Tag Archives: Food

Nights Out for the Laid Back: A weekly Newcastle guide

This article will be of interest to you if you find that, although you are in one of the biggest party cities in the country, and you are still trying to find out why people can go out without wearing coats in the middle of winter, bright lights give you a headache and you think ‘mushroom’ is a stupid name for a club. Do you find yourself not knowing where to go every day of the week?

But fear not! Newcastle has plenty to offer you, there are clubs with a more laid back atmosphere. The two universities in a small-ish town guarantee that there is a vibrant musician atmosphere, with plenty putting on open-mic nights and random gigs.

Monday: Ice Skating!

The Centre for Life in the middle of town opens an outdoor ice skating ring in the winter. For a nominal fee, you can make a fool out of yourself in front of the people you want to impress the most.

Tuesday: Open Mic Night at the Trent

Exactly what it says on the tin: the open mic night at the trent runs every Tuesday and is usually packed with professional and amateur musicians. It’s a lovely atmosphere, and if you had gone there before and been scared by all the creepy doll pictures, you don’t have to worry anymore: they have replaced it with art you can (and would like to!) buy. The Trent is right next to Newcastle uni, so you won’t even have to walk that far. Awesome.

Wednesday: Eat at Eye on the Tyne

What? You need to eat, right? Although Eye on the Tyne isn’t super cheap, if you have a taste for good food you can probably enjoy the rustic platters which have amazing ham and bread. You haven’t lived until you have tried their stuff olives. Don’t like olives? You will. 

Thursday: Jazz Cafe

Yeah, go to the jazz cafe. Jazz is still cool, right? Smack in the middle of town, the Jazz cafe is an affordable pub with different entry fees. Call ahead and ask if you remember. It’s a cozy, intimidate atmosphere, with loads of beautiful calligraphy everywhere and a man with a great big white beard. Don’t worry, I hear he is good at jazz.

Weekend: Before you go to your normal clubs or whatever it is you people do on the weekends, consider going ghost hunting. Newcastle is a really, really old city, full of tortuous history which, if there are ghosts, is very conductive to them. There are a couple of companies around the area that do ghost hunting tours, but the best thing to do is sleep over at a haunted place. One of them even lets you stay over at the Castle Keep, and that place is dark as anything. Enjoy getting your soul taken in your sleep for under £20 per person!


Dinner with your parents in Bristol

You know all the best takeaways’ numbers by heart and the perfect place for a kebab on the way home, but somewhere appropriate to eat when your parents come to visit? Hmm. Whether it’s for that first trip down to see your halls or a graduation dinner, there is a restaurant in Bristol to suit every family.

The all-English family
If your parents are homely, traditional English types who love nothing more than good old-fashioned pub grub, they might well like Goldbrick House. The menu features old-time favourites such as  fish and chip, rabbit stew, steak and lamb wellington – just a little bit posher. Those on a tighter budget might prefer the rough-and-ready but incredibly tasty Pieminister on Stokes Croft, where you can get a pie, mash, peas and gravy for £5.95.

The ‘special dietary requirements’ family

If you have vegetarian or vegan family members to cater for, Café Kino at the top of Stokes Croft is a good place to start. Everything on the menu is free from meat, dairy, eggs and honey, and if you’re allergic to something the catering staff are happy to adjust your meal. Otherwise Café Maitreya is another, more adventurous vegetarian café with good reviews.

The fashionable family
Those who like to ‘be seen’ ought to head up to Clifton to find the more fashionable eateries. The Avon Gorge Hotel looks out over the Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge, frequented by many Clifton socialites for after-work drinks or a high-class evening meal.

The hippy family
Parents with a penchant for lentils, tofu and vegetables will find plenty to eat in Bristol. Number one has to be the One-Stop Thali Café, which has various restaurants around the city. If they’ve been to India (highly likely) they’ll probably have sampled a thali before – a combination of vegetable subji, basmati rice, tarka dahl, keralan salad and homemade chutney, served in a special dish. You can also get chapattis, beer, chai and a whole host of other bits and bobs to go with it. Oh, and non-veggies need not worry – there’s now a chicken curry option as well. Alternatively you could wander down the road to the Canteen for some tasty food and laid-back Bristolian atmosphere… Just make sure you get there early if you want a table.

The millionaire family
Ok, ‘millionaire’ might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are places in Bristol for the wealthy to dine. San Carlo on Corn Street does absolutely delicious Italian food that is well worth the price tag. I recommend the tomato pasta with clams, king prawns and sunblush tomatoes. MMM! Riverstation is also up there with the most expensive dining Bristol has to offer, or for some nouvelle cuisine try Bell’s Diner down in Montpelier.

The hungry family
Whether you have several teenage siblings who need a lot of calories or are just downright greedy, all-you-can-eat places are dotted around the city. Flavourz lets you sample food from all over the world, and you can go back for as many helpings as you like. Cosmo operates on the same principal, but is limited to Pan-Asian dishes.  

Written by Lucy, Bristol.

The lowdown on Bristol’s best takeaways

New to the city and fancy a takeaway, but no idea where to begin? Look no further! I’ve used my extensive experience of Bristolian takeaways to compile a list of the tastiest cheap eats the city has to offer.

  1. Grecian Kebab House. £5

Despite its name, it’s the pizzas at Grecian’s that make it deserving of the top spot. In contrast to the tasteless, thick-based stuff that chains seem to dish out these days, a Grecian comes with a thin base, plenty of topping and a satisfying layer of grease. For a fiver you can choose from one of the 15 or so options on the board (or design your own) and you get free chips or garlic bread and a free beer to wash it down with. The only downside is that they don’t do delivery, but so long as you live locally the walk is definitely worth it.

2. The One Stop Thali Café. From £4-8

If you can’t be bothered to cook but don’t want to blow 1000 calories in one meal, a thali is the way to go. For £8 you can have a tiffin filled with the curry of your choice (including vegetarian and vegan options), along with basmati rice, tarka dahl and vegetable subji. A tiffin’s worth of food will easily feed two people, but for those with a healthy appetite the corner shop a few doors down has packets of chapatis for 70p which come with my recommendation.  All the dishes included are absolutely delicious, but don’t just take my word for it: the Thali Café has won an impressive number of awards over the last few years including ‘Best Cheap Eat’ in the Observer Food Awards 2010. Again this is a collection only takeaway, but with branches in Montpelier, Clifton, Easton and Totterdown there’s a fair chance that you won’t have far to travel.

  1. Ciao  Burger. From £2.55 (lunch)/£3.10 (evening)

Ciao Burger offers a similar range of food to its global counterparts, only of a much higher quality. The burgers here actually look more like those in the McDonald’s adverts than McDonald’s do…!  Aside from the food, the coolest thing about this place is the décor: the walls are plastered from floor to ceiling with posters for every upcoming night in Bristol, giving you something the chance to peruse the flyers and plan your next night out whilst waitingyou’re your food, rather than staring blankly at the wall… Even better, you can find vouchers for discounts on their website.

4. China Capital. From £4

Easily the best Chinese takeaway in North Bristol, if not the entire city! China Capital offers a wide selection of tasty food, and with pretty generous portion sizes for such a cheap price. It’s a very popular choice so delivery times can vary hugely depending on the day, but it’s worth the wait.



Written by Lucy, Bristol