Feast by the Sea – a perfect place for Great North runners

This weekend’s Feast by the Sea is the perfect place for Great North Run competitors to prepare, recover and celebrate.

On Saturday they can load up the carbs to give themselves sufficient energy to complete the gruelling 13.1 mile course.

And after the run on Sunday there is still plenty of time to replenish on some of the UK’s finest street food, as well as have a much-deserved drink – to numb the pain or toast success – served by bars offering a fantastic choice of craft ales, ciders and cocktails.

“There are plenty of places to sit in comfort to rest your feet while you eat, drink, relax and listen to some great live music,” said Mark Deakin, one of the organisers.  “The only thing we can’t provide is plasters for those blisters.”

Photos by Max Cooper | fb.com/maxcooperphotography

Photos by Max Cooper | fb.com/maxcooperphotography

The Feast by the Sea takes place at Whitley Bay’s Spanish City Plaza and opens from 10am-10pm on Saturday and from 10am-7pm on Sunday. Entrance is free. The event, which was launched this summer, attracted more than 20,000 visitors for its debut in July. August’s Feast was cancelled because of terrible weather but the forecast for this weekend looks promising.

“Everybody was so pleased with the first Feast and really looking forward to August,” said Mark.  “It was so disappointing when it had to be cancelled.  But we’re determined to make up for lost time this weekend.”

Mark and his wife Shelley have organised some of the North East’s most popular outdoor food and music events, including the Proper Food and Drink Festivals and the Festival by the Sea.  They have now teamed up with their former colleague Nigel Holliday – who is behind a string of successful pop-up events – to form a new event company called Feast Pop Ups. Mark and Shelley Deakin and Nigel Holliday who have launched the Feast Pop Ups company.

As well as the Feasts by the Sea, all free events next year will come under the Feast banner.  “As many retailers have found to their cost, you can’t stand still,” said Shelley. “Our festivals have been really successful because we keep ringing the changes. People would soon lose interest if everything was the same year after year.”

The trio hope Feast by the Sea will continue to visit Spanish City, but they are already looking at other opportunities.

“We want to take the Feast to different places and continue to provide an outlet for the growing number of local food and drink producers, as well as singers and musicians, to demonstrate to the public how great they are,” said Nigel.

As well as forming Feast Pop Ups with Nigel, the Deakins are about to announce details of another new business venture. They will be opening a Spanish/Ibizan themed tapas bar in North Tyneside later this year.

A family affair for the Calabash Tree. Ryan McVay (centre) with his aunt Aylia (left) and mum EstephanieThe local producers featuring at this weekend’s Feast by the Sea include Sprinkles Ices, Tynemouth Coffee, Mexican Street Food, Spud Gun Loaded Fries, Curry Rolls, Tandoori Naan Hut, Smokiedokies, Brownie Bar, Sri Non Kitchen, Ellie’s Cupcakes, Little Somboon Kitchen, Deli Churros, Earth and Fire Pizza, Kimchi Planet, Parm-O-Rama, Smokey Joe’s, Fat Hippo, Hatch 76, Phi Pie, The Calabash Tree and Beacon Burgers.

There is also loads of live entertainment with performers including Love like This, David Stoker, Zak Hammond, Joe Treacy, Sam Rea, Charlie Whyte and Connor Haley.