Showing posts with label Without The Boys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Without The Boys. Show all posts

6 February 2018

A Spanish Lunch Date at Tapas Revolution in Newcastle (REVIEW)


I love tapas food. I always eat too much but I love the concept of sharing and of being able to try new foods without having to opt for them as your whole meal. So when we were invited along to Tapas Revolution in Newcastle to sample their Tapas menu we were eager to attend, so hubby and I booked ourselves a table one lunchtime for a lunch date while the boys were at school.

A Spanish Lunch Date at Tapas Revolution in Newcastle

This post also contains Amazon affiliate links. It costs you nothing however if you do buy something after clicking the link then Amazon will pay me a small amount in commission - so thank you in advance if you do!

3 February 2018

The War of the Worlds at Northern Stage (REVIEW)

On Stage 3 at Northern Stage in Newcastle, this week is a vivid new production that relocates H.G. Wells' iconic novel to the North East. We were invited to attend the press night last week and were rewarded with a brilliant night out, a great date night with a difference.

HG Wells The War of the Worlds at Northern Stage

5 January 2018

Eating Out Vegan Style at The Ship Inn, Ouseburn, Newcastle

Ever wondered where you can find vegan food in Newcastle? And eat out as a vegan?

Eating vegan food whilst out is not always the easiest thing to do. So as January is increasingly becoming known as Veganuary I thought I'd share our recent experiences of eating out in a dedicated vegan pub with you. The pub is The Ship Inn, Ouseburn, Newcastle - luckily for us less than half a mile from our home! 

Eating Out Vegan Style at The Ship Inn, Ouseburn, Newcastle

11 December 2017

Thai Cookery Experiences at Chaophraya Newcastle (REVIEW)

Do you love Thai food? Do you wish you cook a meal to the standard and quality you’d expect to find in a restaurant? Did you know you can learn to do just that at Chaophraya Restaurants – including the one in Newcastle?

Thai Cookery Experiences at Chaophraya Newcastle

22 November 2017

Pioneers of Pop at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

Have you popped into the Hatton Gallery yet? We did just that recently, following its £3.8m redevelopment, to see the Pioneers in Pop exhibition. The first exhibition at The Hatton Gallery located on Newcastle University campus since it re-opened in October.

Pioneers of Pop at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University - newcastle the birthplace of pop art

21 November 2017

Indulging in the Luxury Collection at Crêpeaffaire (REVIEW)

Tucked away under the escalator in intu Eldon Square in Newcastle, you'll find Crêpeaffaire. A small crêperie where you can enjoy freshly prepared French-style crêpes, whatever your craving, at any time of the day. 

The restaurant is also celebrating its first birthday this week after opening in the recently developed Greys Quarter of Eldon Square a year ago. It was also one of our significant anniversaries last week, so hubby and I were delighted to receive an invitation to try out the new Luxury Indulgent Crêpes and Shakes that are now on offer at Crêpeaffaire in Newcastle.

Indulging in the Luxury Collection at Crêpeaffaire in Newcastle

16 November 2017

Thai Food for a Tenner in Newcastle

Did you know you can get a two course Thai meal and a soft drink for just £10, in the heart of Newcastle?

The Zaap Thai restaurant, located on Newgate Street in Newcastle, in the building that formerly housed the COOP deparment store, offers such a deal on weekdays between 11am and 6pm.

Thai Food for a Tenner in Newcastle at zaap thai

11 September 2017

Overdue Date Night at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle (REVIEW)

Date nights are always good. Whether it's a walk along the beach, a meal out, visit to the cinema, or in this case a night at the theatre. So when we get an opportunity for a date night, we try and make the most of it. 

On this occasion, we had received an invitation to the press night at the re-launched Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle, for the production of Overdue. And with a babysitter available we headed out for a pre-theatre meal and a show.

