Monday, 28 September 2015

Eating in the NE - Quay Ingredient

It was a gorgeous Sunday morning, the late September sun shining down on Newcastle and with winter fast approaching, it would be pretty silly to not take advantage of the clear blue skies and mild weather and get out of the house. Dusting off the cobwebs from the night before, I headed to a small cafe with a big reputation on the Quayside to see if all I had heard about this little place was true. 

Having, obviously, looked at the menu beforehand, I was pretty damn excited because if breakfast wasn't already the absolute best, breakfast that's served all day just doesn't get any better. Am I right?

Located just off the River Tyne on Queen Street, Quay Ingredient is a small and quaint cafe with only room for five tables, and two beautiful leather sofas under the window sills. Expecting quite a long wait, it was a very nice surprise to be standing only moments before being shown to a table, with the (extensive) menu given to us all on wooden clipboards. 

I'm not going to lie to you guys, I had basically decided want I wanted before even entering the premises. There was only one winner. Eggs Benedict aaalll the way.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how incredible this looks...

If I could insert a 'love heart eye emoji', I so would right now.

If there is something I know a lot about, it is food. In particular though, a good Eggs Benedict and guys let me tell you, this was right up there with the best. Accompanied with parma ham and with egg yolk that oozed gloriously upon slicing it open, I was in breakfast heaven, I truly was. What I will say though, is if you aren't a huge fan of really strong Hollandaise sauce, this perhaps isn't for you but if you are, oh if you are, you need to get yourself to Quay Ingredient, pronto.

I also tried some of my friend's breakfast burrito which was seriously good. If a burrito full to the brim of sausage, bacon, egg, baked beans and hash browns doesn't sound to you, of what dreams are made of, I mean, I'm not sure we can go on... This could be the end of the road for us.

I'm kidding, of course but yep, there was a definite moment of being tempted to order another one to demolish myself. But apparently, that's not socially acceptable. I know, I don't understand either.

The prices were very fair, in my opinion, with an Eggs Benedict, freshly squeezed orange juice and a skinny late (I was definitely not slightly hungover.......) coming to just over £9. Really reasonable, especially when you take into account the quality of the food.

I really could not recommend Quay Ingredient more. In fact, when can I visit again? Today? Right this second? Sounds like a plan to me.

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Friday, 25 September 2015

What I've been loving: Summer edition

It is perhaps one of the most unoriginal posts to write in the blogging world ever, but sometimes it's nice to take a step back and think about the things that have made you smile recently. It's often the small things that make the biggest difference so I thought I'd share with you some of what has made me that little bit happier, over the last few months...

Over the last couple of years, I’ve suffered with eczema on my hands which first flared up after using a heap of Soap & Glory products. With the prescription cream I was given so strong that it was stripping my skin of any good qualities/minerals/whatever skin has that makes it healthy, and pretty much all hand creams completely useless, I had basically given up trying to find anything to make it better, and was just going to let it (hopefully) clear up at some point on its own. However, when I heard about Dermatique and was offered the chance to try it, I decided that I may as well give it a go and pray that this would help.

The brand prides itself on using only the finest natural ingredients that don’t harm sensitive skin and guess what? My hands didn’t react super badly and they did clear up! I have hands that aren’t dry! Yay! And don’t itch! Double yay! On a serious note though, it worked really well and within a week I could see a huge difference with the skin on my hands. If you’re searching for a product that can help you with your eczema, dermatitis etc and are about to lose your mind, I would highly recommend giving Dermatique a try!

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes 
So I’ve been in a slight ‘reading rut’ over the past few months, with quite a few of the books I’ve read just not being that great. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a book, hating it but not wanting to waste all the time you’ve spent getting this far so having to plough your way to the end and it just never getting better.

Ok, there are things worse than that, but you know what I mean.

My friend came into work recently and said how she’d been sat crying on the train at this book by Jojo Moyes, one that I knew had been sat on my shelf at home for months, unread. Loving a good cry every now and again, I wiped the large layer of dust off of it when I got home, and the next day was a write off. It was a Saturday, meant for socialising, getting things done, being productive and what did I do? Sat in bed and read this book from start to finish and oh good lord, by the end I was an absolute MESS. If you’re looking for a great, but easy read, this is definitely one for you and even better, there’s a SEQUEL, which came out yesterday! A perfectly timed release date for pay day – goodbye weekend!

