Last week saw the opening of a brand new eatery on Newcastle’s Quayside. Owned by Abbie Atkinson, wife of Kenny Atkinson and co-owner of House of Tides, I expected something special and wasn’t disappointed. Violet’s Cafe is set to rival neighbour Quay Ingredient for the Best Breakfast in Newcastle crown, judging by the plates that were served up as I visited and their Instagram feed. When your smoked salmon and scrambled egg are served with nasturtiums and truffle, you know this is no run-of-the-mill cafe!
I visited around lunchtime, and Abbie told me they’ve been focusing on their breakfasts since opening. She said that afternoon teas are going to be introduced, alongside cream teas and light lunches, by the end of this week. I was envious of a Full English served up to a gentleman at another table, while his head was turned by a whipped cream-topped Hot Chocolate taken to someone else. It seems everything is drool-inducing.
The cafe shows off Abbie’s eye for detail, with food served on pretty china and its shabby chic vibe. Everything mismatches perfectly and is in keeping with the ambience. She can come and redecorate our house any time! Even the menu has been specially designed for Violet’s and stars our beloved Tyne Bridge.
Freshly prepared each day, the menu features croissants, muffins and granola. Their Homemade Buttermilk Waffles are bound to be popular, and are served either sweet or savoury. With a choice of Salmon & Poached Eggs, Granola, their English Breakfast or Berries to top them, I’ll be returning to try them out with the Teen for sure.To be honest, my eyes were bigger than my belly and I foolishly ordered their Bakers Basket (£8) all to myself. I also chose a pot of Loose Leaf Jasmine Tea (£2.50), which was more than enough to share also. Next time I visit I’ll try out the Rose Petal. I usually drink English Breakfast, perhaps Green at a push, but I’m so glad I broke tradition. The jasmine was delicate and an easy drink. Staff have been trained by Pumphreys, so the coffee is bound to be good too.
The basket included two pieces of chewy and springy sourdough toast, a buttery and flaky croissant, Pain au Chocolat, Pain aux Raisin and two Danish Pastries. There was easily enough to feed three people. Abbie said I could have a box so I could take home what I couldn’t manage, which I was grateful for. The Teen certainly enjoyed the spoils later in the day!
The attention to detail was also evident in the cute pots of Tiptree jams and hand churned butter that was served with my baked goodies. I loved the branded iced cookies, the bags of homemade violet marshmallows and Banoffee Cupcakes on sale, but bought a Brownie (£3) to take home for afterwards instead. The damage was £13.50, and considering I had enough for another breakfast I consider this excellent value for money.
Always thinking about Mr. Canny and my vegan readers, I enquired about dairy-free options. Abbie said they have soy and almond milk available, and could possibly come up with a breakfast option with some notice. Looking at what’s available now however, toast and jams would be suitable, as would the beans on sourdough.
Their English Breakfast (£12) may not be cheap, but it certainly isn’t lacking anything. Pork & Leek Sausages, Streaky Bacon, Eggs (cooked how you want) and Black Pudding all sourced locally are plated with mushroom, the fantastic sourdough toast, beans and tomato. It is a thing of beauty, which you’d expect when you see Mr. Atkinson at the pass! Yes, Violet’s is very much a family business; so much so that the cafe is named after Abbie’s late Gran. The staff were so warm and welcoming, and I was made to feel like an old friend.
I’m looking forward to returning to try out an Afternoon Tea (you can read my blog about the experience here), especially as there’s a Prosecco version offered. It’s going to be popular on a weekend, so I’m hoping a booking system is implemented to avoid disappointment like in other establishments. Violet’s is a must-visit!
Thanks for reading,
Please Note : The Cafe is not open on a Monday or Tues at present.
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