A lazy brunch is my favourite perk of having a day off. If it’s a work day I’m shoving hastily scrambled eggs in my face at 7am to fill me up til my lunch break, but on a free day I tend to just grab a mug of coffee when I first wake up and then get on with things. The downside of skipping breakfast is that lunch then feels eons away so the increasingly popular breakfast/lunch hybrid is exactly what the blogger ordered.
Places that offer a good coffee and a good brunch are on every street corner in London and Singapore but are slightly harder to come by in Newcastle. The likes of Common Man Coffee and Department of Caffeine have got the right idea but I’d like to see venues like CMCR and DOC cropping up on Tyneside now please.
Thankfully home-grown roasters Ouseburn Coffee Co. have got the right idea and are slowly taking over the world one flat white at a time. And lucky for me brunch is now part of their repertoire.
You can’t have missed the slow creep of the distinctive OCC logo into various cafes, coffee houses, artisan food shops, Fenwick’s Food Hall, our kitchen cupboards, all the Northeast street markets, the Boilershop Steamer line up…
It’s everywhere and, unsurprisingly, nowhere more so than Ouseburn Coffee Co’s very own venue, Harvest. The speciality coffee house from the caffeine junkies who happily refer to themselves as “Newcastle’s first indie roastery“.
Hailing fresh from the impossibly ‘indie’ Ouseburn Valley these passionate and particular chaps know a thing or two about making the perfect cup. From aeropress and cold brew to the good old fashioned espresso OCC have got you covered and if you’re anything like me you’ll be pleased to know that it comes tied up in a very attractive little package. The hipster branding is clean, typography-based perfection.
Harvest Canteen, on St George’s Terrace in Jesmond, hasn’t been spared the pared back Scandi stylings that are typical of the brains behind OCC. It’s trendy without alienating the older clientele. Clean white spaces with old scuffed wooden detailing (from the old La Sagesse classrooms I’m told) and lots and lots of thick black lettering. You pop in for a coffee and a bowl of granola and suddenly you’re transported to Shoreditch. THIS is what Newcastle needs more of. I could, and have, happily spent a few mid-morning hours here, whiling away the day in the sunny window space, slowly turning my blood to pure coffee and letting the caffeine wreak havoc with my heartbeat. But when the coffee’s this good it’s hard not to agree to another cup.
Frankly my work here is done. This is one of those times where I can just provide a little bit of nice back story and show you some photos and you won’t need me to do any convincing, such is the attractiveness of this place and its grub. The Avocado Smash (avo, feta, lemon, toast) is particularly amazing. I’m torn between wanting any of you who haven’t already been to go, and also hoping you won’t because then I definitely won’t get parked anywhere in the vicinity. Buuuuut I suppose I’ll allow it and keep hoping that someone will open a similar city centre venue round the corner from my house. Local lads sourcing the best beans from around the world, roasting them up good and proper and bringing them, and the perfect brunch, right to my doorstep. That’s the dream, right?
The OCC Roastery on Foundary Lane is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and the hardcore troopers at Harvest Canteen keep the place open and serving coffee and various dishes 7 days a week, 8am-6pm.
Child friendly, dog friendly, beard friendly. Friendly.