Places To Stay In Newcastle: INNSiDE
Whilst I’ve already covered where to stay in Newcastle if you’re after somewhere luxurious that is a bit out the way by the way of the beautiful Jesmond Dene House, on my most recent trip to the ‘Toon’ (as Geordie’s call their down) I discovered a modern new opening right on the water which I think makes the perfect base to explore all the fantastic food (it is right across the bridge from Trakol) and beautiful architecture of this Northern city: INNSiDE Newcastle.
(Please note I was a guest of INNSiDE Newcastle and Newcastle Gateshead at the hotel.)
Shall we start with the rooms? My studio room, starting at around £86 a night was fresh, bright, modern and comfortable, and I think one of the most chilled and relaxing rooms I’ve stayed in for some time. The king sized bed was more than super comfortable, I kept the curtains open whenever possible to enjoy the frankly stunning view out over the river (it was wonderful to watch the sun go down over the water) and I liked that while the shower area was open plan, the toilet was in a separate room which would have made it less awkward were I sharing with J – we’ve stayed in some rooms where the toilet doors have been glass before which is a little strange!
I also liked the little details in the room that made it personal, but not too much, such as the common Geordie sayings that decorated the mirror, and the yoga mat had I had time to head down to the hotel gym (or, you know, if I actually did yoga!) My room was a little oasis of calm in a great central location as we explored all the delicious food Newcastle has to offer, but I arrived at the end of a few particularly busy weeks: this little space really put me to rights, and I would 100% book it again for a city break.
As far as what else is in the hotel, it is mostly rooms and a few corporate facilities, but there is a stylish bar I wish I’d had time to enjoy a drink at (the cocktail list looked excellent, and the space was elegant whilst still being relaxed and comfortable) and a Gino d’aCampo restaurant which is fine if you want to stay in after a long journey, but as I mentioned, this hotel is perfectly placed to visit Trakol, and it is also right down the street from Michelin starred House of Tides (which I can’t wait to visit in September!).
Breakfast-wise, it is a typical hotel buffet if you fancy staying in, but if you fancy heading out for an early morning stroll I’m still thinking about the stunning Everything Bagel with Lox and Garlic Beetroot Cream Cheese I enjoyed on my second morning from King Baby Bagels in the Grainger Market – you bet I’ll be skipping another morning of hotel breakfast this autumn for another of these, too!
So what to do once you’ve checking into INNSiDE? Well, I’ve already recommended a spot for dinner, and I’ve reviewed another brilliant spot already from my trip which I think is an excellent shout for lunch: Cookhouse in the up and coming neighbourhood of Ouseburn. Food wise I’d also recommend booking a brilliant foodie walking tour with Triple A Food Tours (I did two of them, my review should be up in the next week or so!)
Otherwise, I’d recommend just taking a walk around: Newcastle has some of the most beautiful original Georgian architecture in the country, and I just enjoyed seeing where my feet took me and being sure to look up at the buildings above me. I’ve also included a few more recommendations including the brilliant Fenwick food hall (no, seriously) in my Instagram Highlight of the trip.
Finally, something I love doing when I have a little time to myself in somewhere new is to visit an art gallery (I did study art history right up until undergrad, after all!) and whilst there are a few in Newcastle most of them were a bit too modern and a bit too much not my taste except one hidden gem you really must visit: Laing Art Gallery.
Free to visit and open most days from 10am, and every day except for Sunday, it is a beautiful space with a unique story: in 1900 wealthy industrialist Alexander Laing had a novel idea: he wished to give back to Newcastle by paying for an art gallery to be built to celebrate 50 years of his business, but he did not fill it with any art. His theory was, if he built the gallery, donations would come. The idea was a success, and so today the gallery displays an eclectic mix of paintings with something for everyone, all the art either donated to or purchased using donations to the gallery. I really liked all the contrasting works, and it really is a must visit if you’ve got a spare hour to explore.