‘These days I prefer a ‘flat white.’ It’s like a small latte with less milk – they’re popular in Australia’ – Hugh Jackman
Blakes is a bit of a favourite of mine in terms of cafes in Newcastle, which is odd considering I don’t actually go there all that much. First of all, there’s pictures of Bob Dylan on the walls, who was a huge hero in my house growing up thanks to my dad’s fandom. It’s also been, 2 years running now, the location for my annual father/daughter Christmas shopping day. Which is something that has happened every year for about the last 15 years and always starts with a good breakfast and a strong cup of coffee somewhere.
So, when it comes to Blakes’ awesome sausage, egg and black pudding breakfast sandwiches, I’m somewhat of an expert. When it comes to their lunch menu however, I’m an amateur. The décor is dark, and the tables are close to each other meaning there’s a real ‘bustling’ feel as soon as you walk in. There’s a deli counter of pre-made sandwiches and savoury pastries (quiche, pies etc) diagonally to the left as you walk in, which is where you order your food and take a seat with a wooden spoon to have it bought over to you.
After over indulging heavily over Easter weekend I was looking for something with loads of green so went for the Greek Salad sandwich, which isn’t something you see all that often, but let me tell you, feta cheese and olives in a sandwich is inspired! It was also nice that despite you order at the counter, they take your sandwich and load it with crisps and bring it over to your table, which is a nice touch, particularly for Ang who was having a toastie so was able to sit down while it was being heated up.
Coffee wise all the usual suspects are available, and I went for my standard flat white to try and provide some consistency to this guide. A strong 7/10 I’d say. It stacked up as not quite up there with the first one I had in Laneway but a solid effort for sure, and the sandwich (with crisps) and the coffee came in at just over £7 so can’t really complain at that.
Location wise Blakes is perfect, slap bang in the centre of town, and if you’re ever there early enough their breakfast sandwiches truly are something else. I imagine it would be the perfect lunch stop in-between shopping on a weekend as they also have a small selection of beer and wine too, so that’s me sold on it as a weekend venue!
Under £10: Yes
Pay by card: Yes
Easily seated: Yes
Served within an hour: Yes
Take away available: Yes