Whitley Bay- November 2018

After Sophie and I visited Tynemouth Market, we went for a wander to Whitley bay, to see the renovated Spanish City.

Spanish City, 1910

It opened in 1910 as a concert hall, restaurant, roof garden and tearoom and was a smaller version of Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach. A ballroom was added in 1920 and later on a permanent funfair. It had a Renaissance-style frontage and became known for its distinctive dome, now a Grade II listed building.
There were shops and cafes inside, a roof garden, and the Empress Theatre, with seating for 1,400 on the floor and 400 on the balcony. The Empress Ballroom was added in 1920, and the Rotunda in 1921. In 1979 the Rotunda was converted into the Starlight Rooms for live entertainment. Dire Straits, Sting, and Christopher Cross a few of the notable performers.

In June 2011 ADP Architects won a commission to regenerate the Spanish City with a plan that included a 50-bed, four-star boutique hotel, 20 apartments, a 1950s diner and a pleasure garden. The completion date was announced as 2014, but work was halted in 2013 because of a lack of funds. The project received a grant of £3.7m from theHeritage Lottery Fund in November 2013. The building re-opened in July 2018.


The ceiling of the central space has been removed from the ground floor, allowing visitors to see the dome in all its glory from inside for the first time in over 100 years,

railings in the buildings original style have been reinstated on the surrounding gallery.

Family-friendly venues, a high-quality steak and seafood restaurant, tearooms, event spaces and a champagne bar take permanent homes inside.

Steak & Seafood restaurant
Christmas desserts
Shampoo Bar
View from one of the function rooms

The front of the building actually looks out over the sea, and we went outside to photograph the seafront, but it was bliddy cold and windy so didn’t stay long!

34 Comments

  1. Wow thats a wonderful building!Love the old photo and love these posts that intoduce me to places I had no idea about…and the beach shot is great…compelling and descriptive. I can feel the cold!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Missis! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the traditional style of Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks GP, I do too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s an interesting looking place. I particularly like the gold wreaths. It’s blind, but they reined it in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really nice in there, going to have to do lunch there one day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a cool place!
    Love your pics. Have I said that a squillion times????
    ♥♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes but I like squillions so carry on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will do, sarge ♡

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have some fond memories of Whitley Bay, during work trips there, in the early 70s. Great to see that building restored, they did a cracking job. 🙂
    Cheers, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Pete, it is lovely in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m just wondering about that name, Crab and Waltzer, uh! A crustacean and a fairground ride? 🙂 Is it a pub?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A restaurant, but I haven’t been there, very family orientated and I’m too old for herds of the small people. I can cope with 5 of them or under, but that place looks huge! 😀 Sophie​ can’t cope at all! 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel too old for two of them this morning 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha get them milking!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. You had me at champagne bar 🙂 Looks like an amazing place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does, will definitely be going back!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. wow, how very interesting, what a great place to explore…..and be fed too 🙂 cheers Fraggy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kathy, going to have to try the champagne bar! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love reading about your adventures!!!😍 Love your photos as always.💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Book’em x

      Liked by 1 person

  11. They should have you do the brochure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’d be cool! Cheers JAy.

      Like

  12. ahh, What a place for another grand adventure fragg. I liked all you photos, of course, but the sneaky shot thru the window at the people eating was… intriguing. You caught ’em perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks N_man 🙂

      Like

  13. […] 2019 outings now, as Whitley Bay was our last trip out in […]

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The architecture in some of these older buildings make the visit worth while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does, thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice building!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, thought you might know it from when you lived north.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think I’ve been to Whitley Bay since I was a little kid, so I barely remember it to be honest!

        Liked by 1 person

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