Seaside cuisine on Quayside sand: Riley’s Fish Shack

The Quayside Seaside is one of the best parts of Newcastle in the summer. At the slightest sign of sun, it is a fab spot to get a taste of the seaside without having to face the motorway. This year, its return has been jazzed up by the arrival of Riley’s Fish Shack to the sand.

Fitting its name, this semi-portable miniature fish restaurant is a rustic seaside shack gone stylish. Fitting snuggly on the end of the man-made beach, its views of the sandy shore of Quayside and jazzy, upbeat music makes it bring the real fish & chips, sea and sand feel to Newcastle, but better. Opened in June, this ‘lite’ version of their King Edwards Bay menu is a must for all food lovers.

 


For the sake of foodies everywhere, it was therefore unquestionable that I had to sample some of their seaside delicacies. Armed with a refreshing cider and a small pot of their fried potatoes with rosemary, thyme and garlic mayo, a homely but tasty fill-me-up, I spent time happily munching and enjoying the sun and lively music of Quayside.

Round two, empanadas (pronounced like bananas). Empanadas are Spanish fish pasties, which don’t sound particularly tasty, and as I’m not a huge fish fan, I was particularly sceptical about whether pastry and fish would work. I was pleasantly surprised. I cowardly went for their veggie option first, quickly devouring their spinach, mushroom, squash and goats cheese empanadas which was wonderfully delicious, the flavours blending together perfectly. More courageous after my first try, I braved a bite or two of my companion’s chilli monkfish cheek empanadas. This was not only beautiful cooked but the slight kick of chilli added that something extra that I was not expecting, a tastebud treat. Both empanadas were served with a small tomato and leaf salad that was refreshing and a nice touch (1 of your 5 a day ticked).

We also got a tasting of the chilli tempura whiting with tomato herb salad thanks to the manager. This dish was an instant favourite, the slight kick of chilli enhancing the gorgeous fish, a well-cooked, well-seasoned dish overall that I would recommend to anyone.

Great food, great music, great location and a fun, relaxing vibe, I have to say I cannot be anything but impressed with Riley’s Fish Shack. I definitely would recommend a visit, especially on one of those few days of sun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden Caffeine Gem: Flat Caps Coffee

Flat Caps Coffee is one of my favourite coffee nooks in Newcastle. Hidden under the holistic shop Elula on Ridley Place, this local student haunt is a great for getting away from all the busy shoppers along Northumberland Street.

Head down the spiraling, sparkling stairs that are on your right as you enter Elula and you will find a surprisingly light and spacious coffee house filled with the aroma of candles and incense from Elula that mingles nicely with the smell of coffee. It is also home to one of the best coffees I have ever had.

Experts in coffee, Joe (the owner) and his well trained staff know exactly what they are talking about. Not only do they have a range of coffees to take your pick of, with two guest coffees on their brew board at any one time, they also have three different brewing methods to try: the normal Filter, which creates a smooth refreshing coffee, Aeropress a relatively new brewing method by putting your coffee using pressure that produces a stronger coffee, and Syphon, an unusual method that creates a song, very clean bright coffee. As well as coffee they also have over 15 varieties of tea to choose from.

With all these options and methods to think over, I recommend asking Joe and his fellow baristas about which coffee and brewing option would be best to you. Tip: as a default, Flat Caps serve their coffee cooler than most people would expect. This is because of they way they specially craft their gorgeous caffeine miracles, so if you like your coffee boiling hot like me, ask the staff to make yours extra hot.

The only thing this cosy little treasure trove is lacking is more explanation from the staff about the types of coffee and brewing methods. Without knowing what to ask for, or that they can ask for different things in the first place, the customer cannot fully experience the wonderful options of coffee this shop provides.

Other than this, the shop itself is also quite hard to find for the passerby. This is one of the reasons why Joe is wanting to expand his coffee empire by opening another shop, raising funds through donations by coffee lovers. This project has already received an enormous amount of support in such a small space of time, and I personally would not complain if there were two Flat Caps Coffee on Newcastle’s coffee scene! The best part about this project is that for every £1 you give, you receive £2 back to spend on coffee!

Watch the video below or click here to find out more:

 

 

 

Red – a spellbinding blend of scholarship and wit

I received Red: A Natural History of the Redhead by Jackey Colliss Harvey as a present last Christmas from my Granddad. Whether as a joke or as a serious present, or a mixture of both (all three are always possibilities where my Granddad is concerned), as the only redheaded grandchild on both sides of my very brunette and blond dominated family tree, the idea of learning about my history was immediately intriguing. I have to say I was not disappointed.

