Weekly Foodie Round-Up

I’ve been a bit quiet as I’m trying to get sorted for the festive season, which is difficult enough at the best of times without feeling like a beached whale! That’s not to say we haven’t been out and about this week, so here’s a round-up of some of the places we’ve eaten and visited this week, with a couple of festive photos thrown in. It’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas 🙂

Alternative Stores

I love cooking Christmas lunch, although this year I was feeling apprehensive about slaving over a cooker for hours in my ‘condition’. Normally me and my Dad divvy out the tasks between us, which includes me taking responsibility for the Yorkie Puds. If it was left to my Dad we’d have Aunt Bessies, which I think is sacrilegious on such an important eating day. This year my Dad and sisters are eating elsewhere, meaning the Cannys are having a ‘quiet one’. I think the veganism has deterred them 🙂 The option for main course seemed to be Nut Roast, which I can’t stand, until I read about Alternative Stores in Benton and took a trip to see what they stocked. While it will never live up to Pigs in Blankets or my Dad’s amazing Pork Crackling (we rarely eat just Turkey for Christmas lunch) we’ve decided upon Cheatin’s Celebration Roast. Now I have to work out how to make egg-free Yorkshire Puddings! Recipes greatly appreciated.image

imageLocal company No Muu also had plenty of treats in the store, which is great for stocking fillers for those following a dairy-free diet. We picked up a couple of other products we haven’t seen in other stores to try, and we’ll report back.

Prima Ristorante, Quayside

imageOne of Mr. Canny’s former work pals returned to the Toon for a flying visit and planned a meal out so everyone could get together and catch up. He recommended Prima, located on Newcastle’s Quayside. I’ll admit I was surprised by the choice as a) I’ve not been that keen historically on the restaurant and b) he’s Italian so should know his stuff when it comes to the food of his homeland. We went along with the crowd on an extremely busy Saturday night, with Prima packed with gaggles of festive revellers.image

imageMr. Canny was given an allergen advice menu so he could decide what to eat, which was helpful. We chose to share some Potato Skins and the standard Garlic Pizza, while I chose the Mushroom Risotto for main and he opted for the Vegetarian Pizza sans cheese. Service was on the slow side due to the number of diners they had, but we weren’t in a rush. What we found incredibly frustrating though was they kept informing us that the table was booked at 8:30 and we needed to hurry up. To add insult to injury a 10% service charge was automatically added because we were a large group, but we felt we had poorer service because there was so many of us so this was unfair.

imageimageMy Risotto was really good, but at £16.95 thought it was extortionately priced. What happened, and we didn’t realise until we were home, was that we were incorrectly charged for one of their set Festive Menu options and the starter separately. So much for a cheap and cheerful meal! 2 beers, a soft drink for me and two courses each set us back £50. All I kept thinking was that we could have had the Festive Menu from Peace and Loaf in Jesmond for £27 instead and not felt jostled and rushed. No matter! It was nice to catch up with so many people while we still have the chance to get out and about together as a couple. I don’t think we’ll be rushing back to Prima though, regardless of how nice the food was.

Nineteen Clayton Road, Jesmond

imageWe popped into new establishment Nineteen for lunch as snow started to fall in the North East. Having just opened its doors the menu, by their own admission, is limited while they’re finding their feet. Dedicated to clean eating, options are reminiscent of The Naked Deli in Heaton. The cafe is associated with the Terry de Havilland store, which is also located on the same road.

imageimageA local supplier provides treats such as ‘clean’ Snickers Bars and the bread served with their Root Vegetable Soup, which was needed as a winter warmer with the ‘frightful’ weather outside.

imageimageMr. Canny’s vegan friendly homemade Beans on Toast came with Lurpak Butter on the side, so recommended the Soy ‘Butter’ we buy from Tesco instead. It was taken in good spirits, so we believe it was a genuine oversight on their part. At least the owner is trying to accommodate.

Almond, Soy and Hazelnut milk are readily available here for your coffee at no extra charge. Their Hot Chocolate was deliciously sweet, and I would heartily recommend popping in just for that if you’re in the area. It will be great to see the menu develop over time as more hot food options are needed if they’re going to compete with Willi’s, also  situated on Clayton Road.image

Enchanted Parks and feeling Festive

imageThe yearly tradition for us of visiting Saltwell’s Enchanted Parks was scuppered by the unexpected snowfall on Saturday. We were disappointed, especially when the organisers had proclaimed just a few hours before that they were prepared for ANY weather! Refunds are to be issued, but I’m sure there are many disappointed adults and kids around the area who will no doubt think this was unnecessary given the amount of snow that actually fell. A snowman was built in our street, but that was because we live at the top of a hill & experienced more snow than others. I look forward to seeing other bloggers posting about the event, but nothing beats the real deal.image

Moving into a larger home has meant room for more Christmas decorations, including another tree. I took great delight in decorating the trees and starting to wrap presents, although I haven’t quite gotten round to making my Spotify Christmas tune playlist yet. I need to get a wriggle on though, as once the Christmas shopping is complete we have to start stocking up for our arrival in the New Year!image image image

Thanks for reading,

Pip x

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  1. Katie Bryson

    I love reading your blog posts as i’m married to a veggie and your top tips are incredibly useful. We’ll definitely be checking Alternative Stores.

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      There’s so many alternatives to choose from. Some are on the expensive side compared to Tesco, so it’s still worth shopping round. Thankfully there’s a growing choice in ‘mainstream’ stores. We’ve even bought vegan cat food!

  2. Sam Rickelton

    Love your round up posts of what you’ve been up to! Interesting to read about Prima. £17 for a risotto is a ‘cheap’ Italians! Omg! I always compare the price of food in restaurants to that of a memorable meal when comparing too!

    Disappointing to hear about Enchanted Parks – I saw on FB they said they’d go ahead no matter what so shocked that they cancelled! There’s always next year x

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      Next year with a little baby 🙂

      There was clearly a mistake with the bill as we were charged for the starters and mains when they had a Festive Menu operating, but when you have 20 people trying to work out what they ate/drank and a waiter breathing down your neck to move you don’t always realise. Such a shame as the food was better than I remembered. With a nicer attitude we may have returned to sample an early evening offer x


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