There are some secrets you don’t want to share with others. There can be a reticence on the part of a blogger if they’ve found somewhere great to eat about telling the world and their wife about it. What if it becomes too busy and you can’t get your favourite spot? That said, there’s also a delight in spreading the word about something new or different if you think it will be of benefit to others. While the Gibside Pub is not something new, it is something I’ve wanted to blog about for a while because of how child friendly it is.
As a parent to a toddler (how did she become so big so quickly?!) my social life is not as packed with boozy nights out as it once was. Dinky needs routine and it is important that we have quality family time together too. On weekend summer evenings, however, it is nice to get out and enjoy the nicer weather and lighter nights.
Originally these pub nights started as a Friday night event. This increased to two over the summer months due to its popularity, and now the Gibside pub is open every Friday and Saturday. You can also venture past the Gibside Pub and Market Place to enjoy more of the grounds on selected evenings. Great if you have children as it means you can head up to the Strawberry Castle Play Area or play kick about with a football on the Avenue. The pub is still free entry to all, but access into the wider estate is free only to all National Trust members. Normal admission charges apply to non-members. It runs between 6 and 9pm, so not overly late if you have little ones with you.
It was a wonderfully warm evening I took my kids along to. We decided to go early doors to ensure we got a good selection of the scran on offer. Alongside the usual stone-baked pizzas from Earth & Fire was the chance to feast on Fat Hippo burgers, waffles, Tandoori Naan Hut and newbie Flat Earth. I felt comfortable we’d all have something to eat, even me and my veganism.
I headed straight to Flat Earth to pick up a freshly made flatbread filled with roasted vegetables and a beetroot hummus.
It was the perfect evening snack – fresh, tasty and filling. Vegetarians could order with Kielder cheese while those who enjoyed a meaty banger could order a flatbread with Merguez sausage. There was a queue forming and not long after I’d ordered there were sell outs on some options.
The Teen was adamant he was going to have a burger, which he chose topped with cheese and chorizo. He was quick to wolf this down when he spotted the waffle wagon!
Knowing his hollow legs and having a limited amount of cash on me I gave him a choice – dessert or a pizza. He was back and forth for a while until he decided upon a Margherita.
I was unable to order anything sweet due to my dietary requirements and deliberated about a vegan friendly savoury option from Tandoori Naan or a cheese-free pizza. To cut down on queues I opted for the latter.
As I was in charge of the children and driving there was no alcohol consumed while we were there. With a fairly active toddler I needed to keep my wits about me! It was good to see locals Wylam Brewery feature on tap and a selection of wines or soft drinks if you didn’t fancy a pint.
With fairy lights festooned around the area and fire pits to keep warm beside it looks beautiful as dusk descends. We were entertained by local musicians as we sat enjoying the atmosphere. There were other families out with their children, along with couples who were probably enjoying a change of scene from Newcastle’s more hectic night life.
The only stipulation from NT is that any food brought in to the grounds is consumed beyond the pub area. It would be lovely to have a picnic on the Avenue, in front of the historic chapel. Maybe this is something we will do later in the summer. Friday night is Pizza night, while Saturday is Beer & Bite which is open to other vendors. Our only niggle was on a Friday you sometimes have long waits for the pizza. On our last visit it was around an hour! If you haven’t already popped along to the Gibside pub – which is one of only two in the country operated by the National Trust – I suggest you make it a priority while the weather is clement. You can find out more about the property here.
Thanks for reading,
For more family friendly day trip ideas check out some free suggestions here.