It was Johnny who suggested that we try the Fat Buddha for date night as he had eaten there before, and I am so thrilled we visited because it might be my new favourite restaurant in Newcastle! It’s marketed as an Asian Bar and Kitchen and decorated accordingly inside, with bold reds and gold’s splashed throughout and amazing feature lighting hanging from the beautiful celling in the main upstairs restaurant. Small Buddha ornaments are scattered around with a large golden fat Buddha sitting outside which is a great feature before you even enter the building. We had booked to sit in the upstairs restaurant; climbing the stairs you’re instantly struck with the beauty of it! Once seated we both ordered the restaurants signature cocktail ‘The Fat Buddha’, made up of; vodka, pineapple juice, apple juice, fresh passion fruit and a splash of their secret ingredient! I was so happy to see that there was a separate gluten free menu for diners like me to enjoy, and after much debate I decided to try the Wok Fried Sliced Chicken Breast with mixed vegetables and gluten free soy sauce. Johnny chose their Peking Chicken; crispy chicken breast cooked in Peking sauce with chilli, peppers and scallions. We also ordered some sides of salt and chilli chips and a bowl of egg fried rice for the table. When it all arrived, everything smelt and looked amazing, we both couldn’t wait to dive in!
We both had such a wonderful evening dinning out at The Fat Buddha. I can honestly say it’s some of the nicest food that I have ever eaten! The staff were also very attentive with our food and drinks and really helpful with any questions and concerns that I had over their gluten free menu.
After our meal we headed back downstairs to the bar to enjoy more of their gorgeous cocktails as we didn’t want our night to end! It’s such a perfect restaurant for a great night of food and drinking- we will definitely be back!
Cocktails are always a good idea, so me and my best friend Lucy jumped on a train and headed to Leeds for a day of drinking and shopping! We were desperate to try out the cocktails from The Alchemist in the Trinity shopping centre, which is right in the heart of the city and houses 120 shops, bars, restaurants! Located on the second floor of Trinity, this cocktail bar allows you to make the most of any weather, with its heated wrap around terrance showcasing the stunning city views. However we opted to sit indoors at the beautifully decorated bar. With the bartender only a few feet away to make our drinks, we definitely enjoyed ourselves, even if our purses felt very light by the end of our trip! For our first cocktail, we both ordered the ‘Screwball’ priced at £7.75 and filled with raspberry vodka, blue curacao, apple juice, lime juice, bubblegum syrup and white chocolate foam, its an adult twist on a childhood favourite! This drink tasted very different from any cocktail I’d had before, it was a lot heavier than the fruity ones I’d usually chose however it was my favourite shade of blue and filled with vodka so I think this has to be my favourite of the Alchemist’s cocktails that I tried!
Next up for me was the ‘White Chocolate & Raspberry Martini’ priced at £7.50 and filled with raspberry vodka, raspberry liqueur, cranberry juice and their special white chocolate foam. While Lucy opted for ‘The Colour Changing One’ priced at £7.75, containing reyka vodka, apple liqueur, sugar syrup and a secret ingredient to form a blue potion, then the addition of lime juice, apple juice and soda allows it to change colour! Although the bartender did advise me not to drink mine through a straw, I didn’t want to end up with chocolate foam all over my face!
For our last cocktail we both chose to oder a ‘Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri’ priced at £.725. These cocktails were a lot lighter, fruiter and were a great way to finish off our visit at The Alchemist!
With it’s unique and quirky interior, this cocktail bar is totally different to anywhere I’ve visited before! Situated in an ideal location to be able to grab a few cocktails whilst out shopping, their strong brand image and very individual identity, resulted in a such memorable experience for us! The bar staff were really friendly too and their recommendations were so helpful, it was also a plus being able to sit at the bar itself and watch them work their magic! Wether you’re living in Leeds or planning trip to visit then The Alchemist should definitely be on your list of places to visit!
During a recent trip back home I stopped at Badgers for a catch up with my best friend over some cocktails! Operated and owned by Ed Raban-Williams and his mother Sarah Raban-Williams, Badger’s is a cool new cafe bringing the city coffee culture vibe to the market town of Guisborough (North Yorkshire) and is located in the busy village opposite the church and renowned Priory. This was my first visit to Badgers since it opened as I have been living in Newcastle for university the past few months so it was nice to finally spend some time at home and get to try out the cocktails that they offer! During the day this quirky café serves tea’s, coffee’s and sandwiches before turning into a cocktail bar on an evening. They also host a gin night every Thursday along with a live lounge on Saturday nights.
