Get your glad rags on: An alternative guide to The Toon
It's no secret that Newcastle is a good night out. But we think we can do better than 'good'. More than just offering great accommodation in Newcastle, we like to think we can bring a whole barrel of expertise to the table too. That's why, drawing on our insider 'Geordie' knowledge, we thought it'd be a good idea to write a post on how to do a night on The Toon - properly. That means more than just your mainstream bars, and above and beyond your big-chain clubs (there's nothing unique to Newcastle about those). So without further ado, go and get your glad rags on. It's time to do a night on The Toon like you've never done before.
Start at: Lane 7
Hold your judgement when we say we're starting our night at a bowling alley because this place makes Hollywood Bowl look like a kid's tea party. Lane 7 is the kind of venue where the milkshakes are 'hard' and the age limit is 18+. It's an uber cool, dimly lit bar-come-bowling alley that just happens to offer 'glow pong' (dark room, neon balls, you get the picture), karaoke and pool too. Oh, and beer pong, because what's a Friday night without that?
Prepare for the evening's antics at: The Hop and Cleaver
In the name of not getting ahead of ourselves, it's time for a food stop. The Hop and Cleaver is a bare-brick walled bar and eatery, and is housed in one of Newcastle's oldest buildings. Sitting on the popular Quayside, its location is as tempting as its BBQ ribs, beer can chicken, smoky brisket and pulled pork. Of course, this is a night out, so it's a good job they do tons of great craft beers and cocktails too. Their Daiquiri & Margarita Slushies are both delicious and dangerous (always drink responsibly, folks).
Turn things up a gear at: The Botanist
Walking into The Botanist is like walking into another world. Its interior is distinctive and impressive. Clearly drawing inspiration from a kind of old-school botany (clue's in the name), it's weird, wonderful and very easy on the eye. Plus, there are some seriously talented mixologists on hand to create cocktails like you've never tasted before. Think green-house meets antique shop, meets big, gorgeous chandeliers. Fabulous.
Time for a pint at: Alvino's
Alvino's is, in its own words, 'cosy and casual'. This is the kind of place you want to be when you're ready to start letting the real weekend relaxation commence. With a vast range of beers, from European classics to American craft, you'll be spoilt for choice when picking the perfect pint. They do great cocktails too, from trusty classics to exciting contemporary inventions.
Get on your dancing shoes at: The Cluny
Time to put on your dancing shoes, we're off to The Cluny for a gig at one of Newcastle's staple live music venues. An intimate spot, but big enough to feel a band's presence, this is somewhere you can give your best moves some real air time. With great gigs from bands new and old every week, The Cluny regularly attracts an up-for-it crowd, and always guarantees a good night.
Let it all hang out at: World Head Quarters
There's nothing left for it but to let it all hang out and get groovy with some serious tunes, from funk and soul to Destiny's Child to old school hip hop. All sense of propriety goes out of the window at World Head Quarters, where you can dance the night away and say goodbye to the previous week. Bliss.
So there you have it. Newcastle's nightlife offers much more than many would have you believe. More than just chain clubs, fake tan and skimpy clothing, it has a sprawling underbelly of bars and venues that celebrate the cooler things in life. So don your best clobber and book your taxis. The weekend has landed.