Freddie Mercury quote is inspiration behind cafe in Blyth

A quote from pop legend Freddie Mercury has inspired a Blyth businesswoman to set up her own quirky cafe in the town.

Beverley Gallon at Mister Ridley’s Parlour, in Ridley Park, Blyth.
Beverley Gallon at Mister Ridley’s Parlour, in Ridley Park, Blyth.

Freddie’s quote “I want to live the Victorian life surrounded by exquisite clutter” was the inspiration Beverley needed to launch the cafe in the heart of Blyth’s beautiful Victorian Ridley Park.

Beverley left her management job with BT to find something new to do with her life.

Seven years ago, she saw an advert on Facebook for a disused, derelict pavilion building in Ridley Park.

With a passion for antiques, upcycling, and the Victorian era she set herself the challenge of converting the pavilion into something that she and Blyth could be proud of.

The result is Mister Ridley’s Parlour, a lavishly decorated café restaurant that boasts quirky and vintage furniture acquired from night clubs, bars and auction houses, unusual lamps, tropical plants on the rafters, exquisite ornaments and even a plush zebra bursting through the internal gable end.

During Covid, she operated a successful takeaway service selling home baked cakes and pastries which has seen her business gain a good customer base amongst locals and those further afield.

Beverley said: “During the last two years we’ve taken the opportunity to really develop the business and change it into something which is a lot quirkier and more fun yet still in keeping with the Victorian park where it is situated.

“I basically bought a wooden shed and renovated it. It was no different to when I up cycle furniture but on a much bigger scale.”

Written in large letters on one internal wall is the quote “I want to live the Victorian life surrounded by exquisite clutter.”

“That sums up Mister Ridley’s Parlour,” she said.

“I really love that quote because when you are in her, it is exquisite, and you can see the clutter which is really pretty and eye catching, and the building has such a nice atmosphere.

"We’ve taken Victorian style and transported it into the 21st Century.

"It’s unlike anywhere else in the North East and finally opening to the public is like a dream come true.”

Mister Ridley’s only serves home-made produce and baking with the destination venue rapidly gaining a glowing reputation for its Sunday lunches and afternoon teas served on authentic period crockery.

Beverley has employed four members of staff all of which have been with her since the business started.

Dogs are very welcome and everyone that arrives with its owner receives a free sausage before taking their walk in the grounds of the park.

Beverley’s next plan is to renovate the original Victorian toilet blocks adjacent to her building and turn them into an updated 21st century convenience with a very distinct Victorian feel.

She said: “We’ve saved the building from potential demolition and are already looking at how we can add our quirky stamp to the humble loo.

"I’m sure we will still use the original white tiles and add the odd unique feature to make everyone talk about our toilets.”

Before work starts on the toilets, Mister Ridley’s Parlour is gearing up for Christmas events such as breakfast with Santa, wreath making workshops and gingerbread people cookery lessons.

Mister Ridley’s Parlour is open seven days a week.