Dinner at Twice Brewed Inn

Once Brewed or Twice Brewed is a small village just on the Military Road in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall country. It is a small village consisting of Twice Brewed Inn, the Northumberland National Park Centre and Once Brewed youth hostel where we stayed recently There are also a few farms nearby. It is the perfect place to explore Hadrian’s Wall, close to the main Roman sites of Vindolanda, Housesteads and The Roman Army Museum. The countryside around the village is certainly dramatic and Hadrian’s wall can be seen snaking along the hills in the distance. There are a number of stories to explain how the village got it’s name. One of these comes from the building of the military road in the eighteenth century. The navies building the road wanted a nice strong ale but the beer in the local pub was weak so they demanded the landlord brew it again. This gave the pub the name Twice Brewed Inn. Interesting Once Brewed youth hostel, which was the first youth hostel in England was opened by Lady Trevelyan from Wallington Hall. She was a teetotaller and in her opening speech announced “Of course there will be no alcohol served … Continue reading →

NE1 Restaurant Week – Hop & Cleaver

NE1 restaurant week occurs twice a year and the summer event was between the 3rd and 9th August.  Restaurants across the centre of Newcastle, in the NE1 area, offer great deals on food. You can pick up a two course or three course meal from £10 or £15 per person. The deal depends on the restaurant so it is worth looking at the menus ahead of time. This time NE1 restaurant week coincided with our 17th wedding anniversary so it was a good excuse to go out for a meal. The only difficult decision was which restaurant to choose. The decision was partly made by the fact that my husband and son are great meat lovers. We have previously enjoyed both the Coop Chicken House and Longhorns Barbecue Smoke House in Newcastle. Wanting to try something similar we made the decision to visit the Hop & Cleaver on Newcastle’s quayside. The quayside has reinvented itself over recent years with plenty of new bars and restaurants appearing. The Hop & Cleaver is one of these, offering plates of meat smoked and slow cooked in house and craft beers brewed on the premises. Hop & Cleaver The Hop & Cleaver is found … Continue reading →

Staying at YHA Once Brewed

Many years ago I walked a part of the Pennine Way. We did not do the whole 226 miles of the trail just the stretch alongside Hadrian’s Wall. It was an interesting experience. Walking with a heavy pack can be navigate with a map and compass is challenging. When you get to your destination you feel that you have achieved something. While walking the wall we stayed in youth hostels along the way. I remember having to sleep in dorms and being kept awake one night by a lady who had snored so loudly it was like being in a room with a pneumatic drill. I haven’t stayed in a youth hostel since then as I thought they were just for young people. I hadn’t realised they cater for families and offer family rooms. The YHA Challenge Recently I was offered the chance to take part in the youth hostel challenge. The challenge was to take the family overnight and stay at a youth hostel. We needed to find breakfast, lunch and dinner for one day and entertainment for one of the days. The cost had to be less than £100 including the cost of the room. We decided to … Continue reading →

KidZania – days out in London with kids

There are plenty of places to visit in London, you could easily spend a lot of time exploring everything there is to see in the city. If you love visiting museums you will be spoiled for choice with the Victoria and Albert museum, the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, The British Museum and many more. Visit the HMS Belfast Operations Room and find out what life is like aboard a navy ship or maybe visit the Tower of London and see the beefeaters. If you have kids there are plenty of attractions to explore like the Sea Life Centre, Madame Tussaud’s or Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Now there is a new place to visit with the kids – KidZania.  What is KidZania? KidZania is aimed at children aged between 4 and 14. On entering KidZania you enter a 75,000sq.ft child-size city where children can take part in over 60 different role play adventures. Does your child want to learn to fly an aeroplane or work in a bank or become a fire fighter? In KidZania they have the chance to try out this experience and learn new skills. Taking part in these activities allows children to earn kidZos … Continue reading →

British Street Food Awards, Newcastle

I love attending events that involve food and when I found out that the northern heats of the British Street Food Awards were happening in Newcastle I went along. The event was taking place in the Boiler Shop in Newcastle, which hosts the monthly Boiler House Steamer Events. The British Street Food Awards involve four regional heats where various street food traders from the region cook up their signature dish. Two winners from each region are chosen, one by public vote and one by a guest judge and they go though to the final heat in London. The northern heats were celebrating the best street food from Scotland and the North and I was looking forward to finding out more. Entry into the British Street Food Festival was £5 which included a drink voucher and a token allowing you to cast your vote for the best food. Sharps Breweries were providing the bar and there was also a secret bar for those in the know. I was lucky enough to find this bar but that is another story. We wandered around having a good look at the food stalls on show before we made the all important decision about what … Continue reading →