#UKCoffeeWeek

It’s UK Coffee Week this week (10th – 16th April) and two out of your three Love Middlesbrough Lasses enjoy a crackin’ cuppa or two, so we figured what better time to share some of our favourite places in town?! At the same time we can let you know a bit more about UK Coffee Week and how (and most importantly where!) in town you can get involved.

Great coffee, good will‘. UK Coffee Week is a nationwide fundraising campaign that takes place in thousands of coffee shops across the country.  100% of donations received from UK Coffee Week will go to Project Waterfall, an initiative dedicated to bringing clean water facilities to coffee growing communities.

One of our very favourite coffee stops in town (and an independent to boot!)  Bedford Street Coffee will be donating 5p for every cup of coffee sold to Project Waterfall. You can read the full story via the Love Middlesbrough website  and follow Bedford Street Coffee on Facebook to keep an eye on more fundraising updates and special prize draws!

Love Middlesbrough Lass: Claire ❤️

Up until a few weeks ago I had two solid contenders for the best coffee in town, and then boom – a new place opens and it turns out to be the coffee of dreams! So now I have a list of three places that I insist you visit for your caffeine fix.

1.  Off the Ground
Newly opened, Off the Ground is a coffee shop with a difference as it’s also a social enterprise, re-investing money back into the community. I love the decor, the atmosphere, the staff are lovely and yep, the coffee is delicious. It’s my new favourite place to go, both for a quick stop during the work week, and it’s ideal for a weekend afternoon, sipping your coffee and watching the world go by.

2. Bedford Street Coffee
When I think of Bedford Street Coffee I think quality – there’s something in those beans that just tastes rich and gloriously decadent! Add a brownie of the day to your order and you’re basically winning at life…

3. Espresso 10
It’s an unassuming stand in the middle of the street and yet Espresso 10 has to be in my top 3. It’s cheap, has loads of different coffees to choose from and it never disappoints.  Even Mr Love Middlesbrough Lass, who takes his coffee very seriously, assures me that the double espresso is as good as any he has had in Europe (and trust me when I say that is a whole lotta European coffee that has been consumed).

Love Middlesbrough Lass: Emma ❤️

Of course Claire and I will have some mutual favourites and I have a personal bias towards Bedford Street Coffee (being amazing coffee and selling some awesome veggie food) but I think Claire covered that place amazingly, other than the fact that the staff in there are amazing and I’ve never seen them frown. So, in no particular order, here are my top three coffee shops in Middlesbrough:

1. Cupeno
This place is morning coffee heaven. I change my entire route to get this coffee on a morning when I’m in zombie mode. It’s just the right sweetness (I’m a two sugar gal and this needs nothing) and they are so nice. It’s great to have a ‘Good morning’ with your coffee. I can’t complain about the price either, great value for money, hence why this is in my top 3 and have loads of options. They also offer breakfast and are open super early so can’t complain.

2. The Olde Young Tea House
My mum introduced me to this place right before my interview for this job (I’m adamant that it’s what landed me the job) and it was the cutest, most relaxing place I have ever been in. Funnily enough, we found out what the place was actually called from the Love Middlesbrough website… what a coincidence. This is a great place for a coffee and a chat, they apparently do good tea as well but we’re not here to talk about that. It’s one of them smooth coffees that you don’t even realise you’ve drank until you hit your forehead on the rim of the mug- or is that just me?! Either way, great coffee, and of course, cake. So much cake…

3. Esquires Coffee
This is actually a chain but really doesn’t seem like it. I discovered this place in my hometown and it was one of the few places I’d visit when I was in Middlesbrough before joining the Love Middlesbrough Lasses on a daily basis. This is such a great place with good coffee and very good service. You know to expect good quality, simple coffee when you walk in this place.

We have a few honourable mentions for independents who just didn’t make our top three: Mannequin Cafe, Goodbody’s Eaterie, TP Coffee House, and Cafe Zim, all of which do good coffee and should be tried as well.

We’ve talked mainly about the independents so far, but we have to hand it to the chains; they didn’t make it this big without doing something right after all. So, we’ve mentioned Esquires, but we also have Cafe Nero and Starbucks. We’ve also decided to give an honourable mention to our colleague Matt who said Costa Coffee was the only shop he visits.

