It seems very trivial to talk about what I’ve been getting up to in May after what happened in Manchester, such an awful event that affected so many people. But, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Terrorism aims to change our behaviour, alter our daily way of life and scare us into not doing it. I’m not about to give in to that, if anything I appreciate all the experiences and fun I’ve had with all the fabulous people in my life that little bit more this month.
I spent the first bank holiday Monday of the month on the quayside, firstly having lunch at my favourite pub, the Broad Chare, followed by various others. I’ve only ever ate the bar snacks or a full Sunday lunch at the Broad Chare, so it was nice to try their normal menu. I had the fishcakes and Kieran had the mince and dumplings. Both home made and both just as good as the Sunday lunches I’m so fond of. We also came across Livello’s gin globes menu that is new for summer, and the ‘Bloom’ was especially nice – elderflower, strawberry and lavender.
We made the most of a midweek spa break offer at Rockliffe Hall early on in the month, with another faultless experience in the spa garden, brasserie restaurant and New Hall junior suite. We enjoyed frozen grapes and a bottle of wine in the outside infinity pool, and trying out the different saunas and steam rooms in the main spa area too. My full review goes into a lot more detail, but it was incredible as always, and also led to a what to pack for a spa day post. After a number of mistakes I’ve got spa packing nailed.
Speaking of fabulous hotels, I also wrote this little post on the Beverly Hills Hotel in LA. Quite possibly the most amazing hotel I’ve set foot in, and going back over my visit and through the photos it’s shot straight back to the top of the hotel bucket list. California dreaming and all that.
Without a doubt one of my favourite weekends was the big family trip to Belfast for Jack and Rachael’s wedding. It started on the Thursday night with a visit to Carluccio’s for some Italian scran before the arena to see Micky Flannagan. He was hysterical, and I found myself hooting away throughout the whole thing. He’s non stop funny, rather than long drawn out stories with a punch line. He was amazing and I think tickets are actually on sale from today for the extra date he’s doing. Snap them up because I bet it sells out again.
Back to Belfast and the wedding of the year, I’ve already gushed over it plenty in ‘The Harrisons’, but it was an amazing weekend. As well as the venue, the food, and of course the beautiful newlyweds, the Crown Pub was quite a highlight too. Opposite our hotel the oldest pub in Belfast was frequented by us all a fair few times over the weekend. You can find out more about it here.
Belfast was the start of a really busy couple of weeks for me. I got back from Northern Ireland and the next day head straight off to Amsterdam with work. It was my first real taste of summer, at 25 degrees and scorching sun I was sunburnt by the first evening. Ahead of my trip I wrote a post on how to be a tourist in Amsterdam, but I think that was pretty premature considering how much I learned about the place on this visit.
I was there to cover the canal cruises, and hop on hop off sightseeing boats for work, which were actually really good and I thoroughly enjoyed sailing around in the sun. I also went into the MOCO museum where a Banksy exhibition was displaying, with loads of original prints and chunks of concrete with his street work on. Most of what I did was obviously for work purposes, but I do have a few posts lined up from my personal perspective so expect those later this month.
I was only back from Amsterdam for one night again before I was on the train to London with the girls for two more 30th birthdays. We stayed in the Hilton at Angel, and had a lovely night celebrating Lucy and Laura at John Salt bar.
When the rest of the girls came back up to Newcastle on the Sunday I stayed down there, and despite being in another world of tiredness, I still managed to do quite a bit. A wander through Hyde Park turned into a very interesting visit to the Saatchi Museum for the selfie exhibition.
Two museums in one week, how cultured of me, but seriously the selfie gallery was a lot of fun and wasn’t at all what I expected. Finding myself in amongst Chelsea getting ready for a week of Chelsea in Bloom, I thoroughly enjoyed walking among the shops to see their displays, and exploring all the offerings along Kings Road too.
I obviously can’t go a month without mentioning the fabulous food places I’ve been to. Despite spending a lot of the month away from home I’ve still managed to fit quite a lot in. The sunny weather draws people out in Jesmond, and that’s been the case when I’ve been up to Brentwood Avenue for some treats – cake from Cake Stories, and frozen yoghurt from Iglouu.
Over the last weekend in May I tried the Saltwater Fish Company in Fenwick’s food hall for the first time. Wow. That place was too good to put into words, but I did try. The rose macaron I had afterwards from Mason & Rye also got top marks.
We went back to the best sushi place in toon, Osaka, for my dads birthday, you really can’t beat the sushi at that place. Nige is getting a lot of blogtime in June, with Father’s Day looming as well, and I have a collaborative post coming soon featuring him.
We tried the Continental Gin bar, very similar to Dacantus at the weekend, and I also went to YOLO Townhouse on bank holiday Sunday for the first time too. I was sad I missed the opening night due to a pre Belfast spray tan, but I really liked the roof terrace and the atmosphere.
I’m visiting another new bar in Newcastle next week too, which I’m quite excited for so you’re bound to see that feature in June as well. May was my most successful month so far on the blog, with more visitors and views than ever before so thanks for reading!
Let’s hope this nice weather lasts, I’m sick of it turning cold every time it gets to the weekend. And whatever you do this month, don’t forget to vote!