Review: Settle Down Cafe, Thornton Street, Newcastle

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EACH time I’ve passed this cafe I’ve promised I’ll pop in next time.

But after hearing how child-friendly it is and with an afternoon out at the Discovery Museum with a friend and her toddler, I suggested we give it a go.

It was obvious from the moment we walked in why it was so popular with families – it’s the staff.

One of its team was entertaining little James in seconds and they have a toy corner, although the venue attracts customers of all ages and walks, from older ladies to businessmen picking up takeaways.

I kicked myself for not giving it a try earlier when I saw what was on offer, as I’ve grown fed up at the prices and quality of coffee and sandwiches at the big chains.

Familiar sandwich fillings, such as cheese and ham and tuna melt, were made up along with a few quirky options, including falafel or chorizo, with fresh coleslaw and chickpea and chunky greens salad ready for side orders too.

The selection of cakes looked amazing and included chocolatey delights, fruit tarts and pear cake, with herbal teas, ice mochas and milkshakes among the drinks on sale.

Notices promise treats suitable for vegans and it ticked another box with its Fairtrade coffee.

We decided to go for the soup and sandwich deal for £4.50.

My friend Angela picked a cream cheese and salmon bagel, while I had a brie, bacon and mango chutney bun, which were toasted and brought over along with bowls of that day’s soup, sweet potato, lentil and coriander, which were both lovely.

While I’d usually be huffed at chipped bowls, in this instance it added more bohemian charm.

The cafe, next to Tilley’s pub, hosts classes, offers Wi-Fi and PC internet access, gives wall space over to art sales and offers a pretty good soundtrack to a lunchtime too.

As we were leaving, singer songwriter Kathryn Williams called in with friends.

Just as we stepped out the door, I overheard her declare it the “coolest cafe in the world.”

I think she’s absolutely right.