There have been pop-up restaurants in quirky locations, cookery classes to inspire the young and a huge range of fun-filled events to bring friends and families together through a shared love of food. So as we approach the last few days of NewcastleGateshead’s epic food festival I thought I would share with you one of my EAT! highlights, although surprisingly (or unsurprisingly depending on how well you know me!) it centres around drink rather than food!
Fizz and Crisps was just one of many eclectic events hosted at the EAT! Speakeasy, a venue inspired by the 18th Century ‘salon’ movement when all kinds of people gathered under the roof of an inspiring host to be entertained, educated and amused. The exact location was a bit of a mystery at first but after working out the riddle (and checking with a few people on Twitter) I eventually worked out that I needed to head to the Lit & Phil in the centre of Newcastle. It’s the largest independent library outside library, a perfect setting!
Once there my friends and I were treated to glass after glass of sparkling wine from the new Bar Luga menu. Bar Luga is a prestigious bar on Grey Street that has recently started working with a new supplier, Eden Wines, the rep talked us through the selection including a traditionally made English sparkling wine called ‘Henners’ (pictured above) and a semi-sparkling red called ‘Borada’. The latter was quite unusual but full of flavour and an interesting change, especially for red-wine drinkers, there were also plenty of parsnip and and beetroot crisps to accompany the drinks which were a big hit at my table.
The atmosphere was really relaxed at the Speakeasy & Salon, some people were obviously really in to their facts and spent time quizzing the sommelier, others were simply there for a bargain beverage or three but everyone mingled together and got in to spirit of it.
Before you go assuming which of two camps I fitted in to, allow me to educate you with a little fact I picked up at the event… The pressure inside a bottle of unopened champagne (or sparkling wine) is around 6 atmospheres – That’s about the same as the pressure inside the tyre of a double-decker bus! No wonder those corks pop!
In the next few days I’ll be sharing pictures from Cake City, another one of my highlights from EAT! Festival so be sure to check back for some amazing images from that. In the meantime I highly recommend EAT! Street and The Boiler Shop Steamer which is taking place at Robert Stephenson’s Boiler Shop (behind Newcastle Central Station) 5th – 8th September. This extended four day feast of food, music and beer is likely to be one the most popular parts of this year’s festival so don’t miss it!
By Rachel Kershaw