Mother’s Day malarkey

If you’re struggling to decide on the best kind of treat for the Mother in your life, allow Sam Wonfor to throw up some last minute, but nevertheless lovely suggestions.

 

The Thought Foundation in Birtley puts on loads of great workshops

The Thought Foundation in Birtley puts on loads of great workshops

Now then. I don’t want to panic anyone, but this Sunday is the day when mothers and all those who act like them get their day in the sun. Or at least get a lie in.

Mother’s Day 2019 is upon us, kids (specifically, my kids) and if you haven’t yet sorted what nice things you’re going to do for the mum(s) in your life, you’d better get cracking.
Given the timescale pressures, I thought it might be useful if someone pulled together a few ideas for suitably treaty treats, sourced and inspired by some of the brilliant independent shops, artists, venues, restaurants and attractions in Newcastle and Gateshead.

So, before you set off for the nearest flower shop and/or reach for the trusty (and possibly dusty) box of Milk Tray, why not put aside five minutes for a once around these suggestions?

See if you can imagine your mum clapping her hands with glee for any (or all) of this lot.For mums who love the silver screen.

For mums who like the movies…

The Tyneside Cinema recently released the latest roster of its massively popular and thoroughly lovely Afternoon Tea at the Movies monthly events, which offer the chance to enjoy an ‘Oscar-worthy’ cake stand of delights – with added fizz if it takes your fancy – while a classic film plays on the big screen. Perfect Sunday fodder.

To get to grips with what films are coming up, check out the chalkboards inside the Tyneside Bar Cafe; call 0191 227 5522 or email the team at enquiries@tynesidebarcafe.co.uk. But be prepared for some upcoming dates to have already sold out.

For mums who like a laugh…

As a mother of two who likes nothing more than a night in front of a funny person with a single mic, I can very, very, very much (are you listening, my kids?) recommend some tickets for stand up comedy as a corking present to reward another year of top notch maternal efforts.

The Stand Newcastle is a comedy club in the city centre

The Stand Newcastle is a comedy club in the city centre

And you’ll not go far wrong with tickets or vouchers for The Stand Comedy Club on High Bridge in Newcastle city centre.

Bringing a blend of TV top names and circuit legends together with up-and-comers and first time stand ups to the stage, having a blast is pretty much guaranteed. And they also do some lovely food both upstairs in the bistro and downstairs in the Club itself. Visit the website at www.thestand.co.uk/whats-on/Newcastle or call 0191 300 9700 for more information and bookings.

Another comedy pot of gold to consider is Jason Cook’s Comedy Club, which holds regular nights of widdle-funny shenanigans in South Shields, Hexham and Newcastle.

Blessed with a comedy contacts book of panel show proportions, the stand up and writer (BBC2 sitcom Hebburn and UK Gold hits Death on the Tyne and Murder on the Blackpool Express are all Jason’s work) always ensures the line-ups are cracking.

Jason’s next Comedy Club is on April 6, then there’s one on May 4 and then June 1 – all at the Customs House in South Shields.

For mums who like a workshop

As well as a long list of creative sessions for kids, or ‘little humans’, the brilliant Thought Foundation in Birtley also run regular workshops and other reasons to gather for the grown ups.

Co-founder, Leanne Pearce is joined by guest artists, makers and other creatives for a range of events. Upcoming ones include the month TF Lates night, which takes place on the last Friday of every month; workshops for making jewellery and textile collages based on memories; a Rebel Disco; the Lonely Arts Club; their popular ‘Making Time’ sessions and the very fun Fambingo, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Thought Foundation's Afternoon Tea

Thought Foundation’s Afternoon Tea looks like fun for the tastebuds

Oh, and they do a top drawer afternoon tea and have a very lovely shop, too. Check out the website at www.thoughtfoundation.co.uk for details.

And while you’re online, you might want to wander through the website of The Crafthood, who are friends of the Thought Foundation and many other top places besides. They also offer a boatload of workshops and gorgeous gifts. Find out more at www.thecrafthood.co.uk

For mums who like cooking, eating…. and a tipple or two

The much-loved Blackfriars Restaurant on Friars Street in Newcastle is becoming as renowned for its menu of events as it is for its tasty nosh.

