BATTLE OF THE SUNDAY LUNCHES

I was thinking of what my first blog within my food and drink category could be and one thing sprang to mind immediately. It has to be something everyone likes, it has to be something everyone knows and has at least tried once. It’s the BEST meal ever to be invented in my opinion. That meal being . . . Sunday lunch.

It’s extremely difficult to find that perfect Sunday lunch. Especially in your local area, but when you eventually find it- you’re onto a winner. My go-to pub, over the past few years has been The Bridge Tavern in Newcastle. It first opened it’s doors back in 2013, and it’s been a favourite of mine ever since. 


It’s situated in the most amazing location, sitting right under the famous Newcastle Tyne bridge. It’s most definitely one of my favourite pubs in toon! It’s interior is super trendy, with exposed brick work, copper piping, wooden flooring and wing back leather chairs, this is the ideal place to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon. If you were to imagine the perfect pub, this place will come pretty close. 

The Bridge Tavern also has it's own on-site micro brewery, brewing beers and ales they pull behind the bar. It’s a super cool touch and makes the pub environment smell even better! If you've not got your nose hooked on the fine aroma of craft beer, your probably smelling some of the mouth watering food coming from the kitchen.


With the Bridge Tavern’s modern twist on classic pub grub you can’t go wrong, everything from scotch eggs to the more exotic choice of Lindisfarne oysters are on the menu. If you're more into sharing there's always one of their slider boards, which always has a great selection of delicious pub favourites.

Anyway back to their AMAZING Sunday lunch’s, as I mentioned this pub has been my go to for my Sunday lunch fix. You’ve got the normal choice of pork, lamb or beef or a mushroom cheese cobbler for the veggies out there. Here is a picture I took on my last visit, so you can judge for yourself.


The Sunday lunch comes with a selection of sessional vegetables, Yorkshire pudding & gravy, where I think the game is won or lost. But I can assure you they have their gravy game down. If you pop along on my recommendation I’d love to know what you guys think, I’d recommend booking as tables are always reserved. See the links below of where you can do this, also get a pint of Tavern ale it’s lush!

But wait, I may of found some competition.

When I was scrolling yet again through Instagram a few weeks ago, I spotted a rival. The photograph I saw looked like the culmination of everything delicious. Big fluffy Yorkshire puddings, perfectly crispy roast potatoes, dark slow cooked beef in a rich gravy sauce, with all the trimmings you can think of. I needed to find out more! It looked so good!  

It was just outside Durham city centre, around a five minute drive from the train station off quite a busy road. The pub in question was called the Garden House Inn. I’d been in York that day and booked a table on the drive back home. It’s a large pub with a central bar with different rooms feeding off in every direction. It was very busy when we arrived but we still got a nice table in the conservatory at the front of the pub. With its low ceilings and old up cycled gym floor this place mixes old with new.


We were handed the menu and this was the the low down, a twelve hour beef featherblade, rare roast beef rump, slow cooked pork belly. While vegetarians have a choice between a mushroom chestnut & spinach pancake or a fish dish. I decided on the beef featherblade, as I’d never heard of that particular cut, I didn't know what to expect, but when it arrived I was more than happy. Here’s the definition for you to get those taste buds tingling! A long cut of meat cooked for several hours in a rich gravy stock, which makes the beef soft and incredibly tender. Now you know what I was dealing with. It was TASTY! Here is the quick photo I snapped as we were tucking in.


Everything on the plate was finished perfectly, plus they did an awesome suede, one of my favourite accompaniments to any Sunday lunch, BONUS POINTS!
I am still yet to make a decision on which one was the best. It’s tough okay! As they were both as good as each other!

Heres the links if you want to give these places a try out, see if you can pick a winner.
Garden House Inn: http://www.gardenhouseinn.com

WHITE LIES PLAY NEWCASTLE



Hello, I’m writing this blog the morning after going to see one of my favourite bands. White Lies played Newcastle O2 last night and they were amazing, as always! I’m still on the come down after seeing my favourite band live! Well, it’s either that or the hangover, I’m not sure which one yet.