Colliss Harvey’s Red is a cleverly written, extensively well researched work, that details the history of red hair from its initial genetic emergence some 50,000 years ago up to the festival Redhead Days in Breda in the Netherlands today, covering an impressive range of biological, social and cultural history.

It is a book in which you learn a great deal about red hair, more than you thought you would. I acquired beyond the amount of historical and biological factoids I was expecting to learn from reading this book. Like how red hair did not originate in Scotland or Ireland as commonly believed, but began to emerge somewhere between our migration from Africa and settling in Central Asia’s grasslands. Or how there were ginger, freckled Neanderthals. Or that the pain thresholds between redheads and non-redheads differ – redheads need about 20% more anaesthetic to be knocked out than other patients. Who knew that?!

Not only does Colliss Harvey expand you historical and biological knowledge, but also exposes you to modern social projects that attempt to tackle stereotypes towards red hair, often by redheads themselves. Like Thomas Knights‘ RED HOT 100 project launched in 2014, that used photographs of very handsome redheaded men and shared their stories about growing up red to help confront sexual stereotypes of male redheadeds being unattractive.

Yet despite the extent of historical and cultural material that Colliss Harvey examines and exposes the reader to, it is her witty tone that pervades her work which really wins me over. A book that is overwhelming factual can often lead a reader to lose focus and become easily bored of the material in front of them. This is not the case with Red. Not only is the material that Colliss Harvey examines and the conclusions she draws interesting in their own right, it is her humour, her sarcasm and her colloquialism that really brings you in, that make this work so absorbing. A history of red hair not only written by a redhead, but by a redhead who knows how to engage with the reader on a human level and make them smile. Now there is author who is immediately engaging.

By the time I had finished the book, Colliss Harvey had instilled in me, or reminded me of my inner sense of pride about my being red. Red hair for hundred of years has been the hair colour of difference, of mystery, of threat. It is not uncommon for redheaded children to be bullied for their locks, or for their hair to be the one defining characteristic people notice about them, overshadowing all others. But despite these side-effects, I doubt whether many redheads would want to be any other colour. To be red is to be different, to be unusual, to stand out. Red is something to be proud of.

Overall it is an eye-opening and deeply fascinating lesson on the biology, history and social attitudes towards red hair, that tackles folktales, demythologises stereotypes, but most importantly, it is a celebration about being red, being different, being unique – a lesson more of us should learn and take on board.

Eloquently and amusingly expressed, this spellbinding blend of scholarship and wit is a must-read for the redhead and non-redhead alike.

When The Sky Fell – a readable blend of mythology and science

When The Sky Fell is a non-fiction book by Rand and Rose Flem-Ath, in which they expound their theory that Atlantis could have been situated on Antarctica, under the thick cover of ice.

Based around Charles H. Hapgood’s theory of earth crust displacement, they use a readable and highly intriguing blend of mythology and science to argue that in 9600 BC, Atlantis was destroyed by the earthquakes and floods caused the tectonic plates moving collectively as one unit. These global natural disasters not only plunged Antarctica under layers of thick ice, turning it into the ice-continent it is today, covering any remains of Atlantis, but also resulted in various myths being told around the world of a lost island paradise and the sky falling.

The Flem-Aths argue that the mythological similarities in these tales evidence that the destruction of Atlantis actually happened, and that the survivors made it to salvation in other parts of the world. They argue that the introduction of agriculture in two different parts of the world at approximately the same time (after 9600BC) – the land near Lake Titicaca in South America, and the Spirit Cave in the highlands of Thailand – was not an introduction at all, or a coincidence,  but a re-introduction by Atlantean survivors, a people that was highly civilised and advanced who had settled in these areas because they were  climatically stable, fearing another deluge. Raising the point that the first five known civilisations – Egypt, Crete, Sumeria, India and China – all were formed in areas that after the last earth crust displacement all shared a common climate stability, they argue that Atlantean survivors may have settled in these places of safety and formed the roots of civilisation.

What I find interesting about this book is the use of both mythology and science. The connection of the tales of the destruction of Atlantis and the various narratives of the loss of a great island civilisation, the earth being destroyed by a great flood and the survivors leading the world into a new age, all could tell of real life events.

