. The long but relatively flat approach from Hethpool, at the northern end of the College Valley, is probably the most gentle introduction to one of the most remote and primeval landscapes in the Cheviot Hills.

Image of Hen Hole from Mart In The Hills

High Force & Low Force, Durham Dales

High Force is one of the most impressive waterfalls in England. The River Tees has been plunging the 68 foot into this gorge for thousands of years.

Image of High Force from Raby Estates

Hindhope Linn, Rochester

Hindhope Linn is a spectacular waterfall in a quiet, enchanting dell. Blakehopeburnhaugh is at the northern end of the Kielder Forest Drive and is the starting point for the Hindhope Linn walking trail.

Image of Hindhope Linn from Forestry England

Jesmond Dene Falls, Jesmond

One of Jesmond Dene’s most famous spots is the Waterfall. Approach the waterfall from the bridge near the northern playing field for an unmissable view and photo opportunity. To the right as you cross the bridge are the ruins of a fourteenth century water mill, one of several mills using the Ouseburn power for grinding corn from surrounding farms.

Image of Jesmond Dene Falls from Urban Green Newcastle

Linhope Spout, Ingram

Take time out to see Linhope Spout, a spectacular waterfall with a 60 foot chute of water which lands in a plunge pool 6ft wide and 16ft deep. Great place for a family picnic in the Breamish Valley.

Image of Linhope Spout from Britain Express

Roughting Linn, Wooler

Adventurers can find Roughting Linn by walking down the track leading to Roughting Linn Farm. The waterfall is situated 3 km. from Kimmerston near Wooler. The lovely waterfall is nestled in a hidden and secluded valley location.

Image of Roughting Linn

Summerhill Force & Gibson’s Cave, Durham Dales

Within the beautiful valley of Teesdale, Durham Dales lies a waterfall called Summerhill Force but because of the recess behind the waterfall it is more affectionately known as Gibson’s Cave. Local legend has it that in the 16th Century there was an outlaw named William Gibson who was on the run from the Constables at Barnard Castle. It is said that he hid here in the cave like recess of the waterfall. Apparently he was locally a very liked man and people used to bring him clothes and food as he lived there, hidden behind the water.

Image of Summerhill Force

From Monday, 29th March 2021, the government guidelines change from “Stay At Home” to “Minimise Travel” so why not take advantage of these local beauty spots here in our region? I know we will be! Let me know in the comments which North East Waterfall is your favourite (mines Gibson’s Cave purely because of the name 😉).

Comprehensive directions for all of these waterfalls are readily available through Google.

Reasons Why We Love Premier Inn

When looking for a hotel in the UK, the first chain I check is always Premier Inn; time and time again they’ve proved they offer good quality accommodation for a really decent price. Don’t just take my word for it though, check out the likes of Trip Advisor where Premier Inn performs consistently very well.

So what is it about Premier Inn that we, as a family, love so much? I’ve listed our reasons below:

Brilliant Family Rooms

We find Premier Inn to be very Child Friendly. Family Rooms (consisting of a King Size Bed and Pull-Out Beds) are readily available with free cot hire if needed. When travelling with older children, some Premier Inn’s offer interconnecting rooms.

Free Wi-Fi

Get online during your stay with Premier Inn’s Free Wi-Fi which is available in all of their hotels.

Good Night Guarantee

Premier Inn are so confident you’ll have a good nights sleep in their hotels that, if you don’t, they’ll give you the cost of your stay back.

In-Room Facilities

All Premier Inn rooms have en-suites which include a power shower. The rooms also have FreeView TV’s as well as tea and coffee making facilities. Irons and hairdryers are available on request.

Kids Eat Free

When an adult orders a full Premier Inn Breakfast, up to two under 16’s eat breakfast for free. Bargain!

Over 800 Hotels Throughout The UK

Whether you’re looking for a coastal, country or city break, with over 800 hotels throughout the UK, there’s bound to be a Premier Inn close to your destination.

Pillow Talk

Premier Inn believe they’ve cracked the code to the “Best Ever Bed”. From the pocket sprung luxury Hypnos King Size bed to the super comfy hypoallergenic pillows (with the option of soft or firm in every room) they really are the beds of dreams. If you want to recreate the Premier Inn bed combination at home, the mattresses and pillows are available to buy (Premier Inn’s pillows recently went viral on TikTok following the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend).

Rooms From £29

Premier Inn regularly offer rooms from as little as £29 per night. This price doesn’t come with loads of ridiculous restrictions either, last week I booked a Premier Inn room in Central Glasgow during the May Half term for 2 adults and 2 children for £29!

Charity Work

Premier Inn play very active roles in the community. Last year, they donated over half a million meals worth of surplus food to charity. They’re also partnered with the fantastic Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and since 2012, they’ve raised over £15m for GOSH through their teams, guests and suppliers.

Sustainability

Premier Inn are committed to reducing their carbon footprint. They use 100% renewable energy to power their hotels and have solar panels installed on over 180 of them. They’ve also planted roof gardens on some of the hotels to help support local biodiversity, and encourage birds, bees and other wildlife to thrive at their buildings.

So, that’s why we love Premier Inn. Let me know in the comments if you’re also a fan of the chain.

Coffee Shops With Outdoor Seating Areas In And Around The North East

On Monday, 12th April 2021, government guidelines change meaning hospitality venues can reopen their outdoor seating areas to the public. For me, you can keep your pints and your beer gardens but sitting in a coffee shop with a hot drink watching the world goes by is one of the things I’ve really, really missed.

Below, are a few of my favourite coffee shops who are preparing to welcome us back soon.

ARLO, Jesmond

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 12th April 2021

https://arlojesmond.com


Boatyard, Cullercoats

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

https://boatyardcullercoats.co.uk


Cafe In The Park, Exhibition Park

Cafe In The Park closed last year but there are plans for a new cafe to open in its place very soon. Click the link below for updates

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/new-cafe-open-newcastles-exhibition-19461678


Caffè Bertorelli, Newbiggin-By-The-Sea

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

http://www.caffebertorelli.co.uk


Dibbleys, Tynemouth

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 12th April 2021

https://dibbleystynemouth.business.site


Dil & The Bear At The Station, Whitley Bay

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

http://dilandthebear.com


The Garage, Shieldfield

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 12th April 2021

https://www.facebook.com/thegarageNCL/


Hedleys Riverside Coffee Shop, Newburn

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

http://www.hedleysriversidecoffeeshop.co.uk


The Hideout, Seaburn

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

https://www.thehideoutcoffeehouse.co.uk


Hive, Jarrow

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

https://www.hivecoffeecompany.uk


Kiln, Ouseburn

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

https://m.facebook.com/kilnouseburn/


Knights By The Burn, Newburn

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 14th April 2021

https://m.facebook.com/knightsbytheburn


Le Petits Choux, Newcastle

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 12th April 2021

http://www.les-petits-choux.co.uk


Liosi’s Sicilian Cafe Bar, Newcastle

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 12th April 2021

http://liosiscafe.com


Mister Ridleys, Blyth

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

https://www.facebook.com/misterridleys/


Scott & Wilson, North Shields

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 12th April 2021

http://scottandwilson.co.uk


The Secret Garden Coffee Shop, Durham

Outdoor Seating Reopens: 12th April 2021

https://m.facebook.com/secretgardencoffeeshop


Woods Coffee, Tynemouth

Outdoor Seating Reopens: TBC

http://www.misterwoods.co.uk

If, like me, you’re looking forward to sitting down with a hot drink, let me know in the comments the first Coffee House you’ll be visiting.

My Top Picks Of Easter Treats Available To Order Now

Easter Sunday falls on the 4th April this year and it’s just over two weeks away. If you’re thinking of treating yourself for Easter weekend, now is the perfect time to get your orders in. I’ve listed a few of the things I’ve seen on offer this year that look absolutely delicious! Let me know in the comments if anything’s caught your eye.

Bake For The Soul, Killingworth

One of the items available at Bake For The Soul is this selection of mini vegan and GF eggs all wrapped up in a cute pink egg box.

https://bakeforthesoul.com/

Catling Bakery, Cramlington

Catling Bakery’s Dessert Trailer is parked up at Manor Walks Thursday – Sunday, 10am to 8pm. From there, you can grab loads of sweet treats including these cheesecake filled Easter Egg halves.

https://www.facebook.com/CBltddesserts/

Coffee On The Corner, Lemington

Following on from their super successful Valentine’s and Mother’s Day menus, orders for Easter are already flying in at Coffee On The Corner.

https://www.facebook.com/1ROKEBYSTREETNE158RR/

Cookie Freaks, Tynemouth

The North East home to cookie pies and the ultimate stuffed cookies, Cookie Freaks update their website regularly so keep checking back.

https://cookiefreaks.co.uk/

Cookie Mad, Whickham

All things Cookie Dough including this filled Easter Egg half on offer at Cookie Mad.

https://www.facebook.com/cookiemad.xx/

Foodie Goodness Bakes, South Shields

These Easter Boxes from Foodie Goodness Bakes include brownies, cookies and scotch egg creme egg.

https://m.facebook.com/foodie.goodness.bakes/

Heavenly Bites, Newcastle

These hand painted shortbread biscuits from Heavenly Bites are so pretty!

https://www.facebook.com/HeavenlyBitesNcl/

Laura’s Little Blue Bakes, Whitley Bay

How cute is this chocolate smash Easter Bunny bum? It’s filled with Creme Eggs, Bunny Malteasters, Flumps, miniature mini eggs and mixture of sweeties.

https://m.facebook.com/Lauraslittlebluebakes/

M&H Bakes, Blyth

Easter boxes and tray bakes available from M & H Bakes.

https://www.facebook.com/H.m.Bakes1/

The Pudding Parlour, Prudhoe

This Easter Bites Box can be sent anywhere in the UK, perfect for friends and family that live out of the area.

https://thepuddingparlour.com/

Rachael’s Sweet Treats, Blyth

I’m absolutely loving this Easter themed Pic ‘n’ Mix box.

https://www.facebook.com/RachSweetTreats/

Truffles Galore, Newcastle

Brownie truffle cups filled with chocolate truffle and topped with chocolate eggs – ultimate indulgence!

https://instagram.com/truffles_galore

You need something to store all these goodies in, right? Amelia’s Dreamhouse has got your back with these super cute personalised tote bags.

https://m.facebook.com/Ameliasdreamhouse/

Family Camping Holidays – Tips & Hints For Camping With Kids

With the current COVID guidelines in place, this summer is looking like the perfect time to fully embrace holidays in the UK. If done well, a camping holiday can make amazing memories. Most children love the novelty of sleeping under canvas, waking up to find themselves in the great outdoors. Camping trips are a brilliant way for families to spend time together, away from the stresses of everyday life. But being able to pack everything needed to live away from home, even if it’s just for a couple of nights, takes some planning.

