I turned 40 this weekend, a huge milestone in one’s life and apparently as older people will tell you, it’s the point that things begin to take a downward slide.  Totally not the case.  In my case it’s when things get a whole lot more fun, I’m taking more risks than ever with fashion, I have an even bigger “fuck it” attitude towards most things, and I’ve kicked more stressful shit aside than ever.  Being 40 is mint and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

My lovely husband Bo organised a surprise birthday dinner and gathered only the best members of our family to a venue that was shrouded in secrecy, I was told to dress however I wanted to and to keep warm as we’d have a little way to walk from the car.  I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with surprises and Bo knows this, I really, really love them.  But also really, really hate them, so knowing this, I was assured that this was one that I’d love and to just go with it.

So, the facts: a dinner, the best peeps, possibly some cold weather.  I hit my middle floor closet and pulled together an outfit I’d put in the “Cute” category.  A dress covered in space cats bought for me by Bo as a Christmas present (with pockets), opaque black tights, my M&S boots which I bought a few months ago now and have since sold out but I’ve literally never had them off my feet, and a custom made necklace given to me as a Christmas gift by Pop Up Studio in Low Fell which says “Fuck You All” – Yeah, they know me pretty well.  Also, debuting my new shorter hair forced upon me by a pre-Christmas fuck up in the hair salon.

A short car ride later and we were parked up on the Gateshead Quayside and walking in the direction of the old and now infamous Buffalo Joe’s and Baja Beach Club Sites.  As we crossed the road and entered the new By The River Brew Co. site I knew instantly where we were headed, I’d been talking about visiting ever since reading Jay Rayner’s glowing review in The Guardian calling this place a “must visit” and possibly “one of the best restaurant’s in the UK”.  As we entered Träkol (Swedish for Charcoal) the first thing that hit us was how dark and atmospheric the place is.  We visited on an uber cold Winter’s night with the wind whipping our heels on the way in.  The main source of light was a warm, low glow from a free standing Parkray fire in the middle of the main room.

As this is an outfit post rather than a birthday dinner review, I won’t go into extreme detail as I’ll go way over my word count but let me say this, Träkol exceeded expectation.  The whole thing, the ethos of nose to tail meant that the menu proposed dome difficult options but we needn’t have worried, everything we ordered was delicious.  Even Plankton, our twelve year old son was able to order something and finish every last scrap of what he was presented with, the food served is divine.  It’s prepared and presented with care and attention and every ounce of flavour can be tasted.  We weren’t there as press, or Bloggers, we were simply there as a family who paid for a birthday dinner together and we’d highly recommend that you check them out if you’re in the area.

Pixie

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