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Shopping in the city

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Leeds

Over the past few years, Leeds has seen a real growth in shopping centre stores. With the new Trinity Centre dominating the skyline, and the impressive range of retailers that inhabit Leeds’ newest offering, there are plenty of high street names on offer. The beauty of Trinity, when compared to other centres, comes in the fact that the stores within the facility compliment the pre-existing stores in Leeds, as opposed to duplicating them. If you’re after something higher end, the Victoria Quarter, situated a mere walk across Briggate offers a more quaint and boutique experience, perfect for those with a more expensive taste. It’s fairly typical that the city centre offers a vast range of high street retailers for you to choose from. When in Leeds, the principal pedestrianised shopping street is Briggate. Housing many of the UK’s premium high street names, along with an assortment of tech and gadget stores, you’ll find most shops within a small radius of the street. Meeting the street at a perpendicular, The Headrow also offers fashionable retail stores, meaning that you don’t have too far to travel when you fancy a leisurely browse. If you’re after something a little different from your trip, Leeds also offers a choice of smaller, independent stores. Whether you’re after men’s fashion in The Hip Store, or knickknacks and crafts from the assortment of stores inside the Corn Exchange, it’s worth taking a look online at what the independent traders of Leeds can offer you.

Manchester

Manchester is renowned for the assortment of retail options available. With the Arndale Centre located centrally in the middle of Manchester, the area has a similar feel to Leeds, with both large shopping centres and high street stores all within close proximity. If you want to avoid the city centre hustle and bustle, the Trafford Centre is just a short journey away. Manchester is a huge city, and the assortment of high street retail options makes it ideal for a weekend shopping break, especially in the run up to Christmas. If you’re heading to the premiere shopping destination in the North, the mix of department stores, big name retail chains and smaller independent offerings all in the centre of the city make it ideal if you’re planning a weekend break in the heart of the city, and with an abundance of bars and restaurants on hand, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway.

Newcastle

Similarly to both Leeds and Manchester, Newcastle has a number of shopping centre options, if you’re looking for a bit of retail therapy, whilst guarding yourself from the autumn and winter elements. Just a short journey from Newcastle, you’ll find the renowned Metro Centre. The vast shopping complex has plenty to offer, and to this day holds the crown as Europe’s largest covered shopping and leisure centre. If the drive into Gateshead is too far, Intu Eldon Square, located in the city centre, yet again offers plentiful retail offerings in the heart of Newcastle. With high street retailers also lining Grainger Street and Pilgrim Street in the city, take advantage of any early autumn sunshine as you browse Newcastle at your leisure.

If you’re planning a city shopping break, make sure you check in to a Roomzzz hotel, for a convenient city centre base.

CC image from en.wikipedia.org

What’s on this spring?

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This month an array of worldwide megastars from the music industry head to Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. With events in plentiful supply, and the spring weather now warming up our weekends, it’s the perfect time to head for a city break. So if you’re planning a trip to one of the UK’s major cities, coincide it with one of these concerts to make the most of your break.

Katy Perry

The Prismatic World Tour which is the third of Katy Perry’s career sees the pop megastar promise to ‘take it to the next level’. The world-renowned superstar will be gracing Newcastle with her presence for one night only on the 10th May at the Metro Radio Arena, followed by two nights in Manchester at the Phones4U arena on the 20th and 24th May.  Current rumours suggest that Katy will be getting up close and personal with members of the audience so whatever ticket you manage to get your hands on its going to be a fantastic atmosphere; definitely not one to miss!

Kings of Leon

American rockers Kings of Leon head to Newcastle’s St James’ Park  to perform to the crowds in open air surroundings as part of their Mechanical Bull Tour on the 31st May, before heading to Manchester on the 18th June to play the Phones4U Arena. The first leg of their tour started in February and, as is always the case with the popular Americans, it has received a massive response from fans to date. The Kings tour comes after their sixth album release ‘Mechanical Bull’, the group’s fourth UK number one album. Supporting the tour are up and coming indie rock band ‘Young the Giant’ and alternative South African rock band ‘Kongos’.

Prince

Yesterday saw some huge news on the concert front for the UK; as rumours circled for a while and fans whipped themselves into a frenzy, Prince lovers can now relax, as it’s now finally been confirmed that Prince will be performing his first tour in the UK since 1995 this May. The exclusive tour will only be stopping at four cities across the country; which makes it especially exciting that Prince will be performing in Leeds for the first time ever on 23rd May at the newly opened First Direct Arena. The musical superstar will also be performing at Manchester on 16th May at the Phones4U arena.

