Friday’s in Spring mark the seasonal opening of the Gibside Pub in Gateshead’s 18th Century Pleasure Ground. In the warmer months, the Gibside estate becomes somewhat of a massive beer garden, opening its doors for free each Friday to welcome the weekend ahead with great beer and excellent food.
We’ve had this on our doorstep for some years, so we won’t pretend that this is new but for one reason or another, we’ve never quite managed to pull off a visit. And now we’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t go sooner.
It has all of the hallmarks of an excellent Spring or Summer BBQ without any of the hassle. Just a short walk up and over the picturesque bridge from the carpark, you’ll find a small clearing full of food stalls and a seating area, including a playground. It’s a great place for alfresco dining and breath of fresh air.
The usual café remains open, selling a range of soft drinks, teas, coffees and perhaps more interestingly, a selection of good wines (in real glasses, no plastic beakers here…), bottled ales and hand-pulled pints. The staff are really lovely, full of laughter and seem to be in the relaxed spirit of the event.
We enjoyed pizzas from residents ‘Earth & Fire’. They make the crispiest, thinnest pizzas at sizes just perfect for an early evening dinner or pre-dinner snack, if shared. Great quality pizza dough, tasty tomato base and fantastic cheese can be combined with a range of toppings. We had a meat feast, 2 x sausage, sundried tomato and rosemary specials, a ham and mushroom and garlic bread between 4. We’d definitely recommend hunting down Earth & Fire if you can, their pizzas are delicious and they use only the very best local ingredients, including meat from their neighbours at High Strothers Farm. You can find them at their bakery within Gibside or around and about at the region’s food markets and events.
Our pizzas were washed down with Red Kite, Galatia and Rocket from Wylam Brewery.
For excellent food in a relaxed but beautiful setting, do head to Gibside! The estate hosts a whole heap of different events throughout the year; from markets to sewing circles and from Nordic walking classes to Archery and music showcases, it seems there is something for everyone!