TOP OF THE TEA SHOPS (NEWCASTLE) BY KATIE CAKES

Foodie Blogger Katie Cakes show us around her top tea shops in Newcastle... read more

Foodie blogger Katie Cakes (voted top of the baker blogs by Channel 4) kicks off her guest posts with her home town of Newcastle, sharing her top places for getting the best slice of tea and cake… 

Well hello there! First of all let me introduce myself; my name is Katie and I’m a self confessed tea-aholic.  Whether served in your best bone china surrounded by cases filled with antique tomes, or sloshed in a stained mug in a greasy spoon I’m there, thirstily licking my lips!

My mission is to take you lovely folk on a guided tour of my tried, tested and favorite places to take tea. Starting with my top three tearooms in my home town of Newcastle Upon Tyne.  Shall we?

First off is my ultimate number one spot, Heaton Perk. A delightful parody of the hugely popular coffee shop in Friends, Central Perk.  Filled with vintage crockery, ancient board games and well loved books, Heaton Perk is the perfect place to while away the hours.  Plus, anywhere that has Marmite on the menu in so many different forms is fine in my books!

I often stop for a quick pick me up after a hard day bashing the charity shops of Byker; laden down with bags of tea cups, cake stands and battered books. I’m known to tuck myself into a little corner, hands clasped tightly around a floral mug and devouring one of their delicious home baked cakes. Pure Bliss!  Not only that, but I am told that their flat white coffee is to die for *taps nose*.

Heaton Perk, 105 Heaton Park Road, Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 5NR. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauljw/4237201529/

Next I shall whisk you away to a city centre location which I am more than a little fond of, Scrumpy Willow & The Singing Kettle. With a name like that, you’d be foolish not to give it a try.  The Singing Kettle, as I like to call it, was a regular haunt of mine during my university years.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner, I’ve tried it all but nothing beats a good cup of locally produced Ringtons tea poured from a vintage teapot.

I have to admit, I’ve never indulged in any of The Singing Kettle’s delicious looking cakes before but if you were to see their brunch menu you’d understand why!  I mean, what morning can you call complete without a helping of Eggs Florentine served upon home-made bread?  The Singing Kettle offers an impressive array of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free treats without skimping on the meat and fish for us carnivores.  All served in a relaxed atmosphere that includes jazz music filtering through the rooms, art from local artists adorning the walls and a huge sash window on the upper level which makes it the ideal place for a spot of tea and some people-watching. I implore you to give it a try?

Scrumpy Willow and the Singing Kettle, 89 Clayton Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 5PZ.

Now, here is where I admit I cheated a little bit.  This one isn’t technically in Newcastle, rather slightly up the road in the historical village of Alnwick (where they filmed a lot of Hogwarts for Harry Potter, that’s right!).  This spot is nestled within one of the largest second hand book shops in Europe, Barter Books.  After a long browse through their labyrinth of bookcases you can settle down with your chosen novels for a skim though while you await your treats.  Set in an old train station here you can enjoy a steaming cup of tea in the old waiting rooms, complete with roaring fires and surrounded by antique literature and novels a plenty.

For a little extra whimsy, Barter Books was the first place to start producing copies of the now iconic second world war poster Keep Calm & Carry On.  An original poster was discovered deep within a box of donated books; when the store owners had the image framed in 2001 customers began demanding copies.  The original still hangs on the wall behind the till.

Barter Books, Alnwick Station, Northumberland, NE66 2NP

I sure do hope you enjoyed my whistle-stop tour of firm favorites.  Stay turned for more tea related ramblings from yours truly and let me leave you with the ever true words of Benard Paul Heroux: “There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea”.

So long for now.

Katie Cakes blog: http://iheartkatiecakes.blogspot.com/

To browse our Laura Ashley tea, cake and kitchen range click here.

7 Comments

Some good picks there. I would have included the Settle Down Cafe on Thornton Street, just off Westgate Road. It’s owned by folk singer Kathryn Williams’ husband and holds a second hand market on sundays.

I do enjoy The Settle Down Cafe, they used to supply my companies cupcakes, but my three have very special places in my heart 🙂

Haven’t tried Tea Sutra yet, been meaning to nip down armed with my camera.

Katie xox

If you are visiting Alnwick there are several good tea shops nearby including the new Bari Tea, Black Olive Cafe and the lovely Earl Grey tea room in Howick Gardens

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