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Italian Treats By The Sea

Select Magazine pays a visit to Links Art Gallery, a delightful café with lots on offer.

On one of our many ‘blow the cobwebs’ morning walks along Whitley Bay beach, my wife and I decided to call in to Links Art Gallery for a satisfying breakfast and to set us up for our stroll.

The Links Art Gallery is a unique art gallery and café located at Dukes Walk, Northern Promenade, Whitley Bay, ideally, situated between Whitley Bay town centre and St Mary’s Island.

A ten minute wander along the beach will take you into the heart of Whitley Bay, or in the other direction to the historic and picturesque Saint Mary’s Lighthouse.

The venue is home to a superb selection of art and gifts, all available to purchase, with the emphasis firmly on work by North East artists.

We visited mid-morning on a Friday and there was a bustling atmosphere, with a number of tables and comfortable sofas already taken by couples and groups of friends. The walls are adorned with paintings, prints and photography from North East artists, and there is a fabulous selection of locally themed gifts.

The café menu is heavily Italian influenced, with a good selection of ciabattas, salads and Focaccias, as well as Italian Breakfast specials, pancakes, soups and their extensive coffee and tea selections.

I chose the Salsiccia, which is a toasted ciabatta with Cumberland sausage, caramelised onions and melted fontina cheese (a cheese I have never tasted before but am now a fan of!) whilst my wife opted for the Prosciutto, the Italian Stone Baked Focaccia filled with ham, emmenthal cheese and tomato.

Mine was a delicious fusion of flavours, extremely tasty and a real hearty filling – a definite thumbs up. My wife’s was fresh and packed with flavour, she particularly loved the fresh Italian bread.

IMG_3215There is an appetizing choice of desserts, so it was an easy decision to try something sweet, but not as easy to select just one! After a lengthy deliberation I opted for the white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake, whilst the Cannoli Siciliani filled with sweet ricotta cheese caught my wife’s eye. Both desserts were fresh and light and set us up for our morning walk.

The café menu also has an extensive range of coffees and teas, and they are proud to be associated with Bristot, a world leader in the production of exclusive coffee. In order to achieve this prestigious blend their experts set about conducting extensive and important botanical and agronomic research by revisiting the original blends’ countries of origin. The result is an exclusive coffee, unrivalled and with limited production.

Before we left, we browsed the array of gifts and accessories as well as the excellent selection of greetings cards. Links Art Gallery is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and a light snack whilst perusing, and possibly treating yourself to, some local art and gifts.

Links Art Gallery, Dukes Walk, Whitley Bay, NE26 1TP. Tel : 0191 447 5534