I started my pre gig routine yesterday afternoon by listening to their latest album “Friends” whilst working on my blog. Getting myself hyped for the gig, and brushing up on the odd lyric here and there. White Lies are the band I’ve been to see the most over the years. It was my seventh time last night. Every album they've released, since their first back in 2009 is so bloody good. If you've not heard of them, they’re well worth checking out. I’ve linked my Spotify below, where you can give them a listen, the band feature on pretty much all my playlists. If you’re a fan you might still be lucky enough to catch them on the remainder of their U.K tour, or at a festival this summer. The last time I saw the band was in Leeds, back in November. At the time, I didn't know they were going to add more dates to their tour, one being Newcastle, you live you learn.


We made it into Newcastle quite early last night, we headed straight to one of my favourite pubs, The Town Wall. The Wall is good for everything, from quenching your thirst with a few beers or grabbing a bite to eat, it has it all. Leather wing back chairs, to a cosy atmosphere which is the ideal spot to chill out with friends. After that we then headed across to The Forth, which is another good pub just opposite.

The Town Wall and the Forth are super close to the venue, only a short walk away. We arrived at the O2 and headed straight in, nabbing a sweet position, in the centre of the crowd and caught up with a few pals too.


This was the first show back home in the U.K for White Lies after the American leg of their tour. They came out on stage with a new sense of attitude, and put on a mesmerising performance! Harry McVeigh (the lead singer) has such haunting vocals; deep, powerful and moving. With every song the band played, the floor and the walls of the venue shook with the bass of the guitars. Harry’s voice thundered over the music, coupled with the amazing light show, the band were on fire.


As I mentioned, this was the seventh time I’ve seen the band perform live, and again last night, they didn't disappoint. I sung along to pretty much every song, (which has left me with the classic post gig croaky voice). They played all my favourite songs, plus a few new additions they didn't play back in November, so the show was a little different too!

I’ve made a little video of the night I’ll put on soon.
Here’s a link to my playlist on Spotify for you to listen along.





MY WHISTLE STOP TOUR OF MANCHESTER

Jacket: The Kooples, T-shirt: Levi, Jeans: All Saints, Belt: The Kooples, Hat: Drizabone
I’m writing this blog post as I speak in Brew Dog Manchester, it’s just gone half past two and the bar is already rammed! Lydia and I have just left each other after a drink and an awesome afternoon shooting. We took the photographs around some of the coolest places in Manchester. We made our way from the train station to The Northern Quarter, which has an air of cool about it. It felt like Manchester's equivalent to Brick Lane, artwork plastered everywhere and large pieces of graffiti filling every bare wall. We walked around the photogenic location for a hour or so, chatting and taking some snaps, here are a selection we managed to get.


The buildings in the city are amazing, they have so much character, from the large intimidating red brick factories of the 1900’s, to the old library’s & museums dotted around the city centre. All linked by narrow lanes running in between the buildings. We (or should I say Lydia) scouted out the coolest places in town, she knew exactly where to go to get the best shots. I on the other hand, was just following her foot steps, not having that much of an idea where I was. 

Jacket: The Kooples, T-shirt All Saints, Boots: The Kooples

I’d not been in Manchester since a very blurry stag the year before, by the time we all travelled down to Manchester the gin had already taken it’s effect. So it was nice to look around the city with more of a clear mind. Manchester is full of bistro coffee bars and independent fashion shops, it’s got a really cool mix that is sure to suit anyone’s tastes. Manchester’s bar and club scene is also very cool, not to mention the shopping but sadly today I didn't have time on my side to sample any of those delights.


Jacket: The Kooples, Scarf: The Kooples

However you have to fit a beer in somewhere, it’s a rule of mine. So I currently find myself in Brew Dog with a delicious pint by my side while I write up this blog. I’m thinking a little food too, the Chicago chilli dog has already caught my attention on the menu! But before I get my train back up North, I want to drop into Piccadilly records & Vinyl exchange, both on Oldham Street to browse their catalogue and hopefully pick up a super cool album. After a whistle stop tour of Manchester, I'm now on my return journey back home, with the new XX vinyl in hand, after a great day exploring the city and working with a really talented photographer. RESULT! I hope you like the shots! Check out her website Lydia Maycock Photography.





