Last week found me hopping on a train up North from King's Cross so that I could join the Barbour team at home in Newcastle to celebrate their brand new, nautical inspired Seafarers Collection. I'm going to be posting about the beautiful Jesmond Dene House we stayed in and dined at with Dame Barbour on Friday, but for now I thought I'd share a rather photo heavy post of a fascinating boat ride we took in the sunshine up the Tyne, some more shots of the wonderfully summery yet practical collection, and most importantly lots of photos of the simply delicious lunch spread put on with local ingredients by Anna Hedworth, the mastermind behind the Northern food blog The Grazer at Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Watch Tower.
Barbour Seafarer Yellow Raincoat (c/o) | Barbour Seafarer Striped Top (c/o) | Black Skinny Jeans | Sunglasses (Similar)
I'm going to be turning heads whenever it is raining from now on, because the Barbour team were kind enough to send me a couple of items from the collection to wear on the trip, which as well as a nice long sleeved Breton tee (a girl can never have too many!) included this frankly brilliant bright yellow raincoat, which I can confirm that as well as looking fantastic totally keeps the rain off, and is full of lots of useful pockets like my regular Barbour. It is important that I can easily reach my phone in one pocket and my Oyster card in the other when I'm hopping around London! You can also make it more flattering by adjusting the waist.
Starting by Newcastle's Millennium Bridge, we traveled up the Tyne to North Shields, learning a lot about Newcastle's industrial history on the way, stopping at South Shield's famous red Herd Groyne Lighthouse, which also happens to be Barbour's original logo which features on the Seafarer collection in particular. If you're ever in Newcastle, I'd really recommend a boat ride to get a feel for the cities history. By the way, big thanks to Juila from Stylonylon for this snap of me engrossed in the riverbank on the boat. If you want to see our trip from a different perspective from mine, you can read Julia's post on it here, and the post written by Erica from The Edited here! (Oh, and the hashtag from all the press on the trip can be browsed here.)
We came ashore ready to head up to the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade watch house to learn a bit about their history, and then to view the Barbour collection. You can read more about the TVLB's history on their website, but visiting is another thing I'd really recommend for a trip to the area. Yes it is sad heading about all of the people who have died off of the jagged shores of the Tyne that the brigade have been attempting to rescue over the years, but as well as having a beautiful view our over the coast, the hall of the watch tower is crammed full of things they've been pulling out of wrecks since 1864.
The Seafarer collection is very bright yet versatile, and full of lots of little details inspired by sailors waterproofs from the Barbour archives; that is where the yellow comes from! Everything also has a really great fit, and a little detail I love is that on each item there is a little coloured stud, red on one side and green on the other, to represent port and starboard. Another little fun fact is the seagull tee in the collection (if you click the arrows either side of the widget just above this paragraph you can scroll through and click through to shop some of my personal picks from the collection) is inspired by the fact that there are always a tonne of seagulls on the roof of the Barbour factory and HQ across the river in South Shields; apparently they are rather terrifying when they're pattering around up above while the team are trying to hold meetings!
We headed out for a bit of a wander over Tynemouth's cliffs before heading back inside for a delicious sharing lunch made from ingredients from around Northumberland. I loved the simple table setting inspired by the nautical setting; I was particularly enamoured by the little paper boats on the table, and the lemon wedges that had been given sails! We started off with a deliciously warming and beautifully balanced cup of local Craster Kipper (the area is famous for them) and Potato Soup with Chives, before moving onto the sharing platters. All I need to really tell you is what we ate and that is was all flawlessly delicious, right? On the platters were: Poached North Coast Lobster, Dressed North Sea Crab, Devilled Northumberland Eggs, Spring Chicken Terrine and Homemade Lemon Mayonnaise. I know, right?
My favourite part of the meal was actually a side dish; I was more than a little bit obsessed with the Apple and Cucumber Salad, where the crisp pieces of sweet apple were contrasted with crunchy toasted hazelnuts and a very more-ish dressing. We finished off with some light and creamy Blood Orange and Lemon Possets with butter biscuits, which rounded everything off nicely. Remember to go check out more of Anna's delicious food over on her blog, and I'm very jealous of all of you local folk who can visit her new shipping container restaurant (really!) Cookhouse.
Thanks so much to Barbour for having me on the trip (and feeding me such delicious food!), and be sure to check back on Friday for my review of the beautiful hotel we stayed in, as well as a few snapshots from the dinner with Dame Barbour (who is brilliant, by the way!) What is your favourite piece from the Seafarer collection?
I travelled to Newcastle as a guest of Barbour.