Here are some things to bear in mind to ensure an enjoyable time is had by all.

Checklist

This isn’t extensive but some of the main essentials are listed here:

Food

For us, meal planning depends entirely on what the site has to offer. If there is a pub or cafe close by, we tend to bypass cooking in the tent and eat there. If that’s not an option and someone needs to be chef for the trip, we go for easy, crowd pleasing meals; curry, jacket potatoes, chilli, pasta. We’ve cooked on disposable BBQ’s, George Foreman Grills and Teppanyaki Grills, we’ve even brought the Actifry Air Fryer along on trips. If there’s a supermarket close to the site, after pitching up, we nip there to stock up. Alternatively, you can arrange an online shop to be delivered to your pitch on some sites. Whatever the arrangements for meals, make sure there are plenty of snacks and plenty of drinks. Keeping everyone’s “hangry” at bay pretty much guarantees a reduction in tantrums.

Sleep

Adjusting to sleeping outside can take a few nights to get used to, not ideal if you’re only away for a weekend. Camping in Summer usually means late nights and early starts. When the sun rises, tents tend to get very bright and very warm. Blackout bedrooms are becoming increasingly popular with modern tents so, if you’re buying a new one or upgrading your old, this is something to consider.

Warmth

No matter how warm it is during the day, temperatures drop at night. We pack as many blankets as we can so, if temperatures fall dramatically, we can layer up. For me, bed socks are a must. I find as long as my feet are toasty, the rest of me is warm.

Top Tips

• Do a test run, especially if you’ve never pitched your tent before.

• Pack clothes for all weathers.

• Try and keep warm & dry.

• It’s OK if the children become a bit feral.

• Relax and embrace the lack of routine.

Our Favourite Camp Sites

When booking a site, there are a few things I look for – electric hook up, toilets and *something* to occupy the children are high up on the list. On site food options are an added bonus. The below sites are within a few hours drive from Newcastle and they all get a thumbs up from us.


Beamish Holiday Park, Co. Durham

Previously called Bobby Shafto Caravan Park, this is a bit of a marmite site – some love it, some hate it. We’ve always enjoyed our stays here although, being located on the top of a hill, it can get a bit windy! With an on-site shop, bar, play park and recently built toilet and shower block, it’s got everything we want from a site.

https://www.bobbyshaftocaravanpark.co.uk


Boe Rigg, Charlton

Remote, wild, spacious and scenic are all terms rightly fitting The Boe Rigg, in Northumberland’s National Park a few miles from the market town of Bellingham. Includes an on-site toilet/shower block, bar and restaurant. The food served here is outstanding.

http://www.theboerigg.co.uk


Country View Campsite, Darlington

Excellent site for families with an onsite pub, toilet and shower facilities.

https://thecountrymanbolam.co.uk/page/caravan-camping


Fallowfield Dene, Hexham

In its secure rural setting, this site is located in secluded, mature woodland with all the facilities you would expect of a modern caravan and camping site.

https://www.fallowfielddene.co.uk


Kielder Campsite, Kielder

A rustic, independent site situated in a remote and quiet part of Northumberland. Dark sky friendly with no mobile signal and lots of space to relax.

https://kieldercampsite.co.uk


Stanwix, Silloth

The crème de la crème of campsites. Indoor and outdoor pools, bowling alley, cafe, bars, shop, laundrette – literally everything! It’s not called “Cumbria’s premier holiday centre” for nothing.

https://www.stanwix.com


Thorpe Farm, Barnard Castle

Located on the border of North Yorkshire, Thorpe Farm is home to a holiday park with camping & caravan facilities, The Courtyard Restaurant and a farm shop. Perfect stop for a memorable family day out or short break.

https://www.thorpefarm.co.uk


Waren Caravan & Camping Park, Bamburgh

A park set within an exceptional natural environment with superb facilities which means that you have everything you need for a completely self-sufficient break in an idyllic location.

https://www.meadowhead.co.uk/parks/waren/

What are your top tips for taking children camping? What are your essential items? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment below.

Celebrating Easter 2021

When Easter 2020 arrived, we were in the very early days of National Lockdown. Twelve months later and we’re still living under COVID restrictions so we should be pros at celebrating occasions at home. If you’re looking for ways to make Easter 2021 special, I’ve listed the ways we’ll be marking the day below.

Good Friday – 2nd April 2021

Easter Sunday – 4th April 2021

Easter Monday – 5th April 2021

Craft Time

We love to decorate the house so a few weekends before Easter we pull out the crafts and start making. If you’re struggling for ideas, I’ve put together a Pinterest board for inspiration here https://pin.it/3DxOFRo

Easter Themed Breakfast

Start the day with a fun family breakfast filled with simple and delicious Easter breakfast treats.

Get Your Bake On

The long weekend that comes with Easter means there’s often time for baking.
Whether you opt for traditional hot cross buns and simnel cake or tasty chocolate brownies and iced biscuits, there’s loads of easy Easter baking ideas to get the kids involved with.

Plan An Egg Hunt

Keep the kids entertained over Easter by leading them on an egg hunt around the house and garden. Now that my two are a little older, I plan the hunt with tricky clues that lead them to the location of the sweet stash.

Traditional Roast Dinner

I think Easter is the only time we have a lamb roast (I prefer other meats). If you’re planning a Sunday Lunch, check out this post for perfect Yorkshire Puddings https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/perfect-yorkshire-puddings/

Dress For The Occassion

Growing up, I always received a new outfit at Easter and it’s something I’ve done for Evie and Harry. We might not be allowed to go out to celebrate Easter but why not dress up for the day anyway?

Video Calls With Family

According to current government guidelines, the rules for social contact, which will be in place over Easter, state rule of 6 or 2 households can meet outdoors. For those not in your bubble, be sure to include them in your day with a phone or video call.

Easter Movie Night

Relax in front of the TV and watch an Easter themed movie. Our top picks include

• Hop

• Peter Rabbit

• Rise Of The Guardians

The Most Extra Hot Chocolate

You might have seen these circulating on social media. This delicious hot chocolate is made by pouring hot milk over a chocolate egg topped with cream, marshmallows, sprinkles and anything else you fancy. Totally indulgent but a lovely way to end the day.

After Hours

This ones for the adults to enjoy once the little ones are tucked up in bed. Unwind with an Irish Cream served *in* confectionery – alcohol and chocolate? Yes please!

However you’re celebrating, have a safe and enjoyable time!

What’s On Over Easter Half Term In And Around The North East

For most, schools break up on Friday, 26th March, returning on Monday, 12th April. With restrictions easing slightly on Monday, 29th March 2021, this half term break will allow us to travel a little further afield and enjoy places that are free to reopen if we want to.

As always, please continue to follow government guidelines and any COVID procedures venues have in place.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

All of these events are subject to change so please check with the organisers directly to confirm they’re still going ahead.

Blyth’s Easter Egg-Travaganza https://www.facebook.com/groups/blytheastereggtravaganza/

Easter Activity Day Camps at Adventure Valley https://fb.me/e/27wc8992b

Easter At Nature’s Edge https://fb.me/e/2EIDbmRpn

Ducklings Day Care Easter Holiday Club https://fb.me/e/hr5WwtkeQ

Kingston Park’s Easter Tombola https://fb.me/e/6RdhtHPQG

Plant Pots Forest School Holiday Club https://fb.me/e/4dl3IDDO7

North East Wild’s Easter Holiday Club https://fb.me/e/1gDWq9IW2

Stomping Grounds Forest School Easter Holiday Club https://fb.me/e/3XBk7iiiT

Sunderland’s Experience Spring Trail https://fb.me/e/2bp8AyG4y

EASTER HUNTS

All of these events are subject to change so please check with the organisers directly to confirm the planned hunts are still happening.

Alnwick’s Duck Hunt https://www.alnwickroundtable.co.uk/the-duck-hunt.html

Cramlington’s Easter Treasure Hunt https://fb.me/e/I20yXzVe

Hexham Abbey’s Family Easter Egg Trail https://fb.me/e/1IgvQEZms

Howdon Community Hub’s Easter Fun Day https://fb.me/e/49PIRL5om

Marsden Road’s Easter Bingo Trail https://fb.me/e/1jOiMkm5Q

Mr Mixologist’s Consett Egg Drop 2021 https://fb.me/e/6eB90nF6U

National Trust Easter Hunts https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/join-the-easter-egg-hunts

Northumberlandia’s De-coder Trail https://fb.me/e/bZtkDVd3o

Paws For A Cuppa Easter Egg Hunt https://fb.me/e/274qilD2T

Pegswood Parish Council’s Easter Trail https://fb.me/e/4Rull76q6

Slaley Messy Church Easter Trail https://fb.me/e/DVFriVLr

Small Paws Egg Hunt https://fb.me/e/G1T6JdgN

Sunderland Easter Egg Hunt https://fb.me/e/17q9NJjC3

Tynemouth Park Easter Event https://www.facebook.com/tynemouthpark/

Wallsend’s Easter Scavenger Hunt In The Park https://fb.me/e/1Yj4P1qMq

Winlaton Mill’s Easter Egg Trail https://fb.me/e/1j4kmLdjK

OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS

All of these reopening dates are subject to change so please check with the venues directly before planning a day out.

Alnwick Garden reopens from 29th March 2021 – https://www.alnwickgarden.com

Bamburgh Castle reopens its grounds from 29th March 2021 – https://www.bamburghcastle.com

Beamish Hall’s Adventures In Wonderland https://fb.me/e/3onvcEBKF

Belsay Hall, Castle and Grounds reopens its grounds from 29th March 2021 – https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/belsay-hall-castle-and-gardens

Easter Adventure Quest At Warkworth Castle https://fb.me/e/1aKXnOcK6

SPORTING ACTIVITIES

All of these reopening dates are subject to change so please check with the venues directly before planning a day out.

All Out Adventures, Slaley reopens 29th March 2021 – https://alloutadventures.co.uk

Endless Adventures North East reopens 29th March 2021 – https://endlessadventurenortheast.com/

Family Paddle Boarding At Hexham https://fb.me/e/1f3PfL95y

Go Ape, Matfen reopens 29th March 2021 – https://goape.co.uk

VIRTUAL EVENTS

All of these events are subject to change so please check with the organisers directly to confirm they’re still on.

Easter Kids Disco https://fb.me/e/1cpFt8KUM

Easter Story Time https://fb.me/e/3zVtYV8gH

This post will be getting updated regularly so keep checking back.

