Whatever your mood, a quick blast of that North Sea wind with the sea salt in it really lifts the spirits.
In the summer, my husband and I like to walk along the seafront from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth, have a coffee and walk back again. It's about an hour each way. I think Front Street in Tynemouth is a bit of a gem - the setting is really special with the Priory and the sea at one end, then the street flanked with a good mixture of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. My 18-year old daughter loves the clothes at Ruby and Frank. I’ll go to Gareth James Chocolatier for a mocha or no61 Front Street for delicious home made cake, before popping into the Deli Round the Corner for a stock up of special foody treats.
My favourite place to meet friends is Links Gallery on the seafront at Whitley Bay. The coffee's good and they have a decent range of local prints and art on the walls and newspapers to read. In summer I have a penchant for the retro interior on the other side of the same building - the Rendezvous Café, which looks out over the sea. Every generation passes through. I love it when families come in with their buggies and buckets and spades and dogs. On warm days queues form at the side window for proper old style whipped ice creams.
The big benefit of living where we do is that it's so easy to get into NewcastleGateshead on the Metro. It's meant our children have enjoyed a lot of freedom as they've grown up and been able to access all the facilities of the city. To me it's the perfect city, it has real character and a true sense of identity and individuality, I love the architectural mix and the river setting. The people are warm and genuine and there is a real sense of community. The Tyneside Cinema, Cafe Paradiso, The Sage Gateshead and John Lewis are the icing on my slice of North East cake!