Thank god it’s October, I bloody love October. Not only is it my birthday month (all you Libran’s say hey!!) but it’s when you start noticing the darker nights rapidly drawing in, you get to layer your clothes knowing there’s a lesser possibility that you’ll be baking half an hour after leaving the house, you get to pull out your favourite winter coat (or treat yourself to a new one) the leaves turn beautiful shades of russet, gold, copper and brown and crunch under your feet after falling from the trees, the air has a clean crisp feel to it and then of course there’s the build up to Halloween.
I love my routines and tradition and October generally sees me bringing out the incense and lighting candles, I tend to read a lot more at this time of year and do more of the things which make me feel warm and cosy inside. I make a lot of homemade soups and crave comfort food (think mince and dumplings, Sunday Dinners and cake with custard). I love the simplicity of Sunday afternoons snuggled with the kids on the sofa, under a blanket, watching a movie. Often it’s me introducing them to some cinematic nostalgia by sticking on a DVD of a film I once loved myself as a child.
'I love the simplicity of Sunday afternoons, snuggled with the kids on the sofa, under a blanket, watching a movie...'
When it’s a nice day, I yearn for fresh air and countryside, even visits to the park collecting conkers and feeding the ducks. Seeing the kids stealthily searching underneath the Horse Chestnut Trees, excited to find at least one conker; watching the husband throw sticks up at the branches in a bid to knock some down whilst the kids gaze on hopefully, patiently, waiting. Then seeing their little faces as they discover one or more of them hidden in the undergrowth or catching one which has been knocked prematurely out of a tree by their daddy, just for them.
At this time of year we love picking out pumpkins at local farms and pumpkin patches and visiting nearby parks and museums for Halloween and wizarding (especially Harry Potter) themed days out. I like to study what’s on in my local area and try to arrange fun little outings for us all. Both Oliver and Mollie seem to adore this time of year just as much as I do now and all that comes with it.
Following a bout of sickness which I endured within the first few days of the month, I was desperate to get out for some fresh air and family time. The first weekend in October saw us taking a trip slightly further North to Tynemouth, specifically to King Edward’s Bay and Riley’s Fish Shack. It was the first time we had visited, in fact I hadn’t even heard of it until a few months ago, when some of our friends checked in there and posted a picture on Facebook which caught my eye.
'I was quite taken aback. We were descending on to what felt like a picturesque private beach...'
We were pleasantly surprised driving through the little town there on arrival, it was vibrant yet quaint with a stunning backdrop featuring castle and priory ruins. We got parked relatively easily despite the place being quite popular. We reached King Edwards Bay early to mid afternoon by which time the sun was shining, despite there being a slight yet welcome and refreshing chill to the air.
We found the steps leading down to Riley’s Fish Shack and I was quite taken aback. We were descending on to what felt like a picturesque private beach, with deckchairs strewn on the sand for customers to take full advantage of. We grabbed a few chairs and I left the husband and kids playing in the sand whilst I headed to Riley’s Fish Shack to check out the food on offer. Before visiting Riley’s Fish Shack, I discovered that they work closely with local suppliers and fishermen to source their fresh fish and seafood, serving seasonal dishes cooked over a charcoal barbecue or fire.
The smells coming from the shack were absolutely divine and it was clearly a popular place. I found myself staring at the menu for ages, unable to decide what to try. Each option sounded amazing and I wished I could test it all. I opted for pan fried skate which came with a side of rosemary potatoes, aioli dip and a handmade woodfired flatbread. I ordered a fishcake, an extra side of potatoes and an extra flatbread alongside this for us all to share.
When the food came out, I realised my order had gone through as pan fried steak and not skate, which explained why the cost was slightly more than I had anticipated however, I was not disappointed, as the steak was cooked beautifully. There was plenty for myself and my husband to share and we all tried some of the fishcake, the potatoes and the bread. I can honestly say that I have thought about those potatoes a lot since we visited and am almost verging on craving some more. I do definitely hope to go back soon though and am excited to sample some of the fish dishes next time.
'I love the concept, the originality and the rustic beauty of this little gem'
If anyone is near the Tynemouth area or doesn’t mind a little road trip, I can’t recommend this place enough. I love the concept, the originality and the rustic beauty of this little gem, which is situated just a short journey from our doorstep and I really can’t wait to jump in the car, head through the Tyne Tunnel and pay another visit soon.
Throughout the rest of the month, I have some lovely things planned. As well as birthday celebrations, I’m attending a Gin Festival, a Twilight Spa evening and a trip to Center Parcs. Hopefully I’ll also be able to cram in some nice days out in between.
'I shall be generally soaking up every colder, slightly darker, more Autumnal second of this amazing month.'
I will also be spending the next few weeks perusing Halloween fancy dress costumes and purchasing a multitude of mini squashes with which to decorate my house with, before deciding to stick them in a soup. I will be curled up on a sofa, keeping myself warm, surrounded by cushions and throws, whether it be alone or with my little family. I will partake in drinking hot chocolate, indulging in televised nostalgia and I shall be generally soaking up every colder, slightly darker, more Autumnal second of this amazing month.