Finest Fish And Chips From Around The North East

Who doesn’t love the smell – and taste – of Fish & Chips? The British staple has been a family favourite for generations and, although these days, the dish is seen as more of an occasional treat, there’s something special about getting that paper wrapped parcel while the scent of salt and vinegar fills the air. If you fancy enjoying a chippy tea, I’ve listed our favourite chip shops below.

The Canny Cod, Newcastle

Address: Cross Morpeth Street, Spital Tongues, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 4AT

Website: https://cannycod.co.uk

Telephone Number: 0191 2211664

Chips from The Canny Cod

Carlos, Alnwick

Address: 7-9 Market Street, Alnwick, NE66 1SS

Telephone Number: 01665 602787

Curry & Chips from Carlos

Colman’s, South Shields

Address: 176-186 Ocean Road, South Shields NE33 2JQ

Website: https://colmansfishandchips.co.uk

Telephone Number: 0191 4561202

Colman’s

Fenham Fish Bar, Newcastle

Address: 21 Stamfordham Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE5 3JQ

Telephone Number: 0191 2860014

Sausage & Chips from Fenham Fish Bar

Ginos, Blyth

Address: 200 Plessey Road, Blyth, NE24 3HZ

Telephone Number: 01670 353172

Fish & Chips from Ginos

Harbour Fish Bar, Amble

Address: 1 Broomhill Street, Amble, NE65 0AN

Telephone Number: 01665 710442

Harbour Fish Bar

Marshall’s, Tynemouth

Address: 33 Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4DZ

Telephone Number: 0191 2572435


Pantrinis, Whitley Bay

Address: 11-13 Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay, NE26 1LX

Telephone Number: 0191 2523737

Sausage & Chips from Pantrinis

Pinnacles, Seahouses

Address: 17-19 Main Street, Seahouses, NE68 7RE

Telephone Number: 01665 720708


Waterford Arms, Seaton Sluice

Address: Collywell Bay Road, Seaton Sluice, NE26 4QZ

Website: https://waterford-arms.co.uk

Telephone Number: 0191 2370450

Fish & Chips from Waterford Arms

Waterfront, North Shields

Address: 22 Union Quay, North Shields, NE30 1HJ

Telephone Number: 0191 2961721

Chips from Waterfront

The Willow Chippy, Wallsend & Walkergate

Address: 4 Willow Grove, Wallsend, NE28 6PN and 77 Coutts Road, Walkergate, NE6 4SB

Telephone Number: 0191 2623434 and 0191 2765681

Fish & Chips from Willow Chippy, Wallsend

Let me know in the comments which chip shop is your favourite.

Podcast Recommendations

These ones are definitely NOT safe to listen to in front of little ears.

The All Killa No Filla Podcast

Join comedians Rachel Fairburn and Kiri Pritchard-McLean as they explore their shared passion for serial killers. Each episode the pair will talk all things murder and macabre and have a right laugh doing it.

Casefile

Casefile shares stories from around the world that prove fact is scarier than fiction.

Damn Daniel Podcast

This podcast is 100% fuego! Brought to you by Danny Mcloughlin, Dean Coughlin and the wonderfully awkward James Allen, the three comedians share stories, their thoughts and general craic.

Have A Word Podcast

Comedy podcast with UK comedians Adam Rowe and Dan Nightingale.

My Dad Wrote A P*rno

Imagine if your Dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it and pretend it had never happened – but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he’s decided to read it to the world in this award-winning comedy podcast. With the help of his friends, James Cooper and Alice Levine, Jamie will be reading a chapter each episode and discovering more about his father than he ever bargained for.

Murder Most Irish

True Crime podcast based around cases from Ireland with feminism and some utter nonsense thrown in for good measure.

The Parapod

The ParaPod is a podcast covering all things mysterious and supernatural. Hosted by Ian Boldsworth (voice of reason) and Barry Dodds (gullible believer), join them as they debate mysteries famous and rare, conspiracies, the paranormal, explore hauntings, and delve headfirst into the unknown.

The Paul Smith Podcast – What’s The Story Paul & Lori

Paul Smith (Hot Water Comedy funny man) and Lori Callow bring their new podcast where they’ll be chatting with guests about a whole range of topics.

Red Handed

RedHanded is the podcast that jumps head first into all manner of macabre madness. They cover everything from big time serial killers (and those you may never have heard of), to hauntings, possessions, disturbing mysteries, bizarre whodunits and basically anything that tickles their creepy fancy. So, join them, plug in, sit back and prepare for scares.

Sloss & Humphries On The Road

My OG of podcasts. Join Netflix’s Daniel Sloss and Blyth lad Kai Humphries as they share their thoughts and then insult you for being a muggle.

So yeah, conspiracies, comedy and killers are definitely my genres! Let me know in the comments what your favourite podcasts are.

Ways To Make Your Daily Walk A Little More Interesting

For the next few weeks, government guidelines state everyone should “Stay Local” and avoid unnecessary travel. Twelve months after we were first told we must “Stay At Home” I’m sure everyone has exhausted all of the walking routes in their area. So how do you make your daily walk a little bit more exciting? Below are a few options that are super engaging and fun.

HUNTEE

Brief: Free treasure hunts on your phone to explore the world around you.

Area Covered: Tees Valley

Tell Me More: Each Huntee is a digital treasure hunt, encouraging players to explore the world around them. To date the Huntee platform has 27 digital treasure hunts around the region. Players can compete against the clock to earn the highest score and even collect medals & badges as they progress. Huntee is a Progressive Web App that can easily be played on all modern smartphones and tablets in the web-browser. No app download is required.

How Do I Play: https://www.myhuntee.com


HUNT FUN

Brief: Town and city treasure hunts

Area Covered: UK & Europe

Tell Me More: Follow the directions and solve the clues along the way. Treasure Hunts take you past many local attractions and places of interest, but more importantly they get you looking around opening your eyes to many other things you would ordinarily walk straight past! A hunt will take about 2 hours to complete and is ideal for families.

How Do I play: http://www.huntfun.co.uk


GEOCACHING

Brief: Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.

Area Covered: Worldwide

Tell Me More: Have a read of our recent blog post about geocaching here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/15/a-guide-to-geocaching/

How Do I Play: https://www.geocaching.com/play


LITTLE WOOD WALKERS

Brief: Scavenger hunts, challenge cards and forest activities designed to get kids outdoors, one wood at a time.

Area Covered: North East

Tell Me More: There’s something going on in the woods and Tailsy the Squirrel needs your help. Little Wood Walkers allows your child to choose their own story through the wood, whilst following their chosen characters story and completing challenges along the way. Add an extra element to the story with more challenge cards and scavenger hunts.

How Do I Play: https://www.littlewoodwalkers.co.uk


TREASURE TRAILS

Brief: Explore the UK with one of 1,000 different Murder Mystery, Treasure Hunt or Spy Mission themed self-guided Treasure Trails

Area Covered: UK

Tell Me More: We’ve completed loads of Treasure Trails, read about them here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2020/11/15/treasure-trails-the-fun-way-to-explore/

How Do I Play: https://www.treasuretrails.co.uk

So get out, get exploring and enjoy your local area.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of the above and what you thought of them.

Serving Platter Inspiration

As restrictions begin to ease and temperatures start to rise, now is the perfect time to grab a blanket and enjoy some al fresco dining. And my favourite way of serving food, platters, are a delicious alternative to the usual picnic spread. Struggling for ideas? Below are a selection of platter styles that can be created at home or ordered in through local businesses.

Afternoon Tea Platter

Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes. This one from Monsieur Crepe Cafe has everything you’d expect from a traditional Afternoon Tea and can be ordered through https://www.facebook.com/monsieurcrepeuk/

Monsieur Crepe Cafe

Breakfast Platter

Start your day the best possible way by watching the sunrise and indulging in breakfast on the beach. This brunch box from Batch Bakery can be ordered here https://www.facebook.com/batchbakerycafe/

Batch Bakery

Charcuterie Platter

Charcuterie boards are essentially meat’s response to a cheese board. Think meats with different textures, pickles, chutney, bread and crackers. Cheese Louise creates these beauties and they can be ordered by visiting https://www.facebook.com/cheeselouise45/

Cheese Louise

Crudités Platter

Colourful vegetables and dips make for a lovely, refreshing snack. Breadsticks, falafel and nuts can be added as well.

Morrisons

Fruit Platter

An epic fruit platter is a perfect sweet treat to finish off a picnic. It adds colour and beauty plus it is so simple to make. People can choose their favorite fruit and pots of chocolate dipping sauce and yoghurt complete the platter. This fruit plate is from Newcastle Deli, http://www.newcastledeli.co.uk

Newcastle Deli

Ploughman’s Platter

A ploughman’s lunch is a cold meal based around bread, cheese and onions, usually accompanied by butter and pickles. Additional items such as ham, green salad, hard boiled eggs and fruit can also be added. This one from The Poachers Cottage is amazing! https://www.facebook.com/The-Poachers-Cottage-182678291761643/

The Poachers Cottage

Sandwich & Wrap Platter

Who doesn’t love a sandwich? Offering different breads and a variety of fillings is a guaranteed group pleaser. This one is from Cracker 4 Cheese https://www.facebook.com/Crackers_4_cheese-105952364470072/

Crackers 4 Cheese

Spicy Snacks Platter

Think pakoras, bhajis, samosas, kebabs and panipuri. The good thing about these is they’re just as delicious served cold. This selection is from the recently launched Desi Munch Box, https://instagram.com/desimunchbox

Desi Munch Box

Sushi Platter

Nigiri, sashimi, maki, temaki and uramaki – heaven for any sushi fan. The masters of sushi, Nudo, have an unreal selection on offer https://nudosushibox.com

Nudo Sushi Box

Seafood Platter

Serve the ultimate “plateau de fruits de mer” by offering prawns, langoustines, lobster, oysters, scallops, mussels, clams and crab with mignonette sauce, cocktail sauce, and lemon. Alternatively, order from The Cullercoats Fish Lass https://www.facebook.com/thecullercoatsfishlass/

The Cullercoats Fish Lass

Wondering where to enjoy eating outdoors? Check out this post which lists our favourite parks around the North East https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/28/north-east-picnic-areas-with-childrens-play-parks-and-take-away-hot-drinks/

Reasons Why We Love Morrisons

A few years ago, Morrisons was hands down my least favourite supermarket. There was just *something* about their stores I didn’t like. And while the other big supermarkets moved to offer online shopping, Morrisons didn’t – they seemed to stick their head in the sand hoping the internet would disappear. This confirmed what I’d always suspected about Morrisons – it was dated and out of touch.

In recent years though, huge improvements have been taking place and Morrisons is now up there with their rivals. It’s not only me that’s noticing these positive changes, between November 2020 and January 2021, Morrisons saw better growth than any of the other ‘big four’ supermarkets, with sales up 14.3%, according to market analyst Kantar.

