Located on Eldon Place, close to Newcastle University, Quilliam Brothers is the largest teahouse in the city. It serves over 60 varieties of loose leaf tea and this alone, for a passionate tea lover like myself, would make it worth a visit.
As it happens though, Quilliam Brothers offer significantly more than just tea – the establishment is open until midnight every day apart from Sunday and provides breakfast, lunch and an array of baked goods. It also hosts a regular free cinema event and other creative events including a writing group.
It is one of my favourite places in Newcastle and I am not alone – such is the popularity of the teahouse that you are very rarely unlikely to arrive and not have to wait for a table. Bear with it though – I assure you it’s worth it.
I make fairly frequent visits to Quilliam Brothers, but Neil had never been before. Aware it had been far too long since my last blog and having a rare few days off together over Christmas, we planned a day out involving some of my favourite Newcastle places. We headed here for lunch and, as expected, were told we would have a twenty minute wait. Perhaps in some places this would feel irritating, but here you really do feel as though the staff are doing all that they can to get everyone seated – without making any of the present customers feel hurried. They provided us with menus to browse through whilst waiting and, personally, I always just enjoy a little look around the teahouse itself.
We were initially offered one of their spaces downstairs, which involve sitting on cushions and eating from a lower table. This was fine for me, but Neil, AKA the world’s least bendy person, sat looking incredibly awkward for a couple of minutes before, fortunately, spotting a more traditional table become available, which the staff were more than happy for us to use instead.
The thing I love about Quilliam Brothers is that, as a pretty trendy establishment in a popular part of the city, they could probably get away with serving average, over-priced food and still remaining busy. Instead though, they serve generous portions of locally sourced food for incredibly reasonable prices. Neil and I decided to share two of the burgers/sandwiches – a pulled beef and cheese one and a portobello mushroom, mozzarella and chutney one. These cost £6.95 each and were huge – they came with new potatoes and salad and, despite thoroughly enjoying it, I didn’t even quite manage to finish mine.
Food enjoyed, we sipped on our tea (banana twist for me and gunpowder for Neil in case anybody is interested) and then headed on to the next stop on our Newcastle tour – the Great North Museum!