Travelling this summer has been somewhat limited, as I decided to work full time so I could save up for my year of travelling once I finish university in next May. However, I have managed a few plane journeys, first to Andalucia in late spring, then flying to Nice for 5 days where I also visited Cannes and Monaco and at the start of September I squeezed in a weekend break in Amsterdam. I often forget that the UK has some pretty amazing places too though, and travelling really doesn't have to mean jumping on a  plane. This summer I've tried to make the most of my weekends too, visiting LondonYork, Glasgow and Edinburgh, which were all amazing, each in their different ways. I'm about to go through 8 months of dissertation hell, but it will all be made that little bit less painful as I plan my freedom year long trip which I'm sooooo excited for! Eee!

Twins That Travel 
As if I needed any more persuasion to go travelling, these girls have sealed the deal. With their instagram basically what dreams are made of, I find myself scrolling through their feed on average about 5631 times a week, screen shotting stunning photos of where I absolutely must visit. If you aren't already following them...what are you waiting for? Go do it, now!

Chocolate covered Oreos 
All I can describe chocolate covered oreos as are tiny pieces of sweet heaven sent from angels. Seriously. I just pray to God they aren’t made readily available in most shops in the UK because I will not be responsible for my actions. I will eat them all. I will get fat. I will enter a lifelong sugar coma.

Yorkshire Tea
A few weeks ago, my dad only went and won a year's supply of Yorkshire Tea. Yep, you read that right... A YEARS worth. To a tea addict who cannot function without at least 4 cups a day, it was music to my ears. I have my 3 boxes to get me through the next 8 months of uni and I am good to go.

I Let You Go – Claire Mackintosh
Sooo…this took me a while to get in to. As in, I read the first 3 chapters, got bored and didn’t pick it up for about 3 weeks. BUT! With a solo flight to and from Amsterdam, and the usual waiting game at airports, I decided to take it along with me and I actually almost missed boarding. Not kidding. The TWIST in this is so good. It’s such a fantastic plot and a million times better than Gone Girl (which I know isn’t particularly hard due to the horrific ending) but yes, if Gone Girl is your thing, this is for you. And it’s better. Way better.

I have lost my evenings to this series this summer. No making the most of the long summer evenings for me, just…bed, food and Suits. This programme has possibly the sassiest characters I have ever seen, and I absolutely love it. If you don’t love Louis, we cannot communicate. He is just…everything. And Harvey, don’t even get me started on him. What you can get me started on though, is the fact that two of the main characters are strong, independent women (Jessica and Donna) and I loooove them. So much. If you need a new series to waste your life on, definitely watch Suits!

There we have it, these were the things that have made me happy this summer! What's made you smile over the past few months? Let me know in the comments!

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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

10 reasons to fall in love with Nice

Arriving in Nice last month, I knew I would really like the city but I never thought I would fall in love with the place as much as I did. With so many incredible places in Europe, it's understandable that some can be overlooked so I thought I'd put together a list of 10 reasons why Nice is just great...

The food
I'm going to put it out there, if I lived in France, I would definitely be 35676 stone heavier because holy moly, the food is just so. good. All food related self control is a distant memory once the place lands on French soil.

The location
Within 20 minutes you can be in Monaco, 30 minutes in the opposite direction and you're in Cannes, as well as sandy seaside villages just a short distance away too, Nice really is in a perfect location to explore.

The views
If, like me, you love a good view, Nice will be your paradise. On a scale of 1-10 of how proud I am of this lightning photo, it's a solid 100000 (but I won't tell you how long it took me to capture, nope, it was actually the first photo I took... ahem).

The cheap wine
Both a blessing and a curse, you may be wanting to campaign for all grocery stores in Nice to be closed down upon waking up the next morning, but with bottles of gorgeous Rose wine for as little as €3, what could really go wrong? (Answer: a lot, but yolo)

The nightlife
Was it just me that thought Nice would be a quiet, chilled out kinda evening place? Well think again because every single day of the week, the atmosphere in the evening is buzzing, with a few bars even staying open until 5am!

The culture
If museums are your thing, you definitely won't be disappointed in Nice with the most well known being Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain and Galerie Jean Renoir.