So, if you’re looking to enjoy a weekend of entertainment this month in Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle, make sure you book in at Roomzzz to enjoy a full weekend of comfort.
 

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Our guide to a refined evening in Newcastle

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Newcastle is known as a great location for a big night out. Whether you’re heading there with friends, family or your partner, it’s likely you’ll have plenty to do for the duration of your visit. However, the popularity of the city also means that, on a weekend, bars can get rowdy and restaurants will inevitably get busy. With rambunctious groups of friends, stag and hen parties and large numbers of students about, it might be the case that whilst wanting to go out, you’d rather keep your evening more refined. If this is what you’re opting for during your Saturday in the Toon, then we’ve got you covered.

Drinks

Start your evening off with a classy tipple of champagne in one of Newcastle’s most exclusive bars. Silk Room, located between the vibrant Newcastle city centre and the stylish quayside is one of the city’s more elegant evening destinations. Far enough away from the city centre to retain an air of relaxed atmosphere, you’ll avoid the rowdy beginnings of a Newcastle night out by selecting this bar to commence your night out. Both a restaurant and champagne bar, you could enjoy your full evening of drinks and food in this trendy location, however we’d advise enjoying some of Newcastle’s finest cocktails and champagnes here before moving on to further your night with food in the city.

Dinner

Marco Polo is one of Newcastle’s prime dining locations, so if you’re looking to sample the very best food offerings available, book a table at this quality Italian located on Dean Street. A hugely popular restaurant, you’ll undoubtedly have to book your table in advance. Having been recently renovated, and with an elegant split level seating arrangement and great ambience, it’s no surprise that Marco Polo is such a popular restaurant. Priding itself on using locally sourced ingredients, the team behind the restaurant aim to offer a creative menu, quality ingredients and consistency’. Near enough to the city centre to still be bustling with a busy vibe, Marco Polo is a great spot to enjoy a meal before moving on to your nights entertainment.

Entertainment

Entertainment in any major city is rife, and in Newcastle it’s no different. There are many options depending on how you want to spend time after your evening meal. If you want to continue with a classy drink, then Newcastle has plenty to offer. Bars like Babucho and Popolo exude an air of elegance when you sit down to enjoy a relaxed drink. Offering extensive cocktails, spirits and more continental lagers on tap, these two locations are more refined bars, and the ban on large parties of stag and hen do’s means you won’t be interrupted by rowdy groups. Pleased To Meet You is another elegant bar that specialises in Gin drinks, and whilst it gets busy on a weekend, the selection of exotic drinks on offer more than makes up for the somewhat bustling atmosphere on a Saturday night.

If a relaxed evening drink simply doesn’t cut it for you during your weekend break, there are more lively options available. The Livello cocktail bar and club on Lower Dean Street is an exclusive nightlife spot frequented by many of the areas celebrities, and if you want to enjoy drinks in contemporary and busy surroundings, Livello is the place to head.

Alternatively, if you’d rather enjoy an evening performance, the Metro Radio Arena and Theatre Royal both offer performances most nights of the week.

If you’re looking to enjoy a weekend of entertainment this month in Newcastle, make sure you book in at Roomzzz, to enjoy a full weekend of comfort.

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St Patrick’s Day weekend events

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This year, St Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday, opening up the whole prior weekend for city breaks to enjoy Ireland’s biggest national celebration. From city centre paradestaking place throughout England, to bar and food promotions, there’s plenty happening to celebrate the Irish patron saint. We might not originate from the Emerald Isle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of these great events as part of your weekend city break.

Leeds

On Sunday 16th March, Leeds celebrates St Patrick’s day with the city’s annual parade, taking place in the iconic Millenium Square. Now in its fifteenth year of running, the event which is free to attend, provides fantastic entertainment for families and friends of all ages who are all welcomed to come down and join in the fun.

If you’re after something a little less rowdy, and are looking to sample Irish food and drinks options over the St Patrick’s Day weekend, there are plenty of options in Leeds, however if you’re wanting to extend the weekend into Monday, we recommend heading to New Station Street and enjoying an evening of top quality charcuterie and cheese, all washed down with craft beer and great wine at Friends Of Ham. The ‘Paddy’s Day’ event, which kicks off at 19:30pm gives you the opportunity to sample special edition beers from Eight Degrees Brewing in Cork, accompanied by delicious Irish cheeses and delicacies.

Manchester

Not satisfied with simply one day of celebrations, Manchester’s annual Irish Festival has turned Albert Square green from Friday 7th March all the way through to the big day itself on Monday 17th.

