Beamish at Christmas

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Katy Dobinson - Beamish at Christmas - Katy Trouble

Beamish at Christmas

Beamish at Christmas

Want to get in the Christmas spirit? Here's something that'll help you...

Beamish is always one of those places that has been on my list of places to visit but I've never actually got around to going. I vaguely remember a school trip there when I was in primary school, where we had to get dressed up and were taught an actual lesson there.

So this weekend was the start of their Christmas celebrations and when G asked me if I'd like to go, I jumped at the chance. For anyone who doesn't know what Beamish is, it's an open air museum which transports you back in time to the 'good old days.' This Christmas as well as lots of extra crafty activities for children (or big kids), you can visit Santa, meet his reindeer, go ice skating in the old pit village, listen to carol singers in the church and take in the traditional pit band in the old town. Plus it's beautifully decorated with traditional wreaths, paper chains and big fat real pine trees decorated with dried fruit ornaments.

Once you've tired yourself out on the ice rink, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride to your next destination or hop on the tram. There's also lots of extra market stalls set up at the moment selling traditional goods and hot chocolates so it's the perfect time to visit. The fab thing about Beamish as well is that once you purchase your ticket, it lasts for a whole year, so you can go back and visit anytime. I had such a lovely day and made a special little gif for my readers when I was playing in the snow - click here to see it.

To find out more about Christmas at Beamish, click here.

Pizza Party at Cal's Own

Friday, 21 November 2014

Cal's Own 2nd Birthday

Cal's Own 2nd Birthday Party

Last Monday I had such a fun night... After tackling the rush hour traffic myself, Hannah & Claudia headed to Cal's Own to help celebrate their second birthday! Cal's Own is located on Chilingham Road, Heaton in Newcastle and Monday sealed the deal, is now my absolute favourite pizza place.

Cal delivers Brooklyn style pizza, something I've missed since New York! To ice the cake Cal uses locally sourced products and ingredients from Italy which results in the most tasty pizza.

As well as pizza, we were treated to various spicy sides and crusty breads with balsamic and oil over glasses of Prosecco... all in all a recipe for a really good night. Thanks so much to Cal and the team for having us all and a VERY Happy Birthday to you.

Make sure to pay Cal's Own a visit the next time you're in town. Find them on facebook & twitter.

Free Film Day: Vue Cinema - Gateshead

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Gone Girl at Gateshead's Free Film Day

Gone Girl at Gateshead Vue Cinema

I hadn't been to the cinema in what felt like years until this past weekend, so an invitation to a day of free films at Gateshead's Vue Cinema was a welcomed one! Especially since I'd been itching to see Gone Girl since it first came out.

The Gateshead Vue Cinema has only been open a year and it's located right next to the equally new Tesco superstore, near the Tyne Bridge. Parking is free and easy considering how close you are to Newcastle city centre and the Gateshead Quays. We headed straight in out of the cold and found the red carpet had been rolled out for the occasion.

To me the most important part of any cinema (other than the film this is) is the seats. There is nothing worse than a numb bum... especially when films like Gone Girl are 2 & 1/2 hours long. I am pleased to report however these are the comfiest seats I've ever sat on at a cinema and the film was just as good. If you've read the book, you'll know how gripping the storyline is! I was a little worried I'd be bored because I knew what was coming but I was hooked the entire way through.

GK and I had a great time and I'd highly recommend a visit if you're in the area. Sadly there's no news of another free film day coming up but the prices start from only £3.50 and after having a little look around - I can't beat that!

C2C Moments - Festive Preview

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

I'm not ashamed to admit it but I love Christmas... I don't mind that every year the Christmas things go in the shops earlier and I have been known to purchase presents in June! I like looking at overdone houses (not mine) and can think of nothing better than singing (or screeching) along to Mariah Carey, All I Want for Christmas in the shower, however there is one person who out-does me at all things festive and that is my good friend Nicola. So when I received an email inviting me along to a preview of the Christmas Menu at Coast 2 Coast, I jumped at the chance & texted Nic to keep the night free.

After a quick pre-drink after work, myself and Mrs. Christmas headed to Coast to Coast in The Gate, in Newcastle. We got there just in time and were handed a warm Spiced Apple Cider which made me think of sitting in my pj's in front of the fire at home - it was delicious. Now I'm not a big drinker, almost t-total but if it's in a cocktail glass or has a bit of fizz, I can't say no. So the first drink in our cocktail class the Mimosa had me at hello. A twist on a classic Bellini with a splash of Grand Marnier - I will be indulging on this on Christmas morning!

Next up was an egg-nog inspired mix with rum raisons polished off with a sprinkle of chocolate, and then I got picked on! I'm a natural as you can see from the photos (thanks to Nic & Jeff) of me whipping up my white chocolate orange martini. My second favourite, these were delicious.

Then came the food which was all explained by Coast to Coast Newcastle's Head Chef - despite both being petite in frame, Nicola and myself managed to munch through, 2 starters, Goats Cheese Bruschetta Bites and Mushroom Risotto, 2 Mains, A cheese burger in a brioche bun with bacon marinated & drizzled in maple syrup with a side of fries and colesaw.... AND A Christmas Dinner, complete with turkey and all the trimmings. Just when we thought we were about to pop desserts arrived, pecan nut pie with side servings of chantilly cream and vanilla pod ice cream, a massive chocolate brownie sundae and a scoop of each flavour ice cream on the menu.

If you've read Girl in the North before you'll know I'm an incredibly fussy eater due to my black pepper/sulphur allergy and quite often have to opt for gluten free however there was no need and so I took advantage and ate pretty much everything put in front of me. Everything tasted so good and I made sure to do an extra 30 minutes in the gym today for it. After dessert we all rolled to the bar for one final cocktail, The Snowman - seriously tasty and very cute, he's topped off with twiglet arms, Oreo eyes and a carrot.

It was such a lovely evening and what was really nice to hear was how much thought had gone into the Christmas offer at Coast to Coast... From the stories behind the cocktails to the reasons for the food choices, it was nice to hear the brand wasn't just another machine churning out the standard and that it actually really valued it's employees and customers. I had such a fun night, I cannot wait to go back now - anyone for a burger?

Find out all about Coast to Coast & where your nearest restaurant is.