MY NEW FAVOURITE SHIRT


A few years ago it was pretty impossible to find a shirt with a large polka dot print. I remember this because I looked everywhere for such a long time, but after a fruitless search I had to settle on buying one from Topshop. I got it in a bigger size than normal, and then had it tailored to fit me. Thankfully polka dot shirts now seem easier to come by. For instance this killer one from All Saints.


I spotted (no pun intended) this shirt out the corner of my eye, as I was passing the store. It was being worn by one of the mannequins at the entrance. Straight away it caught my attention. It looked super cool, so I had to go in and give it a try on. With it’s slim fit and large polka dot motif, it was perfect. I’ve been looking for a black polka dot shirt for so long, as the one I had previously found in Topshop was more of a temporary signing, but still served me well.


As soon as I tried it on, I knew it was coming home with me. Just thinking about all the outfits I could style it with, the shirt would even look good on it's own, but sadly it's still WAY too cold for that! They also stock this shirt in a Burgundy colour, with black polka dots, but I don't think anything can beat a classic black and white monochrome pattern. Very rock and roll! It’s the first piece I’ve bought since leaving All Saints, so sadly no discount this time!


I bought the shirt in small, as I like the tailored look. I'm just over six foot so it fits just right. I wore this for the first time, without even noticing the subtle heart motif throughout the print of the shirt. It only came to my attention when I was folding it away, when I noticed a polka dot in the seam of the cuff looked like a little heart. But then I began to notice them every now and then throughout the pattern. It’s a shirt that keeps on giving, I really like the secret heart design, it's a nice little touch. Especially as I missed it the first time!



Check out my Youtube channel including the Rolla shirt look and my FIRST vlog post! Or catch me on Instagram where you can see how I've styled it. Or shop to the shirt click here.





A LONG WEEKEND IN THE WOODS

Hello, I realise it's a little late, but since I'm starting my blog I thought I'd include it. This is the amazing little place I stayed just before Christmas. It’s a twist on the classic wood log cabin. It’s called Skyden, owned by the Calvert Trust in Kielder. It’s set in between a thick tree line, with a stream that runs underneath the tree house. It’s around a five minute drive from Kielder Water, in Northumberland National Park. Don't worry though, you’ll stay dry no matter the weather, as the tree house hovers above the stream on stilts.


It’s a three level tree house with sleeping quarters, a living area, plus a cosy seating area, with a stove for toasting marshmallows to your hearts content. The living area is compact, but you have everything you need for a nights stay in the woods. All the furniture is fold out or DIY, it’s like a big jigsaw puzzle. It’s a step up from a log cabin, with way more creature comforts than camping, however it’s still quite basic inside. We arrived with bags of supplies to get us through the two days we were spending there. We had raided M&S before we set off, and bought lots of party food like, pork with crackling appetisers, tiger prawns, melt in the middle cheese sticks and a whole lot more. Sadly to only find a two ring hob to cook everything we'd brought with us. NOT HAPPENING!

Luckily we had cooked a few things before setting off, and had a lot of antipasti! LIFE SAVER. But what made it harder, was that we had to just sit and stare at the amazing food we couldn't eat for the subsequent two days of staying there, without an oven in sight. But hurray! We still had good ol' alcohol to see us through! Staying in this magical place, in the run up to Christmas was very festive, so even with the lack of food, we all still had a fantastic time together. We stayed up late, played board games and got very, very merry.


The location was unbelievable, staying in the middle of nowhere in a tree house in the woods, with only the noise of the stream flowing in the background. The views were spectacular, even from the bottom of the bed when you first woke up. To the gorgeous sun sets, and early morning pink mists, which framed the landscape in a sort of Instagram filter dream. Speaking of Instagram, there was NO SERVICE what so ever, all weekend on anyones phone. Yes I know, I just about made it. Here's a hand full of the awesome views  I'm talking about!



Since we were staying in the countryside for a few days, I decided to take my reliable waxed Barbour coat to see me through the weekend. There’s no other option, in my opinion, regarding what jacket to wear in the Great British countryside! It’s a staple piece to any long weekend in the country. You've got to dress for comfort and warmth than anything else, I packed a comfortable pair of jeans and a thick wool crew neck jumper from The Kooples, I was ready. Not to forget about my fedora hat- just for luck. We spent the second day exploring the surrounding area of lakes, forests and nearby hills, with the odd local pub thrown in there for good measure of course!



