These days when I leave the house I prepare for it like a Girl Guide and while I have everything in the bag as a mum over 40, I still cry out for a chat over a cup of coffee and a biscuit now and again.
So what’s a pro-coffee mum with an eight-month-old baby (up several times a night) supposed to do? I set myself a challenge months ago to find Newcastle’s most comforting coffee shop (one where I could sip and relax and somewhere Master C didn’t turn into a bubbling brew).
Review: Olive & Bean in Clayton Street, Newcastle was one of my hangouts during working hours, so it made sense that I returned on maternity leave, albeit a little later than planned. The quality of its coffee has always been second-to-none and the cakes behind the counter are to die for. It’s situated right next to the city’s indoor Grainger Market and that means it’s a great stopping-off point after browsing the stalls inside.
Olive & Bean serves full-bodied, full flavoured, organic hand-roasted South American blend coffee which comes served with organic milk. I ordered my usual latte (£2.45) before grabbing a seat next to the window. It’s a coffee shop/deli and sandwich bar all rolled into one and it was packed out the day I ventured in with my buggy. Despite the full house, there was still plenty of room to relax, unwind and watch the world go by outside…because Master Cyrus decided it was time for a snooze. I couldn’t have timed it better if I’d tried.
While there were no visible highchairs in sight, it didn’t matter as C was asleep in his buggy the whole time. After my brew, I headed back into the market to try and find grandma a token Mother’s Day gift from Cyrus.
The Grainger Market was originally designed by John Dobson and is open all-year around from Monday to Saturday. It has been a valued part of the city since 1835. While it was mainly a butchers and vegetable market, it now has a huge variety of shops and eateries. There’s a retro games shop, Turkish Grand Bazaar, mmm… & glug…, The French Oven, Petlamb Patisserie and Madame Butterfly to name a few. We stopped off at the plant stall to get gran some beautiful blooms.
There is also a plaque built into the pavement on Clayton Street, outside the Grainger Market to commemorate the 175th anniversary of its opening.