Archive for March, 2012

  • 10 things you must know about NewcastleGateshead

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    1. Newcastle is named after a Norman Motte and Bailey castle, and later a fortified stone keep, built on the river Tyne in 1080 by the son of William the Conqueror
    2. The first lightbulb was tested in Newcastle in 1879 by Joseph Swan
    3. Newcastle United Football Club was founded in 1892 and they have been wearing black and white stripes since 1894
    4. Famous Geordies include: Ant & Dec, Sting, Cheryl Cole, Alan Shearer, Gazza, Jimmy Nail, George Stephenson and William Armstrong
    5. Stottie or Stottie Cake – is a thick round bread loaf famous in North East England and usually filled with Ham and Pease Pudding, available in Gregg’s stores.
    6. Broon – is slang for Newcastle Brown Ale, sometimes called ‘Lunatic’s Broth’
    7. George Stephenson’s famous ‘Rocket’ steam locomotive engine was built in Newcastle
    8. Always refer to the stadium as St James’ Park when speaking to locals
    9. The Tyne Bridge was designed to look like the Sydney Harbour Bridge
    10. The Great North Run, from Newcastle to South Shields, is the largest half marathon in the world
    11. The Angel of the North in Gateshead stands 65 feet high and has a wingspan of 175 feet and is a designated ‘Icon of England’
    12. The Baltic Art Gallery in Gateshead just hosted the Turner Prize, but what did it used to be until 2002? Answer: A flour Mill

  • The Geordie Glossary

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    During your time in Newcastle you will encounter the world famous Geordie, and so here’s a quick guide to this fierce and proud local language.

    • Haw tha deeing – how are you doing today?
    • Whayaye – Why Yes, I agree
    • Wot gan’s on huw – what’s going on?
    • Weor’s the netty – where is the toilet please?
    • Gizabroon marra – one bottle of Brown Ale please?
    • Am gannin owt the neet like – I’m going out tonight
    • Givower man – Don’t be stupid, what are you talking about
    • Doonthehatch – cheers, good health
    • Smashinbaitthat – that meal was delicious
    • Am gannin hyem – I’m going home
    • Gan canny doon the Toon – go well when you are in Newcastle.

    Recommended Reading: Larn yersel’ Geordie by Scott Dobson

  • Football fan’s guide to Newcastle

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    St James’ Park is a cathedral of football dominating Newcastle’s city skyline.

    The fortunes of Newcastle United F.C are the city’s heartbeat and so Sleeperz has compiled a simple 10-step guide for football fans visiting the Toon.

    1. Buy a ticket for the match, with 52,000 seats at St James’ Park there’s plenty of room for home, away and neutral fans.
    2. Stop off at the statue of Jackie Milburn, one of Newcastle’s most famous centre forwards, on St James’ Boulevard and doth your cap to ‘Wor Jackie’
    3. Pick up a copy of ‘The Mag’or ‘True Faith,’ at a newsagents, two of NUFC’s best read fanzines
    4. ‘Larn the craic’ from the locals by having a pint at The Strawberry, the closest pub to St James’ Park.
    5. Buy the famous Black and White shirt at the NUFC club shop at the stadium
    6. Check out the team news with a pre-match pint at The Shark Bar, an American style sports bar with wall to wall plasma screens showing non-stop sport
    7. Take a guided tour of St James’ Park and have lunch in a box overlooking the pitch
    8. Get some mates together and train with NUFC Legends and coaches at one of the club’s ultimate experience days
    9. Go for a post match debrief in The Bodega Pub on Westgate Road, near China Town and Stowell Street
    10. Pick up some football memorabilia or historic programmes at ‘The Back Page Bookshop’ at 56 St Andrews Street

  • Where next?

    OK, so Cardiff and Newcastle are firmly on the Sleeperz map of Britain – so where next?

    We’re working on plans for the next Sleeperz hotels which could be in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool or Glasgow.

    All we can say is: “Watch this space!”

  • Tweet dreams

    Sleeperz is loving Twitter!

    We’re finding social media fab for telling the world about the charms and attractions of Cardiff and Newcastle – and we love our online conversations with guests, room-seekers and business buddies.

    Recently, we’ve helped two students – @Mindhitchhike – plan a UK-wide hitchhike for charity by retweeting their call for assistance, we’ve encouraged people to tweet recommendations for Newcastle eating out spots via #TopScran and we tweeted a welcome message to all those attending the Sage Gateshead’s LibDem conference @LibDemConf – not that we’re political, of course!

    It’s been lovely to talk about visiting pop stars on twitter – the fans love it. Check out @flo_tweet and @RizzleKicks, for example. And do follow us on twitter @SleeperzHotels.

