November is turning in to a month of of firsts for me as I’ve been trying out lots of new experiences in Geordieland. Last week I eagerly accepted an invitation to see Esh Group Eagles Newcastle, our local basketball team, take on Worcestor Wolves in the BBL Championship and I can honestly say I’ve never had a Friday night quite like it!
I headed over to the Sport Central Arena on Northumbria University’s city centre campus straight after work and soon realised I’d arrived way too earlier but thankfully I had corporate tickets so my friend and I made ourselves at home in the hospitality suite. As we were tucking into our complimentary curry and rice the Eagles head coach and player Fabulous Flournoy (yes that really is his name!) came and spoke to us about his hopes for the game. He seemed a little nervous but he needn’t have been!
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle are British Basketball’s most successful team in history and they remain unbeaten at home this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that success was down to the passion and volume of the Eagle’s supporters! The stands were full of noisy families, groups of kids waving foam fingers and one man even had a drum, it all added up to an exhilarating atmosphere that almost lifted the lift the roof off Sport Central. I couldn’t help but get swept along in all the excitement and found myself jumping out of my seat and cheering on the Eagles like I was a member of the Northstar Cheerleaders! In truth, it took me almost an hour to work out the rules, but no one seemed to notice.
The second half was even better than the first, tensions rose as the Wolves scored 10 in a row at the end of the third quarter to take the lead at 48-53 but this seemed to spur the home crowd and the Eagle players on even more and they made a momentous comeback!
Paul Gause in particular seemed to find some extra energy from somewhere and the next thing I knew we were in overtime with Gause adding points after points to the score board! I have to say, I think he was my favourite and it did make me laugh when one of the songs played during the game featured the lyrics ‘go shorty’ as the other players towered above Gause!
As you can see, The Esh Group Eagles Newcastle acheived an epic victory in the end, despite the lead changing hands several times throughout the game! The players weren’t just technically brilliant, they were thoroughly entertaining too as were the hosts Howard Leighton and Dan Black, I was kept captivated all evening!
It was great to see so many kids enjoying themselves too, they loved every minute including the half time entertainment like ’chuck a duck’! So if you’re ever stuck for ideas for a family outing with a difference I would highly recommend an evening at the Sport Central Arena to see The Esh Group Eagles Newcastle. Check out their website for details of upcoming games and ticket info!
Images kindly supplied by Newcastle Eagles Photographer Dave Moore. Click HERE to see more of his work.
by Rachel Kershaw
As anyone on Tyneside will tell you, the Fenwick Christmas Window is a real Geordie tradition, it’s been going for over forty years and marks the start of Christmas for many in NewcastleGateshead. It really is a sight to behold, especially for little ones, but grown ups love it too, me included!
There are massive queues to admire the festive display during the day but if you ask me it’s much prettier at night anyway! Ooooh, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
This year’s theme is ‘The Fairy Tale Forest’ and if you look carefully you’ll find traditional characters including Hansel and Gretel, Jack Frost and Little Red Riding Hood.
Be sure to check it out when you’re doing your Christmas shopping in Newcastle. Or if you’ve already seen it then be sure to let me know what your favourite bit is by leaving your comments below!by Rachel Kershaw
Last Friday I did something I’ve never done before, I paid a little visit to Yo Sushi in Fenwick, Newcastle. It may come as a bit of a surprise that I’ve never dined there as it’s a stones throw from my office and and has been open now for about seven years! I have to admit, I’ve never really fancied it, assuming that it’s all about raw fish in tiny portions. However, the star of the current menu is nothing of the sort!
The ‘Super Mega Katsu Curry’ or ‘The Beast’ as it’s being called on the promotional flyers is a winter warmer that could fill even the most famished! You can choose from chicken, prawn or tofu, covered in breadcrumbs and smothered in rich, mild curry sauce. It’s served on top of a huge pile of sticky white rice and try as I might, there was no way I could finish it. Truth be told, I should have resisted that beef tataki I had when I arrived but it was winking at me from the belt!
