Top 3 Albums of 2020

29th December 2020

2020 has been the worst year on record for a long while. But we did get some good music to keep us going. If you’re expecting this list to include any Hip Hop, R&B, techno, etc., then I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. However, at least they’re current. So, whether you like it or not, here […]

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Film Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

23rd December 2020

3.7/5 Yes, yes, yes – I am yet again coming to you with a review of a film Hugh Grant is in. Florence Foster Jenkins, a 2016 Stephen Frears film, is based on the true story of the eponymous New York socialite singer (Meryl Streep) and her devoted husband St. Clair Bayfield. It’s a comedy […]

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Book Review: Atonement

21st December 2020

4.5/5 About five years ago in my youth youth, I put a film called Atonement on one Sunday afternoon. From the beginning, I was hooked. I then found out it was a book. Five years later, one pandemic-stricken summer, I bought the book and kept it next to my bed until I was free to […]

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Film Review: Notting Hill

17th December 2020

3.5/5 Hello and welcome to the Hugh Grant fan bandwagon. Since I’m re-watching basically all of his classic films (it’s Christmas, leave me be), I thought I may as well review them. First up is Notting Hill – the Richard Curtis film that made this pocket of London one of the most famous. The plot […]

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wizard of oz

Book Review: The Wizard of Oz

16th December 2020

4.5/5 Kindness. Wisdom. Courage. Those are the three things that L. Frank Baum’s most famous children’s book, The Wizard of Oz, is about. Those three things and, of course, the ever-important lesson that home really is where the heart is. At the ripe age of 20, I eventually dug into Baum’s children’s classic, 120 years […]

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Album Review: evermore

14th December 2020

3.7/5 (go with me on this one) Anyone with the Internet will not have missed Taylor Swift’s new, new album, evermore. Described by Swift as the ‘sister album’ to July’s folklore, the latest record is a further wander into the woods of her previous work, though some tracks are slightly lacklustre. The lead single on […]

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TV Review: The Undoing

30th November 2020

4/5 Think top actors meet trash-ish TV. That’s The Undoing – but it’s great. A simple murder mystery about some seriously rich New Yorkers and an English child oncologist Jonathan Fraser, who apparently mysteriously finds himself accused of murdering his secret lover, played by Hugh Grant. Though the first couple of episodes have enough Americanisms […]

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Review: The Crown, S4

16th November 2020

The Crown returned to Netflix last weekend after months of anticipation from fans around the globe. Knowing that series four would cover the years of Thatcher and Princess Diana, the series has been trending on Twitter for most of the past two days. But is it any good? Well, the previous series of The Crown […]

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TV Review: Deadwater Fell

14th October 2020

3.5/5 When a housefire devastates a close, rural community in Scotland, killing most of the family apart from one – the father – and it’s on Channel 4, you know there’s foul play somewhere. Deadwater Fell, streaming on E4, is a four-part drama in which said foul play unravels at break-kneck speed. The first episode […]

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Food Review: Las Iguanas, Newcastle

12th October 2020

4/5 If you love a good theme, Las Iguanas is a restaurant you might like to try. The Latin American-style chain has restaurants all over the country, but I recently popped into the one on Grey Street just down from the Theatre Royal. As always, the restaurant itself is pristine and the atmosphere is super […]

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Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

11th October 2020

1/5 1984 is always cited as one of the best books ever written. It’s supposed to be intelligent, sharp and profound. Instead, I found it to be dull, rambling and unremarkable. Oh, and rampantly sexist. George Orwell was clever – I’ve read his essays and I like them. But 1984? It was hard to believe […]

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Album Review: Smile, Katy Perry

8th October 2020

3.5/5 Once upon a time, Katy Perry was the ultimate Queen of Pop. If she released a song, she dominated the charts. With her album Witness, none of this happened. A whole era of her career was, as she admits, a failure. Two days before the birth of her first child, Daisy Dove Bloom, Perry […]

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Review: The Boat Shack, County Durham