  • Sport city

    Staff at Sleeperz have loved their first few weeks running a hotel in Newcastle – and the city is certainly living up to its reputation as a top destination for sport.

    With miles of outstanding coastline, watersports are incredibly popular; it’s a delight to be able to point Sleeperz guests in the direction of Tynemouth for surfing and windsurfing we know they won’t be disappointed.

    Other marvellous events hosted in the city include the BUPA Great North Run, celebrating its 32nd year on September 16, 2012.

    Athletics at Gateshead International Stadium will be more topical than ever this year with the UK hosting the Olympics, Newcastle United continue to make waves in soccer’s top flight with stars such as hotshot Demba Ba and the Newcastle Falcons host Premiership rugby at Kingston Park.

    Not a bad line-up, eh?

  • Coffee call

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    The Sleeperz lounge bars in Cardiff and Newcastle are fast becoming an important ingredient in the coffee culture of the two great cities.

    Our coffee shop Rewards Card is new and popular – not surprising when you hear that your first, fifth and ninth brews are free. Our free wi-fi has been a massive hit, especially with business people who pop in to do deals and discuss the day’s enterprise agenda.

    Shoppers have been popping in for a nice break as they enjoy the retail hotspots and young mums and dads with kids in tow say they love our relaxed atmosphere and the easy-going nature of our staff.

    Our proximity to venues such as Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena and The Sage Gateshead has attracted a good number of cappuccino-loving culture vultures.

    The yummy muffins and pasties help.

  • Who’s coming

    Cardiff has a proud history of cultural excellence – and it’s in the spotlight again thanks to some exciting new projects.

    The city is now home to a huge new BBC TV production facility which is home to flagship dramas such as Doctor Who and Casualty.

    Sleeperz visitors wandering around the rather lovely Cardiff Bay where the studios are located have already reported bumping into a celebrity or two.

    Indeed, Sleeperz Cardiff is no stranger to Time Lords and so forth … memories are still fresh of the hotel being the backdrop for a photoshoot with Doctor Who star Matt Smith.

    With new tourist attraction The Doctor Who Experience heading to the Bay from London’s Olympia this year, there are sure to be plenty of die-hard Who fans making their way to the Welsh capital.

  • Double delight

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    Phew! What a couple of months it’s been for Sleeperz Hotels!

    Just three years after opening our first design-led treasure in central Cardiff, we saw a successful opening in Newcastle city centre in January.

    All the great experience we’d amassed in the Welsh capital was put to good use in the North East.

    The result is a fabulous hotel that’s quickly become part of the Newcastle tourism scene and, importantly, part of the city’s vibrant local scene.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, we’re loving the new place!

    Sleeperz Cardiff, meanwhile, has been enjoying the continued resurgence of South Wales as a business and tourism destination and the excitement of a thrilling RBS 6 Nations rugby tournament. An entertaining Wales team always gives the city a spring in its step.

  • Shopaholics guide to Newcastle

    With the Gateshead Metrocentre, Europe’s largest indoor shopping complex, and the high end boutiques of fashion-conscious suburb Jesmond, Newcastle is shopping heaven.

    Toon Top-10 for shop-a-holics…

    1. Gateshead’s Metrocentre has over 330 stores selling everything from high-end fashion to homeware. Includes the Metrocentre Qube entertainment complex and Odeon Imax Cinema.
    2. The magic of Fenwick’s – The Fenwick’s department store was founded in Newcastle in 1882 and is the flagship store of eight nationwide. Sensational food court and top fashion labels, make sure you get an iconic green bag.
    3. The Quayside Market – Sundays. If you like a browse and a haggle, you’ll love the vibrant market on Sunday mornings on Newcastle’s iconic quayside, 9.30am to 4pm.
    4. Visit the world’s smallest Marks & Spencer’s at the Grainger Market which dates back to 1830. A classic Victorian covered market containing the original M&S Penny Bazaar.
    5. Eldon Square shopping centre boasts 140 stores in the heart of the city centre, including a new Apple Store, Hollister and a four storey Debenham’s.
    6. Alive after Five is a new initiative which sees shops, restaurants and cafes staying open until 8pm on weeknights and 7pm on Saturdays in Newcastle.
    7. Discover North East designer Jules B at his swanky Jesmond boutique
    8. Tynemouth Chocolatier Gareth James has a Newcastle store at 12 Front Street, hmmm delicious!
    9. Take the Tyne and Wear Metro to Tynemouth, a coastal town home to the Green Ginger Arcade, a converted Church housing 17 independent shops selling everything from cupcakes to antiques.
    10. Traditional country outfitter Barbour hails from South Shields and has its outlet store at Jarrow – a short ride from Newcastle on the Tyne and Wear Metro.