First look inside Hadrian's Tipi as it opens its doors in Sunderland for Christmas

Hadrian’s Tipi is looking pitch perfect as it opens its doors in Sunderland city centre.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 3:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 11:05 pm

The festive bar attracted tens of thousands of drinkers last year on Keel Square but has returned at a new location, on the old Crowtree Leisure Centre site, for Christmas 2019.

A £50,000 development, it's part of the Christmas in Sunderland offering, and gives people a chance to enjoy mulled wines and ciders, hot chocolates, Prosecco and a range of beers around its fire pits in between Christmas shopping.

The fires will also be burning late at night, with a licence until midnight at weekends and until 11pm Sunday to Thursday.

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Shoppers will be able to warm up by the fire pit

Although the tent, with its fur throws, benches and bar, is the same as last year, the outdoor offering has been pared down. This year, there is one street food vendor, Hatch 76, which specialises in duck loaded fries, and one cocktail bar, Liquor and Lyrics, as well as another heated room which can be booked as a private space.

Gemma Dishman, marketing and special projects manager at Danieli Holdings, who operate Hadrian’s Tipi in both Sunderland and Newcastle, said: “Last year, we were next to the ice rink, but it’s more spacious to be on this site and it creates a real flow to all the activities happening in the city. It links it all together, from the ice rink through to the Bridges, when previously this grassed area was dead space.”

She added: “Last year the bar itself was very popular, but the footfall to the vendors wasn’t as much Monday to Friday as it was at weekends. It’s not possible to move on and off site at weekends, so we decided to just have just one street food vendor this year. Hatch 76 have a great offering and a great following.

“Also, there’s plenty of places for people to get good food in this area, at restaurants and pubs like Mexico 70 and The Peacock.”

Hadrian's Tipi on the old Crowtree site

Another popular element, live music, will also be returning to the tipi with a programme of acoustic acts and carol singing.

Hadrian’s Tipi, which has created 30 jobs this Christmas, will be open daily from noon and is open to families and dogs. Its last night operating in the city will be New Year’s Eve.

*Hadrian’s Tipi opens its doors tonight, November 21, to coincide with the Christmas lights switch on. Just the tent will open tonight, with the outdoor area fully open from the weekend.

*Read our guide to Christmas in Sunderland here.

Hatch 76 has built up a following for its duck loaded fries
The bar will be serving mulled wine, beers, Prosecco and more
Inside Hadrian's Tipi on the old Crowtree site with the company's Gemma Dishman and Kevin Walker
Liquor & Lyrics at Hadrian's Tipi on the old Crowtree site