It is another beautiful Sunday morning in Newcastle and after helping few new friends to plan their travel arrangements, it was about time I share what I have been collecting for the past two months from my new home town – Newcastle upon Tyne.
The story begun almost straight after I flew back home leaving the super high intensity life at sea and my mind was set to settle on land and build a healthy routine. While enjoying the quality time spent with my family and friends from back home, there were interviews after interviews set during the day and soon after, the job offers start overloading my inbox. To tell you the truth, coming to Newcastle or England was nowhere near my plans, but once I have done the interview and accept the offer, I have done my research and I couldn’t wait the new adventure to begin.
Scheduled to join the team of my company on the 4th of December, I was flew to England two days earlier, giving me the chance of settle in the new house and explore the city a bit. It was like a ” love from the first sight” and now two months later, I still feel this way, even more curios how the rest of the seasons will be like.
The architecture of the city is simply amazing – old and beautiful buildings, build in all kind of styles surrounding the city, giving just a hint about the rich historical past of the city. Some of them are turned into museums, train station, hotels, fancy restaurants, department stores and night bars, turning the experience of visiting them to an unique such.
One of the best places to get to know a bit more about the history, industry and the lifestyle of the Northern England and Newcastle is the Discovery Museum. I loved my time in there, maybe because there is entire hall full of ships in all shapes and from all eras, which still touching me. My favorite collection was the one from the Social and Regimental history, displaying how people were furnishing their houses, dressing or looking like throughout the time until now ( pictures below)
This weekend, I am planning to visit another museum, that I believe, I would love to show to everyone, that comes to see me in Newcastle, the Beamish Open Air Museum. It is a giant open-air museum, recreating an authentic picture of the family, working and community life in the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries. The admission fee for an adults is currently 20 GBP which is equal to the annual such. So one could come as many times as wanted throughout the year. In the Summer, there will be musical and other events hold at the territory of the museum, which will be great escape of the city.
The month of December was quit chill too, so when I was on a mood for art, my great escape from the weather out was the Laing Art Gallery, housing painting from the 18th – 20 th Centuries. There is beautiful and little boutique and cafe too. There was another Gallery that was recommended to me – The Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, which is just across the Millenium Bridge. The collection of it, didn’t impress me much, but on the top floor there is restaurant and a cafe, offering magnificent views to the Bridges linking Newcastle and Gateshead over the Tyne river. The restaurant is currently close for renovation until the 31st January.
Speaking of restaurants, everyone knows that my love to each city I visit, comes with the choices and quality of food offered and served in the city. I was once again super happy to discover that Newcastle has it all – gourmet markets, Spannish, Greek, Italian, Japanese and Arab restaurants, cafes and wine bars, the number of which is so high, so that even If i decided to dine everyday out, I still won’t be able to visit them all. My favourite however is the Botanist ( http://thebotanist.uk.com/ ) , an unique concept of healthy food, great selection of cocktails and wines, located in the heart of the city. On the top floor there is roof top terrace/ cafe, where I know, that I will be often found. This is also one of my favorite brunch places, but booking a table in advance, especially for the weekends, is really recommended.
Below is a short list of my other favorites, as until now. Most of the iconic evening bars and night clubs are located all the way down to the Quayside on Grey street, High Bridge and near the Central Train Station.
Vermont Hotel is one of the oldest and most elegant hotels in the city, home of another favorite Aveika Restarant and the Sky Lounge ( magnificent view over the Tyne river, but available only for private events) .
- Pitch and Piano Newcastle, another roof top, where you can enjoy from breakfast time to after dinner cocktails)
- Revolution Bar – iconic interior designed bar, that is housed in former Bank from the early 20th Century. It serves comfort food and handcraft cocktails. I often come here for an after-work wine and tapas with some of my colleagues.
- Vinayerds – one of the smallest bars in Newcastle, but it is hot hot hot spot for everyone who love good wine and latino music.
Last but not least, shopping in Newcastle is amazing too. Most the shops are “locked” between the Northumberland street, Pilgrim street, Grainger street and the Eldon square. Every Sunday, there is Market, famous as the Quayside Sunday Market. An open air market where local vendors, displaying and selling local goods, craft, photographs, clothes and … for the macaroon lovers like myself- there are French macaroons and Belgium waffles too.
Some of the big Department stores, housing the famous collections of English and foreign designers are obviously Marks & Spencers, Debenhams, Tk Maxx, TJ Hughes and my favourite -Fenwick ( housing all my favourite brands, which is not really a great thing, if the salary is just about average for now, but still always a pleasure to visit ).What else, I like about Fenwick is the architectural style of the building. It is also known as one of the oldest Department Stores in England. Its windows, especially around Christmas were attracting so many admires, queuing hours to view its festive windows. I decided to wait and I have got my shots on Christmas Day with almost no others around.
So you can tell me now, when are you planning to visit Newcastle?
See you all soon,