I usually do my monthly round up during the first few days of the following month, but 1st January 2018 is a Monday, and if that isn’t a time for looking ahead rather than backwards then I don’t know what is. So this month I’m rounding off December, and 2017 with my final monthly round up.
My December like it will have been for most people has been chaotic. The first week of the month I was out every night, at various meals or events. These included a review of both The Laundrette and The Botanist Christmas menu’s. I feel like sometimes reviews can get a bit repetitive, but I do love going to these events and seeing what the seasonal menu changes are. Instead of a bog standard review for the Botanist I did it as a Do’s and Don’ts list, which seemed to go down well.
In the same week I paid my first visit to The Hudson restaurant near Central Station. This was for a work dinner and I obviously turned up early to try a cocktail at the bar. They do two of their standard cocktails for £8, and I had the Amaretto Sourz. I really liked the bar area, and through in the main restaurant was really nice as well. I had the steak which came with a big dollop of garlic butter. I’d definitely go back and have told my parents to give it a try too.
After that first week I felt like I’d already ate and drank so much and it was still a good few weeks until Christmas. As we got closer to the Christmas break, I went on more nights out and Christmas get togethers. I love this time of year when it doesn’t matter what day it is, gin or prosecco is acceptable.
One Sunday we went into town for lunch and Super Sunday. We had Sunday dinner at the Town Wall, which was very nice, and then went along to the Old George pub near the Bigg Market for an afternoon of football and drinks. I hadn’t been there before, but I loved it. Hidden down a side alley it was cosy and festive, especially when we got the first downfall of snow.
Our annual Christmas Day of Fun has been something my cousins and friends have done for a long time, usually getting the train to York or Edinburgh. This year, with a couple of baby additions to the family we stayed more local, and got the train up to Corbridge.
We got off at each stop along the way and went to the nearest pub. I’m going to do a full post on this pub crawl, as it’s a great day out with some very decent pubs. I quite fancy doing it in the summer too.
The best find of the day was the little homeware shop next to the Dyvels near the station. It is beyond cute and some of their Christmas decorations were beautiful. I was shocked to learn they’d been there for 30 years, and I had no clue. How cute?!
Before Christmas I managed to make a start on some of the posts I had planned following my trip to America in November. I shared a photo post of 10 festive photos of New York, and a round up of the best food spots we went to in Philadelphia. I also put together a guide to the Rockefeller Centre and going up to the Top of The Rock observation deck. It was such an amazing experience at sunset you really have to add it on the ol’ bucket list.
The week running up to Christmas I had a day trip to Leeds for work, but it was also my pay day so I took full advantage of the Victoria Quarter and Harvey Nichols for my Christmas shopping.
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At uni I used to wander through the Victoria Quarter with primark bags wishing I could afford even a bagel from the Harvey Nicks cafe. Wednesday night I fell through after one too many glasses of wine and basically spent my December pay on myself. Oopsie – Merry Christmas to me 🥂✨🎄 #leeds #victoriaquarter #christmas #december #harveynichols
I went to the new Anthropologie, and I was totally disappointed. Their stores are usually big and full of overwhelming stuff that takes a good hour to get through. It was tiny and just full of nothing exciting. I much prefer the one in Edinburgh. For lunch in Leeds we went to a tapas place called Iberica which was really good, especially the garlic prawns.
The Christmas break started with my work party on the Friday night, which was at Jury’s Inn in Newcastle, and since that point I feel like I’ve had a gin in one hand or a fork full of food at all times. I spent Christmas Day at home with my family, but this year we went out for Christmas dinner. You can read about our experience at The Grand in Tynemouth here – it’s one I would definitely recommend.
Boxing Day I went out with my girls, and with all sorts of questionable activities going on in the bars in the centre of town, we went to the quayside. We began in Tiger Hornsby’s, followed by a throwback to our early days out in Newcastle at the Quilted Camel. Did anyone else used to go there before braving the walk across the bridge to Baja?!
We had a table at Aveika which was a lot of fun, but we were eventually asked to move to Livello’s because they were closing Aveika early. Having paid for the table we weren’t too happy about it, but were told we had a table at Livello’s too and could take our drinks along. Moving to Livello I can honestly say I don’t think its somewhere my friends and I will be venturing back to.
This is just my guess but I think they moved everyone from Aveika which had been really good, down to Livello because it was so quiet there. They crammed everyone in upstairs so it felt busy (downstairs was empty), and it was full of absolute idiots. It didn’t spoil our night, we left once we had drank up but god Livello was vile. I enjoy going earlier on to sit out on the outside terrace, but a proper night out no thank you. To summarise, Aveika was totally worth the £300 for the table, Livello wasn’t worth the effort it took to climb the stairs (never mind the grand some people had paid for a table in there).
I’ve had the days between Christmas and New Year off work, and have spent them again in pubs or hungover, as well as a visit to Francescas in Jesmond – always amazing, and lunch at the Broad Chare two days ago when it snowed.
I’m not doing any of the typical New Year posts, I have no resolutions because I stick to them for about five minutes, but I did put together a look back on my 2017 travel highlights. I’ve done some amazing things in Newcastle this year too, and have met some lovely new friends through this blog and online. Thanks to everyone who has supported, liked, shared, retweeted, and helped me along the way this year, and however you’re ringing in the New Year tonight I hope you have a blast.
Cheers to 2018 – Happy New Year! x