The lovely head chef, Paul, offered to pop the katsu curry leftovers in a takeaway box whilst somehow managing to tempt me in to trying a strawberry cheesecake mochi. I don’t know how I made room but I’m so glad I did. This sweet little treat had a texture like nothing I’ve experienced before! It was gooey and delicious and moorish and well, to be honest you just have to try it for yourself!
If you want to sample the Super Mega Katsu Curry, you’ll have to be quick, it was put on the menu to celebrate National Katsu Curry week and is only available till 24th November. There are some exciting new additions to the menu coming over the next few weeks though so don’t worry, you’re in for a treat when you ever you decide to pop by – and as Yo Sushi is based within Newcastle’s finest department store, Fenwick, it’s the perfect pit stop if you’re there Christmas shopping.by Rachel Kershaw
‘What on Earth is boutique bowling?’ I hear you cry. Believe me, I thought the same thing when an invite to to a preview of Geordieland’s latest leisure attraction dropped in my inbox, but now that I’ve been and checked it out I’m very excited to tell you all about it!
Firstly, I need you to banish any preconceptions you have about bowling alleys full of noisy teenagers, smelly shoes and tasteless food… Lane 7 is quite simply in a different class! This is a bowling alley for grown-ups and stylish ones at that!
Lane 7 owner, Tim Wilks has created something rather unique on St James’ Boulevard in Newcastle. There are eight walnut finish bowling lanes over two warehouse style floors, vintage 1950′s Brunswick balls that have been imported from America and a kitchen that offers some of the most exciting, messy and mouthwatering food I’ve sampled in ages!
Head chef, Chris Finnigan, trained for four years under celebrity chef Raymond Blanc so he sure knows what he’s doing and with a kitchen that boasts its own smokery and indoor barbeques you can set your expectations pretty high and not be disappointed!
The American inspired menu offered loads of my favourite dishes but I couldn’t resist the ten-hour braised beef ribs, they were absolutely delicious and I wolfed the whole lot down so quickly that I didn’t even get chance to take a snap! I did however get a pic of my boyfriend’s cheeseburger and fries before he tucked in and he assured me it tasted as good as it looked!
Lane 7 also offers ping pong (officially my new favourite hobby), pool tables and even a private karaoke booth! You’ll also find two bars offering a fabulous selection of drinks including alcoholic milkshakes and for a city centre venue the bar prices are really very reasonable (A pint of Coors is £3 and they also serve draught beers in halfs and ‘growlers!’)
The whole concept is genius and I’ll certainly be back!by Rachel Kershaw
On Saturday 26th October I spent the afternoon at one of of Geordieland’s most iconic landmarks, BALTIC. I was there for a very special Halloween inspired ‘Bone Necklace Workshop’ with experts from the sought after accessory brand Tatty Devine! I don’t often spend my weekends being quite so creative but I found it to be very therapeutic and lots of fun.
The room at Baltic was kitted out with spooky props to set the scene, but thankfully, the girls from Tatty Devine weren’t scary at all. I’d gone on my own but they made me feel really welcome and I was soon chatting away to the other ladies taking part in the workshop like we were long lost friends!
We were encouraged to pick our own perspex bones and embellish them with Swarovski crystal elements which was much more difficult than it sounds, I knew I wasn’t going to be a natural when it took me fifteen minutes to choose a colour theme!
With a little bit of help I eventually picked out black, cream and green perspex bones and set about decorating my necklace. A few ladies more prepared than me had brought sketches and created some very impressive designs, I had to confess to having a little bit of necklace envy. That said, I was still quite proud of my own effort, not bad for a first attempt, don’t you think?
I really enjoyed learning the skills and techniques to make my very own necklace with the Tatty Devine team and will be proudly wearing my creation this Halloween along with my black cat ears!
If you fancy getting your paws on something pretty from Tatty Devine then make sure you check out the Baltic Shop Christmas Discount Weekend on the 9th & 10th November when there’ll be 15% off across the whole shop – it’s the perfect place to find unique Christmas gifts! Plus there’ll be fizz, nibbles and FREE gift wrapping!
