Sixteen years ago I arrived in Newcastle upon Tyne as a student. I’d visited a couple of times before, on holiday with my family, and of course to look around the university. But moving here alone gave me a fantastic opportunity to discover this city that I now call home.
My relationship with the city has changed in those sixteen years. To start with I was exploring as a student- the nightlife, the cheap beers, the shops and the places to hang out and have fun in between lectures and seminars. I lived on the Quayside, and saw the massive crane arrive to install the Millennium Bridge. I walked everywhere, even with huge bags of fruit and veg from the Grainger Market. I discovered the City Pool, and went swimming as often as I could, though one time I went I was turned away because apparently the Queen was having a look round that day!
When I finished my studies I hardly went into Newcastle because I moved outside of the city. I also got a job as a management trainee, the day I graduated, actually. So the Toon became a place to meet friends, only, and not a place to live, anymore.
And now, it’s a place to explore again, to find different things to do, different places to go to with my boys. Of course they’re not interested in the best bars! They do, however, love the Centre for Life, and we can easily spend a day there. And when it’s time for lunch we pop to the Settle Down Café, where the people are friendly, the food is healthy and excellent value for money, and the place is cosy and welcoming.
Millennium Hotels have featured the Settle Down Café in their Hidden Gems guide, which you can find here. Do have a look, because even if you live in Newcastle upon Tyne, there are always new places to explore. Have you visited all the foodie places recommended by locals on that list? Me neither, and I’ll have to get out and try them!