Weight and Stuff Report – 19 September 2016

Back down again today. Will this randomness never end?

I was up early today, and headed into Newcastle to collect some train tickets from the magic machine in the station. I then decided on today’s activity, which had been entirely dependent on how soon the next train to somewhere I fancied going would be. Durham won, so that’s where I went.

I had a nice walk (all of it uphill, in all conceivable directions, I might add) and saw lots of things, some of which will be appearing here sooner or later, but for now here’s a slightly disturbing thing. This pig looks oddly happy about cooking other pigs.



Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/4.5
Shutter speed: 1/420s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 19 September, 2016

I visited the cathedral and paid to enter the recently opened Open Treasure exhibition. This is an impressive thing, which opens up some previously hidden parts of the cathedral, most notably the dormitory with its spectacular wooden beam roof – all the original parts have survived, and I was told just needed a bit of a clean. There’s a lot to see, and there will be frequently changing displays in some areas. Not everything is on show yet, but it’s coming along nicely. It’s even got cool airlock style doors between sections to control the air flow. No danger of being ejected into space, though…

After a bit more wandering, I came back to Newcastle and decided that I needed some lunch. After the usual bit of dithering, I decided it was long past time to give Byron a go. Located in the premises that used to be Mawson Swan and Morgan of fond memory before becoming Waterstones[1], then some kind of clothes shop[2], Byron is one of the seemingly endless supply of what I guess you’d call posh burger places. Unlike the fast-food style of say, Five Guys, or the baffling semi-service approach adopted by Handmade Burger Co[4], this is proper table service, which is much more to my liking. When I arrived, the place was pretty quiet (well, it wass Monday, and past normal lunchtime hours) and I was shown to a nice window table. Being located at the top of Grey Street, it’s a nice place to sit and watch the world. Well, I was paying more attention to my Kindle, but you get the idea.

There’s a good range of burgers with various toppings, with chicken and veggie varieties on offer. And there’s a drinks menu. You can have a glass of wine with your burger should you be so inclined. Oddly enough, I wasn’t, so I had a pint of their own brand Pale Ale, which turned out to be a very good choice. Would drink again.

Getting on to the food, I opted for their signature Bryon Burger, which comes with cheese and bacon. I added an order of what they insist on calling French Fries.

The beer arrived quickly, the food more slowly, which is what you’d expect when it’s being cooked to order – I opted for medium well for my burger (you always get the choice).

When it arrived, it all looked great – the burger was oozing with toppings, the fries were nicely crisp and not even remotely soggy. The bacon was also crispy, which is just how I like it, and the brioche bun was remarkably un-stodgy. It was, in fact, a very good burger indeed, and I enjoyed it all.

There’s still the nagging thought that these places charge quite a lot for something pretty simple, and it’s not something I’d go for on a regular basis (meal for one with one drinks came to just over £17, which isn’t cheap). But yeah, it was good. Comfortable seating in pleasant surroundings, and good service.

[1] Their current premises in the glorious Emerson Chambers used to be Dillons before that chain was eaten by Waterstones. They actually had the two branches open remarkably close together for quite a long time before reducing to one
[2] Dunno, I don’t take much notice of that kind of thing[3]
[3] Yes, yes, I’m sure it does show
[4] You’re shown to a table and given a menu, but then have to go to the counter to order. Food and drinks are then delivered to your table. And you pay before you get fed.