Tea for you and me

Join me on my epic quest to find the best tea ever


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Sir Michael Straker Cafe

The Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2JR.

View of the Sage from across the river

View of the Sage from across the river

I saw this building and took a photo of it before I knew what it was, just because the shape of it was so pleasing to look at. It’s near the BALTIC and after going there I decided I would head to this strange building to find out more.

It turned out to be The Sage, an ‘international home for music and musical discovery’. It’s a venue for music as well as having learning programmes and also a branch of the public library, specialising in music. It’s also got a restaurant, some bars and a cafe! I didn’t have much time before I needed to go back to the hotel and meet people for dinner, but a cafe, how could I pass up the opportunity to drink tea in this snail shell of a building? So I decided to risk it.

Tea at the Sir Michael Straker Cafe

Tea at the Sir Michael Straker Cafe

The servery bit of the cafe is tucked between some stairs, but the tables go almost all the way to the vast windows. I apologise for the appalling picture quality of the tea at this cafe, I wanted to get the huge windows in the shot but the tea is so dark in comparison you can’t see it. It’s an inspiring place to drink tea, I’d recommend it. While I was there I could hear an orchestra playing, very relaxing.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Big jug and you help yourself.
Price? £1.20.
Cake? Yes and sandwiches etc.
Go again? Yes.


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BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA.

Millennium Bridge, with BALTIC on the right

Millennium Bridge, with BALTIC on the right

I’d never been to Newcastle before and this was a flying visit for a training course. I’d got there early so I could have an afternoon free to do some sightseeing before meeting up with colleagues for a meal. It’s an amazing city, so big and spacious and tall, London is so cramped compared to Newcastle. And the old and the new sit side by side and the view of the Tyne and the river is breathtaking.

The outside of BALTIC, the cafe is on the right

The outside of BALTIC, the cafe is on the right

And the bridges! Many bridges. I know that Newcastle folk are proud of the bridges but I’d always been a bit sceptical of them until I saw them in real life.

They are so big. The Millennium Bridge was sleek and elegant, I could have sat on it and looked at the river all day.

I was heading to the BALTIC as I’d seen a leaflet about it in the tourist information office (the best place to start when sightseeing) and it looked interesting. The building is huge and has lifts going through the middle of it. The cafe bar is on the ground floor and has a good view of the bridge and the river.

Tea and bricks masquerading as chips in BALTIC

Tea and bricks masquerading as chips in BALTIC

I was peckish so ordered chunky chips and a pot of tea. When the chips came they were huge, the biggest I’ve ever seen, more like bricks than chips. They did taste good. Tea was good too, with a range of tea bags, I picked Darjeeling.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes, but I had to ask for it.
Price? £1.30.
Cake? No, some danishes and muffins.
Go again? Yes.