7th October 2020

3/5 It gives me no pleasure to say it, but The Boat Shack, settled in the nest of the stunning Derwent Reservoir, was a bit of a disappointment. The cafe-style parlour has an Instagrammable selling point: its milkshakes. Everyone from everywhere has had one (or so it seems) and they look absolutely incredible. So, on […]

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Book Review: The Light Between Oceans

7th October 2020

5/5 Three things are rare when it comes to me and books. First, someone buys me a book and I actually like it; second, it takes me less than two weeks to read a book; and third, I pass a book on to my grandma because I think it’s so good. M L Stedman’s The […]

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The Best Podcasts

6th October 2020

Podcasts have become one of the most popular things to consume in modern popular culture. Essentially, it’s a little radio show in your ears on the go, or in your bed, and you can consume as many as you want whenever you want and however much you want. So, what are the best podcasts we’ve […]

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Food Review: Lola Jeans, Newcastle

2nd October 2020

2/5 Lola Jeans has long had me absolutely dying to go. Why? Because of their Instagram. Every post is pitch perfect, their whole feed is coordinated and the food looks delicious. Eventually I went – and I am so glad I went when it was half price. I would absolutely not pay that much money […]

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acropolis grainger market

Food Review: Acropolis, Grainger Market

28th September 2020

4/5 Greek food is absolutely all the rage at the moment. You can’t go two minutes on Instagram without seeing a kebab-like thing drowned in yoghurt. But I tell you what – once you’ve had one, you know why. Acropolis in the Grainger Market is a relatively small but authentic Greek street-food-type joint offering a […]

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Album Review: Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa

23rd September 2020

4.5/5 It’s a common theme that I don’t really like much of what is produced in the 21st century. And when it comes to music, this theme is most pronounced. However, what I will say is this: Dua Lipa is the only person holding pop music as we knew it up. Future Nostalgia confirms this. […]

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double agent

Book Review: Double Agent by Tom Bradby

22nd September 2020

4/5 Books written today are usually lacklustre and fail to hit the mark. But Tom Bradby’s (yes – that’s Tom Bradby from ITV News at Ten) latest novel, Double Agent, is far from lacklustre and absolutely hits the mark. Double Agent picks up where its sister novel Secret Service left off: MI6 agent Kate Henderson […]

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Food Review: Fattoush Lounge, Metrocentre

21st September 2020

4.5/5 Authentic Lebanese food has taken off in the UK. It all began in London, really, and then hummous started to take off basically everywhere. Thank goodness it did – we wouldn’t have Fattoush Lounge in the Metrocentre otherwise. I am a sucker for a really good bit of authentic food – be it Italian, […]

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the hudson

Review: The Hudson, Newcastle

20th September 2020

4/5 What’s better on a gorgeous day than going for a cocktail with a mate? Nothing. And The Hudson is now one of my favourite places to do that. Located just opposite Newcastle Central Station with both indoor and outdoor seating, you can really take in the beauty of our city at The Hudson – […]

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surf cafe

Review: Tynemouth Surf Cafe

17th September 2020

5/5 When we were eventually let out of the house, there was one place I wanted to go: Tynemouth Surf Cafe. After originally hearing about them via the social media whispers of local singing hero Sam Fender in the midst of lockdown, I kept an eye on the beachfront venue. I’m glad I did. The […]

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Album Review: folklore

26th July 2020

9/10 It’s a Sunday morning when I connect to my speaker to begin the journey of folklore, Taylor Swift’s lockdown brain-child. Also known as: her latest album. Bon Iver has contributed to this one – and you can tell. Mainly because every single song doesn’t begin with a capital letter. The album cover is black […]

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Gig Review: Sam Fender

10th December 2019

North Shields and north east sweetheart Sam Fender took Newcastle’s O2 Academy by storm for two nights last weekend – and what an impression he made. The north already adores Fender, who grew up on a North Shields council estate with his mam, but this weekend only increased that admiration for the up-and-coming star. He […]

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Review: Flat White, Durham

28th November 2019

3.5/5 As I’ve said many times before in my restaurant reviews, the small city of Durham provides a hub of places to eat for foodies and those who just want a belly full. Flat White is one of the most popular brunch restaurants in Durham for both types of people – so popular, in fact, […]

