Christmas can be a romantic time but it's also a time with a lot of distractions. Christmas cards to send, work nights out to survive, Home Alone and Elf to watch... These are our recommendations for how to get away from all of that festive busy-ness for one weekend so you can enjoy the pre-Christmas build up with the one person you most want to enjoy it with.

Festive markets

Christmas market season in Newcastle begins with the Newcastle International Christmas Market (Fri 18 November – Sun 11 December) which is bursting with mouth-watering festive foods, delicacies from across the globe and gifts that will leave all stockings bulging. One market flows seamlessly into another with the Winter Christmas Market running from Mon 12 – Sun 18 December.  Both Markets take place around Grey's Monument underneath sparkly Christmas lights. The historic Grainger Market host an indoor Christmas Arts & Craft Market which will take place on Sat 10 December as well as a special, Festive Night Market on Thu 1 December buzzing with live music and dancing. Newcastle Castle will transport you to Christmas in Narnia with a festive market bustling with craft stalls, food and entertainment from some of C.S. Lewis’ most famous fantastical characters (Sat 10 – Sun 11 December).

It's a Wonderful Life at Tyneside Cinema

Screening at Tyneside Cinema from Fri 2 – Wed 28 December 2016, It's a Wonderful Life is the popular Christmas tale of loveable everyman George Bailey as he's shown just how much his life is worth living by Clarence, an angel trying to earn his wings. An independent cinema which started life as a newsreel cinema in the 1930s, the Tyneside is perhaps the perfect setting for a classic film. If you can, get tickets for the Classic Circle where you can cuddle up on handmade double sofas. Book your tickets here.

Ice skating at Life Science Centre

Show off your skills or hold onto your partner for balance... Life Science Centre's ice rink opens on Saturday 12 November and is a sure sign that winter is nearly here. There’s no need to book unless you fancy a special Christmas Eve spin around the ice. Opening times vary.

Christmas dinner at Blackfriars

In many cases, a Christmas dinner will struggle to live up to Christmas dinners made by our mams. But if you like turkey and all the trimmings, we recommend you book in at Blackfriars Restaurant this December. Located in a medieval friary, Blackfriars Restaurant can lay claim to being the oldest dining room in the UK. And it looks good in snow. Don’t miss their tantalising list of Festive Aperitifs including a Christmas Cosmo, Apple Sap and Monk’s Tash each bursting with their own winning combination of traditional, festive flavours like spiced apple, cinnamon or ginger wine and cranberry juice. Book a table here.

Mulled wine all round
 


Take a break from all the festivities and warm up with a steaming glass of mulled wine or spiced cider while you chat about what you would like Santa to bring you for Christmas.  Sip a mug of mulled wine on the go as you browse the Christmas Markets or take a break and cosy up while you enjoy the seasonal tipple. Head to The Forth, The Town Wall or festive pop-up Hadrian’s Tipi to enjoy some authentic glühwein or try The Botanist’s Secret Spiced Apple Cider, Mysterious Mixed Spice Mulled Wine or even a Cranberry and Cinnamon Sloe Sipsmith G&T, which leads us nicely onto…
 

The Botanist Open-Air Winter Wonderland
 

 

This year is an Alpine theme so you can enjoy some après-ski in The Botanist’s ski shack-inspired terrace without having to step onto the slopes. Popular bar and restaurant, The Botanist, annually transforms its roof garden into a cosy, hideout for Christmas shoppers and city revellers. An enchanting space high above the busy streets of Newcastle city centre, this is the ideal place to cosy up with a blanket under the twinkling lights of this festive open-air wonderland. Sip imaginative cocktails or warming spiced apple cider while peering out across striking views of Grey’s Monument and the Christmas Lights which adorn Grey Street’s stunning architecture. Tuck into a delicious seasonal menu in The Botanist’s restaurant including Turkey Hanging Kebab with spiced cranberry glace and apple and cranberry crumble tart.

Ark Royal Exec Suite at Malmaison Newcastle

If you're having a treat weekend, you might as well do it properly. Malmaison Newcastle's Ark Royal Exec Suite has a large, open-plan layout with fantastic views of the River Tyne, a king-size bed, walk-in monsoon shower and twin baths. It's also right on the quayside so close by for drinks on the quayside at Pitcher and Piano, The Bridge Tavern , Aveika or Tiger Hornsby.

Malmaison offer a range of rooms befitting its 4-star rating which can be booked here.

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