Built inside the old hall of Jesmond Methodist Church, the 1901 Cafe Bistro is a perfect spot to sit with a pot of tea to watch the world go by. This charming bistro is everything you could want from an independent, little cafe; good, wholesome food, tasty, comforting teas and friendly staff. What more could you ask for?
When you go inside the cafe, you are immediatly struck by the size of it. It is surprisingly spacious and brightly decorated, with relics and trinkets tastefully dotted around the room. There, you’ll find suitcases, old signs, books, teapots and even a grand piano all fitted inside to add character to the bistro without it feeling cluttered with junk. It’s like an antiques shop that has been cleared out, expanded, given a fresh lick of paint and now sells food. It’s makes you immediately feel cheered up upon entering, and that’s before you’ve even looked at the food!
When I visited the cafe on one of those rare sunny days in July, I decided that some lunch was in order. The menu is that of a classic bistro cafe – simple but unfussy food that is good quality, and likely to suit everyone at a reasonable price. When you’re looking for a quick bite or an uncomplicated lunch, it is the ideal place. In no time I had quickly decided on a Chicken Club sandwich, though it was the teas, as ever, that were giving me difficulty in coming to a decision (I do like my teas). The staff were super helpful in this regard, as they let me smell all the different types of teas they had before I finally settled on a Gingerbread Chai tea.
When my food came, I have to say I was a little shocked. I had ordered a child’s portion of the Club sandwich as I had earlier in the day scoffed some cakes and was by then feeling pretty full. But to my surprise, when my order came, I was presented with a thick, filled to the brim sandwich. I couldn’t believe that it was a child’s portion, it was huge! But the size of it was equally matched with its deliciousness. Beautifully seasoned chicken, accompanied with lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon and mayonnaise served on soft, brown toasted bread that was beautifully made and wonderfully filling. Simply delicious. It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had in a cafe, and I could have easily eaten two even though I was close to bursting! My tea was equally tasty, being warmingly gingery without the dry aftertaste that a lot of ginger teas can have, and a great pick to enjoy while sat down reading a book.
Overall, the 1901 Cafe Bistro completely won me over. This charming, quirky cafe offers the ideal hideaway spot for a quiet lunch and a sit down. It’s friendly ambiance, great food, and excellent, attentive staff make it one of the best cafes I have ever visited and would happily go to again!