The people
The French seem to be stereotyped as perhaps not being the most polite, however there was not a single person we met that wasn't just completely lovely and eager to help! As the saying goes, 'never judge a book by its cover'.

The sea
If you aren't a massive fan of pebbly beaches like me, you may be slightly put off at the first glance of the main beach in Nice beyond the promenade however the sea is crystal clear. Just gorgeous.

The weather
Not too hot that you cannot seem to function but in the summer months, not even in the slightest bit chilly, it's a pretty great temperature for walking around exploring (perhaps not the best if you're looking to relax for days on end at the beach though.)

The flight
Even when flying from Newcastle in the North of England, Nice is just a 2.5 hour flight. One glass of bubbly after take off and you'll be landing before you know it - no flying tiredness, no swollen ankles, no jet lag, what's not to love!

Have you been to Nice before? Did you love it? If not, where do you love in Europe and think is really underrated?

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Monday, 21 September 2015

Eating in the North East - Pizzeria Francesca, Jesmond

If there are two things that Newcastle is definitely not short of, the first would be Greggs outlets and the second, Italian restaurants. It would be pretty difficult to write a post on the delights that Greggs has to offer seeing as I've never actually had anything from there (I know, I'm weird..) so instead, I thought I'd tell you about my most recent visit to the infamous Pizzeria Francesca's.

Located in the heart of Jesmond, Francesca's is one of the most well known Italians in Newcastle. If you're looking for well presented, sleek meals, this maybe isn't the place for you but what it can offer you is hearty, rich italian food. 

The exterior may not take your breath away, but believe me, one bite of your chosen meal and you'll be pretty damn impressed. Don't just take my word for it though, as it doesn't seem to be just me that loves Francesca's, with queues out of the door every single day of the week. 

With long queues does, unfortunately, bring a slight wait however as the saying goes, 'good things come to those who wait' and in my opinion, a restaurant with people waiting for a table even on weekdays, is a pretty good sign!

A creature of habit at times, the traditional lasagne dish was my meal of choice both times I have visited and both times, I have been defeated. The portion sizes are incredibly generous, as are the waiters with the amount of parmesan dusted on the dishes - holy moly, did someone say food coma?

The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing on both occasions that I visited, with chatter and laughter echoing around the rustic interior of the family run restaurant. The staff too, are just lovely and despite being super busy, always attentive with the service too, very quick.

Both the range of the menu and the prices almost verge on being completely unbelievable, with something for absolutely anybody at incredibly low prices. If it isn't good enough value for money already, between 5-6pm it's happy hour which means £1 off all dishes - bonus!

A pretty bold statement but it's most probably my favourite Italian in Newcastle, with Adrianos in Gosforth a very close second...

What is your favourite type of cuisine? Italian and Japanese have to be mine I think...

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Friday, 18 September 2015

Eating in the North East - ARLO

I'm about to begin my final year at university and holy moly, it's scary. This time next year, I'll most probably be in Australia and I'm already getting a little emotional that I'll be leaving my beloved Newcastle behind. With this in mind, my food related mission before May 2016 is to have eaten at every independent restaurant and cafe on my extensive list here in the city, mainly because I'm completely irrational and haven't thought about the fact that I'm most likely going to end up living here in the future. It's also a pretty fantastic excuse to eat out a lot, so even though it will be reaaally tough, I'm  going to put my heart and soul into it...only for the blog though, of course. 

Jesmond is home to some of my favourite places to eat, including Cafe 1901, Cake Stories and Francesca's as well as a cafe that I've been wanting to try for sooo long, ARLO.

ARLO Bistro & Cafe, situated on Brentwood Avenue, has been described to me pretty much as the place to be for all your food related needs at whatever time of day. With incredible looking breakfasts, unique lunches and a gorgeous dinner menu, I was so excited to try this infamous place out.

After a manic few days I needed some TLC in the form of food and when my friend said she was free, we basically bolted out of the house, straight into the welcoming doors of ARLO. As soon as we walked in, I noticed the stylish decor - quirky antler lighting, book shelves filled with vintage pots and fairy lights decorating all four walls. It immediately gave the cafe a friendly and homely feel and I loved it!