I am not fully convinced by the Flem-Aths idea of Atlantis being buried like hidden treasure under sheets of ice, but their argument does make it seem possible if anything else. A lot of their ‘evidence’ is actually speculation – arguing that the true location of Atlantis could be hidden in secret old maps, or lost scrolls or kept as closely guarded secrets within ancient schools of knowledge. All these what-ifs render their argument only partly believable and almost entirely unproven due to the lack of concrete support.

Despite these flaws, it was an enjoyable, thought-provoking and compelling book that is easily readable for the non-scientists like myself. The mix of scientific thought and evidence with a range of cultural myths, although not forming solid evidence for their argument, is deeply interesting in terms of aligning the often divided discourses of knowledge: Science and mythology.

It is certainly a good starting-point for anyone fascinated by the tale of Atlantis.

Meanderings in York

York is one of my favourite places in England – it is a perfect blend of the past and present blended into one in its charming hidden streets, quirky little shops and grand historic sites.

My trip began, as all trips should, with a much needed breakfast. The day started a very wet one, so quickly after arriving I needed something hot and comforting at such an early and cold hour of the morning. Breakfast was served by a very smily and friendly lady at the Little Shambles: Tearoom and Coffee House, in which I quickly engulfed a homely helping of poached eggs on brown toast and coffee, simple but perfect for an early pick-me-up that hits the spot. Enjoying the last sips of my coffee, I happily watched the shops and stalls of Shambles Market come to life, as people quickly bustled about with fresh bread, cakes, chocolates and meats, indulging in a part of York life not often seen by tourists.

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(photo taken from Traveller Photos on Trip Advisor, taken by Kim. M Oct 2015

Pleasantly full from a hot breakfast, I then guarded myself with my Mac coat and went an-exloring around the Shambles, one of my favourite parts of York. The Shambles is a historic maze of winding, cobbled streets with overhanging timber-framed houses, some dating as far back as the 14th century. With its twisting alleys and assortment of weird and wonderful shops, it is a part of York that still feels like there is magic lurking in the corners, reminding me of very much of Diagon Alley. It is as if you have stubbled into another time or place, beyond the modern world of high-street chains and huge corporations only a few streets away. On such a rainy day, you could almost feel the magic crackling in the damp air. I felt like I needed to go and buy a wand.

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Unfortunately, there were no wand shops about, so I comforted myself with a few almond truffles from Monk Bar Chocolatiers, artisan chocolatiers in the Shambles. Through the grey curtain of rain, the beautiful rows of luxury chocolates and truffles looked too inviting to resist. It certainly warmed me up a little to eat something so lovely!

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Also worth a visit is Roly’s Fudge Pantry – York is absolutely filled with fudge makers, but this one I would highly recommend going into and watching the batches of fudge being made and cut up right in front of your hungry eyes.

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After exploring the meandering Shambles’ streets, I wandered back to where I had eaten breakfast to buy a small pastry from the bakery opposite. I had watched the Bluebird Bakery set up and open while enjoying my poached eggs, and made a mental note to return later when I got peckish. The bakery specialises in home-made baked treats, from fresh bread to baked goods a little bit smaller to nibble on. Having the look of old, local bakeries that once stood on every shopping street, it is a nice pit-stop that compliments a morning of delving into the past.

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My feet then took me to York Minister, the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe, and a key historic sight to see when visiting York. It is an enormous, hugely impressive building that takes your breath away looking at its sheer size and architectural detail. On such a rainy day, the Minister looks particularly striking and darkly gothic, set against the grey sky. There are also different events and activities inside the Minister, as well as opportunities to go to the top of the building to get a city-wide view. It is definitely a sight worth-seeing!

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Within eye-sight of the Minister is the wonderful Minster Gate Book Shop. This was my next destination on my wanderings, and I happily spent an hour or so browsing the 7 rooms of book bursting shelves. The shop is a tiny sliver of a building squished on Minister Gate that can easily be missed. But for any bookworm fond of rooms filled to the brim with books of all genres and ages, this is the place to go. Unfortunately, it does not stock the latest books that you can easily find in chain bookshops, so I had to leave this bookish treasure trove for the Waterstones on Coney Street.