The square, which is an iconic Manchester location is the place to head if you want to sample some of the country’s finest offerings, with an assortment of products from both local traders and ones travelling over from their Irish homeland. Irish treats like Tayto Crisps will be available in abundance, and you can stock up on the likes of Clonakilty Black Pudding and Galtee Cheese.

If you’re in the city for the weekend and want to sample the traditional Irish pub feel, you have plenty of potential evening destinations. Manchester’s renowned Printworks area is packed with bars and restaurants, and with many offering Paddy’s Day themes over the course of the weekend, you can head in to enjoy ta full weekend celebration at Waxy O’Connors which includes live music, sport and drinks. Elsewhere, The Living Room are celebrating St Patricks Day this year in serious style. Offering a fantastic 3 course set menu for just £14.95pp served all day and night, the Head Chef at the restaurant will be cooking up some Irish Style Specials to give you a genuine taste of Ireland.

 

Newcastle

If it’s a traditional Irish feel you’re searching for in Newcastle this weekend, then head to O’Neills pub for a huge celebration on their biggest day of the year. Complete with Irish drinks and patriotic dancing with live music, O’Neills is an option for a quick drink, or a full evening of St Paddy’s traditions.
It might not immediately spring to mind as being synonymously Irish, however heading to Newcastle Racecourse is a great option this St Patrick’s Day weekend. Get your friends and family together and join in the craic at this very popular event, which incorporates live racing all afternoon, coupled with entertainment in Grandstand Hall and a selection of food options. Taking place on Saturday 15th, tickets start from £15 per person.

If you’re looking to enjoy an evening of entertainment this month, make sure you book in at Roomzzz, to enjoy a full weekend of comfort.

Photo Credit: Paul Watson via Compfight cc

Valentine’s Day in Newcastle

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February is almost here, which means that for the loved-up couples out there, you haven’t got long left to plan that romantic evening or weekend away to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you want options for the Friday, or you’re planning to get away for a whole weekend, here are some ideas of how to wow your partner.

Dining

Silk Room

The Silk Room is a restaurant and champagne bar in central Newcastle that has been popular with diners in the city for the past 7 years. Silk Room prides itself on providing an ambient dining experience with an enjoyable atmosphere and great food. Ideal for Valentine’s Day, the restaurant is offering a customised menu to go with the champagne bar, which is an ideal spot to for kick off your special night. The bar, upon which the Silk Room has made its name, offers over 25 champagne choices for customers, along with 16 champagne cocktails and a variety of classic and new world wines. Whether you’re after a bar to kick off the evening with a classy drink, or want to enjoy the special restaurant menu, Silk Room is a great place to head to on your big evening.

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill

If you’re looking to indulge someone you love this Valentine’s Day, then a table at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill may be exactly what you’re after. Offering a specially designed Valentine’s menu, treat your loved one with three courses of arguably Newcastle’s finest food. Enjoy a starter from a range of options, including scallops and oysters before moving on to a main of seabass, beef or duck. For £50 per person, enjoy some of the best cuisine Newcastle has to offer this Valentine’s Day, and showcase your love through the highest quality of food.

Entertainment

Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Theatre Royal

If you’re after a cultural evening of performance, but favour something light hearted, then The Theatre Royal has you covered. Featuring Jason Donovan in a starring role, Pricilla Queen of the Desert is heading to Newcastle over Valentine’s weekend. With a stunning selection of Olivier and Tony award-winning costumes, coupled with a huge number of musical favourites including ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘I Will Survive’, ‘Hot Stuff’, and ‘Boogie Wonderland’, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more entertaining way of spending your Valentine’s date.

Pleased To Meet You

Once you’ve enjoyed an evening of rich food and feel like you’re bursting at the seams, it’s time to visit one of Newcastle’s coolest bars. Known as the king of all gin bars, head to Pleased To Meet You if you’re a fan of Gordon’s, Bombay or a spirit of a more exotic nature. The vast range of drinks options won’t disappoint, and the relaxed ambiance in the bar will be a fitting end to your special night.

 

If you’re looking to spend the evening, or even the weekend away celebrating Valentine’s Day in Newcastle, make sure you check us out and make a booking for stylish accommodation this coming weekend.

Photo Credit: Demonsub via Compfight cc

December: A month in music

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Winter is well and truly here, and although that means many of us will confine ourselves to warmth, to others it means the arena concert scene is well in full swing. If you’re planning a musical themed weekend away, take a look at the music events coming up around three of the UK’s major northern cities. From mass popularity bands to something a little more refined, we’ve got your evenings sorted.

