Local Specialities of North East England

North East England food is produced by craftsmen who take pride in their work, and you can enjoy the fruits of their labor, eating local food produced with passion and care.

In Durham, try award winning Vennels Café, with their selection of home-baked cakes and sandwiches, coffees, teas and juices. Beamish Park Hotel Restaurant is a Conservatory Bistro winning a 2AA red rosette award the last 11 years. Café Bowes at the Bowes Museum is a perfect spot for lunch, or coffee. The head chef uses local farms, organic dairies, and bakeries, and they bake their own cakes and scones daily.

The Library and Print Room restaurant in Matfen Hall is a 2AA Rosette winning fine dining destination. This destination for serious eaters also features a bar for a before dinner drink. The Black Bull in Etal has a wide ranging menu made with local produce, and features a beer garden, vegetarian menu, as well as options for those with allergy awareness. The Queens Head Hotel Restaurant is a comfortable relaxed restaurant with a great selection of wine and real ales.

The Seafield in Seahouses is a busy modern Mediterranean bistro with a large selection of fresh shellfish. Fisherman’s Lodge, in Jesmond Dene, is a calm location and one of the better places to enjoy seafood. The Black Door is an award winning star of the local culinary scene in Newcastle upon Tyne featuring local favorites such as Warkworth pork and Northumberland venison. The Feather’s Inn in Hedley on the Hill is a 200 year old traditional country pub with open fires, cask ales and regional cookery.

The Waiting Room in Eaglescliffe was voted in the top 40 restaurants in the Observer Food Awards 2008. It also won best Restaurant in the UK award in 2008 from the Vegetarian Society. The Rooftop Restaurant in Hartlepool offers views from the top of the Hillcarter Hotel. Overlooking the bay, the Rooftop is known for having a stunning a la carte menu. The Red Lion in Milfield features local produce and award winning ales in its traditional 18th Century coaching inn atmosphere.

Marsden Grotto, at the foot of the cliffs at Marsden Bay, is a popular destination for food and drinks, and is the only bar and restaurant set in a cave in Europe. Cafe 21, Terry Labourne’s first in his family of restaurants, is a modern spacious stylish bistro, and was a Gold Winner in the Taste of North East England Awards in 2008. Colman’s Restaurant has been a South Shields institution since opening in 1926. Having the Fish and Chips at Colman’s is a special treat. The Comfort Food Company in Newcastle upon Tyne, uses locally sourced pork, lamb and beef raised to the highest standards. Sidney’s in Tynemouth is an award winning restaurant featuring local produce, a relaxed atmosphere, and excellent service.

No Matter where you are in the North East England area, you are not far from some fantastic food.

Caret Bay St Thomas

There is a hidden jewel in St Thomas called Caret Bay. Caret Bay is located on the lush tropical rainforest section of St Thomas. It is only two bays over from Megans Bay and one bay away from beautiful Hull Bay. Most tourists are very unfamiliar with this area of St Thomas. They typically rush to see the things that most tourists do. They travel to Megahans Bay and downtown for shopping.

New homes are being built in East Caret Bay. These homes are going to be built on land that sells for 250,000 so cost to build a home will be in the millions. It is certainly a great area to be in. So far none of the lots are sold because the real estate market is somewhat down. But they will be a very good investment in a few years.

Caret Bay is home to many locals. Homes range from 200,000 to the multi millions. Most homes offer water front views and have been owned by the same families for many years. You will find the locals to be very friendly, courteous and helpful.

Wouldn’t it be great if tourists could see all of what St Thomas has to offer, including Caret Bay? You can rent some beautiful Caret Bay Villas on the North West section of the island. They include 14 luxury villa rentals and are waterfront property. There are 14 villa units varying in size. Some of the units are two bedrooms while others are four bedrooms. They all offer waterfront views and are very private.

What is great about the area of Caret Bay is the privacy and seclusion you get on the very busy Virgin Island. This is tough to come by on St Thomas as it is a very busy island. The population of the island is 50,000 but at any given day there could be two to seven cruise ships in. This increases the population of the island by up to one hundred percent. Most tourists do not even know that Caret Bay exists. Some of the local taxi cab drivers take many of the cruise ship tourists by cab up to the North side of the island because of its beauty. This is really nice because some people will get to see the beautiful side of Caret Bay.

Some other interesting things to do in Caret Bay are surfing. The waves come in from the north and can be quite large. Many locals will rush to the beaches when a North swell comes in. It is great fun just to watch them all riding in the waves. Some of them are really nice and will give you lessons while other surfers do not want you stealing their waves.

St Thomas is a small island of about forty two square miles. The roads are windy and very hilly. Driving to Caret Bay from the airport could take you minutes just to go a few miles. This is because the roads do not go straight like the crow flies but instead go up and down and wind along the hillside. If you left Caret Bay and wanted to go to the East end of the island the trip could take you more than an hour to get there. That is a long drive for a tiny island.