We hope you enjoy the coffee and try some new places. Hint for students and those low on cash: Mannequin Cafe is amazing and around £1.20 to take out. Emma X

We’re always up for trying new places so if there’s somewhere you think we definitely need to try, shout out in the comments below. Anyone for a cuppa now…?

#ETW17: English Tourism Week 2017

We kicked off English Tourism Week 2017 in style with the return of Orange Pip Market! It was of course, beautiful blue skies, and a massive turnout! With a crackin’ 26 traders, we ate ALL the food and drank way too much hot chocolate – we’re still dreaming of the artisan hot chocolate from Sprinkles of Yarm with homemade marshmallows *drools*

Vegan samosa

It wasn’t just Orange Pip Market for English Tourism Week, we were shouting about loads of other fabulous things to do in Middlesbrough.

Feeling hungry?

We love all our independents – shopping, food and all the other good things in life!

Out with the kids?

It’s a gorgeous, sunny day – let’s go to the park!

albert-park-grid

Got your running shoes on? PS. check out the fabulous Love Middlesbrough run which you can download here – it’s a heart shape just like us! ❤️

Culture vulture?

Dorman Museum in spring

We’ve already told you all about our InstaMeet but we couldn’t resist sharing it all over again because we had such an awesome time!

We hope you enjoyed reading the English Tourism Week blog posts as much as we have enjoyed writing them. Shout out your suggestions in the comments below for where we should go next. Roll on English Tourism Week 2018…

Love Middlesbrough Lasses
x

#ETW17: Family-friendly Middlesbrough

The hardest thing of all when we started writing about family-friendly Middlesbrough was narrowing it down to a manageable list, so to help us out we asked a selection of Love Middlesbrough buddies to share their top picks and reasons why they are so family friendly. We’ve kindly included some direct quotes which you’ll see scattered throughout in italics, because we all know that there’s nothing better than word of mouth, from people in the know.

Middlesbrough Sports Village and Playworld
A popular choice, our family-friendly fans couldn’t recommend this highly enough! The soft play area has four floors and includes rope bridges, tunnels and so much more; there’s also a ‘toddle zone’ area suitable for little ones who are not yet brave enough to climb!funvillage-2_1

The soft play area is great, particularly for toddlers. They have a host of bikes available too which means all the family can get involved as they even have the bike trailer things for tiny kids.

It’s reasonably priced, well looked after, has lots to do and very clean. We often take all the kids there when we have visitors from London because they all really like it too. 

Playworld is open from 9.30am – 6pm, Monday to Sunday. Entry price is £5, for children up to 12 months old entry is £1. There are also term-time offers and children’s party facilities! There’s heaps of parking and easy access to all areas. Find out more at Middlesbrough Sports Village.

Stewart Park
Ooof – it’s really hard to choose just one thing to talk about for Stewart Park as there are so many brilliant things you can do! Take a stroll, feed the ducks, count the totem poles, visit the Farmers’ Market (the last Sunday of every month) and eat loads of tasty local food, swing and bounce in the playground, enjoy some cake in the cafe…the list well and truly could go on. It’s a fantastic park that has something for all ages, and best of all, it’s mostly free!

stewart-park-family-fun-2012-3…great for all ages, the park is great and it also has a swing suitable for children who use a wheelchair. The café is great, very friendly and really reasonably priced.

A brilliant all-rounder, it’s an ideal place to meet up with friends – they bring their kids, I bring my dog, we go for a stroll taking in all the delights of the playground and work up an appetite before we head to the cafe for a proper catch-up over some cake! 

…loads of space for picnics and games on the open grass, hide and seek in the woods and a play area suitable for a wide range of children. It’s pushchair and wheelchair accessible too. 

There’s loads of free parking available, including buggy-friendly and disabled spaces. Find out more about Stewart Park, including the opening times, but the best way is just to go and see it for yourself. It will only take one visit to convince you…

Teesaurus Park
Did you know we have dinosaurs in Middlesbrough? Well, we do, and we LOVE them! It’s one of those places that either you know about and go all the time, or you’ve never heard of it before and are amazed when you find out it exists.teesaurus-park Our top pick recommendation came from the former and they are frequent visitors.

Teesaurus Park is the best – we start getting excited as soon as we pull in to the car park (and that’s just the adults!) 

