Tag Archives: food

Newcastle Student Summer Bucket list

It’s May, which means the sun is coming out and, for us students, the books are stacking up fast and thinking about the summer is perfect procrastination. For some, me included *tear*, this is the end of their time in Newcastle, but even between drinking your body weight in trebles and re-painting your stained walls to try and secure the return of that mystical deposit, there’s still plenty of time to squeeze in some of the best sunny day activities that Newcastle has to offer. Trust me, after the last month in the library, the vitamin D will be good for you.

1) Visit the Quayside Seaside

Now this concept baffles me. Newcastle is lucky enough to be located near a plethora of beautiful beaches, easily accessible on the Metro, so why do we need a fake beach in our already stunning Quayside? The truth is, we don’t NEED one, but we still WANT one, and what we want, we get. Despite it not holding a candle to the natural beauty of Tynemouth, the Quayside beach is still some of the most fun you can have on a piece of concrete, although to be honest there isn’t must competition for that title. Relax with a drink and look out over the glorious river or just take a break from all that strenuous Netflix watching you’ll no doubt be filling your days after exams end; and, while it certainly is a just a novelty, it’s something that everyone should experience at least once while in the sunny North East.

2) Picnic in Jesmond Dene

Yes, there are many other beautiful parks in Newcastle that are also acceptable to picnic in, I’m just biased as the Dene is about a minute away from my house and I’m very, very lazy. As well as it’s proximity to my bed, it also boasts plenty of space to eat, a petting zoo and of course, the waterfall, subject of many an Instagram post (including my own). After eating, you could always challenge your pals to a game of rounders, as we all know nothing says friendships like competitively hitting things with a large stick.

3) Spend the day in Ouesburn pub gardens

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Tyne Bar is my spiritual home. That’s a fact. I love the beer garden, I love overlooking the river, I love the music events, and most of all, I love that they serve weird ciders and mac n cheese. It’s heaven. But one thing can make it better, all of the surrounding pubs and bars are fantastic too. Most students don’t know about these hidden gems because the rahs are too scared to leave the safety of Osbourne Road and most other people don’t really like walking all the way there but it is just so worth it to spend all day there in the sun. Make sure you also check out The Cluny while you’re in the area. You won’t be disappointed.

4) Have a BBQ in your garden

Last year I lived with six girls and one guy, so when we decided to have an end of year BBQ we just assumed that Dave would man up and take charge. We were wrong. Turns out that living with us for a whole year has dried up the man’s primal urge to grill meat, so with much fear and very little confidence the girls took the reins. Two bottles of wine and litre of Pimms later and we sat down in our “garden” (the small patch outside our door) to eat a very successful and delicious meal. The point of this story is that if we can do it, then so can you. And to be honest, if it fails, or if you in fact don’t like waiting two hours for your food, then just put it in the oven and eat it outside. It’s the same thing really.

5) Relax at a festival

From laughing at Jesterval in Gateshead to discovering new local artists at Evolution Emerging, there are festivals for everyone in Tyneside over the summer. Ouseburn Valley is usually packed full of events at this time of year so take yourself, your sunglasses and whichever pals you can drag with you and head down there to hear some music you definitely won’t have heard of, but possibly might enjoy.

What will you be doing this summer? Any other events we should know about?

Katie x

This post is in partnership with Easiliving so if you’re coming back next year make sure you check them out before making that all important housing decision!

Katie Eats: Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pasta

I’ve been trying to eat healthily this year which usually means pasta is off the menu *sob* but when I’m wanting a little treat, this creamy alfredo pasta is perfect. It’s not the healthiest of meals (hello double cream) but it’s surprisingly low in calories and contains one of you five a day so I’m sure you could bend the rules slightly for just one meal!

Ingredients

Serves 4.       Takes 30 minutes.              Approx 530 calories per portion

  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup milk, or more, as needed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as instructed on the packet.
  2. In the last 2 minutes of the pasta’s cooking time, add the broccoli.
  3. Add the olive oil to a pan and then add the chicken. You can season the chicken with salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Once cooked through, remove the chicken and dice it.
  5. Melt butter in the pan and whisk in flour until it is lightly browned. This should only take about a minute.
  6. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock and the milk and cook for about 2 minutes whilst whisking constantly.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream and garlic powder until slightly thickened.
  8. If mixture is too thick then add more milk as needed
  9. Mix together the pasta, broccoli, chicken and sauce, top with Parmesan and serve.

