The Diamond Strip
The Diamond Strip is like the W1 of London – trendy, suave and expensive. With ‘diamond’ denoting its exclusivity; these upmarket and cool bars and clubs attract Newcastle’s VIPs – celebrities, the Geordie Shore crew, footballers and their adoring female fans and it is the place to see and be seen. These bars attract a mature crowd and while they’re not exclusively student-free, you wouldn’t get into any of these bars with a pair of Converse trainers and ironic spectacles.
Just a minutes’ walk from Central Station, the main Diamond Strip is set on Collingwood Street and extends to a couple of bars on Mosley Street. The bars are united by their bohemian-luxe interiors and sultry, seductive atmospheres – exposed brickwork, lavish décor and plush ornate sofas in cosy little corners. Florita’s is a highlight – with sexy art-deco and an exotic drinks menu. Madame Koo is like Florita’s darker, dirtier sister – dimly lit with red lanterns and leather booths. Revolution is a vodka bar set in a luxurious former bank with 30ft ceilings and marble pillars, and Perdu is a boutique lounge with a ‘secret garden’, where you can book booths or beds (depending on where the night takes you). You’ve also got Bijoux, Tup Tup Palace and House of Smith to stumble into.
The Bigg Market
You’ve probably heard of Newcastle’s Bigg Market –its reputation precedes it for a reason. It has its place on a certain sort of night out, as long as you know what you’re in for – but don’t head here if you’re after civilised G&Ts or sophisticated surroundings. However, sometimes you want somewhere that doesn’t take itself seriously – somewhere the drinks are cheap and cheerful, and you can abandon inhibition, dance unashamedly to nostalgic tunes and channel the days of your youth.
Cosy Joe's welcomes fancy dress, and is a cracking place to start a stag night. They have a karaoke bar upstairs, ‘tequila time’, and ‘party-pods’ that you can book for your group with a push-button drinks service. The Bigg Market also boasts Filthy’s – with an outdoor beer terrace, live music and a rowdy atmosphere every night of the week. Opposite Filthy’s is the German Beir Keller – where you can channel your inner Bavarian and get tanked up on steins. Mushroom Bar, just around the corner, is super popular as they offer really cheap trebles.
This awesome area of Newcastle and Gateshead surrounds the picturesque River Tyne – which has become the city’s epicentre for modern arts, music and culture. However, at night it comes to life with upmarket and trendy bars, set against the mesmerising riverfront and combines its party atmosphere with epic views. The Pitcher and Piano is by far the most popular venue here, for both its stylish glass-walled building and its proximity to the spectacular Millennium Bridge, which is illuminated at night with changing coloured lights.
Livello is a few minutes’ walk up the bank and is a swanky bar that our very own Cheryl Cole has been known to frequent. But fear not, there are lots of fantastic options for us mere mortals too. They have a no-fancy dress policy, so keep this in mind if you’re dressed up – inflatable penises will not be well received here (weird). The Bridge Tavern is one of those new ultra-cool venues with exposed brickwork and an onsite micro-brewery - it takes itself a bit seriously, but in a good way. They pride themselves on quality, so it’s excellent for swanky drinks and proper beer and it has a stylish outdoor terrace directly underneath the Tyne Bridge.
Grey Street / Dean Street / Pilgrim Street
Grey Street (which turns into Dean Street) is the street that runs down from the famous Monument to the quayside. Pilgrim Street runs parallel to it and there are definitely a few places worth a mention, especially if you’re a real ale lover. On Pilgrim Street you have Alvino's – with an art-deco feel and interesting interior features – they have a football table and a heated outdoor terrace; a bit less traditional boutique bar and a bit more alternative (they also serve amazing pizzas). Bierrex is worth a visit if you're into your experimental beers - with 31 custom made pumps boasting ever changing beers from the keg and cask.
Pleased to Meet You is on a little cobbled street which adjoins Grey Street to the legendary Bigg Market. It’s a modern, stylish gin bar (and definitely where the cool kids hang out) - but they serve much more than just gin. From traditional lagers and ales, to expertly mixed cocktails, to bubbly served in champagne saucers - it's the place to be.
The Gate complex is known as a ‘proper’ drinking venue. It’s popular with big groups and stag and hen parties, due to the collection of bars and clubs in close proximity to each other – all conveniently located indoors away from the Geordie climate. For bars, you’ve got some classics like Lloyds No. 1 Keel Row – part of the Wetherspoons chain – renowned for its dimly lit atmosphere and traditionally cheap drinks. Players is a sports bar with a cheeky edge – the barmaids wear American cheerleader outfits and take to spontaneous podium dancing throughout the night.
There are also some more upmarket bars here, like the upbeat and trendy Beyond lounge-club. The 24 hour Aspers casino is also a great place to spend a few hours on a stag do night, if you’re fancying a flutter. Just outside The Gate, you have Tiger Tiger and Sam Jacks - two massive clubs where you can party 'til morning.