Play Hard

Our favourite Christmas drinks from local independent cafes

While Starbucks’ cup designs are popular, at HLN we prefer to support local businesses. That's why we've rounded up our favourite festive drinks to keep your Christmas spirits high...

Written by High Life North
Published 22.11.2019

By Charlotte Cooper

The festivities have begun in the North East already with the Fenwick Christmas window reveal, the Newcastle Christmas light switch on and the Intu Metrocentre pop-up ice rink. While we start to shop for presents, it’s too hard to resist a colourful cup of festive cheer from one of the many coffee shop chains.

But while Starbucks’ spectacular cup designs are fairly eye-catching, we prefer to support local businesses. That is why we have rounded up the very best festive drinks to keep your spirits high amongst the Christmas shoppers. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it…

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

After a coastal winter’s day walk, warm yourself up with this festive gingerbread hot chocolate. Creamy milk chocolate milk is topped with freshly whipped cream and finished with cinnamon and ginger biscuit pieces. Cosy up with this holiday favourite and maybe even a fresh mince pie too.

Dil and the Bear

Price: £3.75

Address: 18 Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4DX

Minty Mocha Madness

Countdown the days to Christmas with this fresh mint mocha from Scoop and Bean. Renowned for their spectacular ice-cream flavours, the South Shields parlour has brought us a mocha drink made with mint syrup and then topped with whipped cream, choco flakes and an After Eight decoration. Deliciously festive.

Scoop and Bean

Price: £2.90

Address: Sea Road, South Shields, NE33 2LD

Salted Caramel Brownie Hot Chocolate

Take a break from your city centre shopping and indulge in this deluxe salted caramel brownie hot chocolate. Courtesy of the pancake gods, The Dispensary. This warming drink comes topped with whipped cream and crumbled brownie pieces. It’s guaranteed to lift your mood.

The Dispensary

Price: £3.50

Address: Heber Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TN

Toffee Popcorn Latte

The latest addition to Heaton’s best vegan and vegetarian café is this incredible toffee popcorn latte. This creamy speciality coffee is also available as a hot chocolate, with whipped cream, popcorn pieces and a drizzle of toffee sauce.


Shoe Tree Café

Price: £3.75

Address: 150 Heaton Park Road, Heaton, NE6 5NR

Mulled Hepple Sloe and Hawthorne Gin

A little tipple is guaranteed to lift your winter blues this December, and we have found the perfect festive drink for it. This 50ml glass of cloudy apple juice, mulled cinnamon spices, star anise and oranges, concocted together with a shot of gin, is the perfect winter warmer. Stop by the Ouseburn café and kitchen for your dose of alcohol this Christmas.


Price: £4.50

Address: 4 Hume Street, Newcastle, NE6 1LN

Orange Hot Chocolate

A little independent coffee shop over at Chester-Le-Street is bringing one of our favourite combinations to their festive menu, chocolate orange. Grab a blanket and brave the winter wind while treating yourself to this luxury drink which comes served with a crown of whipped cream, chocolate dustings and two orange sticks.

Coffee Bank

Price: £2.95

Address: 1 Front Street, Chester-Le-Street, DH3 3QB

Stroopwafel Caramel Latte

One of the many festive drinks Hive Coffee Co. is offering this year, is this Stroopwafel Caramel Latte. This coffee with a Dutch wafer cookie spin comes with whipped cream, a Stroopwafel and plenty of caramel sauce.

Hive Coffee Company

Price: £3.45

Address: Church Bank, Jarrow, NE32 3DY

Boozy Orange and Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

A delicious yet boozy take on a classic winter drink. This orange and cinnamon hot chocolate is not something you will want to miss. Made with Cointreau orange liqueur, the silky hot chocolate comes with an orange slice on top and even a mini brownie piece on the side.

The Violet Green

Price: £5.50

Address: 68a The Green, Stockton-On-Tees, TS20 1DT

Festive Reindeer Hot Chocolate

This deluxe Christmas special is available for a limited time only at the Manors Deli branch of Caffe 1901. Milk, white or dark hot chocolate is dressed up in the shape of a festive reindeer. 1901 Deli caters for everyone, as this winter wonder can be made differently for vegans with vegan whipped cream.

Caffe 1901 Deli

Price: £2.60

Address: 132 New Bridge Street, Newcastle

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