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What My Volkswagen Means To Me

Martin Charlton, Restaurant Owner

Managing four eateries dotted up and down the North East coastline, busy restaurateur Martin Charlton is keen to make the most of his free time. Which is why, when the weekend comes around, it’s his trusty Volkswagen California that helps him get away from it all.

Together with his wife Ruth, Martin runs the Blyth Boat House, as well as Amble eating spots the Old Boat House, The Fish Shack and the Pride of Northumbria.

The couple share a deep love of locally sourced seafood, which has helped their establishments make a name for themselves, so much so that the Old Boat House has won the Fishing News Awards’ Best Coastal Fish and Shellfish Restaurant Award (an award it’s been shortlisted for again this year!) as well as the WoW247 Fine Dining Award.

Martin has been involved in catering since he was 15 and it’s a journey that has seen him involved in TV, lecturing at North Tyneside College for eight years and cater at large scale concerts such as Foo Fighters and The Stone Roses.

But it’s Martin’s love for Volkswagen campers that really gets him nostalgic. He said: “The California takes me back to my surfing roots. I had a Y Reg VW Transporter around 27 years ago and travelled throughout Europe and spent much of my time living in the van and windsurfing and mountain biking in southern Spain.

As well as preparing for a busy spring and summer at his restaurants, Martin has already found time to put his California to good use this year, having visited Cornwall for a spot of kitesurfing and Glenshee in Scotland for a bit of snowboarding.

In the autumn, Martin and Ruth plan to take a scenic drive through France and down to Spain for a well-deserved holiday and spend some quality time with their beloved California.

Martin said: “The California has always been a head turner. Particularly ours, with its light cluster and diamond cut wheels. Our 7 speed automatic delivers plenty of power even when fully loaded and is so comfortable that it's almost effortless to drive.”

As far of purchasing his four-wheeled pride and joy, Martin’s positive experience at Lookers Volkswagen Newcastle looks to have cemented his relationship with the brand long into the future.

He said: “Everyone at Lookers Volkswagen Newcastle was great. There wasn’t a single problem. In fact, I was so impressed by the customer service I received that I’m already looking forward to purchasing a Volkswagen Caddy there.”