Update – There is a lift as well as the stairs to get to the cafe, which means those who find it difficult to walk up so many stairs or have pushchairs should not have a problem visiting.
Facebook is a wonderful tool for discovering new places to eat. I’ve lived in Newcastle all my life but still haven’t visited every single restaurant and bar in the city. I was looking through my feed and noticed a friend liked The Whistler Tearooms, which made me curious. I’d never heard of it, so presumed it must be somewhere new! Without knowing about this cafe you probably would never find it as the entrance is tucked down a side street!
Whistler is located on the 3rd floor of a building just off Northumberland Street, opposite the Haymarket Metro station. I decided to visit with Jnr on the promise of some homemade cake and pots of tea, which also enticed me 🙂
The cafe was packed when we arrived, but managed to finally get a window seat after playing ‘Musical Tables’ for a bit. The view is fantastic for those who like people watching. I was surprised how busy it was considering it isn’t advertised well but, like Pani’s, I think its popularity stems from a loyal customer base not location.
The menu was standard: sandwiches, toasties, jacket potatoes, baguettes, the full English. There’s a counter with cakes on display, and Jnr spotted a delicious looking cheesecake.
I was interested in trying their homemade cheese scones as a TripAdvisor review said these were particularly good. Fancying something more substantial, I asked what the Soup of the Day was, and it was Cauliflower and Broccoli. This sounded delicious, so I opted for that instead of the scone. Jnr ordered his favourite sandwich: Tuna & Sweetcorn Mayo on white bread. Sophisticated tastes he does not have 🙂
The soup was delicious. It reminded me of my Gran’s homemade vegetable broth. His sandwich came with a little bit of salad as a garnish. My only grumble would be that he probably would have preferred the choice of crisps as an accompaniment as it looked limp. I ate it as he wasn’t keen, but it only amounted to a mouthful anyway.
We were enamoured by the cakes and Jnr was definite in his decision. He asked if I would eat the pineapple on the top as he isn’t a big fan, which I dutifully carried out. Unfortunately the pineapple was also in the creamy filling, which meant he wouldn’t eat it at all. What a shame! I *had* to finish it off all on my own, which was a chore 😉 He said he was disappointed because it was the creamiest filling he’d had since our visit to the Florida branch of Cheesecake Factory. High praise indeed from Jnr!
The Whistler is not elegant or refined, but they have been popular over the years because they are consistently good. The decor is on the tired side, although they’ve made efforts to make it contemporary with polka dot tablecloths and bunting around the tearoom. The clientele appears predominantly older, although we spotted another family later on.
Contrary to the warning on the menu, our food was served quickly. The staff are super efficient and friendly: another reason they’ll have a dedicated fan base. Our meal and drinks came to £11.50, which was good value for money.
I think The Whistler is a hidden gem in the Toon and needs more love and attention. Why not shun the sea of coffee chains on Northumberland Street and give this quirky cafe a visit next time you need a break from shopping?
Thanks for reading,