Play Hard

A brunch guide to get you talking…

At HLN, we recognise the importance of mental wellbeing and have come up with a brunch guide so that you and your friends or family can enjoy some quality time together...

Written by High Life North
Published 29.11.2019

By Charlotte Cooper

In a world where we are so digitally connected, we have never been so alone. A worldwide social isolation epidemic is in full force, with over nine million people in the UK suffering from always or often being alone.

The ITV mental wellness campaign ‘Britain Get Talking’ has been seen across our television screens, with the aim being to get over 10 million people to take action to improve their mental health. Silencing our screens is supposed to help us to engage in conversation with the loved ones around us, removing all distractions. However, with over a quarter of UK households containing just one person, this can prove challenging to interact in regular conversation, and this is not only the elderly either. Research shows that when children leave home, solo parents can become isolated in their homes.

Now more than ever, we need to look after our mental wellness by actively seeking companionship and human interaction, mainly because strong relationships allow us to share our feelings and worries more openly. In doing this, we become more confident that we will be listened to and understood. Spending time with friends and loved ones release a neurochemical called oxytocin which supports the brains feel-good hormone, serotonin.

At High Life North, we recognise the importance of mental wellbeing and have come up with a brunch guide so that you and your friends or family can enjoy a delicious brunch dish and talk to each other without any distractions. This means smartphones and all technology is put away and off the table, so the time you have together is used efficiently and effectively.

Described as a social and relaxing space, the beautiful church conversion in Jesmond offers fantastic dishes created freshly every day from 9.30 am. Vegan and vegetarian recipes feature throughout the menu, as well as traditional plates such as avocado smash and a full English breakfast. New additions to the much-loved brunch menu include Turkish Eggs, apple and cinnamon waffles and homemade granola with plum and fig compote. Enjoy some fantastic food, in this unique dining space and talk to one another.

1901 Caffé Bistro

St. George’s Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 2DL

One of the most aesthetically pleasing cafes in the North East is Kith and Kin in Whitley Bay. Serving all-day brunch, this seaside favourite of ours is a fantastic location to soak up the salty air, eat some delicious food and engage in stimulating conversation. Unlike many breakfast spots, Kith and Kin whip up unusual flavours for mouth-wateringly tasty dishes. A favourite on the menu is The Aussie which is grilled halloumi, beetroot hummus, mushrooms and kale over sourdough toast and topped with a fried egg, mint and coriander, Dukkah, lemon and herb oil. The Aussie will get your mouths watering and the conversation flowing.

Kith and Kin

172 Park View, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 3QW

A vegan and vegetarian favourite of ours is this Heaton hidden gem. The perfect brunch spot for the sweet-tooth lovers as Shoe Tree has a vast range of vegan pancake dishes such as rhubarb, pear and almond crumble, marzipan and cherry sauce or salted caramel Biscoff. Tuck into one of their fluffy pancakes or the flavoursome avocado on toast while your smartphone is safely out of reach.

Shoe Tree Café

150 Heaton Park Road, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5NR

This quaint café near the North Sea in Sunderland is another excellent location away from the busy city centres with a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere. A variety of choices on their menu, including delicious bacon-topped, avocado on toast, honey and banana sourdough or fruity buttermilk pancakes. Whatever you decide to order you’re guaranteed to enjoy the atmosphere and of course the company you choose to enjoy brunch with.

Cole Café and Deli

Side Cottage, St George’s Terrace, Sunderland, SR6 9LX

Cute, cosy and casual. one of Durham’s most loved brunch spots, Flat White, is welcoming to all. House fry ups, pancake stacks, raised rhubarb and honey granola yoghurts and of course their fantastic truffle mushroom baked eggs. Simplistic décor with a naturalistic feel to the café is precisely the kind of calming environment you need to catch up with friends and get any worries off your chest.

Flat White Durham

40 Saddler Street, Durham, DH1 3NU

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