A charming little cafe on Whitley Bay seafront, towards Cullercoats. Walk past it and you might just miss it, but what lies inside is really good for the soul. It’s snug, really chilled, run by happy people with big smiles. A place to escape to with a good book, a good friend or even just the pooch. Sandy paws are welcome – we are at the coast, after all.
It’s a quirky little place – small, but perfectly formed. We love the brick feature wall, real log fire-and-fireplace, wooden, surf-shack-style bar and vintage trinkets and interiors. When people aren’t eating or drinking here, they’re taking photos.
It’s always great to find a place that you can nip in to for lazy morning coffees and afternoon cuppas, but then return to again in the evening for a good mix of booze. And this café is one of those finds. The cute little bar is deceiving – but in a good way. Here, staff can pour you tons of great quality spirits, ale and beer; lots of local names, big brands and new, unusual finds (Cornish clotted cream gin, anyone?) There are cocktails, too, as well as naughty, but oh-so Instagram-worthy, milkshakes and a few healthy smoothies for the well-behaved. This year’s festive drinks are particularly indulgent – a few gingerbread lattes with peanut butter syrup went down well during our visit.
We say the food here is ‘fancy’ – and it is – but that doesn’t mean the prices are posh. Far from it, in fact. Always a good thing this time of year when it can feel like all spare pennies are spent on wrapping paper, ribbons and sellotape. Here, you can dig in to honest, locally-sourced and sustainable food, at really reasonable prices. The menu is regularly evolving – check the boards for tasty daily specials – but yummy staples include eggs every which way, stuffed BLT and Ploughman’s sarnies, trendy teacakes and pancake stacks. For on-the-go grub, there’s tons of homemade cakes and other baked goods (the brownies are delish), sweet and savoury scones and more.
Probably more than we should’ve. For us, it was avo on toast with poached eggs – because isn’t that the best brekkie in the world? It cost us a neat £4.70 and for that we got a whole avocado, smashed into a creamy, chunky pulp, well-seasoned with plenty of zingy lime, on hunks of proper seedy bread. The eggs were fresh as can be; silky, bright orange yolks for a bit of dippy action. The other half went for the pancakes – and what a good choice it was. £4.50 gave us a generous plate-full of American, fluffy goodness; golden brown on the outside, with a soft, doughy centre. They’re homemade, stacked high and smothered in sweet maple syrup and tangy berry compote. Just heavenly. Our friend went down the healthier route and tried the ‘superfood’ granola; a good-for-you bowl of organic oats (roasted in-house, don’t you know?), sprinkled with chia seeds, goji berry nuggets, almonds and a little slug of maple syrup. They topped it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and plump fresh berries. Bloody brilliant all round.