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We’ll Always Have Meadow Well...... A (Room)ance by Hannah Clemson

Like the leftover chocs from Christmas, and the tenner you left in your jeans from last winter, this job is full of little, hidden, tucked-away treasures. Since I founded, created, invented, nay changed the world by starting The Next Big Event global corporation PLC etc, etc, I’ve been finding secret secluded spots all over this beautiful region we call ‘The North East’. 

Recently, I hooked up with Jayne from Space on Tap. Jayne runs a website dedicated to finding these yet-undetected venues. As we both seem to love finding venues and doing interesting things with them, we have decided to work together for our 1st October event. For those of you who speaka ze language, the event is called ‘Bistro on Tap...’ and we’ll be hosting this delightful, continental soiree at The Meadows centre in Meadow Well.

Despite the metro station being literally a minute’s walk from the venue, I got totally lost and then my mobile died, and my shoes ached...and anyway I arrived not exactly fresh as a daisy to have a look around the venue. There’s is a kitchen area for Sarah to hide in all evening, so she’ll be thrilled about that, and  a lovely seating area from which I shall fling my ‘simple, relaxed, just been thrown together’ look across the room; my fairy lights adorning the walls and reflecting warmly on the misty windows – ah we could be in Paris! Ooh La La. I was totally thrilled and excited about the venue, but then as we were whisked through a darkened corridor and led into a sort of giant boiler room I got even more excited. Yes, there are things more exciting than a giant boiler room. As I turned to my left I saw a sign saying ‘Water for toilets’, or Eau De Toilette (as we say in Paris). I took a closer look and asked the gentleman showing us around ‘what on earth it was?’ he kindly told me that they ‘make’ their own water. Apparently The Meadows centre ‘makes’ (technical term there) their own water, for the garden (I gasp...”gardens?”) , and less beautifully the toilets. It’s all part of their sustainability plans and caring for the environment, I mean, we do our bit, take out the recycling bins, use the bus, use a teabag twice, but really making your own water, that’s beyond the call of duty – ‘Zut Alore!’


After a while, after being led outside, we saw sunshine again. I was led to what I assumed was the  carpark. However, after squinting a little, I soon realised we were in the Gardens. “Do you sell veg?” I shout.....Oh yes came the reply. Turns out these wonderful people, who not only make their own water, also grow their own fruit and veg too. Organically grown, all sorts available, whatever the earth provides. A basket of red onions were placed on the side, just waiting to be popped into some autumnal dish, potatoes with soil still clinging to their sides left in the sunshine, and onions hanging down from the rafters just like in ol’ Paris! I was so impressed with the gardens that I struck up a conversation with the Head gardener there and arranged for our fruit and veg to be grown at the garden. Obviously, we can’t have everything, some things aren’t in season, after all this is proper fruit and veg growing, but some of it will and it pleases me to know that. I left that day, with a spring in my step, and a happy feeling that I had reconciled my ‘business wishes’ : We were working with lovely people, in lovely venues that care for the environment and that grow their own delicious veg. Is there anything nicer? 


And so, if the death-knell of Summer has already struck for you, and those winter evenings are already beginning to set, come along on the 1st October for a relaxed, heartwarming evening. After all we may never have Paris but we’ll always have Meadow Well.


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