Newcastle Upon Tyne is one of my favourite cities. I lived in Northumberland for most of my teenage years and spent Saturdays hanging around at the Green in the city centre or eating pizza and watching films at The Gate. I haven’t ventured far from my old home county and now live less than an hour away by car or an hour and a half away by train. John and I had never visited Newcastle together so we decided to head over and have a look around on Valentines Day.
When we bought our train tickets we were handed some cute sweeties for the journey, a lovely little surprise!
Unfortunately we left the nice weather in Carlisle and were greeted by grey skies but that didn’t stop us wandering for miles and enjoying the change of scenery. We walked around Eldon Square but neither of us are big shoppers so we decided to head towards the quayside in search of somewhere to eat.
When I asked John what he fancied the answer wasn’t surprising, steak. A couple of minutes later we stumbled across Miller & Carter Steakhouse and after a quick peak at the menu decided to give it a try.
The interior looked pretty high end and I was surprised to find out that the restaurant was part of a chain. (We don’t have as wide a selection of chains in Carlisle as most other cities but we do OK for our size! Plus who doesn’t love the individuality of independent eateries?). We settled in, ordered our drinks and tried to make sense of the menu.
John opted for a rump steak which was 30 day dry and wet aged. The menu said it had a firm texture and rich flavour and at £13.50 for an 8oz steak John certainly wasn’t complaining. Both of our meals came with fries which were just perfect and John’s steak came with an extra surprise. When ordering John was asked to select a “wedge dressing” and having no idea what this was to “dress” opted for a safe option, garlic mayonnaise and parmesan. When the wedge arrived we were a little bit surprised as it was a huge portion of iceberg lettuce. Deciding this must be what American’s (?) eat with their steak I pounced on the chunks of parmesan and John picked at the lettuce leaves.
I don’t eat red meat (a steakhouse probably isn’t the best option for me!) but there were a couple of things I liked the sound of on the menu. I went for the lemon and garlic roast Shropshire chicken which was pretty tasty but I have to say the fries were the real highlight. Perfectly crispy and ideal to dunk in my garlic and chive mayonnaise.
The bill was £37.95 which included 1 large and 1 medium glass of wine and a soft drink which I think is perfectly reasonable for what we got although I’m sure many of the local foodies will disagree. I’ve read a few reviews of Miller & Carter since visiting and a lot of them suggest their are far better places to eat for the money but all in all we enjoyed our food, experienced good service but won’t be rushing back.
After lunch we went for a look around The Baltic. There were only two exhibitions on and neither were to our taste (a little too far into the modern art category!) so we didn’t stick around and decided to end our trip with a visit to the Life Centre.
I had never visited the Life Centre before and was excited to find out they have a 4D ride! We had a quick look around the exhibition space before I couldn’t wait any longer and we joined the queue for a high speed race through villages, tunnels, forests and mountain roads. “Retro Race” was a lot of fun and we were thrown around, blasted with wind and water, smelled smoke that erupted in the middle of the theatre and wore 3D glasses to be closer to the action. Next we headed to the planetarium for “Space: A Beginner’s Guide”. After being on our feet most of the day we relished the chance to sit down and relax while learning about black holes, red dwarfs, galaxies and supernovae. For me another highlight was an exhibition of the winning entries from Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014. There were some really stunning photographs and if you want to have a look at the exhibition yourself make sure you visit before Sunday 19th April. Tickets for the Life Centre are £9.95 for adults, £7.95 for concessions and £6.95 for children. I would really recommend visiting if you have children as there was loads to keep kids occupied or if you’re big kids like us and fancy doing something a little bit different.
We loved our day out in Newcastle and are sure to be back soon so if you have any recommendations of things to do or places to go please leave your suggestions in the comments!