The North East is one of our favourite places so when we were given the opportunity to spend two nights in a hotel near the Metrocentre in Gateshead we jumped at the chance.
After work on Friday we made the relatively short trip over to Gateshead. We were staying at Travelodge Gateshead Hotel just 3.1 miles from Newcastle City Center. The hotel is just off the A1 and is pretty easy to get to. When we arrived we were given some tips on where to eat before heading up to our room to get settled in.
The room was a good size, nice and clean and had everything we needed. Stomachs rumbling we headed out in search of somewhere nice to eat. The lady who had welcomed us had recommended the pub next door for tasty homemade food so we decided to give it a go.
The Skiff Inn is a typical local pub with a wide range of dishes on offer and friendly, attentive staff. The Skiff is named after the boat Harry Clasper, a professional rower from Tyneside, used to race and is decorated with nautical items including a rowing boat that hangs from the ceiling.
For our starter we chose to share a portion of calamari and we were so glad we only ordered one as there was more than enough for both of us. It was crispy, tasty and came with a spicy tomato dip.
For our main courses I opted for a garlic chicken pizza and John chose a chicken burger.
My pizza was huge and very tasty and John really enjoyed his burger although wasn’t that impressed with the chips.
Feeling pretty full we headed back to the hotel to relax.
The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant so in the morning we got ready and headed to the Metrocentre to get something to eat before getting the train into Newcastle.
The area around the hotel is mainly retail park so there are lots of busy roads but there is a path by the river that takes you directly to the Metrocentre. It takes about 20-25 minutes and delivers you to the transport interchange.
We decided to get something cheap and cheerful for breakfast so popped into Wetherspoons. John had his typical full English while I had a bagel with salmon and cream cheese.
Fenwicks had just opened a Christmas pop up shop so we had a look around and even bought our first Christmas present. After a quick look around the Metrocentre we caught the train to Newcastle City Center and spent the next few hours shopping, something we don’t usually do and aren’t very good at! (We mainly played with toys and looked at tents!)
Before long we were ready for a bit of refreshment. I had wanted to show John The Botanist for a while so I thought we could pop in for a cocktail but it was absolutely packed.
Instead we decided to go for a drink and a snack at dAt bAr on Market Street. dAt bAr is popular for it’s urban style, craft beers and tasty food and I love the relaxed atmosphere.
We ordered some shoestring fries and sourdough bread with french butter, mainly because I couldn’t remember having ever tasted sourdough bread and we weren’t that hungry.
The shoestring fries were amazing. Honestly. And the sourdough bread was very tasty. Next time we visit we’ll be sure to bring our appetites and sample some more of the menu.
All shopped out we got the train back to the Metrocentre and made a beeline for somewhere a bit more exiting than the shops… Namco Funscape! We played a few games, won plenty of tickets and got way too excited when we discovered we could trade them in for a prize. (We chose a minion slinky and three maoam bars, easy pleased!)
No trip to Gateshead is complete without a trip to everyone’s favourite Swedish furniture shop, IKEA where we picked up some bits and bobs before heading back to the Metrocentre in search of some dinner. There are over 50 restaurants and you’re sure to find one of your favourite chains. We found one of ours, Nandos, and treated ourselves to some Afro-Portuguese chicken.
On Sunday morning we had a bit of a lie in (check out isn’t till 12 so you’re free to make the most of that king sized bed) before grabbing some breakfast at Frankie & Benny’s just around the corner from the hotel. Breakfast is served till 12 but the food was very slow to come out.
Typically John had another full English and I decided to try the eggs royale which was a toaster muffin, two poached eggs and slices of smoked salmon topped with hollandaise sauce and chopped chives.
The eggs royale was lovely but very rich, especially after such a food filled couple of days!
We had a lovely weekend thanks to Travelodge although I’m not sure my waistline will be as appreciative!