I love how this small little café come cocktail bar is styled, it’s very rustic with exposed brick walls, wooden panelling and fairy lights glittering from the ceiling it’s the perfect setting for catching up with loved ones! The menu has also been lovingly designed to tie into the interior, running with the rustic theme the menus have been printed onto brown paper and attached to wooden clip boards. I was hoping that the cocktails would live up to the beauty of the place, and they certainly didn’t disappoint!
All the ones I tried that evening were priced at £6.75 which I thought was reasonable as you’d usually expect to pay around six or seven pound a cocktail when you’re dining out. To start with we both went with a Strawberry Diaquiri, described on the menu as muddled fresh fruit with white rum and lime juice served in a frozen glass over crushed ice. It was fabulous, especially on a warm summer evening…it was the perfect way to start our night!
Our second and third drinks were both Mojito’s with Lucy choosing to try a raspberry one while I opted for strawberry, before we both gave passion fruit a go! Described on the menu as rum & fresh fruit muddled with muscovado sugar, lime juice, mint leaves and topped with soda, they were everything a Mojito should be! Our whole evening at Badgers was gorgeous, I can’t fault the staff or the atmosphere and will definitely be returning, perhaps on a Friday night this time to take advantage of the 2 for 1 cocktail deal! It was probably a good thing that Badgers has only recently opened, as just a stones throw from my old college, I think I would have spent most of my time there- sampling drinks from their cocktail menu and lusting over their dreamy interior rather attending classes!
It’s been a busy month after 2 amazing trips abroad with Jonny and moving back up to Newcastle to start second year, I have barely had anytime to blog! My holiday posts will be up soon but in the meantime I thought I’d share my visit to the street food kitchen, Dabbawal, located in Jesmond. This was our first date night since moving back to Newcastle and after hearing only positive things about their menu and the gluten free options we decided to book up for Saturday night! We struggled to find the restaurant at first, as its not sat on the main row of restaurants, instead located down the back street behind Brentwood Avenue. However, once we did find it we were blown away with the modern and colourful decoration both inside and out, which only filled us with more excitement to try their food!
After we were seated inside the gorgeous restaurant, we were given copies of their extensive menu, along with some poppadoms and a homemade chutney selection to nibble on while we decided what to eat and drink. To start, we both ordered cocktails, I chose the Mitch Martini made up of Bison grass vodka shaken with passion fruit syrup, apple and lemon juice which was gorgeous while Jonny went with the Kaffir Lime Cosmopolitan consisting of; Indian kaffir lime leaves, Wyborowa Lemon vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice. Their menu is made up of a variety of meals such as small tapas dishes for starters or sharing options as well as larger curries for a bigger main course. As it is a ‘street food kitchen’ we decided to get a selection of the tapas dishes and some sides to share so we could sample a mix of classic Indian street foods. Each item is clearly labeled (G) if it contains gluten, which is great for gluten free diners to be able to easily see which dishes to avoid. After much consideration we eventually picked 3 gluten free tapas dishes; the Chicken Supreme Pakora Fritters, the Dabawall Grill and the Punjabi Chicken Lollipop as well as Pulao Rice and Masala Chips as sides to the meal which were also gluten free.
As we had ordered the tapas options, they each came to the table separately with the sides not being served until we were half way through the dishes, meaning we didn’t feel that we were eating our main course as dishes kept being brought to the table and interrupting us. Although the food was pleasant enough we were a bit underwhelmed after hearing only good things about the restaurant, we didn’t feel that we had been able to enjoy ourselves or the food. With the restaurant decked out in quirky, modern furniture and fittings, it is a gorgeous setting for a meal however the dining experience was disappointing and sadly we wont be returning as the whole meal came to around £60 which we is something neither of us can justify spending!
