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Get your kettles and cake slices ready as EAT! festival returns

The EAT! festival returns for 2014 with an event called Tea and Cake Planet, at The Boiler Shop in Newcastle

2013 EAT! NewcastleGateshead Cake City
2013 EAT! NewcastleGateshead Cake City

Earlier this year, the organisers of EAT! NewcastleGateshead selected an utterly appropriate date to announce the details of the festival’s first event of 2014.

The 250th anniversary of Charles Grey’s birth – March 13, as if you didn’t know – was chosen as the best time to reveal plans for Tea & Cake Planet, A Weekend Adventure in Brewing and Baking, which was inspired by the second Earl Grey’s namesake tea.

Combining a celebration of the nation’s favourite tipple with EAT!’s fifth Cakebook outing, the event is being sponsored by Port of Tyne, which just happens to be one of the biggest importers of tea in the UK.

(For the uninitiated, Cakebook is a spongetastic idea which sees cake makers from all over the North East put their best whisks forward to create edible landmarks and the like for fun and a pretty memorable display).

Carol Bell and Simon Preston celebrate Tea & Cake Planet on the 250th anniversary of Charles Grey's birth
Carol Bell and Simon Preston celebrate Tea & Cake Planet on the 250th anniversary of Charles Grey's birth

Taking place at The Boiler Shop, Newcastle, on the weekend of June 28 and 29, Tea & Cake Planet promises to bring together some of the North East’s leading tea upstarts and century-old blenders for two days of tea dances, pop-up afternoon tea, tea-themed street food stalls, traditional tea parties and tea-themed cocktails and beer. Fenwick Newcastle, The Vermont Hotel, SIX @ BALTIC and The *TeaShed present four pop-up tearooms, each with a different theme

And we all know that nothing goes better with a nice cup of tea than a slice of cake, which is why EAT! NewcastleGateshead’s famous Cakebook event is making a welcome return. Following edible maps of NewcastleGateshead, North East England and Great Britain, this year sees Cakebook going global. Cake Planet invites teams of amateur and professional bakers to create their favourite landmark, building or iconic location from across the globe out of cake.

Creations will be placed on a giant edible map that will be completed on the afternoon of Sunday, June 29.

EAT! NewcastleGateshead 2013 Cake City, The Angel of the North
EAT! NewcastleGateshead 2013 Cake City, The Angel of the North

Simon Preston, festival director of EAT! NewcastleGateshead, said: “There is definitely a tea revival taking place in the UK. There are some brilliant new tea houses opening in NewcastleGateshead, and iconic companies like Pumphreys and Ringtons still operate out of the area.

“Anyone with an interest in tea, whether it’s drinking it, learning its history, or discovering new blends, will really enjoy this event.

“We’ll have live music, tea leaf reading and some very tasty green tea candyfloss.

“We’ll also be creating our giant edible Cake Planet map throughout the weekend, with the grand finale taking place on the afternoon of Sunday, June 29. There’s something to keep the whole family entertained.” Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative and producer of EAT!, said: “The rise of tea and brewing start-ups is just one of NewcastleGateshead’s food success stories.

“We’re an area brimming with amazing food producers and fantastic restaurants, many of which are internationally recognised.

Chinese Tea Workshop from Lulu Cooks
Chinese Tea Workshop from Lulu Cooks

“EAT! is a great way for us to shout about the wealth of talent we have in this sector and position NewcastleGateshead as one of the UK’s best foodie destinations.”

Tea & Cake Planet, A Weekend Adventure in Brewing and Baking, takes place on June 28 and 29 at The Boiler Shop, Newcastle. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.eatnewcastlegateshead.com

The EAT! NewcastleGateshead festival proper returns from August 8 to 17 with EAT OUT! – 10 days of innovative foodie events and experiences in outdoor locations across NewcastleGateshead.

Events will include a series of Naked Feasts, a world record attempt for the longest chef demonstration and a Food Heroes Festival on the streets of Newcastle city centre.

And look out for its sister-event, EAT IN!, which is booked in for February 2015 and will see the events coming indoors for some more adventures in food and drink.


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