A few weekends ago my husband and I went to Newcastle for the weekend. We were given a voucher for a night away and so decided to make the most of it in Newcastle. I had been to Newcastle as a child as I had family there and my husband had been on a stag do but we never really had seen much of it.
We stayed at the Village Hotel, which you can read about in a separate post. ( Our stay at the Village Hotel, Newcastle)The Hotel was a little out of town so we took the Metro into town on Saturday to go exploring.
Life Science Centre
Our first stop was Life Science Centre. I had been here as a child and remembered it being fun and I knew my husband would love it. The centre is in the middle of a giant complex and as it was half term it was quite busy so we were glad we were there relatively early. There are different sections and it is very hands on. We have been to some science centres as adults and been disappointed because everything is for children and we feel like old, childless adults. Life, however, was good fun for adults and kids alike. Your ticket allows you access all day, although you are limited to one shot only in the Planetarium, 4D Ride, and Live Theatre. The Planetarium was really cool. The main theme was how to stargaze and how to spot some constellations and planets. I felt inspired and have been trying to stargaze with the help of my trusty app! The 4D ride was the Polar Express – it was cool, and felt like you were on the Polar Express- with real snow and everything! The only downside I would say is the footage is taken straight from the film so jumps around a bit. The Live Theatre was all about Poo! Although aimed at kids, I loved it and I learned quite a lot!
There was an area for actually trying experiments out and so we completed one that we made carbon dioxide. I loved it and feel super smart even though there were a bunch of seven-year-olds doing the same experiment as me. It was really cool to do actual science! I could write so much more about the science centre, and I defo think it is worth a visit. Even if you are a grown up!
The Gin Bar
After the morning of learning about science, we decided we could now justify an afternoon of drinking Gin. Before we went to Newcastle I had a wee read of bars and places to go and added them to a Google Map. This way we could roughly plan out a pub crawl or decide where to go next. Our first stop was The Gin Bar. This was a bar in the Crowne Plaza Hotel so not much atmosphere. I’ll be honest it was nice enough but for being called The Gin Bar – I would say they had a limited selection. I think it was the case of they thought they would cash in on the recent Gin trend. Here, I tried a Hepple Gin and my Huband tried a Durham Gin. I really enjoyed both gins although preferred the Hepple. I think if your passing
and fancy a drink it’s worth a stop but I wouldn’t go out your way to visit here.
We went to The Botanist for lunch, after managing to book a last minute table on their website. We had a 9 minute run from one side of town to the other. The Botanist is up a few flights of stairs. So you have a well-deserved drink at the top. The bar is a nice, bright and light area with other dining rooms off it. There is also an upstairs bar area and roof terrace. The bar has a very hipster feel to it, although one thing I would say the drinks menu doesn’t have all the drinks on it. So we fancied a gin and had to just read the selection from the waitresses iPad. Apart from that it was great. I opted for the kebabs after seeing them at the next table and getting major food envy. The lamb kebabs were served on a fancy hanging hook thing and the sauce was drizzled over the top. They were the tastiest things I have eaten in ages! This coupled with halloumi fries was so so good. I even made my husband take a picture of me with the kebab.
Next on our list was Bealim House. This one looked promising from the pictures and it also housed a Gin Distillery. Bealim House is the home of Newcastle Gin. We tried a few of the Newcastle Gin’s in here which were lovely. And then I decided to try the Apple and Cinnamon Gin Liqueur which was heavenly, I wish I had bought a bottle! The bar was busy but not jam-packed and there was a few hen and stag do’s but nothing too rowdy. The stills were just kept in a wee corner of the bar. I think out of all the bars we visited this was my favorite. Although my only hang-up was my husband saw on the Gin Menu a peppercorn tonic, the tonic cost £7. More than the gin! That is why there are no prices printed on the menu!
A few people recommended Harrys to us. It was heaving when we went in and managed to get a corner of a table and one chair. The fact that it was busy put me off a bit but the drinks were good. I had a cocktail and my husband stuck to the Gin in here. The cocktails were delicious but I think we were starting to lag a bit by now, whereas a lot of people in here were only starting their night out.
One of the final places we went was Decantus. It is owned by the same people as Bealim House and so Newcastle Gin was the house spirit. It was early evening by now and places were starting to get busy, so again we ended up perching in a corner of the bar. The place was lovely and quite classy. I had a wee look at the menu and the food sounded, looked and smelled good. Maybe next time!
Overall Newcastle was not what I expected it to be. I think because all I have really heard or seen of it is Stag Parties, 18th/21st Parties and Geordie Shore (okay, I have never seen an episode of Geordie Shore but that kind of vibe). However, I think there is so much in Newcastle that if like us you are not into the clubbing, shot shot shots and fishbowl scene then it is still worth a visit. I wish we stayed in town so we could see the town a bit more than just the day but we did also enjoy our time at Village Hotel.