A mouth-watering confusion of native Latin American Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences, Las Iguanas is an adventure. You’ll discover new tastes, and fall in love with new favourites – and feel the warmth and welcome of South America. I hadn’t heard of Las Iguanas until I moved to Newcastle and once I discovered they offer a wide selection of gluten free options I knew I had to visit! I have eaten there four times now, with my most recent trip being to their new restaurant located down on the quayside. Every time I walk into one of their restaurants I feel instantly happy as the colourful mix of furniture and quirky decorations creates a great atmosphere. Their new quayside location is ideal to sit outside under the parasols enjoying their fruity cocktails and watch the river Tyne in the sun, which exactly what my friend and me did when we dined there. On each of my visits the servers are always more than happy to help when I tell them I’m gluten intolerant. Las Iguanas offers a separate gluten free menu for diners however on their lunchtime deal menu, they have small symbols next to dishes that can be cooked gluten free on request. Their crayfish salad is so light, but filling and definitely a great choice if you can fit it in during lunch. The blazing bird is also a gorgeous dish of spicy chicken marinated with a fiery sauce (I chose honey peri-peri), served with slaw and salad. I did originally opt for fries as my side, however after checking with the kitchen the waiter said they couldn’t be sure they were gluten free so salad it was! Both of these dishes are from their lunchtime menu, which offers main courses from as little as £6, with the choice to add a starter for an extra £2.95, an ideal option if you’re looking for lunch on a budget1
On my first visit to Las Iguanas as I read through the menu, I noticed they offered gluten free nachos on request so I knew I had to get them for a starter! Crispy corn tortilla chips with melted cheese, topped with pico de gallo, jalapeños, salsa, soured cream & guacamole, they were everything I had hoped they would! As a main course I decided to give their triple tacos a try…three corn & wheat lightly charred tortillas. So far I have had the chipotle chicken, soured cream & pink pickled onion option as well as their garlicky mushroom, chill, thyme and cheese tacos, which have both been fabulous! Just be sure to specify with the server that you want the gluten free tacos when you’re ordering!
Las Iguanas also offer great deals on their drinks menu with ‘HAPPY HOUR’ all day, everyday on 25 of their cocktails and coolers. They give diners the chance to get 2 for 1 on these drinks; the only drawback is that when you buy one glass, you get the same free, so be sure that you’ll like the drink you go for otherwise you’ll be stuck with 2 drinks that you aren’t fond of! These cocktails are priced at £7.95, which I think is more than reasonable for the simple fact you get 2 for the price of 1! While their coolers are £3.30, which again two fruit filled drinks for this price is amazing! Las Iguanas is well worth a visit if you’re in Newcastle as both of their restaurants (Greys Street and Quayside) are well furnished and their servers can’t do enough for you. Their food is of a high quality and always filling, and for such great prices you can afford to really treat yourself especially with their lunchtime menu, which runs daily until 6:30pm.
After our day of exploring Newcastle, I booked us a table at Zizzi as I was keen to try out their gluten free menu before I moved home for the summer! So we hurried back to my flat, got changed and set back off into town. Zizzi is located just down from Monument on Greys Street, and the interior is just as stunning as the building it sits in. We were seated downstairs at the back of the restaurant next to the big open plan kitchen so we could see the chefs working which was exciting! The servers couldn’t have been more helpful when I asked for the gluten free menu and what they would recommend to try. I knew I had to have a pizza so I went with their new ‘Non Gluten’ Polpette, which contained; lamb & red pepper meatballs, anchovies, fior di latte & smoked mozzarella, spinach, olives, sunblush tomatoes, crushed chillies, roasted garlic cloves & smoked garlic oil. I also ordered myself their new pink G&T cocktail, a mix of Bombay Sapphire & tonic with strawberry purée, mint, cucumber & fresh raspberries! While Johnny chose their Pollo Prosciutto – chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto ham & sage with a white wine sauce, Tuscan potatoes & green beans which looked just as nice as my pizza when they both arrived.
Although it was a typical doughy/stretchy gluten free pizza base, I still found myself enjoying it! The flavours were really nice too, however after awhile I did begin to find it a little too spicy and couldn’t finish it all, so I would recommend choosing a different pizza if you aren’t a big fan of spicy foods.
The staff and atmosphere made for a great evening, and the fabulous cocktails topped it off! With Zizzi restaurants up and down the country, there’s no excuse not to give their ‘Non Gluten’ menu a go.
With my dad up in Newcastle for the day visiting me, I took the opportunity to try out the Pitcher and Piano, as he had offered to pay for lunch! We sat in the seated area outside to begin with in order to make the most of the rare sunny weather and ordered some strawberry cocktails. The views along the quayside were gorgeous, especially with the sun bouncing off the mirrored sides of the Sage. After moving inside the restaurant to order food, I was instantly struck by the stunning interior design. We were seated in the most comfy chairs, under an enormous golden framed mirror.
