Old and new is the theme of the Quayside at Gateshead. Crossing over the fab winking eye that is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge from the Newcastle side of the Tyne you find yourself immediately at the foot of the Baltic Contemporary Art Centre which was once a flour mill. Just as it reads on the tin this is the home of contemporary art. There is a cafe as you enter at ground level and perhaps the icing on the cake is Six a nearly sky high bar with views over the Tyne. It was in Six that the front of house guy kindly introduced me to Marlish tonic water a naturally sweet perfect accompaniment to gin…… I can recommend if you are cutting out sugar.
The views from the bar are perfect for a first time visit….and talking of views there is an observation deck which gives the visitor a birds eye shot of the kittiwakes on the Tyne. Lined up sitting on their nests the kittiwakes have made this old flour mill their home and they seem oblivious to the tourists watching them watching the tourists back! Great place for looking over to Quayside Newcastle and watching the silver sparkle on The Sage.
The Sage is contemporary; it looks like a huge silver cocoon or space home of the 22nd century. Changing colour as the sun sets and reflecting the city lights this is a large events centre and you are welcome to walk through or grab a coffee.
It’s worth a walk down to either the Tyne or High Level Bridge to catch a glimpse of the original Gateshead with its golden town hall and clock before hopping back over to the big city.