One of my deepest pleasures is an impromptu adventure and so I was filled with a happy heart last weekend as we made last minute plans for a trip to Newcastle with a visit to the Ouseburn Coffee Company’s Harvest Canteen, in the leafy suburb of Jesmond.
We’ve been big fans of the OCC since we discovered its Roastery on Foundry Lane along the bank of the Ouseburn and have been regular visitors and purchasers of their coffee. In fact, there’s a large bag of OCC’s house blend Foundry No.1 coffee beans in our kitchen right now.
Harvest Canteen gives fans of the company a place to linger over their coffee and food in a beautifully light and airy space. White walls and reclaimed wooden units give the cafe a utilitarian, laid-back feel and the staff clearly know their stuff and are happy to share their coffee knowledge! The seating is on benches or vintage mis-matched chairs, and there’s plenty of space for bigger groups or pushchairs.
Focusing largely on breakfast/brunch food (together with a good choice of sandwich and cake options for later in the day) the menu is brief, relatively simple and perfectly suited to match the surroundings. It’s food that doesn’t try too hard to be fancy, or over-complicated. Just simple ingredients, well put together. And for that it’s a great place to hang out. I also really loved that kids get free milk drinks; a nice touch that I’d find really welcoming if I were visiting with my family.
The coffee we had made for us was as great as ever. We are big fans of the house blend, as I mentioned, but took the chance to try a seasonal special – Agustine Forest – and really enjoyed it. I’m pretty awful at describing coffee notes, but the specialists describe this as ‘rich buttery fudge with zesty notes of orange and peach”.
Despite thinking long and hard about the many choices of poached egg dishes ( Eggs Benedict being a particular favourite of mine), in the end we chose vegetarian Spanish tortilla and chocolate brownies to accompany our coffee. The fresh-tasting tortilla, bursting with tomatoes and feta and served cold with salad leaves, was a perfect choice for a light lunch. In my notes, I wrote ‘best brownie I’ve eaten for a long time’ but I cannot remember much more than gorgeous squidgy chocolate goodness – clearly I was too busy stuffing the whole thing in my mouth as quickly as possible. Oh dear…
Harvest Canteen is a great, stylish and welcoming place that I would love to spend every weekend in. Definitely worth a visit.
This review is a contribution to the Millennium Guide to Newcastle and thank you to them for my food and drink at Harvest. All photos and opinions are, as always, my own.