 

Leeds

If you’re looking for music in Leeds, look no further than the array of talent on show at the First Direct Arena this month. To kick off, on the very first day of the month, Xmas Party Live showcases a grand evening of pop music with  the likes of Example, The Saturdays, Eliza Doolittle, Conor Maynard, McFly and Rudimental all being pegged for the line up. If modern pop doesn’t take your fancy, Irish quartet Boyzone head to Leeds on the 9th, and you can grab your tickets for £35 if you want an evening of 90′s pop.

US smash hit show, New Jersey Nights comes to Leeds as part of the UK leg of their world tour, which is a spectacular celebration of the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and takes the audience on a nostalgic musical journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all times. Head to the First Direct Arena on the 4th of the month if the glitz and glamour of the States is more to your liking this December.

Newcastle

If a bit of old fashioned rock music is more to your liking, then this month’s highlight at the Metro Radio Arena is Status Quo & 10cc, who combine to put on a show on the 19th on December. Joining the Quo this month, Scottish pop rockers Wet Wet Wet head to the Toon on the 17th, along with special guests for the night, Blue.

Arguably the biggest name hitting the arena this month, JLS will say goodbye to Newcastle in style with their performance as part of the group’s farewell tour. If you’re a fan of the XFactor originated group, be sure to snap up a ticket soon for as little as £25.

Manchester

At Manchester’s Phones4U Arena this month, an array of musical performances are on offer, with something to suit every taste. If you aren’t a fan of the modern radio-played pop hits, and prefer your heavy metal to any other genre, then Bullet for my Valentine’s performance on the 1st December may take your fancy. Similarly, if you’re a fan of old school heavy rock, December 18th sees the legendary original line-up of Black Sabbath perform a string of classic hits along with new tracks from recently released album, 13. Other pop performances are on show throughout the rest of December, with Will.i.am hitting the stage on the 3rd, DJ’s Tiesto & Calvin Harris light up the stage on the 21st and the Key 103 Jingle Ball takes centre stage on the 12th, as big name artists such as Robbie Williams, Pixie Lott, and Jason Derulo contribute to the ensemble cast concert.

If you’re planning a night of music this month, make sure you check out our website for a luxurious end to your evening.

Image used under creative commons courtesy of Christian Holmér.

One night in Newcastle

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Dinner

Fat Buddha

With an incredible menu and possessing a clear sense of modern style, Fat Buddha is one of Newcastle’s most popular restaurants. Occupying two floors under the Metro FM studios, Fat Buddha offers a dominant and eye catching presence as you approach down either Mosley or Pilgrim Street. Upon entering, you are greeted with a modern bar and two floors of restaurant seating. The Oriental restaurant doesn’t follow the rules of a typical eatery, offering foods from across Asia, rather than focusing on one cuisine. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean and Malaysian and even dishes from Hong Kong feature prominently in the menu, so don’t be scared to expand your horizons and try something new. A brilliant dining experience, make sure you check out this little taste of the Orient, but keep your eye out for the extra hot chilli dishes!


Marco Polo

Independent, locally owned Italian restaurant Marco Polo provides a truly enjoyable dining experience if you’re spending the night in Newcastle.  Endeavouring to use only the highest quality ingredients imported from Italy, Marco Polo combines these with locally sourced meat and fish. Situated in the busy hub that is Dean Street, make sure you book well in advance, as the restaurant’s location makes it a prime option for city centre drop in bookings. With a diverse Italian menu, food options range from standard pasta dishes to creamy risotto, pizza and meat based dishes.

 

Drinks

BrewDog

Another Dean Street location, BrewDog is a bar with a difference. Operating on the mission of educating the British population with regards to craft brews rather than mainstream mass produced global beers, BrewDog offers a range of ales and IPA’s that have the population of Newcastle flocking in for a taste. It might not be ideal if you love the dance scene, but this bar is a perfect location to relax with friends and enjoy the best of British punk over from the past four decades.


Pleased To Meet You

Occupying one of Newcastle’s most historic buildings, with a Grade II listing, Pleased to Meet You offers ambiance in abundance to go alongside an impressive selection of the world’s finest gins, and some of Newcastle’s most flavoursome draft beers. Not your standard drinking haunt, Pleased to Meet You is a must visit for the gin lovers amongst us, offering over 50 contemporary options for your palate. Head to High Bridge Street if a tipple on the gin takes your fancy.


