Foodies' market mecca returns 

Change of harbour flavour

AFTER four years serving a la carte seafood from a prime spot on Newcastle harbour, Nor’East Restaurant has closed and is set to reopen within weeks with a new name, new look and new menu.

The restaurant opened in 2009 under the ownership of Michael Hogg. During its three years Nor’East gained fans and awards, including the best country area restaurant at the Australian Hotels Association national awards in 2010. Nor’East’s last day of service was yesterday.

Licensee Sam Paddison gave GT a few clues on what punters could expect in coming weeks.

‘‘It will be an exciting new casual dining restaurant which will have a strong focus on families and will offer something you can’t get anywhere else on the foreshore at the moment,’’ Paddison said.

 The new restaurant was taking its cues from eateries in Sydney, Melbourne, London and New York, he said. It will reopen in plenty of time for Australia Day celebrations on the foreshore. Stay tuned for developments.

Market magic for foodies

IF last year is anything to go by, this year will be a bumper one for markets around the Hunter.

The ever-popular Newcastle City Farmers Markets return this weekend after a short  break.

The bustling markets are a bona fide foodies’ paradise with everything from fresh bread to pasties, cheese and olives to small goods, fresh fruit and vegetables. There are also stalls selling hats, clothes, shoes, soaps and gifts.

The markets, held in Newcastle Showground at Broadmeadow most Sundays, had a bumper year in 2012, capped off with a nod in the Top 10 Regional Farmers’ Markets in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.

The organisers expanded into Lake Macquarie with  The Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market, at Speers Point Park. It is held on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, with the next to be held on January 12.

Meanwhile, The Olive Tree Market will return  on February 2, offering treats for foodies and fans of artisan products alike.

Splash, and win the pool

YOU’VE recovered from the silly season just in time to start planning your Australia Day celebrations.

 The Albion Hotel at Wickham is hosting an Australia Day Pool Party and Aussie BBQ.

(The pool will be brought in specially.)

The event includes a Triple J Hottest 100 countdown poolside, an Aussie barbecue lunch, all Aussie beers on tap and the chance to win a pool.

Go to thealbion.com.au or call 49622411.

New brunch of options

THE Landing  Bar & Kitchen at Honeysuckle is now offering brunch  at  weekends.

The kitchen – with Michael Robinson at the helm – is open seven days for lunch and dinner, and has an extensive range of wine and beer, and an inventive cocktail list.

Brunch dishes include Spanish baked eggs, poached eggs with asparagus and hollandaise and pain d’epices (spice bread). Bookings on 49271722.

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