Of all 10,400 or
so lighthouses in
the world, which
can boast
the loveliest...?

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Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Guide 2009 Archive

Sid Smith is a freelance writer living in Whitley Bay and contributing music-related articles to national and regional press as well as making occasional appearances on TV and radio. To keep up to date with Sid's highly entertaining online blog, click here or visit his website at www.sidsmith.net

Sid also contributed an article to our 2008 Whitley Bay Guide which you may read here...
A Rendezvous with Time
by Sid Smith
I was asked to write a few words about why I love the Rendezvous Café. With the greatest of pleasure I thought. After all, I'd been an occasional coastal visitor as a child in the early '60s; I'd brought my own children here when they were young; and it was the first place Debra and I thought of heading to after we got married one wet Saturday afternoon not so long ago.

However, I quickly found it's not as easy as it first appears. I mean, you can get a cup of your favourite brew at dozens of cafés in the area — and all very good they are too — but trying to figure out why the Rendezvous has that something "extra" is slightly harder to pin down.

Perhaps it's the location? After all, it's picture-postcard perfect especially in the summer. Even when wind and rain pay a visit, sitting snug with mug of what you fancy inside the Rendezvous makes even the most inhospitable weather worth braving.

Then there's the enticing art deco exterior, and the interior fittings which have all largely been in place since the current owners took over in the late 1950s. I always get that fleeting sense that whenever I step inside, I'm crossing a threshold where parts of the past and present converge in real time.

Thankfully, the owners have politely resisted all the unsolicited advice from well-meaning admirers about what they should sell, and all kinds of "improvements" that would undoubtedly increase turnover and maximize profit.

That they haven't modernised is really what makes the Rendezvous Café special. Retaining so many of the original features shows a quiet commitment to the place. The folks who run it are more like custodians, in it for the long haul, opening the doors whatever the weather, to serve the daytrippers and regulars alike.

Where others have moved with the times, and tried various so-called updates and gimmicks, the Rendezvous has proved to be a fad-free zone. What it comes down to is this: if it isn't broke, why fix it?
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