Photo Credit: La Petite Creperie
If there’s one thing the UK knows how to do best, it’s sweets — and all things chocolate in particular. Newcastle is a prime example of the Brits’ soft spot for sugar, as the birthplace of the iconic Wispa chocolate bar before it became a Cadbury classic. Such is the appetite for sweets in the ‘Toon’ that family businesses have long dedicated themselves to serving up decadent desserts. Here are some of the best locally owned spots to satisfy your sweet tooth in Newcastle.
Photo Credit: The Great British Cupcakery
A closely-knit family business since 2012, The GB Cupcakery ladies — a mother and her two daughters — shared a household where baking was a passion. Inspired by their grandmother’s great British baking, they craft classics that conjure up the loveliest memories of childhood and family. Try to get a seat by their amazing floral wall, as this is one of the most Instagrammable cafes in town. Their scones and cupcakes fly out the door, but if you are feeling a bit more indulgent, get your spoon stuck in a Geet Big Shake Up North, the Geordie version of Freakshakes.
Photo Credit: Mark Toney
2. Mark Toney
The oldest Italian gelateria in town, Mark Toney has been around since 1892, when Giovanni Marcantonio, a poor immigrant from Picinisco in Italy, made the long journey to the UK with his 7-year-old son Antonio. Their planned destination was Scotland, but luckily for locals, Newcastle was as far as their fare would take them. More than a century and four generations later, Mark Toney remains an iconic brand and household name, so much so that even Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits mentions them in his song Basil. Enjoy gelato in more than 40 mouthwatering flavours, from their Traditional Dairy Vanilla to Candy Clouds and Honeycomb Cheesecake Brownie. Or order like a local and get their delicious Knickerbocker Glory — a rite of passage for young Geordies 100 years running.
Photo Credit: La Petite Creperie
The heart and soul of crêpe master Julien Poulalion from Toulon, La Petite Creperie brings the traditional taste of France to Newcastle with its crêpes and galettes that will have you salivating before you even try them. Homemade salted butter caramel is their best-seller, but Speculoos biscuit spread or Belgian chocolate and Marnier aren’t to be missed either. Julien chose Newcastle because he is a huge football fan. “I didn’t know much about Newcastle, but I knew about David Ginola” (ex-Newcastle winger and cult hero, also from Toulon), he says. La Petite Creperie, located in the iconic 19th century Grainger market, is now one of the most loved shops in town and was a favourite spot among French NUFC players who visited regularly for their crêpe fix.
Photo Credit: The Brownie Bar
Selling the best gooey brownies and blondies in town in more than 50 scrumptious flavours, the Brownie Bar will have you returning to its tiny Eldon Garden shop again and again. Sarah, a pastry chef and co-owner of the business makes one mean peanut butter brownie with warm custard, and you’ll also want to try their very own soft chocolate chip cookie with a gooey brownie core. To make your own rich chocolate brownies at home, get your hands on their very popular Bake Your Own Brownie jars.
Photo Credit: Les Petits Choux
If you can’t have enough of French desserts, Les Petits Choux is another little gem you need to check out in Newcastle. Set up by local choux aficionado mum and her two daughters, the shop specialises in — what else? — choux pastry. Their fresh-fruit scones and home-baked choux pastries are real show stoppers, but for a truly indulgent experience, no trip to Les Petits Choux is complete without trying the Ferrero Rocher profiteroles or their salted caramel eclairs.