Play Hard

Get to know | Flamingo Bar and Cafe, Seaham

Possibly one of the most vibrant and beautiful menus in the region - this place is cosy, Instagrammable and super healthy to boot.

Written by High Life North
Published 31.10.2019

After working between Newcastle and London for the last eight years, owner Hannah Jackson noticed a gap in the market for a healthy, clean eatery in the Seaham / Sunderland area. Within a year of opening, the Flamingo Bar and Cafe is now one of the most Instagrammed eateries in the region thanks to its colourful, vibrant menu and seafront location.

Tell us the story behind Flamingo Bar and Cafe?

I own the business with my business partner Andy. I’m responsible for the day-to-day runnings, menu decisions, events, staff and social media. Andy sorts out the behind-the-scenes stuff like maintenance. We launched in April 2018 and started off in Sunderland City Centre using our vintage Citroen van as a platform to launch the business. We sold clean vegan cakes, protein shakes and coffee. We then stepped up our game and signed the lease on our little seaside cafe in Seaham in November last year, opening our doors in January 2019.

After working between Newcastle and London for the last eight years and being spoilt for choice with regards to eateries and in particular healthy ones, I began to wonder why there wasn’t so many in the North East (albeit a few in Newcastle like Naked Deli) and literally nothing in the Seaham / Sunderland area. I knew that there were other people like me who made it their aim to find health cafes to lunch at and also so many people have been turning vegan since online resources on the topic have increased. Being vegetarian myself I find it hard to eat out sometimes as many places don’t do the meat-free and healthy option combined. This is what I feel the Flamingo Cafe brings to people.

You have a varied menu full of vibrant, healthy food. How do you keep this seasonal and what is the menu inspiration?

I initially put the whole menu together myself using inspo from Instagram pages that I follow plus lots of health cafes in the UK and Spain that I have visited. I work closely with chefs in-house to keep things fresh and always change things up every few months. We have seasonal specials on the board; smoothie bowls in summer and ciabattas and soup during the colder weather.

Pictured: Taste of Morocco open sandwich – £8.50

Spinach, hummus, falafel, pickled pink cabbage and grated carrot on sourdough bread

Where did the name come from?

My business partner loves Flamingos and I thought it would make really cool and catchy branding.

Pictured: Matcha Latte – £3.50 and Flamingo Latte (Signature drink) – £3.40.

Matcha Latte: High-grade green tea powder with steamed coconut milk and agave.

Flamingo Latte: Pink beet powder with almond milk and maple.

What does the future hold for Flamingo Cafe?

My main aim is to keep fresh, constantly generating new interest by changing things up and introducing new things. I’d really like to create a hub for the Seaham community and host lots of evening events…so excited already for next summer! Now that we have an alcohol licence it means we can host things like supper clubs, BBQ evenings and more.

We have a great Christmas Eve brunch event running this year with live acoustic singers.

Pictured: Buddha Bowl – £12.00

A mix of grains, greens, beans, raw and cooked veggies. Finished with avocado, homemade hummus of the day, falafel and toasted seeds.

It’s fab that you are dog-friendly and offer a full dog menu – what’s the reason behind this? Do you have a dog yourself?

Dog walking culture is a massive thing! People love their dogs like they love their babies…I wasn’t a dog mam but I am now! After meeting so many different gorgeous breeds I was set on getting a cockapoo. My little Peaches is 5-months old now and she regularly visits the cafe.

Doggie treats

Scrambled egg – £2.00

Shredded chicken – £3.00

Whole baked salmon fillet – £4.00

Various treats including muffin (pictured), made in-house using natural ingredients – £2.50

Check out our Little Black Book for more great foodie recommendations in the region.

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