What a smashing weekend! We travelled all the way up to Newcastle and were not disappointed!!
We got lost a few times driving in the centre but aside from that, what a great city! It’s always so lovely to see a close nit bartending community and where venues recommend each other and are just happy to be part of the circle.
Of those I visited some stood out with their history and style!
Starting my tour of Newcastle, I went to ‘Pleased to Meet You’ and had very high expectations, as it was recommended to me by so many friends! I was not disappointed! Such a fantastic place with so much character. The bartenders were very keen to expand in their extensive knowledge and already had a love for agave spirits, which they incorporate in their very own cocktails. Tom and his head bartender brought to our table some spirits from their backbar to compare the flavours of their existing brands and my new ones. They did not disappoint! Animas Mezcal Espadin/Papalometl was even tried and tested in a classic Martini cocktail with a twist – Apricot liqueur, Lillet Blanc and a lemon twist; lush!!
I was then introduced to the guys at ‘Lady Grey’ which was such a lovely pub! It was still cosy but had a young and fresh atmosphere which was unlike any pub I’ve visited before! A place where no one worries about the next day… I only wish that I had gone there for a night out! The only thing missing here was some 100% Agave Tequila which after I introduced them to 30-30 Blanco, they immediately loved!
‘The Mean Eyed Cat’ stood out by a mile in terms of creative expression in their whole design and layout. Such a great gem just off the beaten track with fabulous staff who genuinely care for the place and its customers! A true love for Mexican spirits is also very clear here. When travelling to the Americas the owner brings back bottles of Mezcal which sell out very quickly!
A prejudice of mine was thinking it was going to be difficult to find unique and independent bars in Newcastle (no idea why!) How much more wrong could I have been??
What on earth could be more unique than a pottery workshop within a bar and restaurant?? ‘The Kiln’ was such a beautiful place filled with creativity! The gorgeous venue showcased its own in house made creations immaculately and had a wonderful window to look in to the room where all the ceramics are made. Just stunning!
Finally, ‘The Poison Cabinet’. What can I say? An underground speakeasy behind a medieval prison door? How cool is that!! Unique cocktails made in house and brilliant art work! Their mezcal selection at the moment is fairly limited however the combo of the knowledge of their bartenders and the fact that they have their own mezcal cocktails on the menu, I believe it’s only a matter of time before everyone falls head over heels (in love I mean!)! All I can say is that I hope I don’t embarrass myself when I go back on a night out because I will be back!
All in all, I strongly believe that Newcastle is going to embrace agave spirits as the next best thing for the simple reason of their bartenders already loving mezcal and tequila. The only thing to do now is stock up their backbars with more and more variety!