The strange beauty of Byron burgers

I have been in Bryon a couple of times in the last few weeks. I’m not a fan of burgers – a vegetarian with a nut allergy, I can’t get myself excited by a bean pattie or a mushroom – but their halloumi fries are tasty, and there’s no solo dining snobbishness. I eat alone a lot, so resent being relegated to a table by the toilets even in a quiet restaurant: every time I have been to Byron they have been more than happy for me to have one of the window booths, if it’s not busy – ideal for me, as it allows me to people watch *and* read my Kindle.

But it’s a place that will always have a place in my heart, because it’s actually one of the loveliest buildings in the city. Not only does the facade benefit from the architecture for which Grey Street is rightly famous, much of the interior remains. It was an odd fit for the previous incarnation (an H&M that never made convincing use of the old-fashioned space), though to me it will always recall the Waterstones it used to be – back when Newcastle could not only support two branches in the same city, but across the road from one another. I like to think going in there to read is keeping the spirit alive…


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