Even on a Thursday afternoon, the place was packed, which is always a good sign, and we had a short wait for a table. With my tummy rumbling, it was not time to be indecisive but with at least 3 things on the lunch menu that sounded sooo good, I just couldn't help it.

Eventually, I pulled through (ahem) and managed to choose, deciding on the quiche of the day, which was ham and mustard, accompanied with a side salad, coleslaw and a teeny pot of crisps.

Oh lord. It was so good. You know that quiche that you can eat which often tastes of absolutely nothing? Yeah, this definitely was not that. Not only was it ginormous, but also so rich in flavour. I actually had that moment where you take the first bite, realise how good it is and close your eyes to savour the taste... Is it just me that does that? Yep? Oh...


Our table went pretty silent for about 10 minutes as we both simply couldn't waste a moment actually talking with such good food in front of us. My friend ordered the ARLO open sandwich, which was chicken, spring onion mayo, crispy bacon and a poached egg on thick ciabatta bread, and it's safe to say, we were both very satisfied once we'd finished.

To say it was super busy, the service was good and even though free tables were limited, neither of us felt rushed out as soon as we finished. Writing this now, I really cannot think of anything even remotely wrong with our first visit to ARLO, with both of us really wanting to go back and try the breakfast menu.

Have you been to ARLO before? Did you enjoy it?

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

An afternoon at Mineral House Spa, Pool & Gymnasium

There aren't many people who don't enjoy a spa day - I mean, what's not to like?

With the hustle and bustle of living in a city, life can at times, become a little intense and recently I had been trawling the net for a local spa to Newcastle. Without a car, it's pretty difficult to get to most of those around the North East, with many of them set in rural surroundings, so when the opening of Mineral House popped up on my twitter feed I became very intrigued, very quickly.

Mineral House is a brand new spa, pool and gymnasium, set within the luxury Crowne Plaza Newcastle - Stephenson Quarter. Offering a complimentary visit to the brand new facilities to coincide with their opening this week, I jumped at the chance to have a look around as well as relax in the pool, jacuzzi and steam room. The spa offers a unique range of  Germaine de Capuccini treatments, based on natural minerals, with 3 treatment rooms ready and waiting to be used.

Whilst I visited, I was also given the chance to use the gymnasium, which has the latest TECHNO GYM machines and personal trainers on hand to help you get the most out of your work out, but unfortunately, I forgot to bring any clothes suitable to exercise. 

You can imagine how upset I was......

One of the best things about Mineral House - apart from the luxurious jacuzzi which I could definitely have stayed in pretty much all day - is the location. It's so great to have a spa in the city centre and I can see it being popular with workers in Newcastle in particular. 

After spending the weekend in Amsterdam it really couldn't have been a more perfect way to spend my Monday afternoon and it definitely won't be my last visit. 

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Monday, 14 September 2015

Student guide | Homesickness

Amidst the anxiety of results day and excitement of accepting your place at university, some people may underestimate just how big a change in your life you’re about to endure. Moving to university is a huge step, monumental in fact, and often, this can be quite overwhelming. In a completely alien environment, you are bound to be nervous and it would almost be strange if you didn’t at some point, begin to miss home.

When I first moved up to Newcastle, I was severely homesick and all I wanted to do, was quit and come home. Two years on, I couldn't be more pleased that I persevered - it's the best thing I could ever have done. It was hard though, and before I give you tips on a few things you can do to try and settle those feelings you may be having, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few thoughts I had written down at the time.

Written in Freshers Week, 2013

I feel alone. Even with 5 other flatmates, who are absolutely lovely, and thousands of other people that like me, have started their freshers week, I feel horribly and totally alone. I feel like I'm putting pressure on myself way too much to go out and get drunk every night even though that doesn't particularly interest me; but what else am I going to do, sit alone in my room all night and be the odd one out? I look around and see all these people having an amazing time, laughing and joking, yet I'm the opposite - I actually just want to see my parents!

Freshers week is hyped up to be this incredible time where you make all these great friends and have the best nights ever - but in between them are long days to be filled and at times I feel so desperate to leave, completely overwhelmed at the entire situation.
The week after Freshers:
Everyone says 'oh you'll be fine once you get there' or 'you are going to absolutely love every minute of university!'..but what if you don't? Does that make you abnormal or weird? 

