Fun on the foreshore
There’s plenty to enjoy on the ever-evolving Newcastle Foreshore
Newcastle Foreshore will greet you with some fresh surprises this year, especially if it has been a while since your last visit. The ever-evolving area bordering Newcastle Harbour, Nobbys Beach and Newcastle East is bustling with things to see, taste and do.
Since Newcastle’s heritage-listed railway station said goodbye to trains for good it has been reimagined as a vibrant community space. The revitalised area now known as The Station is home to a mix of pop-up events and a creative shopping hub. Wander inside the Secret Book Stuff bookshop to browse a beautifully curated collection of new and pre-loved books and handmade goodies. Take a peek inside Make Space to uncover a creative workshop and gallery operated by a talented collective of local artisans.
In a nod to The Station’s former life, an interactive flyer train art installment stands as a reminder of the iconic Newcastle Flyer express steam train that ran between Newcastle and Sydney from 1929 until 1970.
The space has expanded to include a new community piazza and picnic lawn. The large open-air community space connects with Market Street Lawn, and overlooks the city’s iconic harbour. Right across the summer months there has been a fun selection of pop-up events and family activities including outdoor markets, food truck nights, group fitness classes, school holiday activities and outdoor games. New events are announced all the time, so make sure to regularly check in with The Station on Facebook to see what’s happening.
The Signal Box
A little further down the way you’ll find Newcastle station’s old signal box that once directed train traffic has taken on a new chapter as The Signal Box cafe and restaurant. The clever design weaves the historic signal box with a modern industrial dining space. The Signal Box’s co-owner Andrew Macdonald prides himself and his team on the food being made in-house and from scratch.
“From sauces, stocks and pickles through to fresh juices, chai and sodas, we do it the hard way and make it ourselves – it doesn’t make our lives any easier, but it’s so worth it,” he said.
“Our chefs have created a stunning menu with a focus on fresh seafood. There is a taste of South American flavours on the menu, as well as some fresh tasting Asian flavours.” The Signal Box’s summer cocktail menu has also launched with some old favourites and new exciting cocktails.
“The Sinking Ship is becoming a favourite amongst our locals. Our rooftop viewing deck is a great place to enjoy one of our delicious cocktails with something to share from our bar snacks menu.” With autumn fast approaching, stay tuned for mouthwatering seasonal changes to the menu.
Queens Wharf Hotel
If sitting overlooking the water with a drink in hand while watching the passing ships and being entertained by live music sounds like a perfect day out, then a visit to Queens Wharf Hotel is a must. If you wish to stay on for lunch or dinner you’ll find a fresh seasonal menu featuring dishes ranging from a bucket of fresh prawns to succulent chargrilled rump and share plates.
If you’re in the mood for fine dining, Newcastle Foreshore is also home to the highly acclaimed Restaurant Mason, which was awarded One Chef’s Hat for seven years in a row. Executive Chef Chris Thornton describes his restaurant as “relaxed yet luxurious.” “The service is excellent, we have really knowledgeable staff and the food is always really delicious,” he said.
“We always take a lot of care and our chefs are highly skilled but you can get loud and have a good time here too.”
“We have so many regulars and locals it’s like coming to dinner at our house,” he laughed while remarking that he probably spends more time at the restaurant than his own home. Over the summer, the focus has been on light, fresh flavours such as asparagus, artichokes and courgettes. But the menu is always rolling, Chris said, and there is always something new to discover.
A meal here can look like seared scallops, kohlrabi cream and jamón Ibérico for entree followed by market fish, congee, globe artichoke, shitake and greens finished off with caramelised pineapple, banana, clotted cream and macadamia crumb. Pair your meal with a selection from Restaurant Mason’s wine list and you’re in for one indulgent evening.
Read more in the Autumn issue of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.
Story by Nathalie Craig, photography courtesy of City of Newcastle, The Station and Signal Box