Newcastle as a city is one that is teeming with amazing views as soon as you get there. You don’t even have to be staying there to notice them, even if you’re just passing through on a train. If you are doing this, you will find yourself passing over one of the many beautiful bridges in Newcastle that leads in or out from the station and stands over the River Tyne. Not only will you get outstanding views wherever you are, Newcastle is also the home of a multitude of theatres, including the Theatre Royal that has been in business since 1837 and is just as, if not more popular than ever. During January and February, Newcastle’s Chinatown hosts a festival of colour and lights in the celebrations for Chinese New Year. Even with Chinese New Years celebrations, there is so much to do during your visit. No doubt you are also going to be wanting to find somewhere good to eat while you visit Newcastle, I’d like to now use the rest of this post to talk about a few places I would recommend you visit during your time in Newcastle.
The first of these is called ‘Mascalzone’, located at 238 Helmsley Road NE2 1RD. Mascalzone is a pretty small place, but as you can probably guess from the name, it is an Italian place (technically Sardinian, but the country ‘Sardinia’ is largely associated with Italy, with a large proportion of the population speaking Italian). Something special I’d like to mention about this place is that, unlike many Italian restaurants, you can get breakfast here. The options included in the breakfast is a selection of Italian cakes that changes daily so even if you decide to have breakfast here on more than one occasion and decide to get the cakes then you’re bound to get something completely different. With it being an Italian restaurant, you have your standard choices of pizzas, pastas, fish and chicken dishes. The owner and head chef of ‘Mascalzone’ comes from ‘Arbus’, a town in the south-western region of Sardinia, meaning that he has first-hand knowledge in making authentic and amazing Italian/Sardinian food. Their wines and beers are also imported directly from Sardinia and Italy, meaning you’re are going to get an authentic experience when you visit.
The next place I’d like to mention is ‘Peace and Loaf Jesmond’, located at 217 Jesmond Road, NE2 1LA. Peace and Loaf offers more traditional British options. These options come over the ‘A La Carte’ menu, the ‘Sunday Brunch’ menu and various seasonal menus throughout the year, as well as wine menus. From the ‘A La Carte’ menu, you’ll find such options as the Stonebass, Iberico Plumas (Pork) and Sirloin of Beef for the main courses. Parfait, scallops and cured salmon for the starters and a choice of boozy sorbets for desert. The Sunday lunch comes with choices of roast rib of beef, roast belly of pork, potato terrine and hake (the fish option) all of which have the option to come with all the trimmings. You also have the choice to book your table online (which isn’t exactly uncommon these days) which can allow you to let the restaurant know of your booking requirements which the friendly team will be happy to try and accommodate for. If you’re looking for good British food, Peace and Loaf should be your first stop in Newcastle.
The final place I’d like to mention is ‘Mantra Thai Dining’, located at 29 Forth Banks NE1 3SG. As the name suggests, Mantra serves up some of the best Thai food available in Newcastle and with it being located right on the Quayside, there is no uncertainty that you will be given a lovely view to go along with your meal. Much like Peace and Loaf, Mantra also offers a wide variety of different menu selections for you to choose from including a Day or Evening menu, a business lunch menu and a vegetarian menu. With it being a Thai restaurant comes the wide variety of food offered that one would expect, including various noodle and rice dishes such as ‘Stir Fried Pork Noodles’, ‘Pad Thai’ with chicken or prawns and ‘Green Curry Fried Rice with Pan Fried Salmon’. Not only are these choices but there are also curries, salads and soups available. The vegetarian menu offers such choices as ‘Fried Tofu in Yellow Curry’ and ‘Stir Fried Pack Choi’. No matter what you’re looking for, there is bound to be something for you at Mantra. That statement is not just limited to Mantra however, it extends across all the places, mentioned and unmentioned, in Newcastle.
By Matthew Pickering