Newcastle Sparkles is two years old! So I thought it was time for a re-vamp! I’ve decided to move the blog onto Tumblr which I’m hoping will be a more dynamic platform where I will be featuring shorter, snappier posts, pictures and relevant links.
I’d just like to thank everyone for their support and I hope that you like the new format!
You can find the shiny brand new Newcastle Sparkles at www.newcastlesparkles.co.uk.
My contact details are the same, so as always, please feel free to get in touch!
Last month I made a much-anticipated return visit to The Mal with a few other local bloggers in tow, to sample the hotel’s new Brasserie menu.
As expected, the menu had much to offer.
Swaying between the smoked salmon blini with creme fraiche and caviar, and the hot chicken skewers for starters, I opted for the latter.
The chicken was presented in a bowl, perched on a wooden slab. Each piece of chicken was marinated differently, concocting a mini explosion of flavours in my mouth.
The accompanying soy sauce was pungent, with the chilli sauce also hitting the mark.
Although the selection of mains is quite slim, you can tell that The Mal have carefully crafted each of the dishes on offer.
Seared yellow fin tuna steak with warm Nicoise salad; half a roast Normandy chicken with broad beans and morels, and Hardwick mutton masala are a few of the creations available.
The menu has a separate grill section, appeasing the desires of us beef (and lobster) lovers. According to the menu, The Mal uses beef that is ‘naturally reared, grass-fed and dry aged on the bone for a minimum of 28 days’. Expectations were high…
The steak frites took my fancy – a hefty full face rump steak with skinny fries and creamy peppercorn sauce. The steak – juicy and with next to no fat – didn’t disappoint.
Along with the hotel’s tasty cuisine, the Mal Bar is also worth a mention.
If you like your drinks fruity and made from premium spirits and liqueurs – you’ll no doubt find its Cocktail Classics, Mal Spring Twists and Mal Fizz options tempting.
The Mal Royale, Singapore Sling and Marmalade Martini – and not forgetting the non-alcoholic Mal Berry Candy – are a few of the tipples on offer.
Throughout the evening we also tried several wines, specially chosen to complement our food. My favourite was The Stump Jump sticky chardonnay, pictured below.
As we were all rather stuffed by this point, we decided to take a pick n mix style approach to the desserts, ordering a tart, fruit plate and sundae to share.
The Valrhona chocolate tart with chewy pieces of honeycomb and smooth Chantilly cream (pictured) was rich but light, leaving me secretly wishing that I had it all to myself!
As a final treat – we even sampled The Mal’s exquisite afternoon tea offering, indulging in some lovely cakes and chocolate eclairs.
All in all, it was an enjoyable evening infused with some high quality food and luscious drinks to match, set against the seductive backdrop of The Mal.
For more information about The Mal in Newcastle and to view its menus in full, visit the website.
Earlier this week, As You Like It in Jesmond played host to Fashion Front Row, a glitzy catwalk show that formed part of the stellar line-up for this year’s Newcastle Fashion Week.
Presented by local celebrity Jayne Middlemiss, the event showcased collections from designers such as Emma Bell, Christopher Nairi and Shonagh Marie.
Luxurious lingerie from Tallulah Love was also on show, together with pieces from one of Pixie Lott’s favourite brands, Rock ‘n’ Rose.
The clothes were colourful and eye-catching, and in a mix of fabrics – from pretty floaty dresses to gorgeous chunky knits.
For a flavour of what featured on the catwalk, check out the images below…
The week-long event kicks off this Saturday, 26th May and runs until 3rd June.
There’s a host of events taking place across the city, with highlights including Fashion Front Row – a catwalk show presented by Jayne Middlemiss; Frock and Roll – a music and fashion event at Northumbria University, and a special Summer Swish at The Living Room.
There will also be exclusive shopping events at Reiss and Urban Outiftters, plus lots more!
For more information about Newcastle Fashion Week, check out the video on the Sky Tyne and Wear website.
Guest blog post: Sky Tyne and Wear
Liven up your spring evenings with a trip to Baby Lynch for some twirl-tastic burlesque fun.
Described as a ‘sensual, seductive and exquisite burlesque night’, Lady Lynch Burlesque takes place on 1st April 2012, with the event occuring on the first Sunday of every month thereafter.
The evening will feature a host of gorgeous burlesque beauties, including Bambie Dear, Betty Bang, Demi Demure and Lily La Rousse, among others.
Entry is £5 on the door. For more details, visit the Baby Lynch Facebook page.
If you’re after a trim tummy but find exercises like sit ups a little laborious – why not mix up your workout a little with Dance City’s hula hoop session?
This fun and creative workshop promises to inspire confidence and build core strength. There’s even a Hoopjam to round it all off.
The workshop, priced at £10, takes place on Sunday 11th March between 3pm-5pm.
For more information, visit the Dance City website.
Electric East – formerly the renowned Barn Asia restaurant in Waterloo Square – celebrated its return to the city’s restaurant scene with a sparkling launch party a few weeks ago.
Offering a range of innovative dishes from South East Asia, the restaurant also has an original interior to match, featuring colourful Vietnamese furnishings and artwork, a luxurious lounge and an extensive outside dining area.
If you’re a fan of curries, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the restaurant will be serving up its very own exotic curry evenings.
The new event will give diners the opportunity to sample its delicious range of curries, inspired by far-flung destinations like Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
If you fancy taking your tastebuds on a mini adventure, then why not give the first exotic curry night, on Monday 20th February, a try?
To book, call 0191 221 1000. For more information visit the Electric East website.