I explained to our waiter that I was gluten intolerant and he was more than happy to help, showing me what my options on the menu were. When he told me that they offer gluten free baguettes I knew that I had to order myself one of their sandwiches. In the end I settled on the P&P Club Sandwich and once it arrived I knew I’d made the right choice!
The sandwich was filled with grilled chicken breast, maple-glazed bacon, smashed avocado, tomato, baby gem lettuce and rapeseed mayo and was served with a side of skinny fries. Although the baguette was a bit dry which is what I’ve come to expect from most gluten free bread products, the overall sandwich was great and the fries were some of the nicest I’ve had it awhile! My dad chose the beer battered fish and chips, it looked gorgeous but unfortunately the batter wasn’t gluten free.I’d definitely recommend the Pitcher and Piano to anyone with a gluten intolerance as there is so much choice on the menu and the staff are more than happy to help meet your needs. Although the cocktails are a bit pricey, they are well worth it and with restaurants up and down the country there is no excuse not to give it a try!
It was England’s first match in the Euro’s last night so where better to watch it than Nancy’s Bordello. Sitting just outside the main city centre, this bar is a real hidden gem and a prefect place to escape the busy hustle and bustle of Newcastle. Although I had been to Nancy’s for cocktails before, I hadn’t eaten there as I was worried they wouldn’t have any gluten free options for me, so I emailed ahead before my visit and was told they offer gluten free buns so I could try one of their burgers! Unfortunately when I arrived they were out of buns, so I chose a big bowl of cheesy hand cut chips instead! Johnny got a burger, and I have to admit I was very jealous that I couldn’t eat one too! At least I was able to enjoy their fun cocktails and mojitos whilst we watched the football in this magical setting!
If you are ever wanting a quiet drink in a quirky bar then Nancy’s is the place to go, and now I know that they offer gluten free options I’ll definitely be spending more time here! The interior of the bar is gorgeous, it’s so well decorated with feature lights around each table and their background music never disappoints. They offer great student discount too so remember to bring your student card in order to take advantage of these offers!
Since moving to Newcastle I’ve always wanted to eat at the Botanist. I did get a quick look inside at the glittering ceiling on my first date with Johnny but after doing a lap of the busy cocktail bar we decided to head somewhere else. It wasn’t until after getting my university results that we decided to give it another go when we were deciding where to go to celebrate. If you’re considering eating here then my advice is to book in advance in order to be sure you’ll get a table! Although I had briefly been before, walking through the entrance into the bar took my breath away… it was just magical! We were seated by the window, overlooking Grey’s Monument and the streets leading off it, which instantly put us on a high for the rest of the evening. After a long look at their extensive cocktail and beautiful food menus, I went with steak and chips which is always a safe bet as a gluten free option, whilst Johnny settled on the chicken and chorizo pie with chips and peas.
We had a few different cocktails during our meal and I’d definitely recommend their signature drink ‘The Botanist’. I can’t sing their praises enough; everything about our evening was beautiful…the views, the drinks, the food and the service were without fault! I’ll definitely be persuading Johnny to take me back soon, even if it just to do another lap around the bar!
We were walking around The Gate in Newcastle, trying to agree on somewhere to eat when Johnny suggested that we try Coast to Coast. Located on the second floor, I’d not heard of this American restaurant and bar chain before so was willing to give it a go. Whilst waiting to be seated I asked the server what my gluten free options were from their extensive menu and the staff couldn’t have been helpful… giving me an iPad to read their allergy advice on and I was also able to see if there was anything that tickled my fancy on their menu before we were shown to our table. I have attached a copy of their gluten free options for their main courses to this post to show what sort of food is on offer. I decided to give their Kentucky wings a try as the description sounded fabulous! ‘Succulent chicken wings smothered in our signature BBQ or Buffalo sauce (I went with BBQ), served with fries, celery and maple blue cheese dressing’. I also got Johnny to treat me to a strawberry cocktail since it was date night and I decided that I needed a drink as we were watching a horror film at the cinema after our meal!
Overall I found my first dining experience at Coast to Coast to be quite average. Although the waiting staff were great, they couldn’t have been more helpful about my dietary needs but I just thought the food itself was a bit of a let down. The BBQ sauce was super sticky almost like tar so be prepared if you order the wings, as your hands and face will get covered in it! I’d definitely recommend that you order something else if you’re on a first date! I felt the food was overpriced for what it was and probably wouldn’t chose to eat there again in the future which is a shame as the staff were amazing!