In a nutshell:
-one of the main players in the North East roastery scene
-a coffee collective serving the local community
-a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere in a location that’s hard to beat
Weaving down the cobbled street of Pink Lane on a crisp autumnal day, you may feel the energetic rush from its wind tunnel, which is a sign of things to come. Waiting at the bottom of the lane, just opposite Newcastle train station, sits Pink Lane Coffee. If the rush of wind didn’t light you up, then their coffee certainly will.
It feels inviting; it feels like this coffee shop stands for something bigger
Inside, all is cosy and yet buzzing at the same time – an ideal place to stopover when arriving in Newcastle by train, or for a catch up at your favourite local. Two men re-connecting over a blackcurrant cake; weary travellers sheltering from the wind.
They call themselves a collective – it’s unclear how this affects the workings of the business, but there is a feeling of a ‘collective’ throughout the cafe. Local artists’ work lines the walls, and there’s even a ‘pay what you can’ for the plants. It feels inviting; it feels like this coffee shop stands for something bigger, particularly to the local clientele.
for the welcome, the ease of being right next to the station, and the range of coffee they serve, I would happily come back to Pink Lane Coffee time and time again
Pink Lane Coffee proudly roast their own beans, and their roastery is just a stone’s throw north of the cafe. They roast seasonally selected single origin coffee from ethical and responsible sources from across the world. I had their house coffee in a flat white. Often I get put off by notes of cherry – it can err on the tangy side – but it was balanced, smooth, and the alchemy of the different notes gave just enough to keep it exciting.
Generally they have two espresso options and when I went, five different pour over options, all hand-brewed via V60. As one of the main players in the North East roastery scene, they supply numerous cafes, hotels and restaurants in the surrounding area and beyond. Find them on my UK coffee roasters guide.
Go for some overnight oats, some avocado and bacon on toast, or one of their majestic sandwiches (whipped feta, artichoke, beetroot, balsamic and spinach baguette anyone?
It wouldn’t be complete without a touch of avocado somewhere. Thankfully, they do breakfast, ‘stuff on toast’ (note, no eggs), and sandwiches. Go for some overnight oats, some avocado and bacon on toast, or one of their majestic sandwiches (whipped feta, artichoke, beetroot, balsamic and spinach baguette anyone?) Fresh cakes and pastries sit vying for your attention, and little treats like specialty chocolate are great options for quick pick-me-ups.
They are currently trialling a zero emissions local delivery service – delivering coffee by bicycle to certain postcodes, with a view to expanding to a larger area over time. They source beans from small producers and celebrate transparency from seed to cup. Responsibility-wise – from an ethical and ecological point of view – they seem to take the initiative to tackle problems head on, and it’s apparent they really care about making the world a better, fairer place.
All in all:
There are a good handful of coffee shops and roasteries across Newcastle, but for the welcome, the ease of being right next to the station, and the range of coffee they serve, I would happily come back to Pink Lane Coffee time and time again. They care about the taste, the ethics, and their responsibility to their local area – and beyond. My tip: grab a takeaway, walk down to the river and soak up the history of Hadrian’s Wall. The most spectacular views to blow all the cobwebs away. (Take note also of the coffee paraphernalia on sale – plants, books, branded coffee cups and air tight coffee canister. Perfect present ideas all year round.)
My tip: grab a takeaway, walk down to the river and soak up the history of Hadrian’s Wall
Things to know:
-accessibility: one small step to the entrance door (see picture below)
–indoor and outdoor seating
–Opening hours: 8-5pm (Mon-Fri); 9-5pm (Sat); 10-4pm (Sun)
Things to do nearby:
I could talk about the architecture in Newcastle for days. Alongside its cultural offerings and nightlife, it’s a weekend away waiting to happen…
–Hadrian’s Wall Path – about 15mins walk towards the river, join a part of this famous coast to coast walk. The wall dates back to AD 122 and was built to mark the boundary between Roman Britannia and unconquered Caledonia to the north. Perfect for a coffee-in-hand midday exploration.
–Newcastle Castle – ever wondered where Newcastle got its name? Right in the centre of the city, a family-friendly and fascinating visit.
–Discovery Museum – a science and local history museum rolled into one. In the centre of the city, it’s free to visit and set in a beautiful historical building itself.
–Theatre Royal – showing no. 1 touring shows, it’s the hotspot for the best of British theatre.
–Olive and Bean – perfect independent brunch spot with lots of seating.
–Pink Lane Bakery – set on the same lane, check out their sweet and savoury treats, and their iconic pink shop front.
Wanna try Pink Lane coffee at home? Get their beans from their website here.