Speaking of local pubs. We found the perfect one, why are all of the best pubs always tucked away in the middle of nowhere? We’d done our research whilst at home and had pre-booked a table in a pub/restaurant called Battlesteads, in the small village of Wark. It was around a twenty minute drive, through extremely narrow, fast country roads, from where we were staying. Battlesteads was your typical quaint pub in the country, with a log burning fire and a very friendly homely feel. We were greeted at the bar and shown our seats, right next to the fire, SCORE! We instantly felt at welcome. A good few hours that night were spent in the pub, laughing, sharing stories and soaking up the Christmas atmosphere. Battlesteads also  had a HUGE local beer selection, ANOTHER SCORE and delicious food. Their fish and chips were TO DIE FOR! 

I’ve still not mentioned Skyden’s party piece, the fact that the entire roof opens up, so you're able to look up and get an uninterrupted view of the stars from your bed! The whole roof slowly opens while you lie back, to reveal the best view of the nights sky. Northumberland National Park is a designated dark sky park, so it’s one of the best places in the UK to see our star studded sky.


I had an awesome weekend checking out a part of the UK which I’ve sadly not spent enough time seeing before. I visited in mid December, but I’m sure it would be very interesting all year around, as there is so much to do and see in Northumberland. I would definitely head back soon! 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Skyden, or where I visited whilst I was in Northumberland, see my links below.








WELCOME TO MY BLOG


Hello. If you’re reading this, thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. What to expect, well, I’m going to be talking all things fashion & style. From sharing my outfit inspirations, styling tips, shopping secrets and must have products. Not forgetting music, travel and pretty much everything else that makes me tick. Since this is my very first post, I should really start off by introducing myself. I’m Christian, AKA The Unidentified Rocker, nice to meet you! I’m twenty five years old and I currently live in the North East of England. 

Since some of you may already be following me on Instagram, yes I’ve decided to run with the name. You can tell me later if you think that’s a good idea. I'll go from the top, (literally) I’m a person that always has a hat on. Over the past few years, I fear that I have become somewhat of a hat addict. Ever since I bought my first fedora, I've struggled leaving the house without one of my new favourite accessories. A cool hat is now one of my signature pieces, so I just had to include one on my logo too!

Since a very early age, I’ve been fascinated with fashion & style. I’ve always been known for having a good eye, and searching out unusual pieces. I love looking a little different from the crowd, not following trends but making my very own personal style. It’s something I’m proud of, I mean, who wants to blend in?

“Fashion may go out of style, but style never goes out of fashion”. I really like this quote! In fact it inspired me to create this blog.



At the moment male bloggers are just telling you how to dress, if thats dressing smartly for business meetings or telling you what to wear on a Saturday night. They're just talking about how to be on trend or in fashion, but there's no-one expressing their views on style.

I want to share my thoughts on style. What style is. How to get it. To get more of it. What works, and what doesn't. The male bloggers out there are just telling you "what's in now" and how to dress for "this season". Don't get me wrong you can include those things into your style, but there's certain ways to go about it. Those guys will change their "style" year in year out, as they don't have it. They just follow trends. That's where, for you fashion savvy out there, I come in.

I’ve learnt how to build up my individual look & style over the years, it’s not an instant thing, it doesn't happen over night, it takes time. You may do things wrong, you may do things right, but you learn what works and you have to play to your strengths. It’s an evolution and a process but once you find it, you own it forever. That's what I want my blog and youtube channel to be all about. Hints, tips and cheats to achieve style for yourself.

I studied fashion textiles, graphic design and photography in college. Alongside studying, I’ve worked in fashion too, for two stores, All Saints and Pretty Green. Which have helped me grow into the person I am today. Of course, not without the odd fashion disaster along the way. 

I’d like to think of my blog as pair of jeans, always stylish, a good staple piece that you can change and tailor to express your individual taste. You need to find the right pair, the right fit and colour, but most importantly, you need to make them your own. To alter them and express your personality, to make you feel confident and cool. Hopefully with this blog, I’ll inspire you and provide you some tips and ideas on how to make that happen.

Come and say hello on InstagramTwitter or find me on my Youtube channel