Thought to boast one of the UK’s oldest dining rooms, the team at Blackfriars always make sure the diary is fit to burst with a wide range of masterclasses, workshops and tasting sessions which really do offer something for everyone

Regularly selling out, the list of options include wine tasting and wine pairing, pizza-making socials, Mexican food, Artisan bread making, cocktails and canapés workshops, gin and whisky masterclasses and a crowd of cookery clubs.

To find out more and make bookings, visit the website at www.blackfriarsrestaurant.co.uk

For mums who love to dance

Dance City, which has centres in Newcastle and Sunderland offers an absolute embarrassment of options when it comes to dance classes for adults. (They have shedloads of stuff for kids too, obviously, but this is all about the mothers.)

Flamenco for Beginners at Dance City

Flamenco for Beginners at Dance City

Ballet, Tap, Streetdance, Bollywood moves, Urban Vibes, Afro Mix, Flamenco, Ballroom, Jazz, Egyptian Belly Dancing and Contemporary are among the sessions you could book as a surprise for your mum – either as a one-off taster or a block of classes.

She’ll have mastered the mid-air splits a la the kids from Fame before you know it!

Visit the website for more details and bookings at www.dancecity.co.uk

For mums who like a Michelin Star

Newcastle’s only Michelin starred and 4 x AA Rosetted restaurant, House of Tides is a tasty jewel in the city’s Quayside crown. Located in a gorgeously restored Grade I listed former merchant’s townhouse from the heady days of the 16th century, the 60-cover restaurant serves up lunch and dinner tasting menus featuring the finest food – much of which will have been sourced from the best of the region’s suppliers.

House of Tides is Newcastle's only Michelin Starred restaurant

House of Tides is Newcastle’s only Michelin Starred restaurant

Launched in 2014 by Kenny Atkinson and his wife Abbie, the restaurant has been cooking itself into the Michelin guide since 2016 with ever-changing fine dining options for all, and a wine pairing option if you’ve got a boat which needs pushing out.

Nailing the notion of mixing up Michelin-star-quality nosh with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, House of Tides is a true delight. But you might want to wait until payday.

For vintage-loving mums

Notice we said ‘vintage-loving’ mums, not ‘vintage mums’. We don’t want to get a swift back-hander. Especially so close to Mother’s Day.

If your mum prefers the classic to the contemporary; if she goes for the things which have a backstory rather than being brand new, then you’ll find her something perfect at Flea Circus.

Flea Circus brings together more than 25 independent sellers under one big Newcastle roof

Flea Circus brings together more than 25 independent sellers under one big Newcastle roof

A one-stop shop for across-the-board loveliness in Newcastle, Flea Circus showcases more than 20 independent sellers who are co-habiting in harmony in a spacious unit just on the fringes of the Ouseburn.

Whether you’re in the market for vintage furniture or fashion, collectibles, second hand books, salvaged wood creations, classic vinyl and video games or things you hadn’t even thought of, it’s worth a visit. And you’ve still got time. They also do a lovely selection of hand-printed cards too. One stop Mother’s Day shop.

You’ll find them on Warwick Street, next to the Star and Shadow Cinema. And on Facebook too.

And as we’re talking about vintage, it’s also worth mentioning next weekend’s Vintage & Street Food Market at the Boiler Shop. Tickets for this would be a lovely thing to drop out of a Mother’s Day card. And they’re only two quid. B O N U S.

It will be jam packed with 40 of the UK’s top vintage sellers, to say nothing of some tasty food vendors including Gateshead vegan champions, Grumpy Panda, Adventures In Aude, The Travelling Spoon and Geordie Seoul.

All the action is happening on Sunday, April 7 from 11am to 4pm. www.facebook.com/BoilerShopNCL for more information.

Now of course, this is just a smattering of suggestions to get you started. Make sure you have a good look around Only In Newcastle for more ideas and inspiration. And in the meantime, allow me to wish all mothers of all kinds, a very happy Mother’s Day. May you be spoiled, spoiled and spoiled again.

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