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This Waterstones is ranked second on my list of favourite Watersones (the first being the Watersontes on Princes Street in Edinburgh) because it has the feel of an independent bookshop instead of a more corporate feel that some Waterstones give off. It is also deceivingly small from the outside, a bit like a Tardis, providing a large selection of fiction and non-fiction alike. The staff I have always found to be extremely friendly, always ready to give advice about book suggestions and help solve my indecisiveness. The best best is the light and spacious cafe on the first floor, with plenty of window seats to people-watch the street below. You are also allowed to bring your books into the cafe so you can mull over your critical reading decisions with a hot drink and some cake. This was my dilemma – while munching on a scrumious Fat Rascal I was trying to decide which books out of my selection of two non-fiction books and four fiction books I should buy. I finally decided upon the two non-fiction books: Spor by Mary Beard and The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, then bought three more fiction books from Waterstones Marketplace, avoiding the tough decision completely.

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Books in hand, so concluded my trip to York. Despite the heavy rain, I really enjoyed wandering around this historic and magical city, as I always do every time I visit, and I hope to return to it again soon.

Russell T Davies’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream Review: a modern makeover

Despite the numerous complaints about a major character dying, lines being cut and a lesbian kiss, Russell T Davies‘ TV reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream succeeded in bringing one of the best known Shakespearean comedies to life for a modern 2016 audience. From the onset, Davies presents a world infused with what Tim Dowling calls “Doctor Who-ish overtones”; the classical setting of ancient Athens is set against the tyrannical Hitler-esque Theseus (John Hannah) and his Stormtropper guards, complete with a 1984-like court covered in tablets and watchful cameras.

From a tyrannical Hitler figure to Red Riding Hood, from Stormtroopers to lesbian romances, Davies interweaves Shakespearean comedy with the world of 2016. Despite Gerard O’Donovan rather harshly describing them as gimmickry”, these additions strongly ground the production into the world of today, and in doing so enlivens this frequently reworked text into something for the modern family.

However, the strength of Davies’ adaptation does not simply lie in the interjection of modern culture. Music is used to great effect and adds to a lightness to the production even in its most serious moments. Computer graphics brings the fantastical elements to life with the ranging storm and fairies flying about as gleaming sparks. The computerised images do at points detract from the magic generated from the acting itself, especially with the over-computerised Athens, destroying the illusion a little. But this does not draw significantly from the magic overall.

The fairies are given a refreshing look that is more insect and war-like instead of evoking something more pantomime or traditionally ethereal. However, the fairies’ hissing seemed a little unneeded and disjointed with the elegant words delivered beautifully by Nonso Anozie as Oberon and Maxine Peake as Titania . Their aggressive stand-off  in the first part of the production was only let down by the Harry Potter-esque power battle with wrestling magic beams which seemed a little too much.

Peake plays a seductive yet martial Titania, while Anozie gives Oberon a new look, turning the Oberon as a highly-sexualised Grecian hero seen in the 2013 production at Shakespeare’s Globe played by John Light, into a figure that is more commanding, more mighty, but also less sexualised and more likeable in his apparent affection for his Queen and shared playful humour with Puck.

The star-crossed lovers shine brightly in their brilliant performances, especially the young but highly talented Prisca Bakare as a bold, fierce  but short-tempered Hermia and Kate Kennedy as a bitter, love-sick Helena who is yet loveable and pitiful. Davies makes playful use of Bakare and Kennedy’s heights, playing upon the famous characterisation of Hermia as a midget. Demetrius’ (Paapa Essiedu) brief infatuation with Lysander (Matthew Tennyson) also adds new comedy to the events in the forest in mixing up the lovers even more, with Essiedu playing a very funny, infatuated Demetrius.

Despite O’Donovan and others expecting something more dramatic from the renowned revitaliser of Doctor Who, Davies was able to work his magic over A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He not only brings this 400 year old play into a modern light, but demonstrates its continued ability to tug on our heart strings. The sense of harmony and restored order traditionally implied through in the conclusive dance at the end of the play is reworked by Davies to give us something that seems more freeing than re-assertive. Theseus is not “pointlessly killed off” as O’Donovan suggests, as his death liberates Hippolyta from his grip and allows perhaps the most liberating moment of all, the rather sweet kiss between her and Titania. Their kiss, and the freeing of Hippolyta from Theseus’ very real physical restrictions upon her body, greatly adds to the conclusive sense of real joy and liberation. Overall, it is a delightful and innovative adaptation suited for the families of 2016, which leaves us with a tear of joy and a sense of liberation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for InterRailing