Or if I’ve inspired you to get creative then you can also take part in ‘Christmas Unwrapped’ an Origami workshop with regional artist and origami jewellery maker Kit Kingsbury. It’s happening in the Baltic Shop, 10th November 11am – 12pm.
Have you been to Baltic? If so please tell me what you loved about it by leaving a comment below.by Rachel Kershaw
Juice is regarded as one of the best festivals for children in the UK and it takes place right here in NewcastleGateshead during October half term (Friday 25 October – Sunday 03 November 2013). So I thought I would share with you some of the exciting events that are lined up over the ten fun-filled days…
Just Jam International at Dance City - Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 October
Some of the best b-boys and b-girls from across Europe and beyond will be battle it out at the Just Jam one-on-one battle! BirdGang, Ill Abilities and Ghost Crew will also be sharing their breakdancing skills in a series of special workshops so make sure you bring your dancing shoes!
ZigZag ZigZag at St. Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead - Mon 28 till Weds 30 October
Inspired by David Grossman’s much-loved story, The Zig Zag Kid, this live theatre production tells the story of 12-year-old boys Nono and Chaim and their magical adventures which see their lives change forever.
Juice Art Jam III at the CoMusica Arches (behind Sage Gateshead) - Saturday 26 October
Top names in the UK Urban Art Scene once again descend on NewcastleGateshead for another day of inspiring graffiti artwork. As well as the chance to leave your mark, there’s also the opportunity to try your hand at clothing customisation and learn new drawing skills from Bristol-based artist, Andy Council.
A Spooky Night at the Museum at Discovery Museum - Thursday 31 October
Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a museum after it closes at night? Now’s your chance as Discovery Museum hosts a night of Halloween adventure on Thursday 31 October, including a spooky circus, ghostly trails and lots more fun activities for all the family.
Juice Festival Finale Parade starting at Baltic Square - Sunday 3 November
It’s not often you get the chance to parade along the quayside in your onesie and be told a pre-bedtime story by special puppet creations from Unfolding Theatre! That’s what the spectacular Juice Festival Finale Parade offers along with live music from Sage Gateshead’s young musicians. Don’t miss it!
Juice is developed and produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) as part of its festivals and events programme and they kindly provided all the photos used in this blog post. Some of the events will require pre-booking see see the Juice Website for full details.
The 2013 festival is sponsored by Port of Tyne.by Rachel Kershaw
I have been kicking myself for nearly a fortnight after missing out on Urban Night Feast which took place at The Boiler Shop on 3rd, 4th & 5th October. Celebrating the best in street food and drink, Urban Night Feast promised to exhilarate the senses of visitors with amazing smells, sounds, sights and of course tastes from across the globe!
Sadly I had other plans that weekend and couldn’t be there but friends who did attend the event have been all too quick to make me jealous with their tales of scrumptious scotch eggs, Fat Hippo burgers (I hope that’s the name of the supplier and not the ingredient!), delicious wood-fired pizzas and traditional Indian street food. I was even told of a special gin and Newcastle Brown Ale cocktail that was prepared by the mixology team from the Travelling Gin Company! Not sure I would have been brave enough to try that concoction but one thing is certain, I will not be missing next year’s Urban Night Feast for anything!
If, like me, you also missed out then here’s some fantastic images captured by James Byrne Photography just to rub salt in to your wounds. Hopefully you’ll join me there next year!
Were you lucky enough to tuck in to something tasty at Urban Night Feast? If so I’d love to hear what you enjoyed so please feel free to leave a comment below.by Rachel Kershaw
Back in May I had the pleasure of stumbling across a vintage fair at the beautiful Theatre Royal in Newcastle. It was a fabulous event and thankfully wasn’t a one-off as ‘Newcastle Does Vintage’ returns to this prestigious venue on 29th September and 16th November!
For the bargain price of just a quid you can browse rails and rails of unique vintage clothing and homewares. All the stall holders are hand picked by the organisers ‘Britain Does Vintage’ and they seem to really care about the choice of vintage goods on offer. Everything from the period clothing to the retro sweeties were top quality and there was even entertainment from a swing singer!
