"Much like Lincoln, Newark is a town of; cobbled streets, canals and houses a castle"
Photo by Peter2010
Now I know Newark isn’t in Lincolnshire but at a train ride of 24 minutes and at a cost of £5.70 (£3.75 with a railcard) for a return, it really should be (Come on it falls before Stamford and Stamford’s in Lincolnshire).
Much like Lincoln, Newark is a town of; cobbled streets, canals and houses a castle. So why you ask should one visit Newark, if it’s just a smaller Lincoln? Well I (as a fanatic of the miniature French macaroons) ask you is bigger always better? Anyone who’s has done an eating challenge knows the answer to that (and anyone who hasn’t, I shake my head in disapproval and recommend to you Lincoln’s Nosey Parkers Flaming Grill Challenge, enjoy…Or not.)
But I digress, no bigger isn’t always better and too much of anything will make you a little queasy (yes, even Chocolate). Newark is a small town with a small man complex, and I mean this in the best possible way. It has a culture and personality that overshadows many larger towns and cities. A remarkable surprise from a town of less than 300,000 people.
Newark’s waffle cottage currently holds a flawless five star reputation on TripAdvisor and let me tell you why. Upon setting foot in to little Waffle Cottage you’re met by the ambience of a fireplace to your right and within seconds the bounding owner grins his way over and seats you. It’s a place tastefully decorated (we were seated beneath a board explaining the history of the waffle)and definitely has a cottage feel, it’s so homely I almost felt as if I was intruding upon this poor man’s property, but his grin and good nature reassured me otherwise.
The waffle menu isn’t vast but trust me that’s a positive, because it still took me and my girlfriend over 10 minutes just to choose from the 8 Sweet Waffle choices available. In the end I went for the ‘White Chocolate Truffle – white chocolate vanilla truffle topped with raspberry
& passion fruit sauce’ and she went for the ‘Black forest – a chocolate waffle with dark cherries, cream, cherry sauce and chocolate sprinkles’ (and even then I was jealous when I saw the neighbours Banoffee).
Upon first seeing the waffle I was disappointed, it was but a single waffle, and my manly ‘I am man, I eat a lot’ spirit failed to be ignited. But upon tackling the rich and copiously topped waffle I found myself full, and looking a couple of months pregnant (and I’m 6ft 3 so don’t you be reading this thinking “pfft what a wimp”). Both the waffles were superb (yes we shared as annoying couples always do) and writing this now is torturous as I’m finding myself craving the waffles again.
Alongside this and not to be forgotten is the homemade raspberry Ade they sell, one of the best fruity thirst quenchers to have passed my lips.
Stray’s Coffee Shop
(I didn’t have my journalism jacket on in Newark so this picture of a Stray’s carrier bag will have to suffice)
Now I know I’ve titled this Stray’s coffee shop, but it’s so much more than that, you know those adverts on shopping channels that sell you this… and this comes too… and then they throw in a puppy or something like that. That’s a lot like Stray’s, it’s a coffee shop with a conjoined bookstore that plays jazz music and serves a mean Tapas. It’s like taking a step back in to 1950’s America upon entering the coffee shop, lots of leather jackets, leather boots, and long hair… and that’s exactly how it should be, amongst the diners and drinkers there’s a few solitary no doubt jazz heads who probably make habit of going to Stray’s, they sit and bop their head along indifferent to the other folk completely lost in the rasp of the trumpets or the dance of the saxophone. It’s a welcoming culture, keen to share their space and appreciative of your taste.
Stray’s; Coffee & Jazz & Books & Tapas
But my favourite bit of Stray’s wasn’t the bopping coffee shop but the conjoined bookstore, perhaps alongside London’s Stanford’s the best bookstore I’ve ever been to. Not only did Stray’s have the regular classic and trending newly released, but it has a large selection of travel books and specialist books at ridiculously low prices. I was close to buying a book on Britain’s best countryside walks but I already had my hands full with a beginners guide to Yoga book (I have a bad back and I’m hoping it’ll help) and a hardcover 224 glossy paged Significant Interiors book, which I snatched up at a bargain price of £3.50, reduced down from a mountainous £35!
So if you live In Lincoln (or even just visiting for a few days) I definitely recommend a day trip, or even just a few hours in Newark. A small town with a boast’able culture, well worth the £5.70 train fare.
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