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Review: Great British Cupcakery, Newcastle

27th November 2019

4/5 If you’re on the hunt for the most-grammable food you can find, The Great British Cupcakery should be at the very top of your list. With the most dreamy aesthetic in the shop itself, and the most gorgeous-looking cupcakes and shakes you’ve ever seen, it is unbeatable. I have had my fair share of […]

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Review: Slug and Lettuce, Durham

26th November 2019

4/5 Although Durham is home to many independent restaurants, cafes and bars, sometimes it’s nice to step inside of a big chain like Slug and Lettuce. Slug and Lettuce is one of the brand new restaurants in the historical city of Durham, situated next to the Champagne Bar and the Gala Theatre. From the moment […]

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Must Watch: This Country

22nd November 2019

I’ve always watched the British version of The Office and have absolutely loved it. Stephen Merchant was able to bring a completely different medium of comedy to our screens and it’s never really been matched. However, the new BBC mockumentary sitcom This Country came highly recommended to me by my mother and Rotten Tomatoes, and […]

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Restaurant Review: Cosy Club, Durham

20th October 2019

4.5/5 In one of my many reviews of Durham’s bars and restaurants, I’m heading to the newly opened Cosy Club, situated above the bank of the River Wear, opposite Durham Cathedral. Cosy Club is not the cheapest place in Durham for food – that’s agiven. This is definitely because of its more sophisticated and classier […]

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Film Review: Joker

18th October 2019

No, you aren’t going to get shot going to watch this film. Joker is directed by the guy who made The Hangover trilogy and uses that basis to claim comedy is dead. We know Todd. We saw them too. It stars Joaquin Phoenix (a name I will spell once and only once) as Arthur Fleck. […]

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TV Review: Netflix’s Unbelievable

9th October 2019

Netflix has outdone themselves recently with their latest series Unbelievable. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning article written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, the eight-episode series follows the story of a manhunt for a serial rapist across the Western United States. The series explores the ordeal of the first victim, 18-year-old Marie, who reports […]

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Bar Review: Revolution Durham

4th October 2019

4/5 The leafy and historical city of Durham sits tucked away on the banks of the River Wear. Along the Wear you’ll find cafes and bars – Revolution being one of them, and one of the most popular. Though Revolution is part of a wider chain of cocktail bars and restaurants, it doesn’t feel that […]

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TV Review: The Thick of It, BBC

2nd October 2019

5/5 Not since David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s Peep Show have I laughed so much watching a TV series as I did watching The Thick of It. This BBC comedy is set in Whitehall and follows the bumbling workings of a fictional government department – scandals and all. The Thick of It is absolutely hilarious. […]

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Review: Revolucion de Cuba, Newcastle

30th September 2019

4/5 Newcastle is, of course, world-famous for its nightlife. Bars and clubs are a hit with pretty much everyone who ever visits our city, but it’s always nice to know what locals make of the watering holes around the Toon. Revolucion de Cuba, located just off Grey Street in the Cloth Market, is one of […]

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The Beano Comic: Still Good Today?

28th September 2019

Do you enjoy being entertained? Do you like funny jokes? Do you like learning top secret pranks? Well if you do, then The Beano comic is for you. In my opinion, The Beano is Britain’s best comic and is home to comic legends the Bash Street Kids. They have super skills…and maximum chaos! Bu please, […]

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Show Review: Six, London

26th September 2019

Do you love girl bands, history and tonnes of laughter? If so, you’re in the right place. Six takes the form of a pop concert, where six wives form a competition. The criteria for the competition is who had the worst experience with their husband, Henry the Eighth. The wives take turns singing a song […]

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Live Music Review: Channy Thompson

25th September 2019

Channy Thompson is an amazing singer who recently performed at Newcastle University to a whole mix of ages. It was an awesome night and I sang and danced throughout the whole evening. I would recommend her to all ages above ten as she sings very family-friendly and upbeat songs, like What About Us? by P!nk, […]

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TV Review: Mothers on the Edge, Louis Theroux

