Play Hard

You can’t rain on our parade…the covered outdoor venues you need to know about

So we can still only meet outside, and it's raining ALL week. So what? We're Northerners! Time to put on your big coat and check out these North East outdoor venues that provide shelter too...

Written by Rosie Harrison
Published 08.05.2021

By The River Brew Co

Gateshead Quays

There are many reasons to visit this Gateshead Quays favourite of ours. A great choice of drinks being high on the list, second only to its fantastic location looking across Newcastle Quayside. Monday to Thursday you can mop up some of that alcohol with a Fat Hippo burger (delivered to your table no less, we could get used to this). On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, tons of local foodies open their stalls at HWKRMRKT, meaning you can eat anything your heart desires, from vegan sushi to bavette steak on loaded fries.

Yes, see you there.

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The Orchard, Grantley Hall

Ripon, North Yorkshire

Open less than a week, The Orchard at Grantley Hall is really making a splash on the outdoor dining scene (our Editor has already been two days in a row). This very much indoor/outdoor so even though you’re technically outside, the opulence, warmth and watertight overhead tent mean there’s no risk of feeling the elements, no matter the weather. The atmosphere is very relaxed, no rushing here, it’s about an hour and a half from Newcastle but beyond worth it to stay all afternoon and also check out the beautiful hotel grounds and gardens.

Check out the menu, here

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Jesmond Beach Box

Jesmond

One for the Jezzy crowd, Jesmond Beach Box is an escape into beachy good times tucked away at the edge of the city. With food from The Holy Hobo and rotating street food from local favourites such as Acropolis and Hatch 76, drinks stalls and a pub corner featuring games from darts to shuffleboard.

Did we mention the beach? They even provide buckets and spades.

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Kiln

Ouseburn

We all know Kiln is a front runner for awesome pottery and excellent coffee – but fear not, you can get your cocktail fix and great scran with these hipster heroes, too.

What’s more? You’re well undercover.

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Geisha

Sandyford

Another new face – and a fast favourite with our Molly who has been raving about it – Geisha has opened in Sandyford serving up pan-Asian food and mind-blowing cocktails. Open from 9.00am, head down for breakfast with a difference, from bacon bao-buns to sweet dim-sum. The dinner menu is equally as unique – we want to try every one of the burgers from chicken katsu to salt and chilli king prawn. We’re looking forward to the late-night scene at this place over summer.

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The Palm

Sunderland

You should definitely check out The Palm. Based in Sunderland, this multi-purpose venue brings us ‘a tropical oasis of good times’ – including bars, restaurants, live music and street food options.

From the people that brought us Florita’s, As You Like It and Le Petit Chateau, there’s something for everyone. They have indoor venues too, but until then, they’ve created plenty of outdoor covered areas so the fun can go on, whatever the weather.

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Bowburn Hall

Durham

You probably already know about this pretty little hotel, but did you know they have a brand new beer garden? In a newly constructed tent-covered area, you can get cocktails, food and draught beer.

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The Tyne Bar

Ouseburn

Fear not, Ouseburn crowd. The Tyne Bar has some ‘geet big brollies’ to protect us from the heavens, and also, you don’t have to book. So come rain or shine (shine seems optimistic, but hey), you’ll be welcome at The Tyne Bar and able to drink your pint in peace (or at least dry).

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Scream for Pizza

Sandyford

We’ve all found ourselves screaming for pizza at one point in our lives, and now you can scream with happiness that our favourite Sandyford pizza joint has covered tables outside. These guys are open 12noon – 9,00pm and you can also enjoy cocktails there, like our favourite frozen Margarita. Brain freeze likely, but enjoyment guaranteed.

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Burn It Up

North Shields

Based in North Shields, this is a new kid on the block, here to help us have a great summer. The Pavilion is the hub of live music and entertainment, with table service food and drink in a covered outdoor amphitheatre. Keep your eyes peeled for their upcoming events, including quizzes, concerts, bingo and more. The Picture Yard is a huge outdoor cinema, which will be home to live sports and under-the-stars film nights. The Village Hall is a curiosity corner full of unique experiences for little kids (and big kids too). They’ll be hosting family arts and crafts, bake-offs, and mad scientist cocktail classes. After working up an appetite, Feastery Street is the place to go for a huge selection of street food vendors.

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ARLO

Jesmond

A Jesmond fav for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or just a coffee (so everything then) – ARLO has really stepped up its outdoor game over lockdown. There’s a very sturdy overhead covering, with heaters and blankets to make sure you stay super-cosy.

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The Woodmans Arms

Whickham

We love the food at The Woodmans Arms – it has such a wide range of appetisers and mains, log-fired pizzas and really caters well to gluten-free and veggie diners. They’ve got a covered dining area shielding you from the rain, and also a pink party tent which looks ideal for after-dinner cockies.

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The Dockyard

South Shields

Open every day, 11.30am – 11.00pm, The Dockyard is the newest outdoor drinking and dining experience in South Shields. They’ve got live music, loads of street food options and a resident DJ.

Most importantly, a giant stretch tent and cosy fire pits to keep us warm, even in the driving May rain…

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