Rob and I went to Newcastle-upon-Tyne yesterday. We parked by the Quayside, and had morning coffee in the Dala Swedish Café: the coffee was a bit bland, and they didn't have any gluten free cakes, so we would probably not return there.
We walked for about 15 - 20 minutes, to The Biscuit Factory, the lovely old building has been converted into an art and craft gallery over two large floors, and there are two restaurants on site.
We ate lunch in the restaurant on the first floor. The food was excellent: the best either of us has had for a long time, while eating out. The setting is light and airy with views over the surrounding buildings. There was construction work going on, and it looks like a new outdoor extension is being added.
Stephen Heward has an exhibition of his striking landscape paintings on display at present, but there are all sorts of other styles of art and craft, jewellery, books, cards and homewares available.
We were so pleased to have found this place and will certainly return.
It is another 15 minute walk to the centre of the city, where you can find the unique shops in Grainger Market (a covered marked with many interesting, small units, selling everything:- Mexican deli items; speciality teas and coffees; vintage clothing; books; fruit and veg; joss sticks; health foods, etc.
Central Arcade (rebuilt in 1906, after a fire), with its seemingly unused mezzanine level and ornately ceramic tiled interior.
There are, of course, large department stores and the usual chain shops. I bought a copy of Jane Foster's book "Fun With Fabric", from Waterstones, which includes an overview of designing fabric for digital printing. Her own work is inspired by vintage printed textiles and has a colourful, simple, pattern-led aesthetic that I admire.
It is a downhill walk back to the Quayside area and we stopped off in the Hexham Waitrose to buy a treat for dinner.
All-in-all a very nice day during our week's 'staycation'! We finally picked up Brock, who had been having one of his twice yearly fur cuts, and having fun with groomer, Jenny's, dogs for the day. [Brock's before and after photos from an earlier visit.]