Cake Stories: Jesmond’s equivalent to Heaven.

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If you live in Newcastle then chances are you have heard of Cake Stories, on Brentwood Avenue. For my final year of uni I have lived literally seconds from this place, and for a good month (I like to change this up regularly) it was probably my favourite creative writing spot. Tea, cake, creative writing. What more do you need?

Cake stories is adorable. Literally, it makes you want to go ‘awwww!’ every time you walk in. It’s not fluffy and pink by any strength of the imagination, just cozy and welcoming. There is a cabinet of cakes laid on trays at the back of the shop, each cake cut into a square and decorated elegantly. They once made unicorn cake, which I am told was very colourful, but I unfortunately didn’t get to try it. The staff are more than happy to recommend you a cake, because trust me: you will struggle to decide. I recommend the Maple-Pecan, the Red Velvet, Zesty Lemon, Cherry Bakewell, or Mocha. That sounds a lot of options, but there are many, many more than that. They make cake sundaes too. And you can get ice cream with anything. Anything. Cake Stories also serve breakfasts and lunches, including avocado on toast or beans on toast, which are two of my personal favourite options when eating out for breakfast or brunch.

Teas. Cake Stories does tea really well. Try the Cherry-Almond Rooibos (I think that’s what it was called, whatever it was, it was delicious). Expect a cute cup and tea pot, and loose leaf tea- and milk in a miniature milk bottle too. Coffees taste great, and I recommend the cappuccino. Before I leave Newcastle I am determined to get myself an iced coffee from here too, as I hear they are extremely good.

If you can then get yourself to Cake Stories on an evening, then this is when you should go. Most evenings they are open until 9:30pm. At this point the fairy-lights and bulbs hanging from the ceiling are on, and everything becomes 100x cosier- from the massive shelf of tea jars, to the mismatched vintage-y furniture, to the smell of cakes and coffee. A lot of students seem to bring work here on an evening for a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere, or dump the work and come to catch up with friends after a long day. But in-case you can’t get a table, they do cake to go, so there’s really no excuse not to try it.

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Arlo’s Café & Bistro: Review

wp-1476299752207.jpgWhen my flatmates and I moved into our current home I immediately knew that we may not have chosen the best location. Because we live in very close proximity to a great second hand book shop, a mini-supermarket, a frozen yoghurt shop, sushi place, a Starbucks, cake and tea and coffee shop, Indian street kitchen I have yet to try- and Arlo’s. Ah, Arlo’s. This is where my money is currently going.

Arlo is a café and bistro on Brentwood Avenue, in the West Jesmond area. And it does one of the best brunches in the city. It’s decorated in a quirky-cool alpine fashion, with plenty of fairy lights, and blankets in case you choose to sit outside.

Arlo’s opens fairly early in the morning, which is ideal if you’re an early bird, or if – like me- you are someone who wakes up hungry, and get hangry within half an hour. Luckily, the brunch menu is amazing. Although Arlo open as a bistro in the evening- and serve amazing cakes all day long- I haven’t yet eaten there on an evening. So, this review will be centring around brunch. Although my flatmate, also sucked into the Arlo trap, has been for tea, and said the chicken burger more than lived up to expectations.

My personal recommendations from the brunch menu are: the avocado and egg on toast with chilli jam, the veggie brunch, or the hen’s eggs on toast with smoked salmon added. Because you can’t beat good quality toast with proper butter. If none of these sound appealing, then Arlo also make scones, waffles, teacakes, granola, and sausage stotties. The porridge is also something I can recommend, though it could use more berries. Continue reading