30 August 2017

Dining Out In Durham: The Collage Restaurant at Radisson Blu (REVIEW)

When you have both lived and studied in a city, like me and hubby did in Durham, and you are presented with the opportunity to return and review a snazzy restaurant, how lucky were we that we had babysitters for a Friday evening and we could go and enjoy a child-free meal at the new Collage Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Durham.

Dining Out In Durham We review The Collage Restaurant at Radisson Blu

14 July 2017

A Girls Night Out In Jesmond at Bistro 46

Every few months I head out without the boys or hubby and enjoy a foodie themed evening with a bunch of mum friends whom I've known since the boys were at nursery. On this occasion, the destination for our eating out was to be Bistro 46 in a suburb of Newcastle called Jesmond - a place I'd heard good things about but had not actually been to.

Bistro 46 Jesmond Newcastle review

27 June 2017

Lunch with the Girls at Gusto on Newcastle Quayside

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch with a few friends. Although all mums of young children, on this occasion we left our children at home and enjoyed an afternoon of good food and wine and grown-up chat. We ate lovely food, and the sparkling conversation and wine flowed too at Gusto on Newcastle Quayside as we celebrated a birthday.
Lunch with the Girls at Gusto on Newcastle Quayside

10 May 2017

An Afternoon Tea with a Noveltea Twist (REVIEW)

With 84% of the British population drinking tea and herbal infusions every day - that's over 165 million cups of tea consumed every day - it is no wonder that someone has come up with an alcoholic version ... and I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch last month.

The launch took place in Fenwick Newcastle, who are also the first retailer to stock NOVELTEA in their flagship store in intu Eldon Square. I love an Espresso Martini so after reading about this new product, I was intrigued as to what alcoholic tea would actually taste like.

An Afternoon Tea with a Noveltea Twist

9 May 2017

Northern Orchestra - Increasing Access to Classical Music

Last weekend, me and hubby went to a classical music concert. It was to see an orchestra that I had been working with as a PR client, however knowing my hubby likes classical music I suggested we went along.

Northern Orchestra - increasing access to classical music

28 November 2016

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Cocktails and Fun (REVIEW)

Rub Smokehouse & Bar recently opened a third restaurant in Newcastle upon Tyne, following on from its successful ventures in Nottingham and Birmingham. ‘Rub on the Tyne' opened in October 2016 in the leisure complex called The Gate, serving up huge plates of food, cocktails and creating 60 new jobs at the same time. 

In a bid to let more people know about the cocktails on offer, an invitation to a cocktail class arrived in my inbox.

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

So what's a girl to do when she gets an invitation to a cocktail mixing night? Accept straight away of course. So that’s what I did (once I’d made sure hubby was happy to do bedtime duties solo that evening).

Recently opened in The Gate in Newcastle-on-Tyne, where the Ask restaurant was formerly located, Rub Smokehouse & Bar is a BBQ restaurant with it roots firmly in the South of the USA. 

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

A passion for food, drink and creating a party atmosphere are the three ingredients, that Rub say make up this larger-than-life Amercian style barbecue and cocktail bar, which has brought it’s own a taste of America with barbecue, milkshakes, waffles into the city centre.

With 150–covers, this casual, loud and bold bar and restaurant, which has been inspired by the 1980s, is open from 11am until late Monday to Friday, and from 10am until “very, very late” at weekends, adding to Newcastle's already vibrant nightlife scene.

The menu at Rub on the Tyne’s is packed with specialities including ‘low n slow’ meats smoked over hickory, including pork shoulders and beef brisket cooked for 16 hours, burgers, desserts and inventions listed on the menu as #Epicfood. 

The portion sizes may be oversized but I like the fact that doggy bags are given to customers who can’t clear their plates so they can take the rest home, avoiding unnecessary waste.

Although on this occasion we were not there to sample the food, complimentary dishes were served to accompany the cocktails. 

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

It’s a BBQ restaurant so I wouldn’t expect many veggie options but with Potato Skins, Forest Burger, Southwestern Salad and Mixed Bean Chilli, plus seafood options there are alternatives to meat that sound pretty tasty. I’ll be trying them next time.

