Meet some real-life heroes in my series of special interviews with people who represent the spirit and heart of the North East.
Laura Middleton, otherwise known as ‘Geordie Scran’, runs a North East-based Instagram page showcasing food and things to do in the region. She loves keeping active, traveling, live music, and meeting new people. Her page also touches on mental health awareness and more recently adult ADHD.
In this interview, Laura tells us about her connection to the North East, “Kielder moments”, and more…
Please can you tell us a bit about you and your connection with the North East?I was born in Chester-le-Street and moved to Newcastle for university in 2012. I’ve been there ever since after totally falling in love with the city. The North East is such a fantastic place: beaches? Tick; Coutryside? tick; City life? tick; Cracking places to scran? double tick.
Tell us all about Geordie Scran! What made you want to start it? What do you love most about it?I started my page back in 2018 after I posted a picture of my Blake’s Cafe brekkie on my personal account and got a load of messages asking where it was from. My dad would visit me in town once a week and I’d always try and find new spots, so I thought: rather than annoy my mates on my personal account with a load of pictures of my dinner, I’d start a new page instead! Obviosuly, I’m technically not a Geordie – the page is moreso based around all the food at the time I was eating was in and around Newcastle.
Is there one place in the region you always like to visit that you would recommend others to visit?I love Northumberland – Craster, Amble, Alnwick are all lush days out with loads to see and do.
Totally agree with you there!
I know it’s hard to pick, but what are a few of your favourite foodie spots/businesses that you think everyone should know about in the region?Everyone needs to try The Magic Hat in town – I go on about it a lot but I just love their ethos. They’re a food waste initiative, and the food is some of the best I’ve tasted and it has such a lush vibe. My newest fave to add to the ever-growing list is Butakun, a new Japanese in Haymarket. I haven’t even had a chance to post about it yet but the food was INSANE. Then my regular faves have got to be Horticulture, Khai Khai and Laneway for a dirty chai.
Some fantastic recommendations there!
It’s often said that the people and landscapes of the North East are full of ‘spirit’ and ‘heart’. What do you love most about the region?Don’t get me wrong, the region has some breathtaking spots. I love Northumberland coast and Longsands at Tynemouth, plus the beautiful architecture in town, but for me it’s the people. The people are what makes the region for me. They’re just so canny!
The North East is packed with history, myths and legends, songs and folklore. Do you have a favourite story or song that you associate with the area?I went on a cracking history lunch tour at Blackfriars in the summer which was fascinating to learn about it’s history and playing host to so much royalty! I also have a soft spot for the Lambton worm. I was in a play of the Lambton worm when I was yonger, I was a singing minstrel complete with cardboard mandolin so the song is engrained in my brain forever. Thankfully there is no video evidence of this!
Ha! That’s great.
What is your favourite North-Eastern slang? What does it mean?Other than ‘scran’? It’s got to be ‘canny’. It’s so versitile. “She’s proper canny”,”It’s canny cold in here” – does anyone actually know the definition!? Haha.
Which three words spring to mind when you think of the North East?‘Proud’, ‘Friendly’, ‘Lush’.
Who is your North East hero?There’s too many! But if Sam Fender is reading this, it’s totally him and if there’s any spare tickets to the 9th June event at St James Park, you know where I am…
Ha, count me in, too! Finally, what makes you smile?Spending time with friends and meeting new people. That, and a good curry!