My freshers week was a blur of tears, phone calls home, awkward conversations with strangers(and a hangover or 3) and there were so many times that I wanted to drop out and go home but what good would that do? I couldn't even occupy myself with tasks to stop myself getting upset, because it was almost as if I couldn't let go of the idea of 'home'. The word 'home' for me, comes with connotations of comfort, happiness and familiarity and throughout my first week, I was anything but that in these new surroundings and even with incredible support from my family and friends back at home, I was miserable.

It's not in my character to give up and I was not going to waste weeks of revising for A Levels, plus the sense of achievement of getting good results by dropping out before I'd even given my geography course, and the lovely city of Newcastle a chance. So even though all I wanted to do was sit in my room and cry, I pushed myself to do things that I would usually shy away from, like making conversations with new people and joining societies/groups such as the University magazine and with this, not only did I begin to make new friends and build solid relationships with my flatmates, but I feel like I'm beginning to have a sense of purpose in university life, outside of my course.

You feeling emosh? 

If you are feeling like this (or maybe not quite like this, I am quite dramatic...) here are some tips which may help you settle in to your new life as a fresher:


Please don’t think that you are the only person to ever have felt this way. Thousands of students each year feel homesick and it is a completely normal reaction to moving away from home. Talk to your housemates, talk to your friends who have started at university, talk to your family - get those feelings out! Even your university will have so many services available to support you if you feel like you need to talk to someone, so please don’t suffer alone.


The last thing you may feel like doing is socialising with your flatmates but it really is so important to not lock yourself away in your room – it really doesn’t help the situation. Push yourself, make conversation and you’ll soon see that making friends is much easier, and a lot less daunting, than you first thought.


Even if you think that university just isn’t for you, please give it time. As time passes, and you become busy with lectures, studying and socialising, the feeling of missing home will be pushed to the back of your mind and soon enough, you'll be loving life as a student.


In Fresher’s week especially, you will have a lot of free time so try to keep busy. Go shopping, explore the city you are in, attend events put on by the Students’ Union and socialise with flatmates. Whether it be grabbing a coffee in the city centre, or sightseeing around the local tourist hotspots, take your mind off home and keep busy.


Whether it be crying down the phone to your mum, or talking to a flatmate, don’t bottle all of your feelings up. Chances are, your flatmates are feeling the same way so help each other through and you’ll look back and smile at how things have changed so much.
University is one of, if not the, best time of your life so don’t think that those awkward conversations at pre drinks last forever. Embrace the the student life and a year from now, you’ll look back and laugh(and probably cringe) at those freshers memories…

Leave a comment below with any advice you may have for those who are feeling homesick at the moment, and if you are feeling like this, talk to me! I know I found it really nice to speak to people who had gone through the same experience but were now loving their time at University...

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Friday, 11 September 2015

Birthday celebrations in York

As a surprise for one of my friend’s birthdays, a group of us decided to have a day out in one of my favourite places in the the UK, the city of York.

With afternoon tea booked at Patisserie Valerie later on in the day, we walked along the cobbled streets of the beautiful city, found one of the many, many, many cute little teashops and caught up with what was happening in each other’s lives. It’s pretty strange to live with a group of people and see them everyday and then suddenly, another university year has been and gone and suddenly everyone is jetting off for the summer.

Due to the English summer being completely non existent this year, as per usual, we didn’t quite ‘catch some rays’ in the city park, but more like, ‘saw some clouds and felt it spitting with rain on frequent occasions’.

Me being me, I was completely ravenous by about 11am and really couldn’t wait for the cute little sandwiches and gorgeous cakes at the afternoon tea later on. No but really, I actually couldn't wait, I had to have a sandwich. (Is it acceptable yet to partake in breakfast, brunch and lunch? No? Oh…)

Finally though, my time arrived and we made our way to Patisserie Valerie - yay! My friend managed to get a really great deal with the afternoon tea and it ended up costing us mere pounds, such a bonus. It wouldn't quite be an afternoon tea without tea served in a cup and saucer and with hot drinks being unlimited, I was in my element. I’m so rock and roll, it hurts.

The afternoon tea itself was served traditionally, with small sliced sandwiches, scones and an array of sweet treats. The scones were my absolute favourite part of course, and I really did have to resist the urge to just eat the clotted cream by itself.

