It seems Newcastle has gone shipping container crazy - but we’re not complaining. STACK is the latest go-to leisure, retail and foodie destination; a vibrant social hub with gritty urban edge, in the heart of the city.

Whether you’re stopping by to fill your tums, shop ’til you drop, or mingle with mates over drinks, expect plenty of eco-friendly fun from a variety of the region’s top traders – in more than 50 containers. Not sure where to start? Jessica Laing reveals some must-do’s…

1. Unwind at… Yoga Therapies >>

Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a stiff beginner, the folk at Yoga Therapies have a class for you. Run by a blissed-out husband and wife team from Whitburn, the new, cosy hide-out is a real escape within the walls at Stack – perfect for an after-work stretch session or a bit of weekend relaxation. There are tons of classes to check out, from Sunrise Yoga sessions to kick-start your day, energising Yin & Yoga classes and soothing meditation sessions, to strength-building Vinyasa classes and 30-minute Revive & Restore experiences, designed for busy people in need of a lunchtime breather. You can also shop wellbeing bits and bobs, including Ayurvedic supplements and handmade yoga clothing from Indonesia. Kids aged 5-12 are also welcome – take them along for gentle 45-minute sessions filled with yoga games, story-telling and relaxation exercises.

2. Muddle gin at… Enchanted Garden >>

If gin’s your thing, then a trip to the Enchanted Garden bar wouldn’t be a bad idea – the place stocks up to 40 different brands of the stuff. Head for the marquee and under a canopy of twinkling fairy lights, vines and blooms, pick your spirit, choose your tonic and garnish with whatever you fancy. Live entertainment brings the feel-good vibes – everything from open mic nights to Disco Botanical nights, filling the space with uplifting weekend tunes.

3. Get arty at… Time Freezer Photography >>

Local photographer, Matt Hale, is showing off his talents at his new gallery and studio at STACK – and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Have a mooch and discover his beautiful work; superb limited edition shots of some of the North East’s best-loved landmarks and locations, including its breathtaking coastline, its collection of castles, lighthouses and bridges. Pick some favourites and buy them in print form, or have them framed.

4. Sip Vino at Fourteen Drops >>

If you love your wine, then Fourteen Drops is a must-visit. Here, cool folk who have spent years in the industry sourcing the best bottles for big-name hotels and restaurants, showcase quality, artisan wines (including biodynamic) from all corners of the globe. We love the try-before-you-buy vibes; call in, choose your favourites, then sip away in the tasting area alongside small, perfectly-paired plates of tempting nibbles. Bellies full of cheese and charcuterie, you can then head for the shop and buy your best-loved bottles straight from the shelf.

5. Pop some bottles at… Beer Box >>

Beer Box source and sell the best beers in the world. Created by two chaps from Whitley Bay (who love brewing beer and didn’t want to work proper jobs), the shop is packed with the rare, weird and wonderful. Everything from their own award-winning Black Storm range of locally-brewed ales, to innovative and out-there brewery collaborations. Not only is their range expansive in terms of tastes and preferences – with many vegan and gluten free ales – the visual display of innovative packaging and graphics is worth a visit on its own. Combine that with 15% for students, NHS and the armed forces, and a loyalty discount for the devoted, and we see big things for this small space!

6. Pamper yourself at… The Cure Lab >>

Make your way to this trendy pop-up nail spa for speedy mani/pedis and stress-busting massages. It’s the only salon in Newcastle to offer 100% vegan, cruelty-free and eco-friendly nail treatments – and the results are remarkably good. Treat yourself to a quick 15-minute tidy-up in between meetings, or settle in for the salon’s Signature “Dry” Mani/Pedi. Sit back and enjoy a 45-minute “waterless” nail makeover that’s as kind to the planet as it is to your paws. In need of a knead? Pimp up your mani/pedi with a 30-minute hand or foot rub, or enjoy a quick 10-minute shoulder and neck massage. Check out the salon’s money-saving packages if you’re a mum-to-be or a bride.

7. Go plant-based at… Hungry Vegan >>

If you think vegan grub stops at falafel and tofu, then think again! The folks at Hungry Vegan serve up a wide range of plant-based treats to enjoy, from freshly-made subs and salads, to pastries, pasties (try their ‘cheeze’ and onion creation), just-baked cookies, cupcakes and more. All 100% vegan, 100% of the time. A great lunchtime stop-off.

8. Enjoy a meat feast at… Cluck Cluck Moo >>

Cluck Cluck Moo was born at STACK – and the North East’s cool carnivores are loving their stuff! The concept is simple: take a seat, pick your meat, choose a side, settle on a sauce – and you’re done. There’s lots of good stuff on offer, though, so have patience! Pick from high-quality rump, sirloin, ribeye and tomahawk steak, spatchcock chicken, chicken ‘parmo’, or buttermilk fried chicken for a taste of the USA. Sides are super indulgent – but that’s all part of the allure. Go for the beef dripping fries, loaded creamy mash or the heavenly chorizo mac ’n’ cheese.

9. Shop local at… Longsands Clothing Co >>

Think of Longsands Clothing Co as the North East’s answer to the big California surf brands out there that we all know and love. From its spiritual home in Tynemouth, the brand has come a long way in the last few years; after market stall success came the first Longsands Clothing Co store, which opened its doors in Tynemouth village in 2014 and continues to attract tons of laid-back, flip-flop-wearing fashion-lovers. The second store at STACK offers city centre shoppers a taste of what the folk at the coast have been enjoying for years – high-quality, casual clothing for men, women and kids, lovingly-made with Northern soul! Shop t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, vests, bags and hats.

10. Taste Japan at… Sushi Me Rollin’ >>

From the kitchens of Aveika and Peace and Loaf, local chefs, Kurt Toulson, Simon Whitehead and Hugo Embleton-Black have joined forces to open a brand new venture, inspired by their passion for big, Asian-inspired flavours and ingredients. Putting the ‘fun’ back into ‘fine dining’, the new sushi joint gives diners the chance to enjoy picture-perfect platters of freshly-rolled delights, showcasing the finest fish, seafood and veggies.


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