You can find the dinosaurs on Riverside Park Road, and there’s plenty of free parking available. In the spirit of total honesty, there’s not a lot else around there so we would recommend toilet visits before you head out, and take your own drinks and snacks if you want refreshments!

Dorman Museum/Dressers Tea Room
It’s free entry to the beautiful Dorman Museum (some temporary exhibitions charge a small fee) and there’s loads of stuff to do from family-friendly trails to heading straight upstairs to play with the amazing fish floor! There’s plenty of space for diving around and hiding in tunnels and just generally having an absolutely brilliant time! At the end of your visit you can pop in to Dressers Tea Room for an afternoon treat for all the family.

There’s loads of kid-friendly options [in Dressers Tea Room] even for the fussy ones…  

For some extra family friendly fun, there’s also the fabulous Little Lion sessions that run on Thursdays from 1pm – 2.30pm. The sessions are £1.50 per child and include a drink and a biscuit.

The Dorman Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm (last entry is at 4pm). Find out more and read some Trip Advisor reviews at the same time via the Museum website. While you’re so close, you should definitely include some time to call in to Albert Park which is right next door!

Cineworld Movies for Juniors
What do you do if it’s pouring down with rain and it’s the weekend and you’re desperate to take the kids somewhere? Cineworld in Middlesbrough have the answer: Movies for Juniors! From just £2 (£3.50 for 3D movies!) there’s animated and live-action films to choose from, available on Saturday mornings at 10am (times subject to change). Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult. You can also book in advance to avoid any queues.

Creams Cafe: ice-cream, crepes and more!
Creams was added as a last-minute top tip after a recent visit this past weekend. With a massive menu choice and a cool, kid-friendly interior, it’s a brilliant place for a weekend treat (for teens and adults too!). There’s ice-cream, crepes, waffles and loads of other tasty treats that will make you go all heart eyes emoji and wonder if you need one waffle or two…highly recommended! Visit the website for opening times and more info. There’s also an online menu…just saying…

As with all of our English Tourism Week posts we can only share small snippets or we’d be here all day and you would be too! You’re bound to have a list of all your own favourite places – feel free to share them in the comments below and let other families know about your special places. Sharing is caring 😃

Love Middlesbrough Lasses
x

#ETW17: Parks and outdoor spaces

Spring is firmly on its way and it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and embrace the blue skies, milder weather and all the glorious Spring blooms bursting into life! English Tourism Week couldn’t have happened at a better time! With seven prestigious Green Flag seal of approvals for the parks and green spaces in Middlesbrough, we’re not exaggerating when we say they’re quite simply, the best!

We’re not ones for choosing favourites – because how could we?! – so in no particular order, here’s our list of parks and outdoor spaces you have to visit in Middlesbrough.

Albert Park
It makes sense to start with Albert Park. Situated right in the town itself, the park covers an area of 30 hectares and includes a visitor centre, roller skating rink, swan and boat hire on the lake, tennis courts, bowling greens, play areas, a fabulous bandstand and so much more! At this time of year the trees are just starting to see their first bursts of beautiful blossom, and all around the grounds are bright flashes of yellow, white, pink and purple as Spring bulbs pop out of the ground to say hello…and it just keeps on getting better as the seasons progress. The park is currently open from 7.30am to dusk .

Love Middlesbrough Top Tip ❤️ To take in all the sights of the park we recommend entering via the Park Road North entrance, turn right and follow the circular path round the entire perimeter of the park. Along the way you’ll be able to enjoy all the trees and seasonal blooms, see a sneak peek of our much-loved Dorman Museum, stroll past the lake with the ducks and the swan boats, and back around to where you started from…where you can pick another path and start exploring all over again!

Stewart Park
Ahhh Stewart Park, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Nature! Heritage! Captain Cook Birthplace Museum! Stewart Park Farmers’ Market! 120 acres of mature woodland and wide open park space! So pretty, so spacious, so tranquil, it’s hard to believe that outside the gates of the park is the normal hustle and bustle of life. There’s a huge children’s play area, a trim trail for when you’re feeling super fit (or trying to be!), outdoor table tennis and mini golf! There’s also two lakes for all the water fowl so you can feed the ducks too! Make sure to get the right food for ducks though, they’re not as keen on bread as everyone imagines…Stroll up an appetite and head to the cafe to enjoy a very tasty scone – just one of the many tasty delights – which you can enjoy outside or inside, depending on the weather. We could wax lyrical for so much longer, but space is limited. The park is currently open from 7.30am to dusk.