So, after avoiding the place for many years, below are the reasons why I now love Morrisons

Afternoon Tea

Priced at just £5 per person, in terms of value for money, I honestly don’t think this one can be beaten. You get everything you’d expect from a classic Afternoon Tea including a selection of sandwiches, pork pie, fruit scone with jam & cream and a variety of cakes. Due to current government guidelines, the cafes are open for takeaway only so, although afternoon tea can’t be enjoyed on site, you can pick one up to take home or to a local park. The afternoon teas (and everything else on their cafe menu) can be ordered via https://www.morrisons.com/cafe/splash

Morrisons Afternoon Tea For Two

Dine In Deal

A Dine In Deal to compete with the ever popular M&S meal deal, Morrisons current Dine In Deal is a main for 2, a side for 2, a dessert for 2 and a bottle of wine for only £12. It’s a perfect lockdown night in treat. Check what’s available through the offer here https://groceries.morrisons.com/offers/the-best-dine-in-for-12-1004780728

Dine In Deal

Eggs

In February 2020, Morrisons stopped selling eggs from caged chickens and now only sells free-range eggs.

No More Eggs From Caged Chickens

Food Boxes

“From essentials to occasions and surprises – there’s lots in a box!” Whether you’re ordering for yourself or to send to someone else, Morrisons have created a range of boxes to be delivered straight to yours – or someone else’s door. The range includes the cupboard essentials box, family meal box and the big night in box. Morrisons have recently added Recipe Boxes which are good alternatives to the likes of Gusto and Hello Fresh. I’m yet to try Morrisons Food Boxes but I’ve heard great things about them. Want to learn more about the boxes? https://www.morrisons.com/food-boxes/

5 Meals To Feed A Family Of 4 Box

Grocery Delivery Through Amazon Prime

Morrisons has teamed up with online giant Amazon to create a brand new way for customers to get their shopping. With a minimum spend of £15 and two hour delivery slots (usually same day but occasionally next day) Morrisons On Amazon is ideal for small top ups and essential items. Eligible Prime members can also enjoy free same-day delivery on orders over £40. We’ve used the service a few times now and I think it’s brilliant. To see if Morrisons On Amazon is operating in your area, check https://www.amazon.co.uk/alm/storefront?almBrandId=TW9ycmlzb25z

Food To Order

Morrisons Food To Order range promises to take the stress out of preparing food for your celebration by offering ready to eat platters and desserts. Simply place your order, collect and serve. Due to COVID, Morrisons Food To Order service has been temporarily suspended but if you’d like to see what they normally offer, browse here https://my.morrisons.com/foodtoorder/

Continental Platter

Too Good To Go

Morrisons customers have made use of 100,000 meals and saved 100 tonnes of food from going to waste by using the ground-breaking app, Too Good to Go, over the last year. Morrisons is the first supermarket to use the app, which is designed to prevent edible food being thrown away. For just a couple of pound, Morrisons customers can grab a box like the one pictured below. You have to be quick to get one of these as they’re always in very high demand.

Morrisons Too Good To Go

Work In The Community

Morrisons have really stepped up during the pandemic: from offering discount on groceries for key and essential workers to playing their part in the ongoing fight against food poverty, they’ve led by example and for that they should be truly proud.

Over half term, Morrisons donated 60,000 free pizza making kits to help stop hunger during the holidays

Do you enjoy shopping in Morrisons? Let me know in the comments if you’re a Morrisons fan like me.

Takeaway Afternoon Teas Currently Available In And Around The North East

From Monday, 8th March 2021, Step 1 of the governments Road Map Out Of Lockdown begins.

This means, outdoor recreation (not just exercise) with your household/support bubble or one other person is allowed. It’s not a massive change to the current guidelines but it does permit picnics. So why not grab a blanket and get yourself to your favourite park? Our favourite parks are listed here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/28/north-east-picnic-areas-with-childrens-play-parks-and-take-away-hot-drinks/

Don’t fancy cooking? Order one of these Takeaway Afternoon Teas – just don’t forget your flask and cutlery.

BECKLEBERRYS, BLAYDON

Price: £15

What’s Included: 4 bite sized fruit scones, 2 mini cheese and onion quiche, 2 mini broccoli and stilton quiche, 2 chocolate shimmer tarts, 2 bakewell tarts, 2 continental chocolate cakes, 2 mini cheesecakes, 2 banana loaf slices, 2 assorted mini delices plus one tub of clotted cream and one miniature pot of strawberry jam

How To Order: https://beckleberrys.myshopify.com

Beckleberry’s

COFFEE ON THE CORNER, LEMINGTON

Price: from £10 per person

What’s Included: sandwiches, cream scone, savoury bakes and cakes

How To Order: https://www.facebook.com/1ROKEBYSTREETNE158RR/

Coffee On The Corner

THE FRENCH OVEN

Price: £11 per person

What’s Included: a selection of sandwiches, scones, miniature savouries, brownies and cream cakes

How To Order: https://www.frenchoven.co.uk

The French Oven (2 persons)

GRANTS, CORBRIDGE

Price: £20 for one person, £35 for two

What’s Included: Afternoon Tea for one person includes a slice of ham and egg pie, slice of quiche, sausage roll, cheese scone, plain scones, chocolate truffle, raspberry and white chocolate flapjack, slice of Victoria sponge, slice of lemon drizzle and a brownie

How To Order: https://grantsbakery.co.uk

Grants

LAZY DAYZ CAFE, BLYTH

Price: from £12 per person

What’s Included: sandwich, pie, scone and cake

How To Order: https://www.facebook.com/lazydayzcafe/

Lazy Dayz Cafe (2 persons)

MONSIEUR CREPE CAFE, HIGH HEATON

Price: from £10 per person

What’s Included: sandwiches, baked goods, scone and cake

How To Order: https://www.facebook.com/monsieurcrepeuk/

Monsieur Crepe (2 persons)

OLIVE & BEAN, NEWCASTLE

Price: £16 per person

What’s Included: a delicious selection of sweet and savoury treats

How To Order: https://www.oliveandbean.co.uk

Olive & Bean

RUNNING FOX, MORPETH

Price: from £15.50 per person

What’s Included: a sandwich, scone and two gorgeous cakes

How To Order: https://runningfoxbakery.co.uk

Running Fox (2 persons)

1901 CAFFE BISTRO

Price: £30 for two

What’s Included: sandwiches, scones, cakes and biscuits

How To Order: https://1901caffe.co.uk

1901 Caffe

MORRISONS CAFE

Price: I’m all for supporting local so wouldn’t normally include supermarkets in my posts but this one is an absolute bargain at £5 per person

What’s Included: a selection of sandwiches, pork pie, fruit scone and cakes

How To Order: https://www.morrisons.com/cafe/splash

Morrisons (2 persons)

Have you treated yourself to a takeaway afternoon tea during lockdown? Let me know in the comments where

North East Based Outdoor Family Attractions Re-opening Soon

Step 2 of the Road Map Out Of Lockdown allows for “most outdoor attractions” to reopen. Below are lists of the North East based sites and their confirmed opening date (guidelines allowing). These dates are correct at the time of publishing but are subject to change. Always check direct with the venue before planning a day out.


ADVENTURE

Adventure Attractionshttps://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/04/11/adventure-attractions-in-and-around-the-north-east/

Adventure Parks https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/04/13/outdoor-adventure-parks-in-and-around-the-north-east/

Outdoor Mazes – https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/04/10/mazes-in-and-around-the-north-east/

Air Trail, Stockton

ANIMAL

Animal Attractions – https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/04/01/animal-attractions-in-and-around-the-north-east/ (I’m still working on this mammoth blog post)

Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester

HISTORIC

Historic Attractions – https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/04/13/historic-attractions-in-and-around-the-north-east/

Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh

NATURE & GARDENS

Open Gardens – https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/04/11/gorgeous-gardens-in-and-around-the-north-east/

Alnwick Garden, Alnwick

SPORTING

Outdoor Mini Golf – https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/03/31/family-friendly-outdoor-mini-golf-courses-in-and-around-the-north-east/


If you are venturing out as restrictions ease, please continue to follow social distancing and any other guidelines the attractions have in place.

World Book Day 2021 – yup, it is happening

World Book Day is an annual charity event held in the UK on the first Thursday in March. It was created by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995 as a worldwide celebration of reading. It is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. This year is the 24th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on Thursday 4th March, children of all ages will come together to share the joy of reading for pleasure.

As well as celebrating books, it also creates headaches throughout the land while parents battle with their offspring until both parties agree on an acceptable character for them to become for the day.

I, like many others, had wrongly assumed our school wouldn’t be celebrating WBD this year but the dreaded letter pinged in to my inbox last week. Cue tutting and eye rolls whilst I tried to think of an outfit I could throw together.

I despise spending money on dress up costumes that will be worn for 6 hours before residing in the bottom of the washing basket until they’re too small to wear again. Because of this, Evie and Harry are subjected to my homemade outfits year on year. Unlucky kids, but at least they’re unique.

This year, because they’ll both be at home for WBD, I’m seriously considering either “The Polar Express”, “The Midnight Gang” or “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy” – anything which constitutes a costume despite them staying in their pyjamas all day.

Other easily recreated characters include

• Dalmatian from 101 Dalmatians

• Friendly Witch from Room On The Broom

• Greg from Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

• Henry from Horrid Henry

• Katniss from The Hunger Games

• Matilda from Matilda

• Megan from Do Goalkeepers Wear Tiaras?

• Oliver from Oliver Twist

• Thing 1 & 2 from The Cat In The Hat

• TinTin from The Adventures Of TinTin

Whether you’re a lover or a hater of World Book Day, I hope the dress up Gods are on your side and the second last day of homeschooling goes smoothly.

Let me know in the comments who your children are drawing inspiration from for WBD 2021.

North East Picnic Areas With Children’s Play Parks And Take Away Hot Drinks

As part of England’s “Road Map Out Of Lockdown” from Monday, 29th March 2021, it will no longer be a legal requirement to Stay At Home. Changes to Social Contact will also come in to play on this date meaning outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed. These changes will make it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

Below are a list of our favourite picnic areas with children’s play parks and takeaway hot drinks close by for when you’d like to make the most of the new guidelines. Please check direct with the parks for opening times and always adhere to social distancing rules.


Plessey Woods, Bedlington

Postcode: NE22 6AN

Features: The park offers 100 acres of woodland, meadow and riverside to explore. The woodland is home to many birds as well as animals including the red squirrel, roe deer and fox. The banks of the River Blyth, which runs through the park, are also an important habitat for wildlife. A visitor centre, cafe, toilets, children’s play area and parking are all available for visitors. It’s a great location for a family day out to walk, play, explore, and picnic.

