01. No 28
Voted the ‘best late night venue’ 2013 and 2014, No 28 is renowned as Newcastle’s finest hidden gem. Located in central Newcastle, nestled above the iconic, nineteenth century Grainger Market – you’d be forgiven for missing this completely. But, once you’ve discovered it, you won’t look back. Open ‘til 3am every night, it’s a great place to meet, eat and drink (offering a huge range of made to order cocktails – including the ‘Enchanted Forrest’, and a Bond themed ‘Spectre Martini’ - shaken, not stirred).
02. Newcastle’s Most Haunted Pub
The Old George pub, former regular of Charles I, dates back to 1582, and is reportedly the most haunted pub in Newcastle. Bar staff have reported feeling uneasy, as if they are being watched - especially whilst alone (not to scare you too much). The identity of the ghostly presence is open to debate, but within the “Charles I Room” there is a chair in which Charles sat when he visited – and sightings of the outline of a grey figure have been reported, sitting in it. Enter if you dare.
03. Passage to India
If you love Indian cuisine, but have exhausted the Toon’s regular restaurants – this one’s for you. Meet under the big clock at Newcastle Central station at 6pm, and be transported to an elegant Indian wonderland. You will be escorted in authentic Raj-style from the station onto your train from Newcastle to Corbridge, you’ll then indulge in a delicious four course meal from The Valley restaurant. You can even get drinks on the train. All aboard.
04. Gin Lab Tasting Session
Situated on the famous Grey Street, Dacantus is a gin lover’s paradise. Not only can you meet here to have yourself a G&T or two, you can also indulge in a tasting session in the gin lab (available Sunday - Thursday). With a range of gins from around the world – from Hayman’s London dry gin, to Brockman’s new Western gin - you’ll learn all there is to know about styles of gin, botanicals and tonics – sampling as you go.
05. Secret Cocktail Den
We’ve always loved the effortlessly cool Pleased To Meet You bar on Newcastle’s High Bridge – and now there’s even more reason to love it. The success of the bar has prompted a £500,000 expansion in the form of a luxurious basement cocktail and tonic bar, The Viceroy. The exotic, British outpost offers fantastic cocktails, using ingredients and recipes from colonial ports across the globe - from the Pusser's Gunpowder Proof Rum, to the Tokyo Plum Sour, to the Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila. With a den like location and vibe, this secret lair is not widely known about yet – you heard it here first.
06. Grey’s Monument Climb
It’s a Grade I listed monument, a central meeting point, a metro stop and a guardian over the bar and eatery-lined Grey Street – but did you know that you can actually climb to the top of Grey’s monument and experience the phenomenal panoramic views over Newcastle? At occasional dates throughout the year, a trained guide will accompany groups up the narrow, spiral staircase to the viewing balcony 40 metres above the majestic city centre.
07. Tyne Bar
The Tyne Bar is a little out of the centre, but definitely worth the walk. Dubbed ‘Newcastle’s best kept secret’, this quirky haunt has more than 30 years’ experience on the pub scene. With frequent, free live music events on, as well as fantastic views of the world famous Quayside and River Tyne – this is a great place to grab a drink and relax (we’d recommend sampling the vast real ale selection).
08. Clock Saver at The Big Mussel
Seven days a week, starting at 5.30pm each night, this fantastic seafood restaurant just off Newcastle’s Quayside - Big Mussel, launches its Clock Saver offer. Basically, this means that whatever time you order, is the amount that you will pay for each dish. This quirky idea gives you all the more reason to head out straight from work and grab yourselves some delicious food at bargain prices.
09. Cat Cafés
An idea which has spread from the South has finally hit the North East of England – where two cat cafes have recently opened; Mog on the Tyne and Catpawchino. If you’re looking for somewhere a bit different from your run of the mill coffee shop – how does a latte with a side of tabby cat sound? You’ll be surrounded by cuddly felines, who you can stroke and play with ‘til your heart’s content. Purr-fect. Remember that the cats take naps throughout the day (lucky for some), so it’s best to check napping times before you visit.
10. Prohibition Cabaret Bar
Just over the iconic Tyne Bridge, a railway arch unit in Brandling Street has been transformed into the region’s first roaring 20s-30s Prohibition style venue. Visitors will step off the bustling streets and be transported to another world, with traditional cabaret, vaudeville and music-hall entertainment being recreated as they sup their moonshine.
11. Tea Sutra
The chilled out, vegan haven, Tea Sutra is not just about the tea and cake - it’s a way of life, tucked away within a quaint and quirky central Newcastle first floor pad. Step into a Japanese wonderland as you walk up the quirky, wooden stairs; a world with no coffee, no WiFi and no tea bags. There’s even a Japanese inspired area where you can take off your shoes, and sit on the floor amidst a sea of pillows – relaxation at its peak. From herbal, to organic, to oolong teas and everything in between - you're sure to find a blend here to suit your palate.
12. Science Bar
Opposite Newcastle’s central station, lies the quirky Science Bar and Lounge. Drinks come with a scientific twist (including multicoloured shots from test tubes in a rack) and it boasts competitive cocktail/beer offers as well as Prosecco setting you back just £15 a bottle. The charm lies within the laid back ambiance of the Science Bar, where images of Einstein and Hawking line the walls, and guests are welcome to doodle on the tables in chalk.
13. Sky Lounge – Vermont
200 feet above the city lies the luxurious, opulent Sky Lounge – boasting unrivalled, panoramic views of the city including the Sage, Quayside, Tyne Bridge and the majestic castle. This exclusive, hidden rooftop terrace (situated on top of the plush Vermont hotel) is typically only available for private events, functions and celebrations, but does open its doors to the public on occasions throughout the year.
14. High Pie Society
For just a pound, you can join Newcastle’s mysterious High Pie Society. Each month, Pie Club meets in a secret location, which is revealed only 48 hours beforehand – and enjoy each other’s home baked creations, and a bit of good conversation. A pound well spent, we’d say.
15. St James’ Rooftop Tour
Even if you aren’t a massive fan of Newcastle United, or even football at all for that matter - St James’ guided rooftop tours are a little known wonder, offering fantastic bird’s eye views of the expansive stadium and hallowed turf. The Toon is peppered with famous landmarks such as the Tyne Bridge, Grey’s Monument and The Sage, which can all be seen from this panoramic hot spot.
We recommend incorporating some of these into your hen party or stag do in Newcastle, for a true flavour of the secrets of The Toon.