Entertainment

Livello

Strictly speaking, Livello could slot into the drinks section of this guide, rather than entertainment; however since a £1 million revamp in 2012, Livello has been a destination that provides a truly entertaining experience rather than simply your standard weekend drink. Upmarket, trendy and stylish, this cocktail bar and club boasts a list of expertly crafted, exclusive cocktails, whilst also providing guests with more classic options and an impressive vintage wine list. Open until 3am on weekends Livello provides an eclectic backdrop of music created by resident DJs. Don’t be surprised to see a Ferrari or two parked up outside the entrance, this is the go to nightlife spot when searching for entertainment in Newcastle.


Metro Arena

If you fancy taking a different approach to your evening in Newcastle, and love a high profile concert, then check out listings plenty in advance for Newcastle’s Metro Arena. Hosting arena tours from the world’s biggest acts, performers over the arena’s 16 year existence have included the likes of Tom Jones, Elton John, Coldplay, Oasis, AC/DC and Kiss. Check listings for the latest concerts to see if anything takes your fancy in the world of live music this month.

If you’re planning a night in Newcastle, make sure you check out our website for a more luxurious end to your evening.

Image used under creative commons courtesy of Peter PZ.

What do you think of our new hotel in Newcastle?

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Wow – our city centre hotel is now open in Newcastle and our guests have been giving us fabulous reviews…

“Beautiful boutique hotel – slept so well!! :)” 

“This hotel is well worth visit. You won’t want to leave your room!

The whole design is amazing. I totally love the old style building with the modern details. The fixtures and fittings are luxurious, the kitchen is a great place to hang out and have a glass of wine before heading out into town and the bed is so comfy! I could’ve slept for a week!!

The staff were really helpful and friendly and the location of the hotel is perfect for the station and the centre of town.

I highly recommend the Roomzzz hotel – get it booked!! ;)  ”

Alexis G

Ta dah… It’s Newcastle Roomzzz!

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‘LET THE LEGACY OF LUXURY LIVE ON’ HISTORIC HOUSE OPENS TODAY AS NEWCASTLE’S NEW £5M HOTEL


Super chic modern lifestyle and ultra luxe Aparthotel brand Roomzzz invite guests into ‘exquisite elite luxury’ when they open the front doors to the beautiful Friar House today under their protective custodianship ethos of ‘let the legacy of luxury live on’ as part of their £5M investment into their new location, Newcastle City.


The fifth location for Roomzzz sees an intensive restoration of one of Newcastle’s most historic and celebrated City heirloom residences which has been nurtured and brought to life back from years of neglect to be one of the North’s most exciting and luxurious new hotel experiences.


Guests will be treated to an experience of the grand stylish opulence of a majestic detached Georgian townhouse once belonging to a 19th Century ‘celebrity socialite’ Sir Robert Hopper Williamson who as Recorder of Newcastle and chancellor of Durham was amongst the elite of the North East and one of the most important men in the area. Sir Robert had invested heavily into his family home ensuring an eloquently designed interior and a spectacular exterior fitting to his social standing which still impresses today as it stands serenely amongst daily life on Clavering Place.


Roomzzz have gone to great lengths to channel the heady fine beauty of classic Georgian elegance and its combined grace and prestige of the era with subtle heritage touches from the area and lashings of carefully restored original features, including a grand stair and large Venetian staircase window which once looked out over extensive grounds and gardens.


Designers have combined historic significance with modern urban essentials and lifestyle ‘must-haves’ to create the ultimate hotel experience featuring 14 indulgent suites which brings back the golden age of exquisite elite living and focuses guests to concentrate on the carefree enjoyment of beautiful surrounds and luxuriating in extreme comfort.


Historic relics, curiosities and delights such as the original cast iron range, bank vaults and mysterious vaulted ceilings are found contained within the 14 suites whose layout follows the footprint of the original Friar House. Guests will experience top to toe luxe in suites complete with Apple technology, ‘best night sleep’ beds, state of the art kitchens and chic bathrooms cascading with the feel of opulence and exclusivity.


Head of Roomzzz Aparthotel UK Mark Walton comments, ‘Roomzzz Newcastle City dramatically improves luxury hotel stays in the North – there are some fabulous hotels in the area but the transformation of Friar House really raises the game…This is exquisite elite luxury but with the Roomzzz affordability factor’.



Additional Facts on Friar House
 

Friar House is considered of great national and regional historic importance and enjoys a grade II listed status so with this in mind the legacy of the building sets the tone for future use.

The complete Newcastle City location will host 44 suites and apartments in the £5M development of the historic Friar House site which is due for completion 2013.


A portrait of Sir Robert Hopper Williamson, former owner and resident of Friar House hangs in The National Portrait Gallery, London