Website: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Local/Country-parks-visitor-centres-coastal-sitesPubl/Plessey-Woods-Country-Park-visitor-centre.aspx

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Plessey Woods

Rising Sun Country Park, Benton

Postcode: NE12 9SS

Features: The Rising Sun Country Park is a green oasis of 162 hectares, set in the heart of North Tyneside. Boasting a nature reserve with ponds, woodlands and grasslands; a farm and Countryside Centre, the site is a haven for wildlife and an ideal place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Parking and disabled parking is provided within the grounds. Facilities include extensive footpaths, bridleways, cycleways, bird hides, a cafe with terrace, picnic & barbecue areas, children’s play area with water play feature and toilet facilities.

Website: https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/385/rising-sun-country-park

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Rising Sun Country Park

Ridley Park, Blyth

Postcode: NE24 3HF

Features: Ridley Park provides many fun and recreational activities for people of all ages to enjoy, including a water play area, woodland walk, bowling green and toilets. It’s a popular and picturesque spot for the whole family to visit throughout the year. A takeaway service is currently operating from Mister Ridleys Ice & Coffee Parlour which is located in the centre of Ridley Park.

Website: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Local/Ridley-Park-Blyth.aspx

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Ridley Park

Riverside Park, Chester-Le-Street

Postcode: DH3 3PL

Features: Riverside Park was created in the 1930s and redeveloped in more recent years to include ornamental gardens, events area, play area with splash pad, cafe and toilets. There are many grassed areas and riverside walks for quiet relaxation, picnics, kite flying, running and cycling.

Website: https://www.durham.gov.uk/riversidepark

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Riverside Park

Saltwell Park, Gateshead

Postcode: NE9 5AX

Features: Nestled in the heart of Gateshead, Saltwell Park is one of Britain’s finest examples of a Victorian park and a perfect place for the whole family to enjoy. Its historical and peaceful grounds have earned many awards. Relax and unwind in the beautiful green space; bring the family to enjoy the facilities including play areas, a maze and pets’ corner; get active with the walking and jogging routes as well as bowling greens, tennis and basketball courts or simply enjoy a hot drink in the stunning surroundings of Saltwell Towers. Toilet facilities are available within the park.

Website: https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/3958/Saltwell-Park

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Saltwell Park

Carlisle Park, Morpeth

Postcode: NE61 1YD

Features: Carlisle Park is a multi-award winning park in the heart of Morpeth, Northumberland. Situated on the south bank of the River Wansbeck, it contains formal gardens, an aviary, play areas, a paddling pool, ancient woodland, picnic areas, toilets, tennis courts, bowling greens, a skate park and much more.

Website: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Local/Carlisle-Park-Morpeth.aspx

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Carlisle Park

Newburn Riverside Park, Newburn

Postcode: NE15 8ND

Features: Situated on the North bank of the Tyne, close to Newburn, Tyne Riverside Country Park is formed from reclaimed industrial land. A popular country park for outdoor recreation and sports, great for walking , cycling and horse riding with a large network for footpaths and public rights of way. Hedleys Riverside Coffee Shop is currently operating a takeaway service. Unfortunately, there are no public toilets at the park.

Website: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Local/Country-parks-visitor-centres-coastal-sitesPubl/Tyne-Riverside-Country-Park.aspx

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Newburn Riverside Park

Exhibition Park, Newcastle

Postcode: NE2 4PZ

Features: Exhibition Park is a beautiful park complete with Victorian bandstand and small boating lake which is now home to swans and ducks. Exhibition Park is an ideal place for runners. Dog walkers and families can also enjoy the outdoors without travelling too far from the city. Take in the fresh air with a stroll around Exhibition Park where children can burn off their energy in the children’s playground. One negative point about the park is the lack of public toilets.

Website: https://newcastlegateshead.com/business-directory/things-to-do/exhibition-park

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Exhibition Park

Jesmond Dene Park, Newcastle

Postcode: NE7 7DZ

Features: Jesmond Dene is a unique haven of peace and tranquillity for the people of Newcastle. It is a wooded valley that follows the river Ouseburn between South Gosforth and Jesmond Vale. There is a spectacular mix of native and exotic trees, and the Dene is home to a lot of wildlife. The Dene stretches for over three kilometres and has many areas of tranquillity. Near the entrance of Jesmond Dene, just off the Coast Road is Millfield House. This provides a conference centre, cafe and toilets. This part of the Dene also has a large picnic area and a Pets Corner.

Website: https://newcastlegateshead.com/business-directory/things-to-do/jesmond-dene

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Jesmond Dene

Northumberland Park, North Shields

Postcode: NE30 2ES

Features: Nestled between Tynemouth and North Shields, Northumberland Park has attracted visitors since 1885. Northumberland Park offers a tranquil green space with a variety of landscapes, providing a mixture of Victorian elegance and urban wilderness. The park rests on the medieval site of St Leonard’s hospital and chapel which has been explored using archaeological digs. Facilities include a medieval herb garden, Victorian-style bandstand, woodland and lakeside walks, butterfly meadow, multi-age play area, bowling green, sculpture trail, BMX pump track, historic pet cemetery, Himalayan Dene and water cascades, visitor centre, tea room and public toilets

Website: https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/facility/990

Carpark: ❌ (street parking is available)

Public Toilets:

Northumberland Park

Marine Park, South Shields

Postcode: NE33 2NL

Features: Located on the seafront in South Shields, Marine Park holds a special place in the heart of local residents and visitors. The park includes an art trail, boating lake, cafe, miniature steam railway, open space, play areas and toilets. For over 100 years it has been a place for walking, dancing, relaxing, playing and socialising. The park is a popular destination for tourists, day trippers, schools and community groups alike.

Website: https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/34417/South-Marine-Park

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Marine Park

Hardwick Park, Stockton

Postcode: TS21 2DN

Features: With free admission (other than car parking charges), you can stroll through the historic parkland admiring the natural beauty of the lake, woodland and wildlife. No visit is complete without calling into the visitor centre to learn about the history and restoration of the park, taking a look in the gift shop and calling in to the Tower Cafe. Toilet facilities are also available within the centre.

Website: https://www.durham.gov.uk/article/8721/Visitor-information

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Hardwick Park

Tynemouth Park, Tynemouth

Postcode: NE30 4JL

Features: Tynemouth Park is the perfect place for a fun family day out as there are loads of things to do. Guidelines allowing, you can enjoy a game of mini-golf at Lost World Adventure Golf, have fun at the outdoor soft play areas – Jungle Wipeout and Baby Wipeout; find your way around the new Pirate Quest Maze and row around the boating lake. There is definitely something for everyone and you can also stop off for a drink or an ice-cream at the park’s Clock Tower Café. There are public toilets at the entrance to the park.

Website: https://www.tynemouthpark.com

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Tynemouth Park

Richardson Dees Park, Wallsend

Postcode: NE28 8RH

Features: Wallsend Parks are a fantastic group of three public parks, close to Wallsend town centre. They form an essential resource for wildlife and people in three unique, connected green spaces over 16 hectares in size. Explore historic grounds, woodland walks, wildlife habitats, a cosy café and range of self-led activities – not to mention a fantastic children’s play area! Public toilets are available within the park.

Website: https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/384/wallsend-parks

Carpark: (street parking is available)

Public Toilets:

Richardson Dees Park

Preston Park, Yarm

Postcode: TS18 3RH

Features: Let the kids explore the fantastic Adventure Play Park, complete with an impressive tree-top climbing frame and a dedicated area for toddlers. Take a stroll around the lovely woodland and river walkways that offer a beautiful place to unwind and discover plenty of wildlife all year round. The fantastic Skate Park is hugely popular and certainly worth a visit. There’s also the Teesside Small Gauge Railway which is a miniature railway run by volunteers. Public toilets are located next to the cafe.

Website: https://www.prestonparkmuseum.co.uk/park/

Carpark:

Public Toilets:

Preston Park

We can’t wait for the change of guidelines to come in to effect, hopefully the sun will make a long, uninterrupted appearance as well. Have I mentioned your favourite park in the post? Let me know in the comments where you’ll be visiting after the 29th March 2021.

Celebrating Mother’s Day 2021

A mix of gorgeous homemade ideas and locally bought gifts to give on Sunday, 14th March 2021.

NB. because I’m from Newcastle, I will be using Mam instead of Mum in this post.

Breakfast In Bed

Start your Mam’s day the best possible way with a Mother’s Day breakfast. You can step it up a notch by preparing breakfast in bed that your Mam can enjoy at her leisure, without having to move a muscle.

Fancy recreating this super tasty double sausage and egg muffin? The recipe can be found at https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/17/mcdonalds-inspired-double-sausage-egg-muffin-meal/

If you don’t class yourself as a whizz in the kitchen and worried that you’ll burn even toast, you can order one of these “Breakfast In A Box” from Graze On The Tyne (https://m.facebook.com/itsmevivb/)

Greetings Card

The quintessential Mother’s Day gift and perfect for involving the little ones. Struggling for inspiration? Check out this Pinterest board for ideas https://pin.it/3TqNLGu

For any fellow North Easterners that struggle to find “Mam” cards, Craig from Geordie Gifts has got your back (https://geordiegifts.co.uk/collections/geordie-mothers-day-cards)

Chocolate

Chocolate Bark is so easy to make and it can be tailored to anyone’s taste. Simply melt a mix of chocolate (we prefer milk and dark) spread it on to greaseproof paper, add any toppings you want then leave to set. Break it up and pop in to a bag.

Alternatively, check out https://www.lachocolatrice.co.uk/online-store for these pretty bars.

Flowers

The classic Mother’s Day gift. Every year I’ve received a bunch of daffodils. For me, the bright yellow flowers signal the official start to Spring (and this year, especially, Spring is very much welcomed).

If you want to upgrade your blooms, this beautiful bouquet is from https://m.facebook.com/TowersFlowersUK/

Sunday Lunch

A day off from cooking is my idea of heaven. If you feel like tackling a Sunday Roast just make sure you do the dishes as well!

For perfect Yorkshire Puddings, follow this recipe https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/perfect-yorkshire-puddings/

If you’d rather order in, The Woodmans Arms is offering Sunday Lunch takeout https://thewoodmansarms.com

Cupcakes

A little after dinner sweet treat. Let the younger ones loose with the sprinkles when it comes to decorating.

Alternatively, let Alice’s Sweet Palace work their magic and order a box through https://www.facebook.com/Alices-Sweet-Palace-103664208056799/

Afternoon Tea

Freshly baked plain scones with jam and cream (or cream and jam) – my absolute guilty pleasure.