However, this visit was all about the cocktails! There are 20 classic cocktails, 26 speciality cocktails, including sharers served in tin baths as well as mocktails and alcoholic slushies.

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

To someone who was legally allowed (only just mind), to actually drink 80s cocktails in the 1980s, then the drinks list at Rub brings back all sorts of memories. You'll find the commonly known Cosmopolitan, Daiquiri, Manhattan, Mojito and Pina Colada as well as imaginatively and creatively named cocktails with an 80s twist: Dead Pig Society, Papa Don't Preach, Saving Mr Banksy and Buffalo Soldier to name just a few.

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

Mixologist and cocktail creator Joe MacBeth, demonstrated how to make a cocktail – and with his expertise made it all look so easy! We could see how he had recently been crowned a winner in a global cocktail competition.

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

The first cocktail he demonstrated was an OLD FASHIONED. 

Once demonstrated we then had to make our own pictured below ...

Here is the recipe if you’d like to try it at home but please drink responsibly!
  • 50ml Wild Turkey 101
  • 5ml Sugar Syrup
  • 3 drops of Angostura Bitters
  • Orange peel which releases oils and aroma
  • Add Ice then shake

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

Another from the classic menu was a WHISKEY SOUR
  • 50ml Buffalo Trace
  • 30ml Lemon Juice
  • 25ml Egg White
  • 25ml Sugar Syrup
  • For this one you add ice, shake then remove the ice and shake again to allow the drink to expand.
  • Add bitters and a slice of lemon.

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

And from the speciality menu a BUBBLEGUM HEMINGWAY
  • 50ml Red Stag
  • 25ml Bubblegum & Cherry Syrup
  • 10ml Lime Juice
  • 40ml Grapefruit Juice
  • Shake, pour over ice and top with bubblegum foam.
class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

These all sound far easier than they are to make and it’s a lot harder, trying not to spill the drink when shaking without looking like you are going to do yourself an injury. As we were soon to find out!

Next, we had to create our own from ingredients provided. 

For us, these were Stolichnaya Vanilla, Cassis, Sugar Syrup, Mountain Dew, Crushed Ice, a Meringue and Strawberry Syrup. 

Looking like a list of dessert ingredients rather than a cocktail we created a rather sweet, but still quite tasty drink which we named ‘A Messy Rub’ paying homage to the delicious dessert that is an Eton Mess. 

rub smokehouse and bar newcastle cocktails

It's not going to win an award, even if described as ‘pretty’ by the cocktail creator himself (notice he didn’t describe the taste) and it's never going to beat my number one cocktail the ‘Expresso Martini’.

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

The cocktail king did though make me an Expresso Martini and it was perfect!

If I'm honest, Rub probably wouldn’t have been top of my list for an evening out, but now that I've been and seen that the venue is fun, clean and bright, I can see the boys loving the décor and the food and me loving the cocktails.

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

Cost: Cocktails are from £7.00 with Classic Cocktails 2 for 1 11am-7pm and 10pm to close.
Location: The Gate, Newcastle upon Tyne - close to shopping centres, bus stations and train stations
Boys Club Rating: Definitely a taste of the 80s.

What's your favourite cocktail?

Deb x.

Big thanks to Laura from Ellefluence for organising the evening and to Laura Pearman for some of the above images. 

class cocktails at rub smokehouse and bar in newcastle

1 November 2016

Once you choose Hope Cove, anything's possible...

I was looking for a place to have a child-free couple of days in South West England. We needed accommodation, great restaurants and places to eat and above all else a place to chill out and relax in  either Devon or Cornwall.

 This would mean that the boys could enjoy a bit of time with Grandma and Grandad - without Mum and Dad cramping their style and impeding the number of treats they could have!

A few Google searches later and I discovered the St. Austell Brewery website and their estate of inns offering accommodation. There were lots in Cornwall but fully booked for the days that we had available. Then I found one in Hope Cove. 