Love Middlesbrough Top Tip ❤️ Head to the park on the last Sunday of the month for the Stewart Park Farmers’ Market. Make sure to get there bright and early (it opens at 9am), wander round all the stalls with some of the best tasty and local food we have ever eaten, try not to drool (it’s so unladylike!), grab a coffee to go, pick a path and wander where your feet take you, before taking your food belly home for some well-earned sofa time!

Transporter Park
Transporter Park is right next to our iconic Transporter Bridge, which is an absolute must-see/must-visit/must-ride! The area has recently seen a real change and is looking tip-top – it’s even been a venue for music celebrations!. The recent addition of the oh-so-cool, multi-coloured Pioneer housing sets it firmly as a place on the up. As with all the other parks in town, the Spring blooms are bursting out of the ground and we can’t wait for the wildflowers to be back in Summer – so pretty. If you like taking photographs, it’s a brilliant place to start as you’re close to some of our most loved and iconic sights and there’s a photo op at almost every angle. There’s plenty of parking (including the two hours free offer available throughout the majority of town centre car parks) and you only have to do a hop, skip, and a jump back to the train station and onwards into town if you fancy finishing off your visit with some food. Doesn’t everyone do that? Just us then…

Love Middlesbrough Top Tip ❤️ We only have one for Transporter Park: if you’ve not been yet, go now and explore! Trust us…

transporter_park7

Fairy Dell 
Fairy Dell is a woodland beck and park and it sits on the borders of Marton and Coulby Newham. I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s beautiful! Truly, it’s a gem in Middlesbrough and well worth a visit if you’ve never been. Step through the main gates into a vast expanse of green park and then basically pick a path and start strolling (if you’re not sure 20170324_103101-effects which way to go there’s a handy map just as you walk through the main gates). Along the way you’ll see woodland, pretty waterfalls and streams, wooden sculptures and seating, and right now, as Spring is springing, bursts of yellow daffodils everywhere you look! The great thing about it is, there’s something for everyone. The outer pathways are accessible and buggy friendly, and if you want to go exploring you can do that too – just remember to pack your wellies! There’s even a ‘Trim Trail’ all the way around if you want to get your health and fitness on at the same time as taking in the lovely sights. There’s free parking available right outside of the main gates too which is always an added bonus!

Love Middlesbrough Top Tip ❤️ Head through the main gates and take the first pathway to your right and then just keep on following that pathway all the way around. You get to see most things on this trail including the giant snake, acorn and stork wooden sculptures, as well as enjoying the peace, quiet and the tranquil sound of the bubbling stream and birds singing – truly delightful! We already can’t wait to go back…

Linthorpe Cemetery and Nature Reserve
This is a recent discovery for us and we are absolutely loving it! A highly important burial ground, it’s steeped in history as well as being a genuinely lovely place to walk around. You’ve probably figured out by now that we’re massive fans of Spring blooms and there are heaps of them here *heart eyes emoji* If trees are more your thing there are parts of the cemetery that are almost completely covered by canopies of trees, many of which were planted in the 19th Century. And finally, for all you bird lovers out there, it’s a bird paradise! We’ve even heard that there are tawny owls – wow!

linthorpe_cemetery19

The beautiful thing about all these parks and green spaces is that they’re just a mere glimpse into all the amazing places that you can head to in Middlesbrough when you feel the need for some great outdoors. You can find out more about Council facilities via their website and more from us at Love Middlesbrough too.

Love Middlesbrough Lasses
x

#ETW17: Love Middlesbrough InstaMeet

What. A. Day! We walked, we saw, we photographed. Check out our round-up from the very first Love Middlesbrough InstaMeet. We can’t wait to do it all over again…

Even though we said it on the day (probably too many times!) we’d like to say again a massive thank you to everyone who joined us for the InstaMeet. We’re hoping to do it again very soon, watch this space ❤️

(It’s hard to believe we took these glorious blue sky photos only a couple of hours ago because now we’re looking out the window and there’s a massive thunderstorms and hailstones falling out of the sky!!!)

hailstones

Love Middlesbrough Lasses
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