 This was a little more complicated that the meals I’m usually trusted to cook but it’s actually really easy if you just follow the recipe! Just don’t get disheartened when the sauce looks like a lump mess in the middle. It will all be ok!

Katie x

Newcastle’s Hidden Gems

For a small city, Newcastle is packed full of culture and excitement, so much so that some amazing places may slip under the radar, especially for students. Don’t worry though, here are some recommendations for you to really experience what The Toon has to offer.

Ouseburn

For an entire neighbourhood, Ouseburn is pretty hidden. Located on a hill, ending on the bank of the Tyne, the area is full of  independent bars, creative businesses and music venues so you’ll be able to find something for you if you hunt hard enough. Try The Cluny to catch a glimpse of the newest up-and-coming bands, The Tyne Bar if you fancy an unusual pint by the river, or Ouseburn Farm if you fancy, well, you know, animals. For a city, Newcastle really does have an abundance of farms.

Pizzeria Italia

From the family who brought you Slice in Grainger Market comes Pizzeria Italia where you can bag yourself a 12 or 18 inch version of their incredible pizza for under a tenner! The simple cafe has flown under the radar because of its location in Benton but it’s definitely worth the metro ride. Authentic Italian ingredients and old family recipes makes this pizza something truly special. Do not leave Newcastle without experiencing this at least once. Trust me, you’ll be begging to go back!

Benton Park Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7LX

Cook House

Located in a shipping container in Ouseburn, Cook House is run by a successful local food blogger, Anna Hedworth. A great place to eat, drink and relax, the container has been transformed into a bright and airy space which makes you instantly feel at home. You can go for lunch or their famous supper club which features an ever-changing menu featuring fresh and seasonal ingredients. If you want to get involved then they also run a food school which caters to anyone from a student beginner to a wannabe masterchef.

20 Ouse Street, NE1 2PF

Heaton Perk

Heaton Perk is a small cafe in Heaton (duh) which attracts a huge variety of customers, from students to mums and their toddlers. Whilst it takes its inspiration from the iconic Central Perk cafe from Friends, it definitely isn’t a replica. Instead it is decorated in an interesting and quirky fashion packed with retro pieces. The cafe serves great coffee and has a outdoor patio for you to enjoy an old school soda float on a warm afternoon. This isn’t your ordinary coffee shop though. The Perk is also home to a book trading scheme and has a selection of board games for you to play whilst you indulge!

103 – 105 Heaton Park Road, NE6 5NR

Quay Ingredient

OK so this gem probably isn’t very well hidden any more as the Quay Ingredient, located on the Quayside (haha, get it?) is now a favourite amongst the brunch lovers of Newcastle. The tiny cafe doesn’t take reservations so you’ll have to be lucky to get a table but it’s definitely worth trying. They’re open all day but make sure you go before 12 if you want to experience their legendary breakfast. It won’t disappoint!

4 Queen Street, NE1 3UG

The French Oven

The French Oven Bakery is part of a family run group of stalls in Grainger Market. It sells an amazing range of freshly made pastries, pies and cakes, all for a reasonable price. The owner’s French background and passion for baking really shine through in everything she makes. Why settle for Greggs when something like this is on your doorstep?!

Unit 27-28, Grainger Arcade, NE1 5QF

Where’s your favourite hidden gem in Newcastle? Comment below!

Katie x

Introducing Katie Moves

Like every single other person in Britain, I’ve decided January is the perfect time for me to try and get fit. I do play a lot of sport but those who know me will know just how lazy I am and because to commemorate me actually getting off the sofa, I’m going to start a series of posts called Katie Moves about the hell that other people call exercise and healthy eating. So, starting tomorrow, every Tuesday in January (and maybe beyond) join me here for simple, healthy recipes, tips and updates of how I’m doing.

Are you also getting fit this January? Let me know what you’re up to!