Food & Drink Voyeur

New menu launches, street food, steamers & bars, you’ll find all FOOD and DRINK related stuff here

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Voting Open for the 2017 UK Blog Awards!

Well Voyeurs, you did your awesome thang and I’m super proud to say that for the first year ever, I’M NOMINATED IN THE UK BLOG AWARDS!

The next stage is voting.  A shortlist has been compiled - I’m on it - and voting opened at 8am this morning.  The voting process is exactly as it should be; quick, easy and with minimal fuss.  It takes less than a minute and I promise to love you forever if you take that one minute to vote for me in the Fashion and Beauty category.  You can do so by clicking HERE or by using the long link at the bottom of the page, you know if you wanna share it and garner me a few extra votes *wink wink*.

Obviously I want to say a huge, big, massive thank-you to you guys, my Voyeurs.  Without you there wouldn’t be a nomination, or a place on the shortlist and I appreciate every single one of you.  You stick by me when things are rough, you connect with me and share my posts via social media and you make me smile with your comments and emails, especially the ones about my outfits!

Guys, you’re awesome, now stop reading and go vote in your droves….

http://blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2017/entries/fashion-voyeur

Pixie xo

 

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Christmas Night Market at the Grainger Market

Last night I headed over to the Grainger Market in Newcastle for a very special Christmas Night Market.  If you’re not from the North East then let me fill you in…

 

The Grainger Market is something of a local treasure in Newcastle, housed in a square block between Clayton Street and Grainger Street, it’s been a part of the city since 1835.  With over a hundred shops and stalls under the steel and glass roof, it really has to be visited to give life to the description.  It’s the home of a collective of vibrant, small local businesses and some awesome creatives who thrive on their solidarity as a unit and if you visit the market, you’ll see that in spades.

It’s quirky, it’s cute and ultimately it’s well planned out.  From the original aisles which made up the ‘flesh market’ which now houses local food produce, through to the Grainger Arcade which is the younger, funkier end.  Everything in the Grainger Market has a place that has been carefully considered and every Geordie you meet, will have a favourite unit housed within it.

This year, for the first time ever, the Grainger Market played host to a Christmas Night Market with the promise of mulled wine, local food samples and a VIP tour of that famous hidden air raid shelter.  To be honest Voyeurs, I heard “Air raid shelter” and was there like a shot.

When I arrived, the place was buzzing with life, a choir was singing with an audience of smiling faces and Christmas jumpers as lights projected out across the glass ceiling, transforming the Grainger Market into a Winter Wonderland.  I registered for my VIP wristband and map, and headed straight to Pet Lamb patisserie to stock up on festive treats made with a local touch.

One of my all time favourite stores is in the Grainger Market; Ellen’s Cosmetics is a secret staple for many a Beauty Blogger, known for sourcing hard to find items and products, and stocking brands that you just can’t find anywhere else.  It’s my go to for hair toners.  Yup, that’s right Voyeurs, when you see me with my many shades of pastel hair, this is my supplier and I picked up some new ones last night taking advantage of their 20% off offer exclusively for the Night Market. 🙌🏼

I also managed to get a tour of one of the two hidden air raid shelters under the Grainger Market, something I’ve wanted to do since I heard about it in The Chronicle earlier this year and it didn’t disappoint.  I headed into the dark tunnel with fellow Bloggers Ami Littlefair and we were given the lowdown on how it would have been used by the most adorably City Tour Guide.

From the surface, it’s pretty easy to, it’s the entrance despite being wide open & surrounded by metal barriers, it’s hidden in plain sight.  The steps lead down to a chamber which eerily splits off into two narrow corridors, it almost feels like picking your fate….

Filled with vintage props, the shelter has been preserved and still has original drawings on the walls.  Not my usual post but I’m actually super interested in this kind of thing so next on my list is The Victoria Tunnel tour.  I also kind of have to take some responsibility for Rachel bumping her head on a steel joist on the way out, soz dude.

After a good stroll around the market and it’s various entertainment spots, cue buskers, Newcastle Roller Girls Head Coach Kalamity James (and my awesome mate) whizzing around on quads, I headed home feeling slightly less grinchy and munching on a bag of sweet treats.

If you’re the kind of person who seeks to support local business over larger chain stores and you’re in the North East then give the Grainger Market a look.  There are quirky independent stores hidden within those old walls and some great places for food that still remain a bit of a Geordie secret.  Also, it’s looking super Christmassy in there right now, which is always a winner in my book!

Pixie xo

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Here’s The Rub….

If you’ve been into Newcastle recently you’ll know that the landscape is changing.  Newcastle is actually shaping up to be a pretty damn amazing hub, buzzing with creatives and tribes of fashionistas.  With this wave of new business prospects comes a whole phase of brand new eateries, one of which is Rub Smokehouse.

Housed in The Gate which is undergoing extensive redevelopment, Rub can be found on the first floor and is a welcome addition to the entertainment complex which has seen its popularity dwindle in recent years.  With a relaunch on the cards for early 2017 it’s high time for The Gate to take in some Fresh Meat, and already Rub has opened up to rapturous applause.