InterRailing around Europe this summer? Here’s some helpful tips from someone who has already experienced such an amazing

Bring student ID

My biggest mistake! Before going on our month-long trip I hadn’t realised:

  1. How many places charge entrance fees – Whereas England offers free entry to most museums and galleries etc. that’s not the case in many european countries so be prepared!
  2. How many places you can get student concessions – With your student ID you can get discounted tickets.  Although you may think you’ll not want to go into these places during your trip, if the heavens open your plans may be ruined. Amsterdam was spoilt for us when the weather decided to resemble Whitby in February. At times like this, museums, galleries and the like become a dry haven for a low budget, especially at discounted entry. Speaking of which…

Budget for extra things

Bad weather will happen, plans will change – planning for alternative things to do in each place can be a lifesaver, especially if the weather turns or you need some ‘me’ time. Regrettably we budgeted little beyond food, as we planned to mostly sightsee. This was one of my biggest regrets: Not only did we not adequately budget for things we wanted to see (such as museums we did not know charged entrance) we didn’t budget for extra special things, such as renting bikes to tour Amsterdam, or Gondolas in Venice. As much as seeing what happens is part of InterRailing, you need a little set aside to fund spontaneous plan B’s.

At the same time, you need to be prepared for plans to change. Having a vague plan for your day-to-day itinerary is extremely helpful, but do plan in time and money just in case you come across things you want to do that were not on your to-do list. In Venice, we accidentally timed our visit with an annual midnight firework which was an absolutely spectacular show that we did not know was happening until we arrived, yet it was easily one of the best parts of our whole trip. Be prepared and budget for going with the flow.

See each city at day and night

Some of my favourite memories were made by seeing the same place at different times of the day. Of course a lot of sightseeing and exploring is done during the day, but it is worth seeing those same sights at night and seeing the same city transformed over the space of a few hours as it becomes something completely different in the dark hours. In Budapest, the historic and must-see sites like the castle and the parliament building which in the day time are beautiful and impressive buildings, become shining beckons along the river at night as the city becomes illuminated by lights.

Go in a small group 

Going in a smaller group or a group that you can split from, then meet up with at different points, works a lot better than a large group. Large groups mean a lot of compromise. We went as a large group of 10, and although this sized group was fun it did mean a lot of compromise and at times was often frustrating as it took a long time each day to decide what everyone was doing. Travelling in smaller groups, or meeting up with different people along the way, allows you to do more you want to do and prevents conflict. Going in a mixed group of boys and girls also helps to balance out the group dynamic. We had a majority of girls, which often resulted in a fair bit of bitching and heated moments, especially when some were trying to leave the house early and others were taking forever to get moving or get ready, and left the few boys feeling a little overwhelmed at the best of times and frustrated at the worst.

Be prepared for conflict

Along the same vein, it is essential that you go with the understanding that it’s not going to be a big, happy travelling family 24/7. There will be arguments, bitchy side comments, heated moments and you will need time alone. It is better to be frank with your travelling companions when you need a little break, or when someone is being a tad selfish expecting everyone to do what they have planned that day. This is another reason to not completely cross off what you want to do for the sake of the majority. After all, it’s your trip as much as everyone’s.

Take at least four days to see each place

InterRailing is exhausting. It is not a relaxing holiday. Taking three days to see each place only really leaves you one day to see it, as on the first you have just arrived and need to find your hostel, get your bearings etc. and on the third you have to check out of the hostel, back up all your things and potentially buy food for the long train journey. This only really leaves you one day to fully enjoy the place you’re in. In hindsight, four days dedicated to each location would have been much better as it would have given us two full days to leisurely experience each place and been a lot less hectic and exhausting as a trip overall.

Go on a walking tour in each place

These may sound to many as something very old-peopleish, echoing those tours you parents dragged you on in your childhood holidays. But in all honestly taking a walking tour in each place brought each place alive for me. Suddenly instead of being surrounded by buildings and historic sites you knew very little about, it cemented the history, culture and ambiance of the city, opening your eyes to the place. Hence, it’s better to go on a walking tour on one of your first days, almost as a quick, intense intro to the location allowing you to explore the bits you found most interesting later on. Also, if you are staying in hostels (which I highly recommend), ‘free’ walking tours often start and finish at your doorstop.  Although it’s common practise to tip what you think the tour was worth at the end, so the ‘free’ part is a little bit misleading.

