Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Stuff What I Did - Episode One

I have been a blur recently, I've been to so many places and done so many things I have hardly had time to think let alone write about them. Every time I go somewhere in the back of my mind I am thinking about how I would blog about it, taking photos to share with you all, then before I know it its 2 months later and it feels like the moment has passed. I think part of my problem is that I feel compelled to give you a nice long meaty post with hilarious anecdotes up the wazoo... In reality I just don't have time to blog each and every moment, no matter how much I might want to.

So rather than just not mentioning anything I thought I would do little round-up posts. Little snippets of things, restaurants I've loved, events I've gone to, Food I've sampled and just have to tell you about...

I'm sure you get the picture, so without futher ado, here is some stuff what I did "recently" (not that recently but lets pretend, OK?)...

Brewdog Newcastle

One of my favourite parts of the city is Grey Street. It is not only an architectural beauty spot, it also houses the Theatre Royal (pictured) which has had a little facelift recently and is frankly stunning, especially at night. Walking down Grey Street in the evening is lovely and there are lots of wonderful restaurants and bars all the way to the Quayside.

Nestled between Grey St and the Quayside you can find Brewdog. Now until recently I had never really considered Brewdog as a place for me, I am not a big beer drinker and I always felt a bit lost looking at the beer menu.

However, when I was invited to attend an afternoon tea with a punk twist I jumped at the chance. They paired each of their signature ales with various meats, cheeses and cake. (Cake lovingly supplied by Pet Lamb Patisserie)

I was plesently surprised to find how much I enjoyed some of the lighter brews, the Punk IPA and 5am Saint were my favourites. Some of the darker ales were too strong for my liking. Brewdog have bars all over the UK, so dont be scared, go on in and enjoy some quality brews.

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Urban Night Feast

The second annual Urban Night Feast happened in early October. I had such a great time at the first event back in 2012 I was really looking forward to it. UNF is a street food event which draws vendors from all around the UK to Newcastle basically to have a great big party!

The event is organised by Maunika Gowardhan and although it got a little stick not using "local" street food vendors I personally like the fact that we got a chance to sample some of what the rest of the UK have to offer right on our doorstep. We are lucky enough to have a lot of wonderful street food in Newcastle, it nice to be able to taste and experience a few others without having to buy exorbitant train tickets.

Some of my highlights from this years feast; Luardo's pulled pork burrito, Deeny's "Macbeth" haggis toastie, The Travelling Gin Company's Negroni and Ginola cocktails, Horn OK Please and their amazing bhel puri and finally the wonderful Purl London and their cocktail masterclass.

I paid the extra £12 to go to the Purl masterclass, where I learned all about prohibition cocktails and smoke infused alcohol... To be honest I am struggling to remember what they talked to us about, but I can assure you their "Bribe" cocktail was equal parts tasty and lethal.

All in all a fun night was had by all.

Lane 7 Opening

It seems that you can't take 3 steps without seeing a new place opening in Newcastle at the moment. Not that I'm complaining, it pleases me greatly to see some fun new alternatives to the usual haunts. I heard about Lane 7 through Twitter, the idea was for a boutique bowling alley and restaurant. Forget formica tables, moulded seats and plastic hot-dogs imagine the best bar you’ve ever been to with bowling.

I was really excited to go check it out, especially after Stalking following the chef on twitter and getting a sneak peak at the menu. inspired by classic American dishes, from burgers and ribs to mac n cheese and pulled pork, Screw the bowling I am going for the food!

I was certainly not disappointed! I went with four friends and I went for the Mac n Cheese (with sweet potato fries) and the others opted for the Pulled Pork Bun, Double Cheese Burger and the Spatch-cock Piri piri Chicken. I don't think any of us spoke for about 10 minutes after the food came, we were far too busy shoving it into our faces.

Seriously, it was good. The Mac n Cheese was not super cheesy (would of loved maybe a bit of blue cheese going on) but the crispy onions and herby breadcrumbs lifted it, making it a wonderfully comforting dish. The sweet potato fries were delicious of course, how could they not be?

We had a quick go at the bowling, which was fun and all but I wouldn't necessarily go rushing back to bowl. Its a great added extra but the best part for me (besides the food) was the overall atmosphere. The clatter of pins, the bold and beautful decor and the attentive and friendly service are what make this place special.

I read a really great post over on Happy Yolks today which talked about places trying so hard to be "hip" and cool that they forget the human element. I can honestly say from my experience Lane 7 gets the balance just right, and I will be going back and I will be trying the salt beef hash.

So hope you enjoyed the first installment of "Stuff What I Did"... Tune in next time for tapas, gin bars and pizza!

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