If you’re planning a trip to Newcastle, you’re probably looking forward to trying out one of its cosy pubs, sophisticated bars or upmarket restaurants. I’m here to tell you there’s something else you should add to do your to-do list, though – spending some time in one of the city’s great cafes.
Newcastle has heaps of lovely little cafes serving up some of the best coffee, tea and cake that you’re ever likely to taste. You can check out a long list of the places to sip on a hot drink, as well as hotels and holiday apartments, at NewcastleGateshead, while below is a selection of my personal favourites.
Flat Caps Coffee
Flat Caps Coffee is one of the best places to go if you’re after some seriously good coffee. In fact, despite having only been in business for three years, it’s reputed to serve some of the best coffee in the city – a reputation that’s backed by its winning the North East Barista Championship in 2013.
And the coffee’s not the only thing to get excited about. There’s also some absolutely gorgeous cakes and pastries to try (much of which is made on the premises), as well as more than 15 varieties of tea and an indulgent hot chocolate to die for. You’ll find Flat Caps over at 13 Ridley Place.
Blakes Coffee House
Located at 53 Grey Street, Blakes Coffee House is a lovely place to sit, relax and watch the world go by. One of the nice things about it is how welcoming it is – newspapers are free to read and there’s also complimentary Wi-Fi, so you feel encouraged to stay and have a rest, rather than rush off to your next destination.
It’s also worth remembering that Blakes has an alcohol licence, so you can have something a little stronger with your lunch if you fancy.
The Butterfly Cabinet
Next on my list is The Butterfly Cabinet, which you’ll find just outside the city centre at 200 Heaton Road, Heaton. This ultra-trendy cafe is where the arty crowd hang out – and, in fact, the walls are covered in works by a local illustrator, David Todd (or were at the time of writing), so you can get your culture fix while you enjoy your coffee.
Plus, the menu is full of delicious treats, including doorstopper sandwiches, warming soups and big breakfasts.
If you’re planning a trip to Eldon Garden Shopping Centre during your stay, make sure you stop for a rest in Garden Kitchen. This lovely little cafe/bistro has a really relaxed atmosphere, and small touches like light plates and children’s menus mean this is a lovely spot for families or anyone seeking a quick snack away from the busy shops.
What’s more, this place is brilliant for foodies because the menu here changes regularly to make use of the freshest ingredients available, so you can look forward to a real treat for your taste buds.
Pumphrey’s Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium
Last up is Pumphrey’s Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium (what a great name!), which you’ll find in the centre of the city in Grainger Arcade. This family-run business has been operating since 1750 and has a reputation for serving some of the best coffee in the country. In fact, the Brewing Standards Agency recently gave it the Best Cappuccino in the UK 2013 award.
As well as getting an extremely good cup of coffee, you buy grounds here to make your own back home – and the selection’s really impressive!