Obviously as a smokehouse, Rub primarily caters for the meat lover (although there are vegetarian options), and their preparation methods are sound; following the traditions of the deep American South, all of the meat sourced by Rub is from ethical farmers and is hung in a smokehouse after being ‘Rubbed’ down with a secret blend of herbs and spices known only to Rub chefs.  After which it’s slow cooked to perfection for 16 hours to give the meat that super awesome flavour and a tenderness that’s better than foreplay.

It’s a place that’s been on my radar for some time now due to a member of my Squad literally ‘Rubbing’ it in and sending me photos of food from Rub, every damn day.  (Thanks for that Ashleigh Money Saver).

But Rub is so much more than a smokehouse….

Rub is the brainchild of three guys out to have fun and make some Epic Food and Newcastle is the third branch for the successful trio.  With the Epic Food side of things covered, Cocktail King Joe serves up the fun at the Newcastle branch with a cocktail menu almost as in-depth as the food menu, some of which are his own creations.

Earlier this week, a gazillion Bloggers descended on Rub Newcastle for a night of great food, fun and mad cocktail making skills with the invite promising ‘Cocktail Carnage’.  We were treated to a cocktail making masterclass from a standup guy who competed in the actual Cocktail Making World Championships (it’s a thing Voyeurs, I checked) and boy, did we rack ’em up!

As an interlude, we were served pulled pork sliders, nachos, and burritos, (in order to soak up the excess alcohol I suspect), and damn, they were good.

After a crash course in creating bar essentials (Porn Star Martini, Mojito) Bachelorette Party must haves (Cosmopolitan) and classics smokes, (including one of my all time favourites, the smokey old fashioned), winners were announced.  Long story short, my team won, obvs.

When preparing cocktails for Newcastle’s elite, we were taught that there’s no cutting corners and no cheap option.  Only the highest quality ingredients are used at Rub and that means Titos vodka (my favourite), Chambord black raspberry liqueur and only the freshest fruit - no cheap alternatives, that’s not the Rub way.  We were also taught that shaking and stirring are key, to pull off the best drinks in town, they have to be stirred to perfection and that’s exactly what these guys do.

I’ve got to say a big thank-you  to ELLEfluence for the invite, and a big shout out to Team White for pulling off a massive win; Chloe, WE BE AWESOME!

So, if you’re looking for somewhere that does great food, and knows how to make a really aces cocktail without waiting around forever for it - get you somewhere that can do both.  Rub Smokehouse needs to be on your radar.  Go there once and you’ll see why, go there twice and you’ll know why.

And that, Voyeurs, is the Rub…

Pixie xo

 

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Catch Up on the The Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016

Missed the Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards on TV?  How could you Voyeurs?!

You’ll know by now that the Newcastle Discovery Museum played host to the inaugural Lifestyle Awards Ceremony recently which produced an honours list for North East business.  The best of the best, as shortlisted and voted for by you, the North East public.

Made TV broadcast the entire event live with a live edition of The Lowdown as a prelude to the big event itself, looking at red carpet dressing, fashion trends and prepping for the awards.

Why should you watch it?  One word: ME!  No seriously, you should watch it because the Lifestyle Awards is your essential guide to what’s hot in the North East in 2016/17.  You’ll discover the hottest nightspots, the best places to eat and maybe even a hidden gem or two that you weren’t already aware of.  What’s really awesome about these awards is that they don’t just focus on Newcastle - an undeniably awesome city - but there is so much more to Tyne & Wear than just our Geordie Hub.

So, this of this as your second chance, your saving grace….. I’m giving you the power to watch the entire show at your leisure, as many times as you like using the following links.  Although I will say this, you might want to just skip ahead to part two, that’s the best bit, I’m told it’s because I’m in it but I can neither confirm nor deny that*…… (*It’s absolutely true Voyeurs)

So here you go, knock yourself out Voyeurs…..

Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016 - Part 1

Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016 - Part 2

Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016 - Part 3

Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016 - Part 4

Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016 - Part 5

Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016 - Part 5

 

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The Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards 2016

Last week businesses and fashionistas from all over the North East gathered at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle to celebrate the inaugural Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Awards, broadcast live on Made in Tyne & Wear.

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With twelve categories, the ceremony toasted a whole range of businesses, ultimately compiling a guide to everything that’s awesome about the North East in one handy list.  I swept up the train of my Claire Pettibone Romantique dress and sped over to the Discovery Museum to bring you the lowdown….

Our venue for the evening, The Discovery Museum is an imposing, red brick building which houses treasures from all over the region and as an event venue it’s pretty special.  As we make our way up to the Grand Hall hidden away in the roof space, the internal metal structure exposed, this truly is the jewel in the museum’s crown and the perfect place for a Geordie knees up.

I bumped into fellow Blogger Anth May wearing a fitted TopMan suit and he instantly became my designated date for the evening.  After being interviewed for a live edition of The Lowdown about red carpet fashion and new season trends (Did you catch it Voyeurs?) we were seated for a three course dinner inspired by North East delicacies including pease pudding and even a stottie. (High five whoever shoehorned that on to the menu).  We shared a table with North East favourites Donna Petch from North East Hub and Joe Sexton from cookery show Fit in the Kitchen.

