This month, our gal is mostly concentrating on hot toddies…


Since the last time we met, this Girl About Toon has mostly been eating Lockets and sipping hot toddies, of which I am partial as a nightcap (toddies not Lockets) even without a cold to soothe. I like mine with Manuka honey and freshly hand-squeezed lemon and orange juice.

Every Thursday at the Toffee Factory in the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle, where my office is, we’re treated to a pop-up food stall. The vendors rotate and we’ve had everything from Zapatista’s burritos, Artisan at the Biscuit Factory, a pizza van, crêperie and numerous other yummy choices – guaranteed to be utterly scrumptious!

GATPapaGanoushOne of my recent favourites has been Papa Ganoush Street Food’s delicious wraps filled with falafels or Lebanese chicken, salad, proper hummus and tasty dressings.

Anna Hedworth’s Cook House round the corner from here remains a regular weekly haunt. Anna’s roast cauliflower salad with hazelnuts and pomegranate is amazing, and her homemade salt beef sandwich warms the cockles when it’s cold and wet outside.

The Tyne Bar, also in Ouseburn, is a great spot for a pub lunch with a difference. Last time I was there, I had chicken gumbo with homemade corn bread from the specials board, and I must say, it was pretty darned lovely.

Further afield, a jaunt with the dog led to dinner at The Beehive in Earsdon, Whitley Bay, where a hearty sausage stew with Mediterranean vegetables and mashed potato satisfied my hunger. This dog-friendly pub has a well-deserved reputation for excellent quality and service.


I’m still raving about the gorgeous afternoon tea on offer at Oak Café in Newcastle’s Barker and Stonehouse store. It’s great value for money.

I’ll be leaving my Christmas present shopping to the last minute so that I can make the most of Christmas Fest – a traditional festive market at CastleGate on December 20 for unusual foodie gifts and a day of gourmandising on festive treats. Bring on the mulled wine and mince pies!

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