22nd September 2019

5/5 Louis Theroux is renowned for his documentaries all around the world. His non-invasive, accepting and calm style of presenting is perfect for getting the truth of a situation or matter, and Mothers on the Edge is no different. Having previously covered issues like gambling, porn, sex trafficking, drug addiction and much more, Theroux this […]

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Book Review: Secret Service, Tom Bradby

19th September 2019

5/5 Heavyweight ITV journalist Tom Bradby is best known for presenting the news each night at 10pm on our TV screens. But, for those who care to follow him on Twitter, you will know he also has another talent up his sleeve: writing. His latest novel Secret Service proves very well that he is exceptionally […]

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TV Review: Our Planet, BBC

19th September 2019

Our Planet is a TV series originally broadcast by the BBC, but now streaming on Netflix. Narrated by the amazing David Attenborough and filmed across the world, Our Planet is all about animals, their habitats and how they survive in difficult circumstances. This is a popular series that has inspired people to be more aware […]

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Review: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal

18th September 2019

Adventuring to Universal Studios? Looking for a luxurious yet exciting hotel? Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is only a short walk to the world-famous Orlando theme parks and the bustle of the city walk entertainment. And it has all the benefits of a five-star resort. The hotel masquerades as Portofino’s iconic pastel-coloured houses set in a […]

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Film Review: IT Chapter 2 (feat. James L)

16th September 2019

Well, that’ll teach me to get my hopes up. IT: Chapter 2 is the sequel to the 2017 horror about a child-eating clown. A film that is excellent when it’s being a charming kid-drama and annoying when it’s being a dull jump-scare fest. All in all, it was good enough to get me to read […]

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Tin Can Cook: A New Way To Cook on a Budget

8th September 2019

Jack Monroe is almost a scientist in the way she experiments with food. She takes the experimenting to a whole new level in her latest cookbook Tin Can Cook. The canned food-based recipe book is food blogger and anti-poverty activist Jack Monroe’s fourth cookbook. For anybody who hasn’t done much cooking, the wording of the […]

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Film Review: Brooklyn

8th September 2019

5/5 It’s the age-old dream of many: move to New York and start a life there. It’s a magical, monumental fairytale. A childhood dream of millions. But those brave enough to pack up their bags and head across the Atlantic to the City of Dreams know full well how difficult it really is. And so […]

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Doctor Who: still the best?

3rd September 2019

Once upon a time, Harry Potter was all I wanted to watch. Then, by chance, I saw one episode of Doctor Who. As soon as the next series started, I was downstairs and watching it – glued to the TV. Doctor Who is a BBC sci-fi drama which has been running for over 50 years […]

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Book Review: You Got This

1st September 2019

5/5 You Got This by Bryony Gordon is all about being yourself and being true to yourself. The book, published in May this year, openly talks about and explores topics such as self-respect, body image, mental health and more. Each chapter of You Got This has a different theme, but all of them have one […]

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Review: Marron Theatre Arts

31st August 2019

Have you ever thought about dancing or theatre as a hobby? I have been dancing at Marron Theatre Arts for eight years and I love it. With the training here, you get the skills you need to become a great dancer if you’re willing to put the work in. You also learn skills even if […]

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Film Review: Pet Sematary

30th August 2019

4.5/5 Pet Sematary is a horror blockbuster released earlier this year, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Its horrifying storyline managed to capture audiences around the globe, even if King was hesitant to publish the novel originally, considering it too distressing. Dr Louis Creed (played by Jason Clarke) discovers a mysterious […]

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Book Review: The Woman in the Window

29th August 2019

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn is a thriller book that consistently shocks you throughout. Finn creates an agoraphobic character named Anna Fox, who will not go outdoors due to past trauma. In the novel, we discover Anna’s background and what has caused her to have such a terrible fear of the […]

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Product Review: Apple Watch

28th August 2019

At the time of writing this review, Apple has released four generations of their game-changing product: the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is a smart-watch available in two sizes (40mm and 44mm) which acts like a regular watch, though with way more useful features. The question, however, is this: is the Apple Watch the future […]

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