My only criticism of the food was that there was perhaps a little too many sweet cakes, with all four of us agreeing that we would definitely have preferred a few more savoury options to eat. Apart from that though, it was lovely - not the absolute best I have had, but with the deal we got, it was great value for money. At the usual price of £25 for two people, I wouldn't particularly recommend it as somewhere you must try as I think there are better places out there you could go to.

That being said, we were all completely stuffed by the time we had finished and practically waddled to the roof top bar at The Judge’s Lodging. Now this is somewhere that I would definitely recommend, whether it be for a drink or for food as despite just having ate, the smell of the food that drifted towards us as we were chatting, was divine. The interior of the bar, as well as the exterior on the roof terrace is really lovely and somewhere that would be great if you’re wanting to go to a place that’s just that little bit nicer than the usual.

As Monday’s go, it was a pretty great way to have spent it - I just love York.

Where are your favourite places to go for afternoon tea in the UK?

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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Carefree day in Cannes

Cannes is an experience. An expensive experience, but an experience all the same.

Travelling by double decker train - which by the way, I am so on board (haha, get it) with, we arrived in Cannes from Nice at around 11am. My expectations were very high and after the disappointment of Monaco, I was really, really hoping that I wouldn’t be disappointed.

The closer you walk to the seafront, the more glamorous it gets and oh boy, by the time you’re on the promenade, you’re surrounded by nothing but chic designer boutiques and outrageously flamboyant cars.

Unlike Monaco, there wasn’t the ‘clambering onto the shiny cars to get a photo’ kind of awe, instead there was just an acceptance that everyone had money.

It’s a real shame I was not one of these people but hey, I tried in my Quay Australia sunnies and Primark sandals, I tried.

After a late morning glass of wine in a beach bar (don’t judge, I was on holiday and I don’t even think they allowed you to drink water...ahem) and a lovely meal in a restaurant within the famous resort city centre, it was time to relax on the pier.

We actually hadn’t had many days where at some point it hadn’t clouded over for a while so it was nice to make the most of the 30 degree sunshine…

…we didn’t move for a good few hours.

However, when we did finally decide that it was probably best we actually explored a little more of the city, we decided to venture up towards the castle ruins, which gave us stunning views of Cannes whichever direction you turned.

We did resemble Joey and Chandler from Friends a few times, almost having to ‘step into the map’ but on the whole, Cannes is really easy to travel around. We decided to just walk as it was such a gorgeous day and we were not in any kind or rush however there are frequent bus services as well as a tourist train which takes you around the city’s attractions and ‘must see’ sights.

People watching is one of my favourite pastimes and in Cannes, I had an absolute field day. One of my particular favourites was a lady lying on a sun lounger of the most expensive hotel in Cannes, wedges on, light shining off her with the amount of bling she was wearing, glass of champagne in hand with not one but three, people giving her a massage. That’s a lady who knows what she wants and gets it if ever I saw one.

The motto of the holiday was ‘yeah, why not’ so whilst we were in Cannes, we just had to pay a ridiculous amount for a single cocktail in one of the top bars along the seafront. I mean, I’d like to say it tasted completely different to any kind of bellini I’d ever had before but…I mean it tasted like a very nice Raspberry bellini. The experience though, was worth it.

Tip: The closer you get to the seafront, the more glamourous it gets which also translates as, the more expensive it gets. If you’re looking for to eat somewhere which doesn’t make either you or your bank account cry, head into the city and away from the seafront. Generally, the further away you go from the beach, the less expensive it becomes.

Have you ever been to Cannes before? What were your thoughts?

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Student Guide to Newcastle has arrived!

In less than two weeks, I will have started my third and final year at university, which is both exciting and terrifying. Looking back on the last couple of years, I simply cannot believe how quickly it has gone and how attached I now am to the city of Newcastle.

It seems pretty crazy that two years ago I was about to move up to this North East city, completely overwhelmed at how little I knew about the place I was about to call my home for the next few years of my life.

As I was thinking about all the different places I've discovered whilst living here an idea popped into my head...

I know that as a student who didn't really have a clue what this city had to offer when I first arrived here, a guide with all the best places to eat, drink and see would have been hugely helpful so...I decided to write one!

