Last night I headed over to the Grainger Market in Newcastle for a very special Christmas Night Market. If you’re not from the North East then let me fill you in…
The Grainger Market is something of a local treasure in Newcastle, housed in a square block between Clayton Street and Grainger Street, it’s been a part of the city since 1835. With over a hundred shops and stalls under the steel and glass roof, it really has to be visited to give life to the description. It’s the home of a collective of vibrant, small local businesses and some awesome creatives who thrive on their solidarity as a unit and if you visit the market, you’ll see that in spades.
It’s quirky, it’s cute and ultimately it’s well planned out. From the original aisles which made up the ‘flesh market’ which now houses local food produce, through to the Grainger Arcade which is the younger, funkier end. Everything in the Grainger Market has a place that has been carefully considered and every Geordie you meet, will have a favourite unit housed within it.
This year, for the first time ever, the Grainger Market played host to a Christmas Night Market with the promise of mulled wine, local food samples and a VIP tour of that famous hidden air raid shelter. To be honest Voyeurs, I heard “Air raid shelter” and was there like a shot.
When I arrived, the place was buzzing with life, a choir was singing with an audience of smiling faces and Christmas jumpers as lights projected out across the glass ceiling, transforming the Grainger Market into a Winter Wonderland. I registered for my VIP wristband and map, and headed straight to Pet Lamb patisserie to stock up on festive treats made with a local touch.
One of my all time favourite stores is in the Grainger Market; Ellen’s Cosmetics is a secret staple for many a Beauty Blogger, known for sourcing hard to find items and products, and stocking brands that you just can’t find anywhere else. It’s my go to for hair toners. Yup, that’s right Voyeurs, when you see me with my many shades of pastel hair, this is my supplier and I picked up some new ones last night taking advantage of their 20% off offer exclusively for the Night Market. ??
I also managed to get a tour of one of the two hidden air raid shelters under the Grainger Market, something I’ve wanted to do since I heard about it in The Chronicle earlier this year and it didn’t disappoint. I headed into the dark tunnel with fellow Bloggers Rachel Kershaw & Ami Littlefair and we were given the lowdown on how it would have been used by the most adorably City Tour Guide.
From the surface, it’s pretty easy to, it’s the entrance despite being wide open & surrounded by metal barriers, it’s hidden in plain sight. The steps lead down to a chamber which eerily splits off into two narrow corridors, it almost feels like picking your fate….
Filled with vintage props, the shelter has been preserved and still has original drawings on the walls. Not my usual post but I’m actually super interested in this kind of thing so next on my list is The Victoria Tunnel tour. I also kind of have to take some responsibility for Rachel bumping her head on a steel joist on the way out, soz dude.
After a good stroll around the market and it’s various entertainment spots, cue buskers, Newcastle Roller Girls Head Coach Kalamity James (and my awesome mate) whizzing around on quads, I headed home feeling slightly less grinchy and munching on a bag of sweet treats.
If you’re the kind of person who seeks to support local business over larger chain stores and you’re in the North East then give the Grainger Market a look. There are quirky independent stores hidden within those old walls and some great places for food that still remain a bit of a Geordie secret. Also, it’s looking super Christmassy in there right now, which is always a winner in my book!