Pre-show entertainment came in the form of a comedy-fest from Britain’s Got Talent favourites The Mimic Men and as the entire night’s proceedings were broadcast live on TV, the audience were given a jovial reminder on etiquette for fucks, buggers and See You Next Tuesdays before the show got underway.

Our hosts for the evening were trio Peter, Mel and Hazel -  you’ll recognise them from The Lowdown, who provided the links, glamour and humour between awards, all whilst looking more dapper than ever.  The girls wore aqua blue embellished evening dresses and Peter looked uber handsome in a black dinner suit, (you’ve set the bar high guys, remember, you’ve got to better this next year!)

Guest presenters from all over the region and further afield dished out awards to the best North East businesses, as voted for by the public.  I was asked to present the award for Best Fashion Retailer which went to Gosforth boutique Have To Love and owner Kate Walton told me she was ecstatic to have won.

At the end of the evening, a special Tyne & Wear Legend Award was given to Colin Burgin-Plews, otherwise known as Big Pink dress, for selflessly dedicating his time to innovative ways of raising funds for Cancer Awareness charities.  Kudos Colin, I think you’re pretty damn awesome.

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Once the awards were concluded there was just one thing left to do, party the night away.

For one night only, the best of the best in the North East assembled under one roof, just like the Avengers did - although they did it on a plane - and danced the night away.  And if there’s one thing we don’t need an award for in Tyne & Wear it’s partying, we’ve got that one covered….

Pixie xo

Missed The Lowdown live from the Lifestyle Awards?  Fear not Voyeurs, you can catch it, and me, right here

Tyne & Wear Lifestyle Award Winners:

Best Coffee Shop – Mister Woods

Best Pub – City Tavern

Best Fashion Retailer – Have To Love

Best Hair and Beauty Salon – Patrick Forster Barber and Shop

Best Hotel – Malmaison

Best Bar – The Botanist

Best Cultural Attraction – National Glass Centre

Best Restaurant – River Beat

Best Club – House of Smith

Best Fitness Facility – Model Health

Best Live Experience – Great North Run

Tyne & Wear Legend Award – Colin Burgin-Plews (Big Pink Dress)

 

 

 

 

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Laneway & Co Newcastle

If you’re either from, or living in Newcastle, you’ll know it’s a city with an ever changing landscape.  Whether it’s new and top drawer student accommodation or amazing new stores on the high street, Newcastle is a city thats pace is lightening quick.

A short walk from the bustling shopping centre is High Bridge; an authentic cobbled street which once bustled with independent fashion and record stores and one of my favourites in the 90’s.  In recent times, High Bridge has seen many of these cool, urban type stores go out of business or move on, however today, the split street seems to be going through something of a revival.

One of the last remaining High Bridges originals, Henry’s Barbers, stands solid on the middle of the street, refusing to be threatened by recession or new businesses, in fact it’s barely changed since conception and has become one of those places that every Geordie knows of.  The recent addition of Motel One on High Bridge has seen an influx of new customers hit the street and with that comes new business.

Enter Laneway & Co.  We all know the power of a great coffee and we all know how elusive that can be.  Torn between forgoing an early morning cup of coffee to support local business which opens at 9am, or pouring cash into a national chain to get your fix?  Well Laneway & Co wants to change that.

High bridge is a short street that links the Bigg Market to Grey Street and there’s a lot of footfall during both rush hours as busy business people travel to and from work.  What does that mean?  It’s a location crying out for an aces independent coffee shop and now, that’s exactly what it has.  With it’s fresh, white and inviting interior, Laneway basks in it’s simplicity and lets the coffee do the talking.

A simple premise;  just two fun loving guys who spent some time in Australia appreciating the coffee shop boom and mentality and spinning it into something that could work in the UK.  These guys are smart.  Not just book smart, but savvy.  The shop is pet friendly and child friendly.  I note the absence of garish prints on the wall that other big chains have and mentally note that this is a completely safe place to bring my autistic son, not overstimulating at all.

The guys here are chilled and damn do they know their stuff.  They regale me with stories of how coffee should be given time to ‘de-gas’ in order to taste the flavours properly and how their machinery is cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day to ‘protect the integrity and taste of the coffee.’  It’s safe to say they’re passionate about what they do.

The big things to note here are that Laneway serve up a pretty damn awesome cup of coffee and that they’re open from 7.30am.  Yes, 7.30am, Hallelujah.  Once you’ve navigated the menu and chosen your blend, you’ll find that the coffee served here is akin to what you might buy in Spain or Italy and man, am I a fan.  With Mama Tenenbaum living in Menorca, I’ve gotten used to drinking awesome coffee when I go to visit and so coffee served in the UK never seems to cut it.  Laneway challenges that and comes pretty damn close so for that reason, it gets a massive thumbs up from me Voyeurs.

If you’re in or visiting Newcastle and need a fix, or just fancy a little time out from the hustle and bustle of the city without venturing too far, head to Laneway Coffee Co and I challenge you not to be impressed….

Pixie x

Laneway Coffee Co is at 17-19 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EW