The Student Guide to Newcastle has arrived and has been designed to help and inspire you to make the most of your experience in this North East city. It is available right this second for your viewing pleasure and if you're feeling really crazy, you could even download it or print it off. The best thing about it though, is that it won't cost you a dime - yep, it's FREE!

Inside the guide you will find information on:

Practical info
- Travel
- Facts about Newcastle

Newcastle bucket list

Where to eat in Newcastle
- 10 places to eat on a budget
- 6 restaurants worth a splurge
- 5 places to grab a bite
- Markets

Where to drink in Newcastle
- Save
- Splurge
- 5 places for coffee & cake

Staying fit & healthy
- Fitness
- Eating healthily

Growing up
- Homesickness
- Bills
- Getting a job
- Where to live

Sound good? TAKE A LOOK...

I absolutely loved putting this guide together and I hope, whether you're a student or not, you find it helpful.

I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on it, so please leave a comment below, get in touch on social media or even email me if you're feeling super lovely.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Eating in Newcastle | Freshers edition

It’s that time of the year when freshers are manically raiding Wilkinsons and IKEA, packing up their room and about to head off to university.

Does that sound like you right about now?

It does?

Well you know because I’m so kind obsessed with food, I thought I’d take one thing off your plate, which I know is currently stacked high with worries of if you’re going to fit in, if you’re going to make friends and if you’ve actually even chosen the right course (you have, don’t fret – everyone second guesses it) and I’ve compiled a list of 5 restaurants that are ideal for students.

Finding places to eat upon moving to a brand new city that won’t mean your student budget is a distant memory by the start of October can sometimes be a little tricky, especially if you love eating out as much as I do.

Student life doesn’t have to resemble a pot noodle and a slice of mouldy bread for tea – if you’re smart with budgeting you can eat out without becoming penniless, and these little gems below are pretty great places for you to bond with your new flatmates.


Having only just found out about this place a few months ago, I am making a commitment to myself that I have to make the most of living so close to such a great Italian before my third year comes to an end and I start to cry a little bit. I did a full, raving review of this family run restaurant here but basically, if you love great quality Italian food which is insanely cheap, this is the place for you. A half pizza, half pasta dish came to the grand total of £6.95. Yes, the delightful meal shown above cost just £6.95. Get yourself there, pronto.

Location: Helmsley Road, Sandyford


You might find that pizza and pasta especially, become staple foods in your diet and although this may sound incredibly ridiculous, it can become a little boring sometimes. If you fancy something a little different or you just aren’t all about that carb life (are you ok?), Kafeneon, a Greek restaurant in the centre of Bigg Market may be just the place for you. The happy hour available Monday to Friday 5-8pm is great value for money, with 2 (very generous) courses for just £9.50.

Location: Bigg Market

Bistro Forty6

If you’re looking for somewhere that little bit more special but just haven’t got the dollar to match it, why not look into the happy hour Bistro Forty6 in Jesmond offer? A little pricier than the above, 1 course is £9.95, 2 courses is £2.95 and 3 courses is £15 and includes an alcoholic or soft drink. The quality of the food is very, very good and the presentation of each dish was just fabulous. Definitely a great place to go for a birthday celebration!

Location: Brentwood Avenue, Desmond

Alvinos Bar 

If I start this with, it has table football and a pinball machine, have I got your attention? Yes? Good, because not only that, it also offers a variety of huge pizzas for just £5, with the menus designed like a comic strip! It’s a cool place to visit and always seems to have a good atmosphere whenever you go in. Great for those nights where you just aren’t feeling like going ‘out out’ but are sick of the sight of your 4 walls.

Location: Pilgrim Street

The Fat Hippo

A student favourite, The Fat Hippo can answer all of your burger related needs. This isn’t the cheapest place you could visit but you can rest assure that the food is delicious and very, very worth it. It’s also displayed perfectly to get that Instagram shot and really, that’s all that matters, right? Location: Jesmond or Fat Hippo Underground in the city centre, which can be found on St George’s Terrace.

I’m now extremely hungry and need food immediately. I wonder if any of these places deliver....

If you have any other suggestions of ideal places for students to eat in Newcastle, be a little gem and leave them in the comments below!

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