If you’re either from, or living in Newcastle, you’ll know it’s a city with an ever changing landscape. Whether it’s new and top drawer student accommodation or amazing new stores on the high street, Newcastle is a city thats pace is lightening quick.
A short walk from the bustling shopping centre is High Bridge; an authentic cobbled street which once bustled with independent fashion and record stores and one of my favourites in the 90’s. In recent times, High Bridge has seen many of these cool, urban type stores go out of business or move on, however today, the split street seems to be going through something of a revival.
One of the last remaining High Bridges originals, Henry’s Barbers, stands solid on the middle of the street, refusing to be threatened by recession or new businesses, in fact it’s barely changed since conception and has become one of those places that every Geordie knows of. The recent addition of Motel One on High Bridge has seen an influx of new customers hit the street and with that comes new business.
Enter Laneway & Co. We all know the power of a great coffee and we all know how elusive that can be. Torn between forgoing an early morning cup of coffee to support local business which opens at 9am, or pouring cash into a national chain to get your fix? Well Laneway & Co wants to change that.
High bridge is a short street that links the Bigg Market to Grey Street and there’s a lot of footfall during both rush hours as busy business people travel to and from work. What does that mean? It’s a location crying out for an aces independent coffee shop and now, that’s exactly what it has. With it’s fresh, white and inviting interior, Laneway basks in it’s simplicity and lets the coffee do the talking.
A simple premise; just two fun loving guys who spent some time in Australia appreciating the coffee shop boom and mentality and spinning it into something that could work in the UK. These guys are smart. Not just book smart, but savvy. The shop is pet friendly and child friendly. I note the absence of garish prints on the wall that other big chains have and mentally note that this is a completely safe place to bring my autistic son, not overstimulating at all.
The guys here are chilled and damn do they know their stuff. They regale me with stories of how coffee should be given time to ‘de-gas’ in order to taste the flavours properly and how their machinery is cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day to ‘protect the integrity and taste of the coffee.’ It’s safe to say they’re passionate about what they do.
The big things to note here are that Laneway serve up a pretty damn awesome cup of coffee and that they’re open from 7.30am. Yes, 7.30am, Hallelujah. Once you’ve navigated the menu and chosen your blend, you’ll find that the coffee served here is akin to what you might buy in Spain or Italy and man, am I a fan. With Mama Tenenbaum living in Menorca, I’ve gotten used to drinking awesome coffee when I go to visit and so coffee served in the UK never seems to cut it. Laneway challenges that and comes pretty damn close so for that reason, it gets a massive thumbs up from me Voyeurs.
If you’re in or visiting Newcastle and need a fix, or just fancy a little time out from the hustle and bustle of the city without venturing too far, head to Laneway Coffee Co and I challenge you not to be impressed….
Laneway Coffee Co is at 17-19 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EW