A family of 5 with a zest for life

A festive staycation in Newcastle with Malmaison

*This is a collaborative post

My birthday falls in December and Steve and I normally celebrate with a special weekend away somewhere. Quite often we'll stay in the North East and other times we'll venture further afield. This year there seemed to be so many new places I fancied trying in Newcastle that we decided to stay close to home in our favourite city. Newcastle has recently been named as the world's top travel destination by Rough Guides and I can certainly see why. I could never ever get bored of Newcastle and can't recommend taking a little staycation by the Tyne enough.


My festive staycation started with a trip to Hadrian's Tipi. I'd been dying to visit and had tried and failed on two occasions as it's always so busy! It seems that mid-week lunchtime is the perfect time to pop in and although we still couldn't find a seat, there were plenty of spots around the fire pits. Hadrian's Tipi is pretty expensive (£10 for 2 mulled wines - they are £3 each at the Christmas Market across the road) but worth it for a little treat. Drinking mulled wine in a tipi with twinkling lights to the backdrop of Christmas music and firepits feels very festive indeed. I'd recommend popping in if it's not too busy. 


I'd missed out on the Botanist's Winter Wonderland roof terrace launch so we decided to head along there next. I was surprised to discover we practically had the place to ourselves! It is chilly up on the roof but there are covered areas and blankets to snuggle up in. The views and twinkly lights make it worth braving the cold for. I could sit and watch the people below for hours. 



We walked down towards the Quayside to Tiger Hornsby for festive cocktails next where it appears I forgot to take any photographs! They had around 6 festive tipples to choose from and the setting is beautiful. This bar was nice and quiet in the early afternoon and I'd recommend for people like me who enjoy a decent drink with a seat! They were playing Home Alone on their big screen and apparently often screen free festive films in the afternoons. Tiger Hornsby is super cosy and a lovely place to sit down and relax with a nice drink.  

Onto the Malmaison.......

Time was getting on and we decided we should probably check into our hotel for the evening before getting to carried away with Christmas cocktails. Newcastle Malmaison is perfectly located on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside and is right next to the iconic Millennium bridge. 

We've stayed at the Newcastle Malmaison on a couple of occasions now and I'm always super impressed with the value their rooms provide. It's always worth checking out various special offers with Newcastle Malmaison throughout the year. At the moment you can enjoy a stay for two with dinner and wine from just £89 per couple which is a bargain! When you take into consideration the cost of taxis, dinner and drinks, it's almost rude not to stay over! There are also deals to book a room from just £49 and I love the Date Night Special which offers Champagne, dinner, bed and breakfast and is perfect for a special occasion. 


Rooms include complimentary toiletries, a very tempting (paid for) mini bar, Sky TV, the most comfortable beds we've ever slept on, power showers,  magazines, spa access and more.







Our room was so comfortable we almost didn't want to leave but our dinner reservation tempted us downstairs into the hotel Brasserie. A quick change and we were ready for the evening. 


The Mal Brasserie is fancy without feeling stuffy. The sommelier was actually younger than us and very approachable and friendly. He recommended starting the evening with a glass of Mal Champagne which seemed like a perfect idea to us. If you're lucky, there are a few seats in the restaurant offering perfect views of the River Tyne and bridges below.


We were staying at the hotel on a DBB deal which allows you to choose 3 courses from the Prix Fixe Menu or use a £25 allowance against the a la carte. As it was December, the Prix Fixe Menu featured festive options so we both decided to opt for this one.


I started with Roquefort and Mulled Pear Salad - deliciously light but packed with flavour. I loved it.


Then onto a traditional turkey dinner. I'm not exagerrating when I say the Mal's Christmas Dinner is the best I've ever eaten. The turkey was moist and succulent and served with both bread and cranberry sauce, the vegetables were beautifully caramalised and the roast potatoes were simply perfect. Add the delicious gravy and I just couldn't fault this dish at all. It even trumped the Turkey Dinner I enjoyed at Jesmond Dene House a few nights later.



I could barely squeeze in dessert but opted for a Sticky Toffee Pudding with caramel sauce and pecans. This pudding was nice and light but I was so full up I sadly couldn't finish it all. Our sommelier recommended a dessert wine to accompany our dish and I have to say it's not something we'd normally order. We went with it though and were really pleased we did. It felt like a real treat.


I contemplated a festive cocktail in the Mal bar which was nice and lively but in all honesty, I was so full of food and drink that I needed a lie down. We retired to our room and enjoyed a restful night's sleep. Considering it's location, we weren't bothered by any noise in the slightest - they must have invested in decent insulation! 

We woke the following morning as fresh as a daisy. We decided to go for continental breakfast in bed as had plans to dine out for lunch later in the day. I was expecting a couple of croissants in a grab and go bag.....not this fantastic selection that really surprised us. 


Wow breakfast really exceeded our expectations and paired with a late check out and morning TV was the perfect way to relax before braving the crowds of Newcastle to finish our Christmas shopping. 





My festive weekend in Newcastle could not have been more perfect. I honestly love our city and can't think of a better place to spend my birthday. If you'd like to watch more of what we got up to, check out my Vlogmas video below:



I've linked this post to #CityTripping - check it out here
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11 comments

  1. I really need to stay over at the Mal, it's been on our list for ages! We almost made it out a night out when we got a little tipsy in the bar and couldn't be bothered to go home, but unfortunately they didn't have any rooms available (or they just told us that! ha!)

    Can't get over how amazing that breakfast basket is!

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  2. Husband and I stayed in Newcastle a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it! It's a great place for any celebration. Happy bday to you!
    #CityTripping

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  3. The Malmaison is on our list of possible places to stay for our wedding as I spoke to them recently. I have never actually stayed in the Newcastle one before, I might have to book one of the deals next year to see what it is like. I love Newcastle at Christmas time x

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  4. sounds like a fantastic trip - love the look of the decor style and the food. I need to visit a Christmas market soon :)

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  5. I stayed in the Malmaison in Belfast earlier this year and it was such a lovely hotel, it's good to know if I head to Newcastle that there's one there too x

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  6. I just love the mals and hotel du vins. The food at the Newcastle mal is so good. That dinner looked amazing. I’d love to stay over sometime!

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  7. Loved watching your Vlogmas video and your birthday treat sounds fantastic - I'm a big fan of Malmaison, they always seem to have such great deals for somewhere so stylish. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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  8. Great to get a peek into the Malmaison in Newcastle! I must say I'm impressed with the price and the meal looks absolutely delicious. I love the photo looking from the Winter Wonderland roof terrace - beautiful! #citytripping

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  9. What a breakfast! I've always been impressed with Malmaison hotels, they're great value for money I think. And as for Newcastle - it was so nice to see photo's of it again! I'm from Hartlepool so Newcastle was a regular shoppong spot for me and my mam but I was way too young to appreciate the bars on offer ;) #citytripping

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  10. The dinner sounds amazing! Your photos are beautiful. Newcastle holds a special place in my heart after visiting Grandma there for so many years. We'd definitely try out the Malmaison when we come back.

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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