Best of the weekend

Doing: Feeling excited as we drove up to the North East for a long weekend with family and friends, arriving late and heading straight for bed. Then Friday; sleeping in, eating breakfast outside in the sunshine, walking into the village and buying some beautiful and bright hanging baskets for my parents’ home, enjoying a delicious lunch [my mum does the best buffet lunches ever – it’s a fact], having a coffee on the riverfront in Durham, feeling like a tourist as we went on a river cruise, giggling about how little of the guide’s Geordie accent I could understand, driving into Newcastle for dinner at Pizza Express, realising [for the millionth time] how much I love and miss this city, spending a great evening at the Theatre Royal watching Puttin on the Ritz.

Saturday – hen do day for one of my oldest friends; gathering for lunch at Crusoe’s [right on the beach!], laughing far too much as we pulled on wetsuits and dragged surfboards down to the shore, loving my second ever surf lesson, feeling 10 years old again as a friend and I walked back to her house barefeet and in towels, admiring our bruises and getting ready for the evening, heading into town for dinner and drinks at The Herb Garden, driving home and going straight to sleep! Then finally Sunday; feeling nostalgic as we went back to the church where we got married, loving being surrounded by familiar faces and welcomed by old friends, heading back to Lanchester for lunch at The Greenhouse, saying goodbye to my parents and wishing we didn’t have to leave, setting off on the long drive home…

Eating: In short, too much! 🙂 Chicken and roasted vegetable salad with goats cheese, blueberry muffins with strawberries, sweet chilli chicken sandwiches, Ardennes pate and melba toast with apple chutney, roast beef Sunday lunch and key lime pie.

Feeling: At home. I grew up in the North East and there’s just something about the place that makes me feel good.

Listening to: Taylor Swift, 1989. Got to pass all of those driving hours somehow!

Discovering: The fabulous hidden gem that is The Herb Garden in Newcastle city centre. Tucked away down the road from the station, under the railway arches, this restaurant is definitely deserving of its fabulous Tripadvisor reviews. The décor is rustic yet elegant, with long wooden tables and luxe lighting, not forgetting of course the feature ‘garden’ wall where all of their herbs and salad leaves are grown. Salads are definitely where it’s at in this restaurant – I had the ‘flower power’ chicken salad packed with butternut squash, feta, beetroot, seeds and [no surprise] edible flowers. It was enormous and incredibly tasty. Others had freshly baked pizzas which also looked divine! The Herb Garden has a small but inventive menu, great service and a lovely atmosphere – I’ll definitely be back.

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What have you been up to this weekend?

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