The Boiler Shop Steamer is a monthly event held on the first Friday and Saturday of the month, in the Boiler Shop, Robert Stephenson Centre. For those of you who don’t know where this mysterious venue is, it’s actually not mysterious at all… it’s behind Central Station, along past The Telegraph, behind the big Royal Mail building. Dead easy to find. The event itself was founded by Riley’s Fish Shack and Wylam Brewery & is all about good food, music and drinks. With street food/drink vendors setting up shop and live music there’s plenty to keep you occupied. The food vendors do change month on month, but there are a few regulars too.
It was free to get in before 6pm on Saturday and then a £4 entry fee from 6pm onwards. I got there at about 1.30pm, my friends Ollie, wife Nic and 1.5 year old daughter Eliza had already arrived. I was instantly a bit in awe of the impressive surroundings…highest ceiling EVER, red brick walls and huge windows…. What’s not to love?! Add to that, an aroma of pure deliciousness, lots of people milling about having a canny time and you’ll get an idea of the atmosphere. Ollie had made a start on the food and was munching something yummy from The Herb Garden having already washed down a rum cooler so I thought I’d better get involved quick smart! I had a burger from The Fat Hippo and Nic ordered empanadas from the Settle Down Cafe. Eliza got some chips from The Fat Hippo too. I apologise for not having a photo of my burger, I ate it too quickly amid serious concerns of dropping mustard on my camera (which I had casually dangling around my neck, really cool right?) but I can confirm it was delicious.
I then gravitated towards the Ouseburn Coffee Co. bar to order one of their famous espresso martinis and chat to the lovely barista. I took photos of the martini, even though all I wanted to do was taste it! If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I’m a massive fan of OCC, and their new flagship Coffee House, Harvest.
Nic and I then ordered churros from Sugar Down Bakery (part of Settle Down Cafe) and I can honestly say these are as tasty as they look… perfect amount of sugariness. My food journey ended with a little taste of some slow cooked pulled pork from Longhorns Barbecue Smokehouse which just melted in my mouth. It had been smoked slow for 20 hours! YUM doesn’t do it justice. There’s nowhere like this in Newcastle and although they do events only at the moment, they’re thinking about opening up a premises – I for one cannot wait.
I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned the token payment system yet! You buy tokens (but the bars also accept cash) and these special tokens are your currency at the event. Each token = £2. For some perspective, my burger was 2 tokens, as were the churros. Nic bought a slice of crack pie, which was 1 token and I paid cash for my espresso martini. I didn’t spend a lot of money (and I still have a token in my jeans pocket!) but have read a few things from people saying it can work out to be expensive. It was worth every penny (token) I spent yesterday though. Tables and chairs were obviously snapped up quickly (if you snooze you lose!) so it was a tiny bit difficult at times, but it didn’t make a big difference to the fun being had! When I left at 4ish it was super busy, I couldn’t believe how many people were sat outside – makes sense though, it was such a gorgeous sunny day. I loved seeing people of all ages soaking up the atmosphere and I really can’t wait to go back.
Time for some photos? I think so! I’ve waffled on enough.
People of Newcastle (and the surrounding areas), I urge you to get yourself to a Steamer event.. follow them on Twitter too for updates: @steamerevent & maybe I’ll see you there! If you’ve been, tell me what you thought (and what yummy food you ate) 🙂
As always, thanks for reading! x