You can find out more about the vintage fair on facebook. My pictures really don’t do the event or indeed the setting justice, so try and get there yourself and please let me know what vintage treasures you manage to uncover!by Rachel Kershaw
You can take your ginormous multiplex cinemas and your super size snacks, for me there is only one way to see a movie and that’s in style at the Tyneside Cinema! I’ve been coming here for years after being introduced to it by my boyfriend and now we wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else.
The Tyneside Cinema is the last surviving Newsreel theatre still operating as a cinema full-time in the UK. It shows a carefully selected list of films (updated weekly) including independent films and documentaries as well as the latest Hollywood blockbusters, all shown in beautiful surroundings.
The Grade II-listed building is an important, must-see piece of heritage, not just regionally, but nationally too and it has been lovingly restored to preserve and celebrate the grandeur of its original 1937 art deco design.
Manager Leigh Venus reveals there are also many more reasons the Tyneside Cinema is so special:
We’ve been here for the people of Tyneside for over 75 years and right now we’re showing more films to more people and we’ve never been busier. We also do live music, film quizzes, a knitting club, an award-winning augmented reality game for children and we’ve even got our very own film production company, Northern Stars. Our amazing heritage is also a huge part of what we do, and we show free daily newsreels alongside free guided tours led by our expert guides. Whether you are here for a film, an event, a cup of tea or just to look around, everyone is welcome round our place, so come and see.”
If that’s not enough to convince you then how about three unique cafés to whet your appetite? Choose from the bright , modern Tyneside Bar with its free wifi, the atmospheric Tyneside Coffee Rooms where you can tuck in to heartwarming comfort food or Intermezzo Coffee Bar where you can watch the world go by with a cappuccino or cocktail – and best of all you can enjoy alcoholic beverages inside the cinema screens!
The next film I’m looking forward to seeing at the Tyneside is Harrigan. This independent film has been written by local author Arthur McKenzie,produced by Newcastle based production company TallTree Pictures Ltd and directed by local man Vince Woods. I also hear much of it has been filmed right here in Geordieland!
The first screening of Harrigan at the Tyneside Cinema will include an exclusive live Q&A with the author and director on September 29th – tickets are on sale now!
by Rachel Kershaw
I’m looking out of the window contemplating today’s outfit choice, it seems the lovely summer weather has well and truly disappeared and suddenly I have absolutely nothing to wear! However, I always say that behind every cloud there’s a silver lining… the arrival of Autumn is the perfect excuse for a bit of retail therapy and where could be better than the largest shopping and leisure centre in Europe, Intu Metrocentre!
I recently caught up with Michaela from Metrocentre’s Style Team to hear all about their exciting new Group Style Sessions. We met up in Circle 360, the sophisticated champagne and cocktail bar in the new Platinum Mall. I was spoilt to bubbly and a cup cake, an affordable little luxury at just £5.95, while Micheala gave me the low down on how the Group Style Sessions work…
Group Style Sessions give you the chance to get a bunch of mates together and discover the latest trends with the help of a friendly personal shopper. Michaela is part of a team of three who can arrange to meet you at Metrocentre or a convenient location of your choice such as a workplace. You’ll get the fashionista’s undivided attention for up to two hours, they’ll provide everyone in your group with a glass of fizz and some nibbles and you’ll also each receive a £5 gift card and goody bag! How much fun does that sound? Perfect for hen parties and birthdays or when you’ve got a big event coming up such a Christmas party.
The sessions cost just £10 per person and there must be at least 8 people in your group.
I have to admit, I hadn’t been to Metrocentre for quite some time and I was very impressed by the recent and ongoing developments in the Platinum Mall, this definitely has the promise to become the ultimate destination for sophisticated shoppers. New additions include Tessuti (where I found myself in handbag heaven) and super stylish Phase Eight, stores that certainly deserve the platinum accolade.
Whilst I was at Metrocentre I couldn’t resist a visit to Qube for a spot of dinner, I also reverted to being a kid again as I checked out Namco but I’ll tell you all about that later because I still haven’t decided what to wear today and the weekend awaits!
Check back soon to read more about my Life in Geordieland.
by Rachel Kershaw