Inside Newcastle's 'most Instagrammable' apartment block as residents reveal luxury lifestyle in The Forge
The Forge has been billed as one of the most stylish places to live in Newcastle where residents can enjoy a picture-perfect experience every day in the heart of the city centre.
Offering fully-furnished apartments as well as perks including a gym, resident's lounge, office space and even a 'doggy park', the apartment building has been a hit with tenants since it opened in 2018.
Located just a stone's throw away from the Quayside, The Forge is the city's first 'build to rent' development, with all 283 apartments being rental only.
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Said to be home to a number of influencers, The Forge has gone above and beyond to ensure residents get that perfect shot for the 'gram.
But all the perks and the stunning interiors come at a cost, with one-bedroom apartments starting from £800 a month.
We spoke to those living in The Forge to find out whether life there really is as good as it looks.
Lyndsay Doyle, 48, moved from Sunderland to a two-bedroom apartment on The Forge's ground floor in November last year with her partner, Emma Vincent.
"They are really Instagrammable," she said.
"We've had a really positive experience. It is a really good place to live and we've really enjoyed it."
Lyndsay works for an energy company while her partner Emma is a life coach and business mentor, which means the pair have been able to be flexible about where they work.
She said: "We used to live in Sunderland and, when we sold our house, we were going to buy an apartment in Sunderland but had a carry-on with the leaseholder and then saw that this apartment was available.
"We thought, 'let's rent and try something different.'
"It looked cool and we thought we would give it a go.
"One of our friends who had been in Spain had come back and rented an apartment here and I had seen it on her Instagram.
"She had nothing but good stuff to say about it."
Although moving from a three-bedroom terraced house to a small apartment was an adjustment Lyndsay said she loves the convenience of living in the city centre and having a gym literally on her doorstep.
She plans to stay on another six months after her contract ends in May.
"It's really cool," she said.
"Down the bank, you are on the Quayside. Up the bank, you're at the train station and you're in the city centre.
"Everything is so convenient and, living in Newcastle, there is so much to do.
"No-one had lived in this apartment before so everything was brand new. It's been a dream."
For new mum Eleni Tsoumpeli, the main selling point of The Forge was its trendy furnished apartments.
The 35-year-old marketing executive rents a two-bedroom furnished apartment on the fifth floor with her husband and newborn.
The family have lived there for more than a year after a friend recommended the apartment block to them.
"The flats are very modern and the furniture is really nice and stylish, which was the selling point for me," Eleni said.
"I fell in love with the way the apartment looked.
"In the living room, there are big glass windows which make it airy and there is a beautiful layout and furniture.
"It is quite an Instagrammable [place to live].
"I think they have invested a lot in how it looks."
The sense of community and perks such as a concierge service and office space have been a bonus for Eleni.
"It's been good living here, especially with Covid as I have been pregnant and had to work mainly from home," she said.
"There is a big lounge with booths where you can work from instead of being at home all day.
"You can reserve a booth and work from there.
"It's a nice area with a coffee machine and, with other people working in the booths, you don't feel as isolated.
"They also do nice initiatives. During lockdown, there was a chocolate-making session via Zoom.
"Chocolate-making kits were distributed so you could make your own chocolate. There is a nice sense of community.
"A lot of the residents are quite friendly and lots of them have pets and use the doggie park, which has wooden benches."
But, long-term, Eleni says she will be moving out as her family look for a larger space where they can park their car.
The family currently pay for a private car park to leave the car in the city centre.
"I have really enjoyed living here, especially during lockdown," she said.
"I have enjoyed staying in a flat that is very atheistically pleasing.
"Most of the people living here are young professionals or international students as it is a little bit small for families."
Grainger plc, which owns and operates The Forge, says they aim to provide hassle-free rental experience for residents.
A Forge spokeswoman said: "At The Forge, residents enjoy the benefits of stylishly furnished, modern, high quality, purpose-built homes for rent, complete with a dedicated onsite Resident Services team, available to help with anything a resident needs.
"Homes at The Forge come complete with superfast WiFi included in the rent, and in addition to the great homes, residents benefit from a range of additional amenity spaces, including resident’s lounge, gym, private multi-functional meeting room and co-working spaces, which have proved particularly popular of late.
"Our ethos with our amenity spaces is to create spaces where our residents feel comfortable and want to spend time.
"Considered and well-thought interior design is integral to the development process and helping to achieve that."
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