If you live in Newcastle Upon Tyne you will be familiar with the Civic Centre.…
A lovely friend had given me a gift certificate to use at the Malmaison and this Sunday we decided to make use of it and go there for Sunday lunch. The Newcastle Malmaison is situated on the Quayside and every Sunday there is a market there so we decided to make a bit of a morning of it. We had booked for lunch at 12.30 so we went a little bit early and had a look around the Quayside.
Newcastle Quayside has undergone a lot of regeneration since I first arrived in Newcastle many years ago. There have been lots of changes on both sides of the river and now a walk along the Quayside is very pleasant and takes in lots of interesting sights. Obviously there are the bridges, there are a number of different ones crossing the river Tyne including the Tyne Bridge. Also on the Gateshead side of the river you can see The Sage and the Baltic which is an art gallery converted from an old flour mill.
It is a pleasant walk along the side of the river. There were a number of boats going up and down, including river cruises which you could book to go on. There are a number of different options for the cruise ranging from an hour sight seeing tour, a two hour trip along to the country and back or a three hour trip out to the sea at Tynemouth. It was a lovely day so we were tempted to go but it was fully booked. We did get the number so we can book in advance and do this another time.
We came across this interesting sculpture which is called The Blacksmith’s Needle. It is made from hand forged iron and steel and has six different layers in it which apparently each represent one of the senses including the mysterious sixth sense. The layers were forged separately and joined to make one sculpture. It has a maritime theme and you can see mermaids and seashells within the sculpture.
A bit further along the Quayside we can across what can only be called exercise equipment.
Each of the machines did different things and my son was very quick to leap on and try each of them out. We couldn’t leave until he had figured out each one and it seemed to be a popular past time as other children leapt on and off the equipment. It was rather unexpected but good fun. In the background you can just see the gold ball of the Swirle Pavillion which is a folly which takes its name from the hidden stream that flows into the Tyne below.
Continuing down the Quayside towards the Tyne Bridge we passed the Malmaison hotel where we were going for lunch.
It looked very impressive from the outside. There was also a very strange sculpture on the path outside which looked like a man blowing bubbles while encased in chains.
You can just see the Sage in the background. I have no idea what this sculpture represents and have not managed to find any information about it. I would love to know more. Finally we reached the Quayside market.
I have not visited the market for a long time, when I first came to Newcastle as a student it was a great place to visit if you wanted to pick up cheap household stuff. There used to be stalls stretching for miles with people yelling about their wares. You could get towels, pans, bed linen and other useful items. Now it seems to be much smaller and it has become much more of a craft and farmers market. We had a good look at stalls selling fudge, homemade cakes, art and jewellery mixed in with stalls selling phone cases and t-shirts. There were also lots of food stalls. It would be an easy place to spend a lot of money if you had the time to look around properly. It was however time for lunch so we went into the Malmaison.
It is very nice inside, tastefully decorated in dark colours. We went upstairs to the Brasserie and decided to have a drink in the bar before our meal.
The seats were very comfortable and we had a lovely view of the river and the Millennium Bridge. My son then noticed that the Millennium Bridge was opening. It is a foot bridge across the river but when a ship wants to get past it can swing open in a motion described as being like a blinking eye. I have never seen it open before so we watched carefully out the window while it rose to let the ship though.
Hopefully all the people were warned to get off before it opened, I had visions of someone clinging on for dear life at the top. It actually opened quite quickly and was really interesting to see.
After that excitement it was time for lunch. We went through into the main restaurant and were showed to our table.As it was Sunday the menu was called the Toast to the Roast and you could choose to have a three course meal, a two course meal or just the main. We chose the two course meal and strangely we all decided to have roast beef.
It was brought to the table with the vegetables on side dishes so we could help ourselves. My son was most impressed by the size of the Yorkshire Puddings, his favourite part of the meal. The staff were very nice and attentive.
We then had a dessert. I chose a lemon meringue sundae which was massive.
It was really tasty as well, the lemon filling was the same as you get in a lemon meringue pie and it went really nicely with the ice cream and meringue pieces. My son had a Chocolate Sundae which he was very impressed with and my husband chose Apple Crumble which he said was gorgeous.
After a lovely meal it was time to go and we went back to the car. On the way back my son wanted to visit Flow which is a floating building on the river Tyne. It uses a tidal wheel to generate its own power and inside are a number of instruments that change sound depending on the flow of the river.
It is actually quite interesting inside with lots of different sections moving about and knobs and levers to play with. Outside you can see the waterwheel that powers the whole structure.
I want to say thanks to my friend as we had a really lovely day out and it was nice to visit the Quayside again and have a gorgeous meal.
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