If you want to go all out, this Afternoon Tea remains one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, it’s available to order now from https://www.facebook.com/lazydayzcafe/

Cheese And Charcuterie Board

Is your Mam more of a savoury over sweet person? Than a cheese and charcuterie board is a perfect option.

If you’re not sure where to start with what to add, you can order one of the boards available at https://instagram.com/crackers_4_cheese

Cocktail Hour

Channel your inner bartender and make a round of (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) cocktails.

Prefer to leave the mixing to the professionals? Check out https://m.facebook.com/thatbarbloke/ for a range of pre-made drinks that taste just like you’re in a bar.

Pamper Night

This Homemade Salt Scrub is a lovely way to unwind and de-stress. The basic recipe of 1 cup of Sea Salt to 1/4 cup of Almond Oil can be personalised with 10-20 drops of Essential Oil. We really like eucalyptus.

Add the perfect finishing touch to a relaxing bath with anything from Cameron York Candles. This is the only places I’ll buy my wax melts from, the fragrances are absolutely gorgeous! Cameron York are usually at Tynemouth and Durham market but their range is currently available to order online at https://cameronyorkcandles.co.uk

Of all the Mother’s Day gifts you could get, without a doubt, the gift of your time and thoughtfulness will be the best received.

Best Of The Best Street Food Pop Ups Currently Travelling Around The North East

The North East’s Street Food Scene has exploded over the last 12 months. As COVID forced hospitality venues to temporarily close their doors to the public, the pop up world was allowed to continue trading (with strict ordering and collection guidelines in place) and their popularity is currently booming. As pop ups continue to satisfy curious diners, here’s our favourites who you should definitely check out if they’re serving in your local area:

Acropolis

The undisputed masters when it comes to authentic Greek Food, Acropolis was established in 2016 and has gone from strength to strength. Their award winning menu offers platters, wraps and sides. The tzatziki is amazing!

Keep up to date with Acropolis by following their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/acropolisstreetfood/


Impeccable Pig Van

From Sedgefield’s Impeccable Pig Restaurant comes the Pig Van. Serving BBQ pulled pork, beef burgers, bean burgers, french fries, spicy coleslaw and mustard mayo – it’s all piggin’ lush!

Keep up to date with Impeccable Pig by following their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/TheImpeccablePigRestaurantandRooms/


La Cabina

Offering Neapolitan wood fired pizzas, these are the best I’ve tasted.

Keep up at date with La Cabina by following their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LaCabina01/


Meat:Stack

Real American cheeseburgers smashed on the grill, steamed and served fast. Delicious.

Meat:Stack are also currently offering Cook-At-Home Burger Kits, read about them here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/01/23/child-friendly-cook-at-home-kits/

Keep up to date with Meat:Stack by following their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/meatstackncl/


Monroes

An airstream style food truck bringing steak sandwiches, poutine, blooming onions and beignets to Newcastle and Northumberland.

Keep up to date with Monroes by following their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/monroesNCL/

Image from Monroe’s Insta Page

Posh Street Food by Matei Baran

Matei, a quarter finalist on 2016’s Master Chef Professionals, is serving up insane BBQ street food.

Keep up to date with Matei Baran by following his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/chefmateibaran/

Image from Chef Matei Baran’s Insta Page

Parm-O-Rama

Usually reserved for the residents of Middlesbrough, Parm-O-Rama is bringing the perfect Parmesan to the streets of the North East. Chicken, béchamel sauce and cheese, this Boro delicacy is super tasty.

Keep up to date with Parm-O-Rama by following their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/parmorama/

Image from Parm-O-Rama’s Insta Page

RedHeads

Serving deliciously good Mac ‘n’ Cheese, wings, crispy fried chicken and fries.

Keep up to date with RedHead’s by following their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/redheadsmacncheese/

Image from RedHead’s Insta Page

Twisted Chick

Specialising in Nashville style buttermilk fried chicken, Twisted Chick are not to be missed.

Keep up to date with Twisted Chick by following their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/twistedchick1/

Image from Twisted Chick’s Insta Page

Very Peri Peri

As the name suggests, everything on the menu is Peri Peri style.

Keep up to date with Very Peri Peri by following their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Very-peri-peri-112357670157793/

Image from Very Peri Peri’s Insta Page

If these, or any other Street Food Pop Ups, are serving in your local area, please follow the COVID secure guidelines the vendors have in place, adhering to these rules will ensure the success of future events.

Who are your favourite Street Food Pop Ups? Let me know in the comments.

Family Friendly Restaurants & Bars With Outdoor Areas

A list of our favourite family friendly venues around the North East with outdoor seating areas.

**Now the “Road Map Out Of Lockdown” has been announced, a lot of these places have started taking bookings for April/May**

The Amble Inn, Amble

The Amble Inn is the place to eat, drink and sleep in the southern gateway to the magnificent Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Reopening Date: 17th May 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: From £3.65 (125ml)

Contact details can be found at https://www.inncollectiongroup.com/amble-inn/

Photo from The Amble Inn’s Facebook page

Anglers Arms, Choppington

The home of the Homemade, this family run restaurant, pub and B&B is at the heart of the community of Choppington in Northumberland.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://anglersarmssheepwashbank.co.uk

Photo from Anglers Arms’ Facebook page

Beach Box, Jesmond

This urban oasis is nestled just outside the city centre in the leafy suburbs of Jesmond and claims to be Newcastle’s biggest beer garden.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://www.jesmondbeachbox.co.uk

Photo from Beach Box’s Facebook page

Beamish Park Hotel, Marley Hill

Set in the heart of the beautiful North East countryside, Beamish Park Hotel is just seven miles from Newcastle city centre and 10 miles from Durham City.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: From £5.00 (175ml)

Contact details can be found at https://www.beamish-park-hotel.co.uk

Photo from Beamish Park Hotel’s Facebook page

The Beehive, Earsdon

In view of St. Mary’s Island and the golden sands of Whitley Bay, The Beehive’s one-acre secret garden is always hugely popular.

Reopening Date: 15th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://www.beehiveearsdon.co.uk

Photo from The Beehive’s Facebook page

The Black Horse, Beamish

Perched high, looking across the Beamish conservation valley lies Red Row Estate – a glorious 37 acre sprawl with lavender fields, woodland and home to the Black Horse Beamish restaurant, The Orchard Marquee, Old Red Row Rooms, Red Row Retreat, and Huckleberry Cottage.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: From £4.10 (175ml)

Contact details can be found at https://www.blackhorsebeamish.co.uk/

Photo from The Black Horse’s Facebook page

The Blackbird, Ponteland

Originally a castle built by warriors in the 14th Century, the Blackbird, Ponteland is one of the most remarkable inns in England.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://www.theblackbirdponteland.co.uk

Photo from The Blackbird’s Facebook page

Crusoes, Tynemouth

A unique venue with panoramic views across the rugged landscape and untamed coastline of Longsands, Crusoes provides an unparalleled location to while away a morning, afternoon or evening.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: N/A

Contact details can be found at https://www.robinsoncrusoes.co.uk

Photo from Crusoes’ Facebook page

The Hogs Head Inn, Alnwick

The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick is named after the tavern in the Harry Potter books and is a few minutes drive from Alnwick Castle.

Reopening Date: 17th May 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: From £3.65 (125ml)

Contact details can be found at https://www.inncollectiongroup.com/hogs-head-inn/

Photo from The Hogs Head Inn’s Facebook page

The Keel Row, Seaton Delaval

The award winning Keel Row in Seaton Delaval is situated just 10 miles from Newcastle City Centre, 12 miles from Newcastle International Airport and within easy reach of Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington, Morpeth, Sheilds, Gateshead and Ponteland.

Reopening Date: 17th May 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at http://thekeelrow.com

Photo from The Keel Row’s Facebook page

The Poachers Cottage, Callerton

A spacious traditional country pub, where you can taste a wide variety of homemade food. Good beer, real ales and fine wines can be found at the bar.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://www.poacherscottage.co.uk/

Photo from The Poachers Cottage Facebook page

The Runhead, Ryton

Situated on Holburn Lane, Ryton, The Runhead offers all that you’ll love in a traditional pub, wrapped up in the best of contemporary style.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://www.therunhead.co.uk

Photo from The Runhead’s Facebook page

Secret Garden, Seaton Delaval

The Secret Garden is a first of its kind outdoor entertainment venue. Located on the old Laidlers site, expect the once worn out wholesale site to be transformed into a unique floral garden hosting the very best food, drink and entertainment the North East has to offer.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://m.facebook.com/pg/SDSecretGarden/


The South Beach, Blyth

I couldn’t not include my local. We’ve missed the place so much so if you’re planning a visit here we might (socially distant) bump in to each other.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://m.facebook.com/TheSouthBeachAtBlyth

Photo from The South Beach’s Facebook page

South Causey Inn, Stanley

Nestled in 100 acres of the beautiful Beamish Valley countryside, South Causey Inn offers the most idyllic environment for casual dining, relaxing country getaways, weddings and corporate events.

Reopening Date: 15th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://www.southcausey.co.uk

Photo from South Causey Inn’s Facebook page

Twin Farms, Kenton Bank Foot

A cosy pub in Kenton Bank Foot.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at http://sjf.co.uk/our-pubs/twin-farms/

Photo from Twin Farms’ Facebook page

White Swan, Ovingham

The White Swan is a newly refurbished, fantastic community local pub, situated in the beautiful village of Ovingham on The Tyne Valley.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://www.thewhiteswanovingham.co.uk

Photo from The White Swan’s Facebook page

The Woodmans Arms, Whickham

At the top of the hill, hidden amongst the trees, The Woodmans Arms is more than just a pub, it’s definitely a venue worth travelling to and one of the prettiest places in the North East.

Reopening Date: 12th April 2021

Covered Outdoor Seating:

Dog Friendly:

On-site Parking:

Outdoor Play Area:

Glass Of Wine Price: TBC

Contact details can be found at https://thewoodmansarms.com

Please contact the venues directly or check their social media for opening updates.

If you are venturing out when the lockdown begins to ease, please remember that these venues have been closed to the public for months, there’s bound to be teething problems while we all adjust to the new rules so be patient and be kind.

McDonalds Inspired Double Sausage & Egg Muffin Meal

Easy peasy McDonald’s inspired Double Sausage and Egg Muffin Meal recipe. You’ll be amazed how similar these taste to the real thing.

INGREDIENTS (to make 4)

– 8 Cumberland Sausages

– 4 Eggs

– 4 Cheese Slices

– 4 English Muffins

– 4 Frozen Hash Browns

METHOD

1) Put the hash browns in the toaster (yup, you can cook hash browns in the toaster) They’ll need a couple of pops but they come out super crispy.

2) Remove the skin from the sausages and flatten in to patties.

