Monday, 30 November 2015

Eating in the North East - Paradiso

If there's one thing that you can eat and eat and never have enough of, it's pizza isn't it...

C'mon, don't lie to me, you know you're agreeing with me right now and dreaming of that doughy, cheesey goodness being delivered straight to your door.

Italian food is just one of the absolute best cuisines and in Newcastle, there are a lot of different places to indulge in it. If ever I could give my expert opinion on something - it may not be astrophysics, and it probably wouldn't be the history of the coal war - however pizza and pasta or any type of carb? I'm on it.

Paradiso, situated in the centre of Newcastle city centre, is a three floor Italian and Mediterranean cafe-restaurant. Tucked in a little alleyway, alongside a cluster of other bars and restaurants, it isn't the most obvious place to go, and it certainly isn't the most visible however both times I've visited, it has really impressed me.

On the two occasions I've visited, I ordered from the set menu, and had two courses for £16.95. It probably isn't the cheapest you can find around the toon, however on a Friday night it's not going to be significantly less, and the quality most certainly justifies it.

If mussels are an option for a starter, it's a pretty safe bet that that's exactly what I'll be ordering, I just can't help myself. For the main, I was having an absolute mare trying to decide both times I visited because the menu has some amazingly good sounding options (is that even English? I haven't blogged in a while, please forgive me) so I decided to go for a 'half an half' and fill my boots with two rather fabulous carbs.

I prefer pizzas that have a very thin crust (aside from Dominoes cos its da bomb) so those at Paradiso aren't the best I've ever tried for me personally but holy moly, the linguini pasta with mussels, tiger prawns, salmon, squid in a spicy tomato sauce was so good I was half tempted to order another portion.

The service was really great both times I've visited, with friendly staff who served our table with drinks and food really quickly. Despite not booking either time, we were shown to a table immediately and not rushed out either time even though it was pretty busy.

If you're looking for a reliable, good quality Italian in the city centre, with a nice vibe and relaxed atmosphere, Paradiso is as good a shout as any.

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Eating in the North East - Willi's Cafe

If I tell you that whilst I am writing about this cafe, which I visited on a grey and rainy day, it is pretty much the exact same weather outside, I'm sure those of you in the North East (and the rest of the UK actually) will absolutely 100% believe me. 

It's such a British thing to do, to complain about the weather, but when it's this bad all the time, who can blame us, really?

Having worked my way through most of the cafes and restaurants in Jesmond whilst I've been living here over the last 16 months, it's becoming a real challenge to find new places to try out (which is a real problem, I know..) so when my friend asked if I wanted to meet for lunch at a place called Willi's, it was a pretty safe bet that I'd say yes...

Willi's, situated on Clayton Road, is a local favourite, well known around the area for providing great coffee at great value. 

Pretty much resembling a drowned rat upon entering the cafe, I needed a hot drink and I needed it quick. The wind that graces Newcastle pretty much means that using an umbrella when it's raining is completely and utterly pointless and seeing as I seem to magically step out of my house every single time the heavens start to open, winter is a really happy and dry time for me (ahem)....

Whether you fancy a sweet treat, a light snack or are going all out with a large meal, Willi's has it to offer. I decided, much I'm sure to my mum and stepmum's surprise, on a mushroom, mozzarella and tomato flatbread which was very, very good. Up until the age of about 18, mushrooms were one of the only foods I didn't like but now, I feel like I'm all grown up. I like olives and mushrooms, I'm basically a proper adult. A greedy, food loving, adult.


The service was great, with our food served, and plates taken away, promptly. My only issue is that I didn't have enough room for a piece of cake, and with so many that looked absolutely to die for, I'm just going to have to go back and try a piece. I'm dreaming about that slab of rocky road already.

The atmosphere was lovely, the coffee was strong and despite it being quite a little place, my friend and I were not rushed in the slightest, and actually ended up chatting away for hours. Goodbye productivity! Cosy and small, this cafe is the perfect place to catch up with friends or family members, with a lovely atmosphere and great prices.

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Saturday, 7 November 2015

Life happens...

Hi, I'm Charlotte and you may or may not have forgotten who I am...


This is the longest I haven't posted in about six months so, how are you? Wet and cold? Yep, same.

So I haven't posted in just over a week and if I'm honest, I haven't really felt like posting for about a month. You know how it is, blogging motivation/inspiration comes in peaks and troughs and all that, and well, y'know, life happens.

Some people love to write when they're not feeling great, acting like a sort of therapy, but for me writing on this blog can only happen when I'm in a good mood. A mood which, as I'm sure my friends would tell you, I have most definitely not been in.


Good things have been happening.

Firstly. Hot bloody chocolate.  Seriously.  I think Newcastle should win some kind of award for just having the absolute best hot chocolates on offer in the entire world (big statement, can't back it up, let's move on). I think I may just do a post on this exact topic but until then, let me leave you with this absolute masterpiece from Jam Jar in Jesmond. An actual PINT of hot chocolate. With all the cream and chocolate pieces. The absolute works. This is how I spend my Saturday morning and I'm not going to lie to you, this will now be how I spend all Saturday mornings until summer resumes because I am not about this wet weather. Britain totally needs to check itself before it wrecks itself although I'm thinking it has a bit more to do with Dave Cameron et al rather than the weather and that topic, is for another day.

I was featured in a lovely write up by Bellevita Magazine about being named as one of finalists of the UK Food Blog awards (er, insane!). Whoever it was, that was kind enough to nominate me for this award deserves a big slab of chocolate and a bottle of wine on me because I had no idea it was even happening and it completely made my WEEK when I found out. So, thank you.

A long weekend in London in December has been booked and this is honestly getting me through the first semester of third year because wowza, it is not pleasant. London at Christmas on the other hand, will be more than pleasant, it will be amazing and I cannot wait! All the excitement to drink all the mulled wine. If you have any recommendations of things to definitely 100% do in London around Christmas, please let me know in the comments! Love u 4evz.

I redicovered Sex and the City (yes this is one of my good things that have been happening, reserve judgement plz). Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda have been my saviours over the last few weeks, I heart them. A lot.

So I hope you're well and I apologise for not posting about some kind of wondrous food over the last week but I'm sure you know how it is.

Let's not leave it too long until we talk again, hey.. Let me know your highlights over the past couple of weeks whether it be big or small, because they all make a different right?

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