Curious Leaves


For lunch, a colleague and I went to Mrs Pumphrey’s Curious Leaves Tea Bar located on Alley One within Newcastle’s famous Grainger Market. The tea bar has been open for a couple of weeks and is a spin off from Pumphrey’s who have the Pumphrey’s Brewing Emporium located in the Arcade section of the market.

Contained within a relatively small unit, there is a bar with a few stools, behind which are shelves with dozens of urns of containing many of Pumphrey’s teas – both leaf and bag. If you don’t feel up to perching on the high stools, there are couple of cosy tables and chairs.

Perched on a bar stool I took a few moments to mull over the menu listing all of the different blends of tea. The assistant was kind enough to let me smell a couple of teas to aid selection. Eventually I settled on a blend I had not tried before – Nilgiri tea. To complete my usual ‘afternoon tea’ experience I added a cheese scone and carrot cake.

The Brew Arrives


The tea arrived brewing in a glass infuser pot, class cup and saucer which was accompanied by a timer set for 4 minutes brewing time. The tea was good malty blend typical of a black tea with a mild strength. The scone was quite good and the carrot cake was the best I have had for a long time.

We enjoyed our lunch at Curious Leaves and will return.

Afternoon Tea at Marks and Spencer


Afternoon tea is a British Institution much like Marks and Sparks. My wife and I often go to M&S at Metro Center for a tasty afternoon tea when out shopping and the good thing is that it is often on promotion!

It comes with a choice of sandwiches (we usually pick egg or blt), a pair of scones (Devon, cheese or fruit), more than enough proper clotted cream, a little jar of strawberry jam, and occasionally a strawberry tart. The food is presented on a three tier stand which is atypical of afternoon tea.  
The scones and sandwiches are rather good and the tea, M&S’s own Gold Blend, is nice, strong and malty, and goes well with the sandwiches and scones. 
I like M&S’s cafés – they are clean and bright with friendly and cheerful staff. It is always good quality and value for money too.

Pet Lamb Patisserie


Tucked away in Newcastle’s Grainger Market; the Pet Lamb Patisserie claims to keep ‘your sweet tooth satisfied’. Well I can confirm that there is no false advertising there!

The girls bake fresh cakes, brownies and cupcakes every day and their little shop always smells delightful from the next batch baking in the oven.

Earlier in the week; I purchased a pair of Nutella brownies for the Mrs and I. We enjoyed our little treat with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a steaming mug of my favorite brew and found that our sweet tooth was well and truly satisfied.

I think I will be down of Friday to discover what Valentines treats they have!

Find out more from their website:

Scrumpy Willow & the Singing Kettle


Nestled amongst the charity and discount shops of Clayton Street in Newcastle, the Scrumpy Willow is small establishment with a menu that includes range of good food including vegan and vegetarian dishes.

It is rare to find such a haven away from the bustling streets. Chocked full of period features, the cafe spans two floors and has artwork from students at Newcastle University on the walls. Upstairs, you can watch the world go by through the large ceiling height windows.

Today; I had fair-trade tea, a cheese scone and spiced chocolate cake.

I enjoyed my brief visit to the Scrumpy Willow. The food was good and reasonably priced. The staff were pleasant and provided good service.

Find out more about the Scrumpy Willow and their regular events calendar at their website;

Ringtons Northumbrian Blend


Brewed to a mahogany colour, the Ringtons Northumbrian Blend is a strong tea with a deep malty flavour. This is an ideal breakfast brew and will be perfect with a full English, although I enjoy it anytime of the day.

It is also ideal with pancakes! It is now tradition that I make a large pot of this hearty tea to enjoy while I am busy making pancakes for the family.

TeaShed Breakfast Christmas Gift Box


As a Christmas gift to me; I purchased the TeaShed Breakfast Christmas gift box at the Kirkley Hall Christmas Fair.

For a fiver, I got a Teashed styled box containing bags of whole leaf black tea with Original Crunchy Cornish Fairings.

As usual; I brewed the tea for 3-4 minutes, without milk or sugar.

The tea was quite enjoyable – it was of medium strength and refreshing. The biscuits are the perfect accompaniment for the tea and I must say that they were delectable – very crunchy with a hint of mixed spice and ginger. I think they were the nicest ginger biscuits I have had in a long time!

Find out more at the TeaShed website.

The Whistler Tea Rooms


I went for lunch today at the The Whistler Tea Rooms in Newcastle located on Vine Lane just off Northumberland Street.

The team room is styled like many an English tea room and is situated on the top floor of the building. The view from the window at the front of the building is of the Haymaket Hub building which forms part of the Metro station, the striking angel atop the South African War Memorial and the bustling Northumberland Streets below.

I took my seat and found cosy surroundings with vintage pictures and item adorning the walls. Pleasant staff provide table service with a smile and were very efficient at taking my order and bringing my food and tea.

The menu is well appointed with sarnies, light bites such as scones and cakes, and jacket spuds. The range of tea includes Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, Lapsang souchong, green tea and Earl and Lady Greys.  I ordered a warm cheese scone, a slice of Victoria sponge cake a pot of Ceylon tea. All was very nice and I especially enjoyed the cake.

My trip to the Whistler Tea Rooms helped brighten up an otherwise dull and damp November day.