Avoid night trains like the Plague

Actually, that’s a bit extreme. Avoid night trains into or out of Croatia like the Plague. We only took one night train from Split to Zagreb, but it was one of the most horrible nights of my life. In the heat wave of the summer of 2015; the air con was broken, the tiny room with two sets of three bunk beds on either side was claustrophobic, the beds themselves were made out of the same material as old bus seats and for a duvet we only had a thin paper sheet. Our broken sleep was serenade by the sound of mosquitos and the train scraping along the metal rails due to us having to open the window instead of suffer the heat of the train with the lack of air con. It was beyond horrible. The train into Croatia was only slightly better. Again, no air con in 40 degree heat, in a train that ran through the very twisty mountains on a track next to very sharp drops. As a result, I spent 4 hours curled up in a ball feeling horribly sick from the suffocating heat, the jolting of the train and the hight of the track. Croatia itself is beautiful and I highly recommend visiting it. Just don’t go via train.

Trip to Corbridge

If you head west from the city of Newcastle you will stumble upon the gorgeous little town of Corbridge. This historic town was built near the roman settlement Corstopitum, a thriving supply base and community right up to the fall of Roman Britain in the early 5th century. Walking through the streets today, you can still get a feel for its historic past. Roman stones were used to build a lot of the village buildings,  and the streets have remained much the same since medieval times, giving you the sense that you have gone back to a bygone era.

On my meander to this gem nestled in the Tyne Valley, the weather was particularly lovely, being one of the sunniest days we have had this year – blue sky, sunshine – perfect exploring weather!

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Having parked just outside the main town, we arrived into the charming town over the medieval bridge, giving us a chance to see Corbridge show itself slowly. One by one the layers of stone built houses emerged  and we were within the winding streets of the town.

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Without further ado, once into the town it was straight to the Market Place for a bite to eat and drink at Cafe No 6. This lovely quaint cafe was a perfect spot for a coffee and a slice of cake. The staff were more than happy to help, providing a friendly service with a smile, which made the cakes even sweeter. Pleasant, bright and right in the Market Place, the cafe is all you could ask for of a small town cafe and is ideal for people-watching or reading a good book with a hot drink and something sweet to nibble on.

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While enjoying coffees and cake, I happily watched people mulling about the Market Place, taking in the slower pace of life that Corbridge exudes as well as the sunshine. It was lovely to enjoy the peace this little town has to offer.

Fed and rested, it was off to explore the plethora of streets that branch off the main square, all lined with quaint and quirky shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee houses. Corbridge also has plenty of little boutiques for the avid shopper, making it the perfect place to visit for a day of musing, shopping and eating!It was refreshing to see a community that still could boast of having a butcher, a baker and all the traditional little shops that too many places have lost to be replaced by bigger chains.

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Once we had explored the streets and backless, if was back to the Market Place to grab some lunch at Grants Bakery, an artisan bakery on the corner of the square which sells Parisian style deserts as well as traditional comfort foods with slight twists. I quickly devoured a slice of their delicious salsa quiche, followed by a slice of their frangipane cherry tart. I have a slight weakness for anything frangipane or cherry related so for me this was a perfect treat on such a beautiful day. Delicious!

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Once comfortably stuffed with tasty food, I wandered over to Forum Books situated in the Market Place, a charming independent bookshop that I had resisted venturing in until the end of our trip.  Stocked with all the current books you would find in any Waterstones, as well as bookish merchandise, stylish notebooks and more local literature, it was a little bookworm heaven that I could have happily stayed in for hours! (They also have a Kids shop on Watling Street that is equally as charming and well worth a visit).

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After my bookish fix, we made our way back to the car park leisurely, soaking up the rest of the sun and the beautiful buildings before heading on the road again. On our way down to the car park we quickly went into Craft Works Gallery, a craft and gift shop in the old blacksmiths filled with everything sparkly, funny and creative. The building itself is worth looking at, with the old wooded roof beams and the old fireplace echoing an older time. They also have plenty of cute little trinkets and colourful paintings of local landmarks to interest the eye as well.

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Although the weather obviously painted Corbridge in a rose-tinted light, I have to say I loved visiting this charming little place. It is perfect for anyone who likes a bit of history, nice food, beautiful buildings and plenty of shops to explore. I would happily go there again to soak up all the little pleasures life offers – sun, food, and time to sit back and watch life go by.