Play Hard

A month in the life of our editor – July

Less sun, the same amount of fun. See what Laura got up to in July.

Written by High Life North
Published 26.07.2023

It’s the start of Leo season (my birthday season), which is my favourite time of year.

I’ve had a lot of partying and good times this summer, but I read a Leo quote this morning which really resonated: ‘Eyes on the prize, feet on the ground, heart on fire’ – and that’s the energy I’m taking into August.

But for now, here’s a look back on my lovely July…


A month in the lift of our editor - July 2023


I’m a pluviophile (a new word I discovered this month) which is someone who finds joy and peace of mind on rainy days.

So despite quite a heavy downpour I really enjoyed my first Cloister Garden BBQ at Blackfriars at the beginning of the month. Don’t let a rainy evening put you off as the tables are well covered and it’s a lovely atmosphere with the fires burning around you, festoon lighting and heated parasols.

I went along with Rosie, Molly and Rachael for an after-work treat (they’re on Friday evenings) – it makes it super easy for a dinner with friends as it’s £25 a head for a sharing platter of starters, a main from the BBQ and a seasonal dessert.

Here’s the link for the next event on 28th July if you want to try it for yourself. 


A month in the life of our editor (2) July


The new spa at Middleton Lodge opened in June and it’s hands down one of the loveliest spa days I’ve ever had.

Surrounded by countryside, it’s been finished to perfection with areas to sit around the pool, snuggle by a fire or sit in a relaxation room with incredible views.

The day starts with a welcome smoothie and use of the facilities, before a two-course lunch and a treatment in one of the super cute and luxurious treatment huts.

We’ve got a full write-up coming on Sunday but if you want a day of escapism, I’d highly recommend it.

A month in the life of our editor - July


Since we were down at Middleton Lodge, we stayed to try the tasting menu at Forge. It’s been on my list of restaurants to try for years – the setting alone is beautiful and as it lasts for 2hrs 45mins, once you’re seated you’re set for the night.

My only advice – go hungry. I often steer away from tasting menus thinking I won’t be full enough, but I was so wrong with this menu. We did the ten-course tasting menu which was made up of locally sourced ingredients (many grown on-site at Middleton Lodge). A really nice touch was the chefs bringing out some of the courses because you could really tell the passion that had gone into making them.

My favourite courses were the Jorvick Blonde Bread and the Cornish Cod with XO sauce – such strong and delicious flavours.


A month in the life of our editor - July


Rain definitely seems to be a theme for July’s round-up. Henry and I got SOAKED to the bone volunteering at Pride for Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter with our housemate Charlie.

But it didn’t dampen the spirits of everyone who showed up – we got some great photos in our picture frames of everyone having fun.

Like all charities, Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter need support right now. If you’re interested in donating, a great idea is to sign up for their lottery which is £2 a week, comes straight off your phone bill and you have a chance of winning £10,000 a week (which is better odds than the National Lottery).

Check out how to sign-up here. 

Let’s see what August brings…

If you like what you see, you can follow me on Instagram: @editor_high_life_north.

Other stories by High Life North
What's on at the theatre North East autumn 2023. Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Berwick

Your ultimate autumn show guide for theatres in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Northumberland

High Life North

The top five articles our readers are loving this month…

High Life North

A month in the life of our editor – August

High Life North

7 hidden gems in Gateshead

High Life North

11 dog-friendly restaurants, bars and pubs in Newcastle and the North East

High Life North

The alternative New York itinerary

High Life North