I hadn't heard of the place, but it sounded idyllic. A few Google image searches later and I was ready to book a room at the Hope & Anchor, luckily for us, there was one remaining, a deluxe room with sea views, and including breakfast was £115 per night. 

However, if you book online and use the promotional code you receive a 10% discount.

So after a few weeks, it was time to travel to Hope Cove. And Hope Cove did not disappoint. Turquoise sea, craggy coves, and sandy bays awaited us - it felt like we were in the Mediterranean, not the UK.

The food was also amazing. For lunch, at the Hope & Anchor, we shared a Fritto Misto seafood platter (£18.50), washed down with Rattler cider and a beer. 

We walked this off by following the south west coastal path westwards up and over the hill to get clear views across to Plymouth, Burgh Island and South Milton Sands.

That night we watched the sunset with a beer before eating at The Cove Inn - the pizza was amazing – one topped with spinach, ricotta, and wild mushrooms – and the other with – tuna, olives and sundried tomatoes - all enjoyed with a pint of Otter Amber – apparently Devon’s finest cask ale and just £3.00 a pint - and a gluten free Belgian bottled beer – Mongezo Premium Pilsner (just to give it a try) – the first Fairtrade organic lager in the world.

I woke to hear the waves of the sea lapping up the beach. I sat in the window seat and just stared out at the great view, enjoying the peace and quiet for about an hour. 

Then it was time for breakfast. I chose smoked haddock with poached egg and hubby had a Full English (vegetarian version). Simply delicious and we really didn't need anything else to eat for the rest of the day.

After chilling out and reading a book back in the window seat (fast becoming my favourite seat of all time) we headed eastwards along the south west coastal path and this time got views right back across Inner Hope and Outer Hope.

That evening we were entertained by singers outside The Cove Inn and country dancing outside the Hope & Anchor before we ate there. It was ultra-busy but the very efficient staff found us a table and we were served quickly and once again enjoyed great food - this time fish pie and fish and chips.

The following day we started with breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs before we checked out. Again we couldn't fault it. The weather was still so amazing, that we headed to the beach to lie in the sun for a few hours before heading home to the grandparents via the coastal route. 

I even got to read some more of Caitlin Moran's 'How To Build A Girl' book that I'd been wanting to read for a while (well worth the read too!).

To make the most of the sunshine and child-free time we drove home via Salcombe. A place I remember as having great beaches as a child, but have not been too for many years. 

We spotted a National Trust property using their app and headed to Overbecks - the seaside home of inventor Otto Overbeck, which has panoramic views across Salcombe harbour. A lovely volunteer told us all about the areas own micro climate which allows the subtropical garden to bloom.

Searching for local food recommendations on Twitter I discovered a restaurant called The Winking Prawn - and with a name like that how could you resist not seeking it out.

Actually, it was less than a mile from Overbecks and right next to the beach, which by this time was quiet as the tide had come in. 

We were in luck it was BBQ time and they suggested sharing if we weren't too hungry as they were generous portions. So, more fish was on the menu for us. Salmon and prawns, accompanied with hot buttered new potatoes, bread and dips and salad (you could request more bread and salad too) all finished off with ice cream. Just £18.95 and enough food for two people.

The short drive back took us through the amazing countryside of South Devon, taking in Kingsbridge and Totnes, meant we were back home just in time to give the boys big hugs and bedtime stories.

Hope Cove was so nice that we surprised my dad with a trip to Hope Cove for his 80th birthday last month. And you know what, just like after our child-free break away last year in Lovely Lulworth, I want to return but this time with the boys :)

Cost: Rooms at Hope & Anchor are available from £69
Time: A lovely place to spend a few days to a week - with or without kids.
Equipment: Beachwear and walking shoes.
Boys Club Rating: Got to go back - love it! Especially, if you love fish.

Where would you recommend for a child-free break?

Deb x

* Thank you to Christopher Reeve the American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author, and activist for his quote that was the inspiration for my headline. 

The Places We Will Go