3) Fry the pork patties with a little bit of oil on a low heat. Each side will take 5-6 mins.

4) Swap the cooked hash browns with the muffins and lightly toast them.

5) Once the patties are cooked, fry your eggs. I use egg rings but that’s purely so they come out nice and round, they’re not necessary.

6) Assembly time – muffin, cheese, pattie, pattie, egg, muffin is the official order but feel free to throw it together any way you like.

7) Serve with a hash brown and a coffee (mmmm sounds optional).

Why I think these are better than the real deal…

• The price. I spent £6-£7 on the ingredients to make these four. One meal from McDonald’s is £4.19.

• Time – our local McDonald’s is a 9-10 mins drive away and there’s *always* a queue. Plus, I don’t need to get washed and dressed to enjoy the homemade ones.

• Runny yolks. I like to keep my yolks running when making these.

Drawbacks…

• McDonalds hash browns are hard to beat. It’s the deep fried goodness.

• You actually have to cook

Like the hash brown hack? Check out this post of my favourite kitchen shortcuts https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/01/12/the-best-kitchen-hacks-i-ever-learnt/

Celebrating Harry Potter Day (2nd May)

Every year, the magic of the wizarding world is celebrated on International Harry Potter Day, with fans across the globe partaking in Potter-orientated activities.

What is Harry Potter Day?

According to the Harry Potter books, The Battle Of Hogwarts took place on 2nd May 1998. International Harry Potter Day is the anniversary of the date Voldemort was finally defeated.

Ideas For Celebrating The Day

– Start Re-Reading The Books

Take it back to where it all began and immerse yourself once again in J.K. Rowlings magical realm. The books are also available on Audible if you’d prefer to listen to Stephen Fry narrate them to you.


– Movie Marathon

Snuggle in with a glass of Butter Beer and enjoy back-to-back films. Sky have recently introduced Sky Cinema Harry Potter HD on Channel 302 (we’ve recorded all of the films and saved them to our planner).


– Horcrux Scavenger Hunt

Fancy yourself as the ultimate seeker? This might not be a game of quidditch but it’s a fun activity. Ask a muggle to write the clues and hide the items then get hunting.


– HP Inspired Afternoon Tea

Cookie glasses, chocolate frogs, brownie spell books, Hogwarts cupcakes, chocolate mousse Screaming Mandrakes…if you’re planning an HP inspired Afternoon Tea, head over to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration https://pin.it/3F4ROiE


– Potterheads Quiz

If you’re not all quizzed out and think you know your spells from your incantations, your Fred from your George Weasley then check out the muggle version of the O.W.L.S and take one of the many HP quizzes available online.


– Recreate Hogwarts At Home

Whether it’s The Great Hall, The Potions Classroom or The Griffindor Common Room again, Pinterest is your friend https://pin.it/3F4ROiE


– Visit https://www.wizardingworld.com

Previously Pottermore, Wizarding World is the official online home of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. Discover your Hogwarts House, summon your patronus or take part in your own wand ceremony. Brilliant site packed with activities, fun features and latest news.


– Wizard Escape Room

Breaking out of Azkaban might be easier than getting out of this free virtual escape room but it’s definitely worth a try! Visit https://www.thehogwartsescape.com and give it a go.

If you are celebrating on May 2nd, Repello Muggletum!

A Guide To Geocaching

Mixing the joys of exploring with the excitement of treasure hunting, Geocaching is a great way for families to get outside.

WHAT IS GEOCACHING?

Geocaching, in simple terms, is treasure hunting for the digital generation.

Instead of using the traditional compass and printed map, Geocaching relies on GPS technology to guide people to certain points around the globe. These places are published online by other members who have hidden boxes (caches) there.

The boxes can contain pretty much anything. They usually have a log book for hunters to record their names and the dates on which they found the stash. Much of the excitement of Geocaching lies in seeing what treasures and trinkets have been left.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GEOCACHING?

Here in the UK, we are in the midst of Lockdown 3.0 so we’re extremely limited on what we can do and where we can go. For me, Geocaching is a brilliant way to give a purpose to our usual family walk and a way to keep the kids entertained and interested in the local area.

HOW DO I START?

Equipment wise, the only essential piece of kit you need is a GPS enabled device. Luckily, most smartphones now come with the necessary technology already installed.

Next, you’ll have to register with an online community. As Geocaching increases in popularity, so does the amount of apps available for both iOS and Android. I downloaded Geocaching.com and signed up for their free version. As we’re very new to the world of Geocaching, I’ll keep you updated with my thoughts on the app the more we use it.

I’d also recommend bringing your own pen or pencil (to update the log) and your own hand gel (to keep the caches safe from COVID).

ARE THERE MANY GEOCACHES TO BE FOUND?

There are millions of Geocaches worldwide hidden in over 190 countries. The number of Geocaches in your local area depends completely on how many people are aware of Geocaching and are out there hiding treasures.

CAN I ADD MY OWN GEOCACHE TO BE FOUND?

Absolutely! One of the biggest plus points of Geocaching lies in it’s community. The very nature of the activity requires people to work together, both online and on their hunts. Adding your own Geocaches enables the community to grow so it’s not only allowed, it’s actively encouraged!

There’s the basics of Geocaching, hopefully you’ve found it useful. Are you ready for your anytime, any day adventure? Let me know in the comments if you’re going to give Geocaching a go.

Celebrating Pancake Day

The more recognisable name for Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day marks the start of the build-up to Easter. It is the day before Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent) and, traditionally, pancakes are made to use up foods usually given up for the 40 day fast. This year, Pancake Day falls on the 16th February.

PANCAKE RECIPE (3, 2, 1 Method)

A foolproof crêpe recipe that ensures perfectly flippable pancakes every time.

Ingredients

– 300ml Milk

– 2 Eggs

– 100g Plain Flour

Method

1. Combine all of the ingredients together and whisk to form a smooth batter.

2. Set a frying pan over a low-medium heat with a little bit of oil.

3. Pour the batter in to the pan, enough so the bottom of the pan is covered in a thin layer.

4. Leave the pancake to cook. About 2 mins per side or until golden and cooked through.

5. Remove from the pan and serve with your favourite toppings.

TOP TIPS

Use a good, non-stick pan. We’ve recent updated our pans to a Scoville NeverStick set and a decent pan makes a huge difference.

If you can, let your batter rest at room temperature for 30 mins before using.

When attempting the flip, use a fish slice to carefully ease the edges of the pancake away from the pan. If this step is a bit of a struggle, leave the pancake to cook a little longer.

TOPPING IDEAS

Some of our favourites are

• Lemon & Sugar

• Nutella

• Caramelised Banana & Syrup

• Biscoff

• Strawberries & Squirty Cream

• Cinnamon Sugar

• Icecream

• Mango & Yoghurt

• Golden Syrup

• As you can see, we prefer sweet toppings. However, using pancakes instead of pasta in Cannelloni is a game changer.

Whether you’re enjoying Pancake Day as one last blow out before Lent or just because, have a flippin’ great day!

How To Cook The Best Roast Potatoes

Guaranteed crispy skins and fluffy insides.

INGREDIENTS

– 1kg Potatoes (Maris Piper or King Edwards)

– 100ml Oil

METHOD

1. Pour the oil in to a roasting tray and pop it in to the oven (Gas Mark 6 or equivalent).

2. Cut each unpeeled potato in to 2 or 3 pieces.

3. Add the potato chunks in to a pan of water and put on to boil.

4. Once the potatoes are on a rolling boil, turn the heat down so the water is simmering. Leave the potatoes to cook for another 6-7 mins.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the potatoes. Pop the potatoes back in to the empty pan and add the lid. Shake the potatoes vigorously, hard enough to remove the potato skin (I love this method because it saves peeling them, thank you TikTok for the tip).

6. Carefully, take the hot oiled tray from the oven and add the potatoes in. They will sizzle as you add them. Turn the potatoes so they are evenly coated with oil.

7. Roast the potatoes for 20-25 mins then turn them over.

8. Roast them for a further 20-25 mins or until they achieve a golden brown colour.

9. Remove from the oven and place the roast potatoes on kitchen roll.

10. Season with salt and serve.

Cooking a roast dinner? For perfect Yorkshire Puddings follow my method posted here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/perfect-yorkshire-puddings/

Celebrating Chinese New Year

I have such fond memories of the kids learning about Chinese New Year when they were in Nursery, and enjoying the festivities is something we’ve tried to do every year since.

This year, the festival falls on the 12th of February (which is also when our school breaks up for half term) so why not do something a little different this Friday and join in the celebrations at home?

What Is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is celebrated by millions around the world and is the most important holiday in China. It is an annual 16 day festival. The holiday is sometimes called the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year because the dates of the celebrations follow the phases of the moon.

Why Is Chinese New Year Celebrated?

The origins of Chinese New Year are steeped in legend. One such legend is that thousands of years ago a monster named Nian would attack villagers at the beginning of each New Year. The monster was afraid of loud noises, bright lights and the colour red so those things were used to chase the beast away.

How Is Chinese New Year Celebrated?

Celebrations are said to usher out the old year while inviting luck and prosperity in for the new year. These celebrations often include firecrackers, fireworks and red decorations. Younger members of the family are given money in red envelopes. Chinese New Year is also a time to feast (my kind of holiday!)

Another Chinese New Year tradition is the thorough cleaning of your home to rid the house of any lingering bad luck. The last event held during the Chinese New Year is called the Lantern Festival during which people hang glowing lanterns. The dragon is a Chinese symbol of good fortune so the traditional dragon dance, which involves a long, colourful dragon being carried through the streets by dancers, is a big part of the celebrations.

Obviously, the usual celebrations won’t be taking place in Newcastle’s China Town this year but we’ll be marking the occasion at home with crafts and amazing food. Fancy joining in? Check out our Pinterest board for craft inspiration https://pin.it/5n06F5n

Old School Australian Crunch Recipe

Chocolate, coconut and crushed cornflakes – delish!

INGREDIENTS

– 200g Butter

– 100g Caster Sugar

– 80g Desiccated Coconut

– 80g Crushed Cornflakes

– 150g SR Flour

– 3 tbsp Golden Syrup

– 2 tbsp Cocoa

– 200g Milk Chocolate

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas 4 or equivalent.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.

3. Add in the caster sugar, coconut, flour, golden syrup and cocoa. Mix until combined.

4. Add the cornflakes and mix until they’re completely coated.

5. Pour the mixture in to a lined tray and press down firmly.

6. Bake for 15-20 mins.

7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

8. Melt the chocolate and cover the slice with it. Allow the chocolate to set before slicing. Our school always cut Australian Crunch in to triangles.

