Its not that often I get to have just a random day off work. Or should I say a day off work without any real purpose. Usually it would be that the kids were off, or a delivery was coming, or even a job needed to be done. Today was a day to just do nothing particular.
We decided to head to the Quayside and see what was on offer…
Long Play Café
I’d heard people mention the Long Play Café, but didn’t even know where it was. We parked down behind the Riverside venue. Although chilly it was a beautiful day to mooch around. The Sun was almost blinding and there were some lovely rays casting through from the Hilton / High Level Bridge.
The Long Play Café is the right hand side of the Popolos new venue on the Quayside. Or for a bigger clue its 2 doors along from Bessie Surtees House.
As we walked in it was relatively quiet, with a cool chilled out sound track playing in the background. A quick look at the coffee menu on the wall, followed by the distraction of the cake display sorted us out for our first hour of chilling. Two Americanos and a slice of Chocolate and Peanut Butter Slab.
We chose the sofa seating by the window, as we walked passed we picked up the local music magazines. The bright sun and heat was lovely as we flicked through a list of music events and gigs that we wouldn’t be going to. 10 years ago we used to be constantly at the Cluny, The Tyne and other small venues to see local bands. But as we started to build our family, these activities slowly dropped off.
Our coffees arrived, nice strong coffee just as we had hoped for. The chocolate Slab was a slab. It was huge. Easily shared between two.
It was nice to just sit back and look around for a change. Not having to keep an eye on our kids. Having semi silence! Our kids have the ability to create constant noise. Non-stop questions, statements and out bursts of song and noises. I sat listening to the music, which I assume was played on a record player (the main theme of this place) and I started to hear it! Bob Dylan! Just like my lack of love of football to alienate me, I also seem to be the only one in the City that doesn’t like Bob Dylan.
On the counter was a display of 7″ vinyl to buy, which balanced off against the 12″ display near the entrance.
As we paid up our bill, Catherine asked the guy behind the bar “You don’t actually sell record here, do you?”. The styling in the place gave it a cool hang out feel and the “vinyl props” added to that depth. Apparently our thoughts were wrong. And the vinyl sales at the Café had got to a point that the owners have opened up second venue selling more coffee and vinyl up in the Grainger Market.
We had a lovely experience and although we only had coffee and a block of chocolate, (while most people in there were eating breakfast). In my mind I could see the cast of “Friends” rocking up and treating it like their regular haunt. Some will be attracted by the vinyl, some the Dylan, for me it was atmosphere and good coffee.
See if you can spot the Lizard… just because!