By Jane Hall
Famous the world over as a party city, Newcastle is home to plenty of thriving pubs and bars. Here’s our pick of the city’s best watering holes.
From Newcastle’s dazzling Diamond Strip to the notoriously rowdy Bigg Market, upmarket Quayside, sophisticated Grey Street, stylish Gate entertainment complex, happy hour haven of Jesmond’s Osborne Road, and the arty real ale haunt that is the Ouseburn Valley, there are no shortage of bars, pubs and clubs catering to drinkers’ whims or character bias.
The Diamond Strip’s bars
The so-called Diamond Strip on Collingwood Street has come to prominence in the last eight or nine years, its name giving a hint as to what to expect: trendy, achingly-cool and upmarket bars and clubs with exotic cocktail menus and lavish interiors that attract a more mature, affluent crowd.
Here you will find the Floritas Miami Bar with its VIP suite, sexy art deco interior, and huge tropical outdoor garden serving up Pina Coladas. Mojitos and Frozen Bubblegum Daiquiris; the opulent Revolution vodka bar housed in a former bank that has 30ft high ceilings and marble pillars; the boutique Perdu with its al fresco drinks area and access to the iconic Blackie Boy pub and the All Seeing Eye cocktail lounge; and Madame Koo, boasting an alluring Oriental interior that’s tucked away underground.
The strip is also home to the speakeasy-inspired House of Smith, the lavish Tup Tup Palace with its waterfalls, mosaic lamps and booths, and Bijoux, which as the name suggests, is a small but perfectly formed bar that enjoyed a starring role on reality TV show Geordie Shore.
The Bigg Market
Just a stone’s throw from the Diamond Strip is the infamous Bigg Market. Once THE place to be seen, its star has waned in recent years as the nightlife in Newcastle has spread out across the city. Now it’s a place of low booze prices and high spirits where inhibitions are abandoned as clubbers get into the party spirit.
But the fight-back has begun. The Bigg Market leads on to the Groat and Cloth Markets’. Here you’ll find CosyJoes, Newcastle’s top karaoke venue, the city’s newest late-night cocktail bar and lounge, Green House Disco Gardens, and the recently opened Market Shaker, an all-day dance hall and beer garden.