Old School Jam Roly Poly Recipe

The ultimate comfort food pudding

INGREDIENTS

– 200g SR Flour

– 100g Shredded Suet

– 1 tbsp Caster Sugar

– 150ml Milk

– 7/8 tbsp Strawberry Jam

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or equivalent.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, suet and sugar.

3. Slowly, stir in the milk to form a soft dough.

4. On a floured surface, knead the dough for a few minutes.

5. Roll the dough out in to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle.

6. Spread the jam on to the dough.

7. Roll the dough up from one of the shorter sides.

8. Place the roll on to a sheet of greaseproof paper, seam-side down, and wrap the paper tightly around the pudding, twisting the ends to secure.

9. Repeat the process with a sheet of kitchen foil.

10. Place the pudding on to a roasting rack with water in the tin below.

11. Cook for 35-40 mins.

12. Remove from the oven and unwrap. The pudding should be lightly browned in places.

13. Cut in to think slices and serve.

Old School Apple Crumble Recipe

We’re all agreed the crumble topping is the best part of this pudding, yeah?

INGREDIENTS

For The Filling

– 3 Medium Bramley Apples

– 2 tbsp Caster Sugar

For The Topping

– 180g Plain Flour

– 120g Caster Sugar

– 120g Butter

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5.

2. Peel, core and chop the apples in to chunks.

3. Place the apples in to a shallow dish and sprinkle with the 2tbsp of caster sugar.

4. Bake the apples for 10mins to soften slightly.

5. While the apples cook, make the topping by rubbing the butter in to the flour and sugar.

6. Evenly sprinkle the topping on to the apples and bake for 30mins.

7. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving with custard, ice cream or cream.

Old School Flapjack Recipe

Turns out flapjack and custard is very area dependent, it was a staple at our school. Was it served at yours?

INGREDIENTS

– 80g Caster Sugar

– 150g Butter

– 2-3 tbsp Golden Syrup

– 250g Porridge Oats

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 or equivalent.

2. Heat the caster sugar, butter and golden syrup in a pan until completely melted.

3. When the sugar, butter and golden syrup mixture is smooth, remove the pan from the heat.

4. Add in the oats and mix until all the oats are coated.

5. Pour the coated oats out in to a lined baking tin and press down.

6. Bake for 25-30 mins or until golden around the edges (the mixture will be soft but it will firm as it cools).

7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

8. Once cooled, cut the flapjacks in to portions and serve.

Old School Cornflake Tart Recipe

Definitely one of the most popular Old School Puddings, a lot of my friends still LOVE Cornflake Tart.

INGREDIENTS

– 1 Roll of Ready Rolled Shortcrust Pastry

– 50g Butter

– 125g Golden Syrup

– 30g Caster Sugar

– 100g Corn Flakes

– 100g Raspberry Jam

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 or equivalent.

2. Unroll the pastry and carefully line a greased tart tin with it.

3. Blind bake the pastry case for 15 mins.

4. While the pastry case is baking, heat the butter, syrup and sugar in a pan until completely melted and smooth.

5. Fold the cornflakes in to the sugar/syrup mixture until they are all coated.

6. Spoon the jam in to the baked pastry case and spread it evenly around the base.

7. Tip the cornflakes over the jam and gently press them down in to an even layer.

8. Return the tart to the oven for 5-10 mins until the cornflakes are toasted.

9. Allow the tart to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Old School Jam & Coconut Sponge Recipe

I thought this was really exotic at school, I mean, coconut?!

INGREDIENTS

– Margarine

– Caster Sugar

– 4 Eggs

– Self Raising Flour

– Jam

– Desiccated Coconut

The amount of margarine, caster sugar and SR flour you need will depend on the weight of the eggs. Weigh the eggs (in their shell) and use this amount of margarine, caster sugar and SR flour in the mix.

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas 4 or equivalent.

2. Weigh your eggs (in their shell) then measure out the margarine, caster sugar and SR flour.

3. Cream the margarine and caster sugar together. The longer you do this step, the lighter your sponge. I leave it mixing for about 5 mins. It’ll go almost white and really airy.

4. Add the eggs and flour.

5. Fold together until completely combined but don’t over mix.

6. Empty the mixture in to a lined baking tin.

7. Bake for 25-30 mins or until the sponge is pulling away from the edge.

8. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

9. Once cooled, cover the top of the sponge with a good layer of jam. Sprinkle with lots of desiccated coconut.

10. Cut in to portions and serve.

Old School Chocolate Sponge With Chocolate Custard

Chocolate with chocolate – what’s not to love?

INGREDIENTS

– Margarine

– Caster Sugar

– 4 Eggs

– Self Raising Flour

– Cocoa

– Ready Made Custard

The amount of margarine, caster sugar and SR flour/cocoa you need will depend on the weight of the eggs. Weigh the eggs (in their shell) and use this amount of margarine, caster sugar and SR flour (substitute 50g of SR flour for cocoa) in the mix.

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas 4 or equivalent.

2. Weigh your eggs (in their shell) then measure out the margarine, caster sugar and SR flour (substitute 50g of flour for cocoa).

3. Cream the margarine and caster sugar together. The longer you do this step, the lighter your sponge. I leave it mixing for about 5 mins. It’ll go almost white and really airy.

4. Add the eggs, flour and cocoa.

5. Fold together until completely combined but don’t over mix.

6. Empty the mixture in to a lined baking tin.

7. Bake for 25-30 mins or until the sponge is pulling away from the edge.

8. While that’s baking, make the chocolate custard by adding cocoa to the custard and mixing thoroughly.

9. Remove from the tin and serve warm with the chocolate custard.

Perfect Yorkshire Puddings

A Sunday Roast staple in our house, this is my foolproof recipe for perfect puds.

INGREDIENTS

– 200ml Milk

– 4 Eggs

– 150g Plain Flour

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 8 or equivalent.

2. Pour a little oil in to each hole in your tin (I use a 12 cavity muffin tin) and pop the tin in to the oven so the oil can heat thoroughly.

3. Make the batter by combining all of the ingredients and mixing until smooth.

4. When the batter is completely lump-free, season with a little salt and pepper.

5. Pour the batter in to a jug then carefully and evenly pour it in to the hot oiled tin.

6. Place the tin back in to the oven and cook for 20-25 mins or until the puddings are golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

HANDY HINTS

The hotter the oil the better.

When the puddings are cooking, do not open the oven door.

Don’t attempt this recipe with Self Raising Flour, only Plain Flour will work.

The cooked Yorkshire puddings can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Want a Yorkshire Pudding recipe that doesn’t use milk? Check out https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/01/02/dairy-free-yorkshire-pudding-recipe/

Cooking a roast dinner? For perfect roast potatoes follow my method posted here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/12/how-to-cook-the-best-roast-potatoes/

Old School Chocolate Concrete Recipe

One of the easiest and cheapest school puddings to recreate.

INGREDIENTS

– 200g Caster Sugar

– 200g Plain Flour

– 50g Cocoa Powder

– 100g Butter

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 or equivalent.

2. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

3. Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients.

4. Using your fingers, combine the dry ingredients with the melted butter until it’s like crumble topping.

5. Pour the mixture in to a lined tin and press down firmly.

6. Bake for 15-20 mins.

7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Slice and serve with custard.

8. The Chocolate Concrete will become harder as it cools. I like it cold with piping hot custard. How do you like it?

Old School Pudding Recipes

Join me in getting all nostalgic as we take a trip down memory lane with these old school pudding recipes. These desserts are all absolute classics and are simply irresistible.

Apple Crumble

You can keep the apple, give me a bowl of that topping with custard.

To view the recipe, click https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/old-school-apple-crumble-recipe/

Australian Slice

Slice or crunch – what did your school call it?

Recipe posted here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/09/old-school-australian-crunch-recipe/

Chocolate Concrete

Made using only 4 ingredients, chocolate concrete is cheap and easy to make. I know, to be totally authentic, the custard should be green but I just wanted to get stuck in.

Recipe at https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/old-school-chocolate-concrete-recipe/

Chocolate Sponge With Chocolate Custard

It was always a good day in the canteen when the jug of chocolate custard was out.

Fancy trying it? https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/old-school-chocolate-sponge-with-chocolate-custard/

Cornflake Tart

The marmite of school puddings. You either LOVE it or hate it.

Want to try making this? https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/old-school-cornflake-tart-recipe/

Flapjack

Flapjack and custard is very area dependent – if you grew up in the West End of Newcastle, this was always on the menu.

The recipe is here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/old-school-flapjack-recipe/

Jam & Coconut Sponge

Maybe the oldest of the old school puddings.

Recipe posted here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/old-school-jam-coconut-sponge-recipe/

Jam Roly Poly

The ultimate comfort pudding.

Recipe available at https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/02/07/old-school-jam-roly-poly-recipe/

Sprinkle Cake

Everyone’s favourite!

Recipe can be found here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2019/11/12/old-school-sprinkle-cake-recipe/

So, which is your favourite? Let me know in the comments.

Canny Ways To Celebrate St. Valentines Day With Your Children

Before children, Valentine’s Day was all about surprises, treats and romance. The day might be a little bit different now you’re a parent but you can still have a fun-filled, loved up Valentine’s as a family. If you’re looking for ideas on how to include your little ones with your Valentine’s Day celebrations, here are a few ways to make the day special for all of you.

Breakfast In Bed

Start the day with breakfast in bed. If you can, prepare as much as you can the night before then enjoy a lazy morning snuggled under the blankets.

Breakfast Box pictured is from Graze On The Tyne
https://www.facebook.com/itsmevivb/

Cute Crafts

Get creative by making homemade cards, gifts and decorations together. Check out our Pinterest board for Valentine’s craft inspiration https://pin.it/44y89yN

Get Your Bake On

Most kids seem to enjoy spending time in the kitchen and you can’t go wrong with cupcakes & biscuits – super easy to make with super sweet end results. The supermarket home baking aisles have a good range of Valentine’s themed icing and sprinkles in at the moment.

Movie Night

Grab the popcorn and bunker down for an hour or two with a film. If you want to include toasted marshmallows to your setup, we’re still a little obsessed with this https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/01/16/how-to-create-a-marshmallow-toasting-kit/

Pick ‘n’ Mix Box pictured is from Daisy’s Daily Delights
https://www.facebook.com/daisysdailydelights/

Not sure what to watch? These are our favourites:

– Beauty & The Beast

– Gnomeo & Juliet

– Lady & The Tramp

– Tangled

– The Princess Diaries

Share The Love

Take the time to tell your children what you admire about them. If you find it difficult to verbalise your feelings, leave little notes. Recognising and vocalising these can have a huge impact on your child’s confidence.

Thanks for reading. However you celebrate on February 14th, I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with fun, love, and appreciation for those around you.