Locked DOON in the TOON!

Almost a year has gone by living under lockdown rules. Apart from that bit in the middle, when we were all allowed out to eat cheap scran. It's been a tough old time.

Luckily for us, we've been able to continue our business, fulfilling orders even when materials have been hard to get hold of. Working from home was hard at first, as I really struggled to get the planer thicknesser into the living room and we couldn’t see the TV for the table saw. I moved back to the workshop pretty quickly. "THANK YOU", to anyone who waved when passing by. Collectively you all saved me from lockdown lunacy, although there is still time yet... In all seriousness though, it's been amazing to keep working! We've been really fortunate and will always be grateful for that.

Being based in the centre of Ouseburn Valley is awesome, even in lockdown! The businesses that have been able to stay open have been a god send for me and my heavy appetite! So, on your next daily exercise, following government rules, why not check out these establishments around Ouseburn.

The Garage NCL

The Garage has been our main source of caffeine since the start of lockdown. They managed to adapt quickly and safely and keep feeding the folk of Ouseburn. The breakfast brioche buns are amazing, my go to choice being the sausage and bacon! If I wasn’t writing this blog, I would probably be eating one right now (drool), the cakes are also amazing! Pilgrims Coffee supply the goods here - top quality and ethically sourced coffee beans from around the world. They're based up at the beautiful Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland. We can't wait to visit when we're free again!

Northern Rye

Do I even need to write anything about Northern Rye, really?! I mean, if you don’t know about it, do you even live in Newcastle? Open Wednesday - Saturday, from 10am, handcrafted, small batch bakery specialising in sourdough breads ( I copied that from their website). The Toasties are THE BEST TOASTIES you're gonna find this side of the river. Try the awesome cheese and nduja toastie and thank me later! The coffee is so good too! These guys also stock our severing boards in ash and oak. Get there nice and early because the queues get pretty big and you don't want to miss out!

Gingerinos Kitchen

Heavenly pizza and cake, ran by Ouseburns friendliest ginger. Hence the name. Rumour has it that Jimmy wasn’t always ginger, but that's the only info I have on that matter. Fab deals to be had and the slices are as big as your head. Last tip is to try the chilli sauce, but don’t get it in your eyes for obvious reasons.

Jacs Cafe

If you know, then you know (if you don’t, then it's next door to us). I like to keep my carbon footprint low by dining next door to my workshop. No car miles required. Ran by the lovely couple John and Carol. It's often referred to as 'The Secret Cafe' because it's a hidden gem. Carol is good at coming up with special food requests off the cuff. Her best creation to date is the 'Rasher and a Splasher' - a must try.

Backyard Bike Shop

If you want to put some extra miles on the walking boots and clear your head, you can take a walk down to the quayside and nip over the Swing Bridge to Backyard Bike Shop. Right next door to TRÄKOL restaurant. Again great for coffee, cake and beats. In normal circumstances they do a good range of breakfasts and specials. This is probably the best breakfast around. I'm not an official breakfast judge but what I lack in qualifications, I make up for in experience. Oh and they fix bikes too!

These places have been great during lockdown and have helped to keep me sane - a tiny bit of normality amidst the madness! I hope I haven’t missed anyone out, but if I have, you must try harder lol! I hope you can get the chance to visit the above establishments and enjoy what they offer and tell your pals, BUT please take your litter home and keep our much loved places safe and tidy. Littering is still illegal in lockdown.

Also, a shout out to the businesses that i'm missing dearly and where i'll be first foot through the door when it's safe to do so…

Tell me you're not dreaming of your first pint after lockdown? I miss pints in The Cluny on a Friday afternoon, so much! I'm a little bit keen to return. My tipple is Camden Hells.

I'll be poised ready in the starter blocks for breakfast at Ernest once life resumes. They have an awesome menu. My favourite is the chorizo and halloumi breakfast bowl. 

Directly from there i'll probably head to The Kiln for more coffee and dreamy CAKE! I wonder if Rich has moved the furniture while we've all been away?

Now you all know how I spend my wages anyway.

Take care,