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July Trips and Bucket List

The experiences marked * were press events, where food and drink was provided.

Now that I have started doing these monthly round-ups, it has made me realise even more how quickly the months go. Scary stuff! Do you remember those old (fake) aunties who used to coo over you and say 'I remember when you were this big'... well that's me now as the weeks just fly by.

I haven't actually been anywhere outside of North East England in July. Bad travel blogger alert! However, I'm not going to preach to you about affordable travel and then go away every single month. I have had a local few weeks after having our holiday in June and moving house. This does mean that I have had the chance to discover so many local gems that I am really excited to share with you so keep on reading to find lots of new things to do in the North East.

Local Days in July

Garage Spa, Barnard Castle

I started the month with a spa day with some friends. I usually go for Rockliffe Hall, Brimstone, Ramside or Seaham Hall (read my review here) when looking for a North East spa day. This time, however, we were meeting a friend who lives in Leeds and wanted somewhere which would be in between Leeds and Newcastle.

I have wanted to visit the Garage Spa in Barnard Castle for a long time, and this felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. The Garage was voted the Best Boutique Spa in the 2018 Good Spa Guide Awards and I can definitely see why.  For just £59 each we got to use the spa facilities for a blissful 4 hours, as well as enjoying a 25 minute taster facial and a light lunch. 

Now I don't know about you, but food is my favourite part of any day out. When I read 'light lunch', I expected what I've had on previous spa days: a small sandwich maybe and some crisps. Not this time! We visited on a Sunday and our two course offering was a huge, delicious Sunday dinner. Not wanting to ruin the chilled vibe for my group, I disappointingly didn't take any photos, but take my word for it that the food was delicious and this was brilliant value for money.

The spa itself is amazing. The changing rooms are individual with a toilet, shower and changing area inside a large cubicle for each person. It was totally ideal to have the privacy and space to get ready, and it added a really exclusive feeling to the spa. 

There are various hot tubs with different temperatures and my two pregnant friends were ecstatic that one was cool enough for them to be able to use it! There is an outdoor sauna inside a shepherd hut and a lovely courtyard with seats to enjoy on a nice day. Moving inside there is a steam room. more hot tubs and various lovely relaxation areas. Our favourite room, which could also be used by the pregnant ladies, was the salt relaxation room. It had a mild temperature with gorgeous beds to lie on and could be enjoyed for a longer period than the hotter rooms.

I got a summer facial as part of the package and it was so lovely. I left wishing this place was on my doorstep as I'd definitely be in for regular treatments if it was! If you are looking for an affordable spa day then I can't recommend the Garage Spa enough.

Ghetto Golf, Newcastle*

Early in July I was invited to check out the new, crazy, amazing golf venue in Newcastle at their launch event. It was an absolutely incredible evening and I just can't wait to go back with a group of mates. Read my full blog review here to find out everything about this exciting new launch.

Everyman Cinema, Newcastle

In July I finally got to visit the newest cinema launch in Newcastle, Everyman Cinema. I had heard great things about the chain from friends who live in Leeds so was really excited to have our very own. We went to see the new Lion King film, which I had mixed feelings about but would still recommend seeing for the amazing CGI technology alone.

The cinema itself is seriously plush, and just the place to go if you want a treat. We started with a drink in the bar which is gorgeously decked out in jewel velvet tones, with a great selection of drinks. We ordered some food before making our way through to the cinema where we settled into our comfy sofa made for two. 

The food was nice: we sampled a pizza, burger, popcorn, and homemade brownie which was served warm. Overall I enjoyed the cinema but would save it for a special occasion as it wasn't that affordable: our night cost over £80. I'll keep an eye out to see if they post any offers as I would be back straight away if so!

Tyneside Cinema Christmas Launch*

On the theme of cinemas, I was kindly invited to the Tyneside Cinema Christmas launch party (in July!) which I wrote a separate blog post about as I was really excited to share their upcoming events with you. You can find that post here with full details of what is coming up.

I am hoping to book in for their Speakeasy event soon, where the film is a surprise and food is themed, as well as getting my tickets for 'It's a Wonderful Life' with afternoon tea in December.

Banyan, Newcastle*

Banyan is one of my favourite new places in Newcastle. Situated where Jamie's Italian was, next to Monument, it's the ideal place to meet up with friends for Friday night cocktails. One Friday in July I was kindly invited to visit with two friends and sample some cocktails and nibbles. 

We had such a good catch up and really enjoyed the food. I love the cocktails at Banyan, usually switching between Geisha Girl or Gin Garden depending what mood I am in. This is the ideal venue if you still like to go out but want to be able to get a seat and chat (wow I sound old!).

This was the platter we shared, with the beetroot hummuss and beautiful calamari being the highlights for me. Definitely recommended to share with cocktails!

Eden, Newcastle*

July was a month of blog events, and I was very excited to be invited along to the launch of Eden in Newcastle. Those of you from the city will know this venue as the Gate, somewhere I spent many a drunken night in my university days! It is a huge venue with multiple rooms, dance floors, bars and karaoke pods. I absolutely love karaoke so will definitely be getting a room booked at Eden for our next night out.

It has a botanical theme, and I was surprised to see there is a beautiful-looking restaurant out of the back of the ground floor. I never noticed this room in the venue's previous life as Tiger Tiger, but I can't wait to try it for a meal! Definitely check Eden out if you're younger and more lively than me - I don't think I will be gracing the dance floors any time soon but can tell it's going to be the next big place for a night out in Newcastle.

My Current Bucket List

Another month, and no holidays booked. I saw someone mention 'notripophobia' on Twitter, i.e. the fear of not having a trip booked, and this is totally me! (Completely tongue in cheek of course.)

I am constantly keeping an eye on flights to New York in December and will be booking this if Jet2 shows any sign of dropping the price... 

We are also looking for a little last minute week away in August. A typical holiday: food, booze, sun and chilling. I am a bit out of my depth with this, which sounds ridiculous, but having a Turkish dad means I visited Istanbul every summer and didn't do the usual Spain, Tenerife, Greece packages etc. If anyone can recommend somewhere nice for adults with a good beach, cheap flights from Newcastle and tasty food then I'd love some recommendations!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this roundup of July's shenanigans and it has given those of you in Newcastle some inspiration for new things to do. Hopefully in my next roundup post I will be chatting about wherever we end up on a last minute holiday in August - watch this space.

Thanks for following my adventures. Melis x


  1. I forgot you were going to The Garage Spa! Isn't it beautiful? i've only ever been the once but I'd love to go back!

    1. It's really lovely, I am desperate to go again! My friend got married at the Morritt and that was beautiful as well. Melis x

  2. It sounds like you had a busy month full of local adventures. xx

    1. Yes thanks it has been nice to stay local for a change, there is so much to do round here! Melis x


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