The sunrises are absolutely phenomenal in Caret Bay. It is really stunning to see the sun come up every morning at seven AM, the sun is really strong. They also get beautiful rainbows over the bay which is awesome. Then there is sunset to the west which is breathtaking.

Now is a great time to invest in this hidden jewel. If you are interested in some property you might want to speak to a local real estate agent to see what is available. Because the real estate market has simmered down just about everywhere you could probably get a really good deal. The property would most definitely increase in value over a short period of time.

Another unbelievable feature is the aquamarine water that is right outside your door. The water is truly amazing and cannot even be described. The temperature of the water never goes below seventy eight degrees. That is pretty warm water.

So consider Caret Bay the next time you are on vacation when in St Thomas. It is really a very pristine, untouched part of the island that you will most definitely enjoy. And if you are in the market to purchase a home, land or both then you should most definitely consider that area of the island.

Lake Taupo NZ – Top Bays Near Taupo Township

Just minutes from the busy tourist township of Taupo are the picture perfect bays of north east Lake Taupo. With breathtaking lake and mountain views, idyllic picnic and swimming spots, grassy reserves and sandy beaches, these bays are all linked by the Great Lake Walkway also know as the Lion’s Walk.

This romantic and picturesque lake-edge walkway and cycling track starts at Taupo Township, skirts the lake edge to Two-Mile Bay, round Wharewaka Point at Four Mile Bay, finishing at Five Mile Bay. Along the way, you’ll pass through Three Mile Bay, and Rainbow Point.

Let’s follow the Great Lake Walkway and on the way, introduce you to the best bays of north east Lake Taupo.

Two Mile Bay
Our first stop on our way to 2 Mile Bay is Hot Water Beach. Created by warm springs heating the sand at the lake edge, kids and adults alike, love digging their toes into the sand to feel the warmth underneath.

Nearby lies Two Mile Bay. With wonderful, uninterrupted views across the lake to Acacia Bay and out to the mountains of Tongariro National Park, a lovely sandy beach that’s great for picnics and swimming and boat launching facilities, Two-Mile Bay is perfect for a family holiday.

The 2 Mile Bay Sailing and Watersports Centre is the only facility of its kind on Lake Taupo. Here you can sail a variety of vessels including one of eight mini America’s Cup Yachts. You can also learn to wakeboard, water-ski, kayak, canoe and windsurf. Catering for everyone from beginners to experienced riders and boaties, 2-Mile Bay Sailing Centre has everything you need to fully enjoy the crystal clear waters of Lake Taupo.

Rainbow Point
Our next stop is Rainbow Point. This popular holiday spot is just 5 minutes drive from Taupo Township but oh so quiet. You’ll really enjoy the best of both worlds’ here; close to the buzz of Taupo but with that magical presence of a peaceful lakefront settlement.

Like all the north east bays, Rainbow Point has wonderful lake and mountain views, scenic reserves, sandy beaches and loads of great picnic spots. It’s also just a two minute walk to the local fish and chip shop so you can enjoy that favourite kiwi past-time; a meal of takeaway fish and chips on the beach.

Three Mile Bay
As we continue along the walkway, our next destination is Three-Mile Bay. At Three-Mile Bay, the views are protected by height restrictions so most holiday homes in this area have unimpeded lake and mountain views.

With scenic reserves and lovely beaches, Three-Mile Bay is most famous as the finishing line for the annual Across the Lake Swim. This popular 4.2 km swim from Acacia Bay to Three Mile Bay comes with fantastic bragging rights. After all, how many people can say they swam across a lake, especially one as large as Lake Taupo?

Wharewaka Point, Four Mile Bay
With sun-drenched slopes and commanding views of the lake and mountains, Wharewaka Point at Four-Mile Bay is one of Taupo’s premier waterfront suburbs. Enhanced by an exclusive subdivision layout and planting design, Wharewaka Point has many modern holiday homes.

Popular in summer with both locals and tourist for its fresh, clear swimming beach, children’s playground and barbecue area, Wharewaka is only minutes away from several boat ramps and some of the best fly-fishing on offer at the mouth of the Waitahanui Stream.

Five Mile Bay
The walkway now heads along a terrace above the lake and down into Five-Mile Bay. This is home to a popular swimming, water skiing and windsuring beach and has lots of grassy areas and lovely picnic spots. To the south of Five-Mile Bay lies the famous “picket fence” at the mouth of the Waitahanui Stream.

This area is one of the most photographed fly fishing spots in Taupo, even possibly in New Zealand. The ‘picket fence’ is where anglers stand shoulder to shoulder casting out into the rip and current caused by the stream flowing into the lake.

Due to the popularity of this fishing spot and the nature of the current, the mouth of the Waitahanui Stream best suits experienced anglers. The ‘picket fence’ fishes throughout the year with the early morning and late evening being the best times of the day.