October 15, 2020 3 min read
The Corbridge Larder
Always an essential place to visit on a trip to Corbridge as we always enjoy picking up a few tasty treats for any upcoming family birthdays (and of course something for ourselves). You really are presented with a “taste of the North” when you enter and whether your tooth is savoury or sweet there really is something for everyone. On this visit we had the added bonus in that it was our luncheon stop. The dining area is upstairs where you get a bird’s eye view of the activity of the shop and all its lovely customers.
Being in the heart of the Northumberland countryside it was a no brainer for our choice of lunch – The Ploughman’s. Often side-lined these days as a menu choice, we knew that this delight would not disappoint and indeed, it did not. Just like the Larder itself, on a platter we had a lunch made up of the very best produce the North East has to offer. Being Veggie, Lucy magnanimously offered her half pork pie to Paul which put an even bigger smile on his face. Northumberland cheese, homemade pickled onions, fresh bread and the most delightful coleslaw we have tasted in an age (note we say the full coleslaw and not the now universally abridged blunt sounding “Slaw”). Washed down with lashings of ginger beer it was a hearty lunch the Famous Five would have been proud of.
Now synonymous with Corbridge the fabulous Forum Books has now moved into its new home in the very appropriate setting of the Chapel just outside the magnificent St Andrew’s Church. One thing Forum Books has always inspired is a love of reading. Just breathing in the air as you enter and the raft of titles and subjects you can choose from instantly fills you with creativity. One thing you can’t miss is the amazing “READ ON” sign, the work of the brilliant North East based sign writer Ash Willerton. The sign really sums up the vibe you feel in Corbridge in utilising the very best of North East creatives.
Back to our trove through the book titles and Lucy was on the hunt for some lesser known Jane Austen as a birthday gift for her Dad. The well informed and very obliging staff came up with the goods. Paul was glued to the wonderful range of Children’s titles which would have every young reader hooked for life. For those looking to be a bit more adventurous in their reading choices the shop offers beautifully gift wrapped titles in brown paper packaging tied up with string offering a tantalising clue to the title inside.
Stepping out of Form Books we were immediately faced with the wonderful sight of a new micro pub in the town – The Pele is located within the disused Pele Tower just outside the walls of St Andrew’s Church. We were not expecting this great find and delighted for the surprise. We were warmly greeted and Paul opted to try the local ale and Lucy took advantage of the great selection and opted for a Kraken and ginger beer. We were advised to head upwards and investigate the two seating areas on both floors of the tower. Lucy’s footwear managed to traverse the steps and we found ourselves stepping back into history. Both this and floor above have their own wonderful ambience and you could feel the history of this 12th Century Grade 1 listed building.
A selection of board games are there to enjoy and a lovely relaxed ambience throughout.
RE Well, where does one begin about RE? You could literally write a stream of blogs describing the sheer unbridled joy of spending a good afternoon browsing the carefully curated contents of this former filling station garage. This is a place that we both enjoy in equal abundance. Instagram heaven for Lucy and paraphernalia city for Paul. There is so much to see here and you are in awe of how wonderfully and painstakingly curated the place is. Paul could literally fill every of his many corduroy jacket pockets with the limitless array of gentleman essentials. What is wonderful is how the vintage and contemporary sit side by side effortlessly complementing each other and making the ordinary extraordinary.
Outside to the rear of RE you are greeted by the most fantastic of incongruous sights, the old petrol pump kiosk wonderfully restored and standing their just like the Tardis from Doctor Who. The kiosk is often used as their "Saturday Store" and plays host to invited experts and artisans.
We left happy, fulfilled and inspired by our visit.
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