The Vintage Cafe, Birtley (Now Closed)
I became aware of The Vintage Cafe through Instagram, which is my new ‘stalking ground’ for finding new places to eat in and around Newcastle. I had bemoaned the fact Gateshead was lacking on the vegan/veggie front and it was becoming tedious we had to travel into Newcastle every time we wanted to eat out. I really want to support local restaurants, but it’s hard if there’s nothing on the menu that Mr. Canny can eat. It comes to something when our ‘locals’ are Toby Carvery or Wagamama!
The Vintage Cafe only opened last week. The fact their bio mentioned high teas whetted my appetite, and stating they were vegan friendly intrigued me. Did this mean I would get to indulge in an Afternoon Tea again with Mr. Canny? How would that be possible?
We went along on a soggy, miserable Saturday before embarking on a fun afternoon of the weekly shop and household chores. They serve a range of breakfasts for those eating a plant based diet and otherwise, which was great to see. These run up until 11am, and then a lunch menu is operational. He fancied their vegan breakfast and, although it was 1 o’clock, they said they would rustle it up for him. Not having much of an appetite myself, I just had a jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw. This is my staple lunch as I don’t find I’m desperate for Rennies afterwards 🙂
We watched people walk in and out of the cafe after looking at the menu on the wall, which seemed puzzling. There was enough of a choice, surely? Apparently, according to the owner, it had been a greasy spoon serving burgers and chips. She was adamant they were going to offer healthier fare, even if it meant losing some of the regulars. Hats off to her! She also told us her daughter was a vegan, and because of her own frustrations at her diet not being accommodated the premise for The Vintage Cafe was born. Such is her dedication that she undertook a nutrition course to broaden her own knowledge and understanding. She reassured Mr. Canny that although there are animal products on the menu that she prepares and stores all the food separately to avoid cross-contamination.
That said, the cakes on the counter that will form part of the High Tea (£16.95 for 2) look pretty unhealthy to me, laden with sugary jam and cream, and that’s ok with me! Advance booking is needed for this, so we’ve made a note of their details and will return. The quirky decor and friendly welcome suggest it will be an enjoyable experience, and it can be made vegan as some of their scones are dairy free.
Mr. Canny’s breakfast, which cost £3.75, was a decent size. There was a miscommunication with my potato, which came topped with cheese and beans instead of coleslaw. The owner was apologetic and said she’d made me another one, and I told him to tuck in regardless. It was lacking on the toast/bread front, but that was his only quibble. The sausage was particularly good.
Not wanting to pass up on the opportunity to try the vegan Victoria Sponge cake we managed to find space for it. Like Boho, they’ve managed to make a cake that is moist and light. We also took away a scone to try, which was topped with vegan cream and jam. It got the thumbs up from Mr. C.
Our food, drinks and take away scone came to just under £15. It’s good value for money and, like True Coffeehouse, lovely friendly service. It was quiet when we visited because it’s still new, and hopefully this blog might help in promoting this little gem in Birtley.
Thanks for reading,