(AD – Gifted)
A little while ago I noticed a new account on Instagram that made my tummy rumble with pics of yummy food from some of my favourite places in Newcastle. I soon discovered the account was promoting a brand new food tour in the city!
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This is something Newcastle has been without for far too long and I was eager to check it out. A couple of weeks later I received an invite to be a guinea pig on the first ever Triple A Food Tour, well, you can imagine how giddy I was! I had high hopes for this bold new venture and I am pleased to say it lived up to my expectations.
I deliberately avoided the Triple A Food Tours website before the day of my tour as I wanted the destinations to be a surprise, but I was delighted to discover it included some of my favourite places plus somewhere that had been on my wish list for ages. I went along on my own but was joined by a lovely group of journalists and bloggers who were as happy to be there as I was.
We met at Grey’s Monument in the heart of the city (where else, it is THE meeting spot in Newcastle)! There were six of us altogether, plus a friendly and insightful guide called Hannah. I’d say the group size was perfect although if you were part of a bigger group I’m sure you’d still have an amazing time, here’s a little round of my experience…
I had a sneaking suspicion that we would be swinging by the Grainger Market, it is a haven of foodie delights. We visited two eateries in the covered Victorian market and the first was the delightful La Casa, a tiny tapas bar and shop run by a lovely Spanish family who are proud to share their authentic family recipes and local produce from their home town near La Mancha.
We were served a generously filled sharing board with delicious delicacies including arancini balls and crispy octopus, all washed down with rather large glasses of Spanish wine, it was like being on holiday!
Lindsay’s Seafood stall in the Grainger Market is a bit of an institution, well known for being one of the best places in the north east to stock up on fresh fish.
Now, I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when I was told this stop was to sample their Lindisfarne oysters, I’ve had a bad experience with oysters once in the past so they’re not exactly my favourite food. However, after watching the fishmonger carefully prepare this tray of fresh oysters for our enjoyment I could hardly say no.
He offered us two each with a selection of dressings to choose from, one of which was vodka… even more bad memories! So, I stuck to the simple option of lemon juice and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, you could really tell how fresh they were. It was also a great place to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Grainger Market before moving on to our next stop across town.
The walk from the Grainger Market to our third stop at The Bridge Tavern took us through Central Arcade, a beautifully preserved Edwardian shopping arcade that is well worth a photo stop. We then ventured down Grey Street, famous for its beautiful architecture that never fails impress.
The Bridge Tavern was the perfect pit stop for the middle of the tour. We got the chance to hear from the pub’s head brewer (Bridge Tavern is a also micro-brewery) who served us a selection of different beers. I usually stick to pale ales but he mentioned that the darkest beer had been made with coffee so I had to give that a try. Oh my days… it was like a cross between a Guinness and an espresso martini, I LOVED it!
We were also treated to mouthwatering mini burgers, they were absolutely delicious and very filling. Despite the temptation to stuff my face I restricted myself to just one as I was conscious we still had two stops left. You are definitely well fed on this tour, that’s for sure!
I was so excited when Hannah announced the next stop was Six, the prestigious restaurant which occupies the top floor of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art has an excellent reputation for its ‘simple, seasonable and sustainable’ menu. It also boasts the best panoramic views of the Quayside.
The setting here was a lot more formal than anywhere else on the tour but the atmosphere was still really relaxed.The group had got to know each other a little bit better by this point; We chatted away while sharing bread and olives and happily tucked in to our own individually served charcuterie plates. More wine flowed and I could feel myself getting a little bit tipsy, not to mention very full. Everything was delicious, right down to the whipped salted butter!
Another huge grin appeared across my face when the final stop was revealed. The Great British Cupcakery is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time after seeing many amazing pictures of their homemade creations on Instagram.
My eyes widened as we stepped inside the pretty parlour, it’s beautifully decorated with a gorgeous pastel coloured flower wall. A pretty blossom tree stands in one corner and baby pink seating curves around another. The counter was filled with tempting sweet treats, from individual cupcakes to huge slices of the most amazing layer cakes you have ever seen, all creatively decorated with mouthwatering delights.
We were offered the choice of a hot drink and any cake or a shake… but we’re not talking your average milkshake here so I simply couldn’t resist the latter. This salted caramel creation was the absolute bomb and provided the perfect end to an absolutely fabulous day!
I consider myself very lucky to have been one of the first to enjoy a Newcastle Food Tour with Triple A Food Tours, although I’m sure it wouldn’t have taken me long to book! They’ve managed to create an experience that encapsulates so many of the things I love about Geordieland… passionate people, sensational sights and fabulous food and drink!
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone, whether you’re a food lover who wants to sample some of the best eateries around or a tourist looking for a fun way to see the city. The variety of food and drink means there’s something for everyone and I think it would be a great way to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday or hen party.
Triple A Food Tours also offer vouchers, the perfect gift for a foodie! I think the price tag of £49pp is great value considering how much you get to eat and drink and the quality of the establishments you visit.
The only tips I can think to give you would be to arrive hungry and wear comfortable shoes. Oh, and keep an eye out for new and exciting tours being announced, including a cheese tour (I know what I’ll be doing for my birthday this year)!
All the booking info you need is at www.tripleafoodtours.com
Do you fancy trying out the Newcastle Food Tour? I always love to hear your thoughts so leave me a comment below 🙂