Tuesday was my fifth successive trip to Newcastle in sub-zero temperatures, which says something about the cruelty of the Premier League fixture calendar.

But you can never tire of the Tyne,

View from BALTIC

or this month’s exhibition by Heather Phillipson in BALTIC,

Especially for Mudgie – actually creepy

but can you get bored of Tyneside micros ?, I wonder.

My usual confused stroll over the Millennium Bridge and down the Quayside takes me south of the castle, entirely the wrong way for the railway arch pubs, but I do at least get to see something gorgeous.

I love this place


Odd filter there

The walk up Castle Stairs would defeat a younger man, and means I earnt the stottie cake or whatever it is I’d enjoy at SJP (keep reading).

Four new entries in the Toon this GBG year; two micros, two brewery taps. Breaking all the rules, it was Tyne Bank and Wylam who were shut till Thursday.

Box Social seemed to be open forever, which will upset the Herne hierarchy who insist that micros are shut when you least expect it.

Underneath the arches

Pubmeister beat me here, he always does. I’m sure he told me Split Chimp used to be here before moving to a glamorous new location, which raises all sorts of ethical ticking issues, but luckily I know I Chimped (verb) at their new home.

Box Social is one of those small modern beer bars that would be Pub of the Year in any small Hertfordshire or Buckinghamshire town, and coincidentally they sell Mad Squirrel. But I’m a gentleman, so I go for their own Gentleman’s Nectar (NBSS 3/3.5). Actually, I just pointed to the first thing I saw as they didn’t have Federation Bitter on.

Unreadable beer list

Looking now I see To 0l, Wylam and Summer Wine, which I suspect is still crafty by Cambridge standards.

More craft than cask, as it should be

Only three other drinkers, two upstairs and one down, but I suppose some people have to be working at 4.30pm on a Tuesday.  Thank goodness for Paul Mudge, Duncan and myself.  Decent banter about Bruce Willis films, if that’s your thing.

4.30pm heroes

One thing I forgot to mention about Station East was the rattle you get when a train passes overhead.  It’s possible some folk would pay good money for the experience.  Box Social had that rumbling noise too.  It may even have improved the lacings.



    1. PS, I love the place, but I doubt that there are many RU fans there.

      If you’re crafty, sorry, canny, then you might get away with using the Vermont Hotel lift, rather than the castle steps, incidentally. That was always handy when progressing from the Crown Posada to the Bridge Hotel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Crown Posada and Bridge Hotel were two of the pubs I used when I was last in Newcastle in 2001.
        Time to go again methinks.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well, Paul, I see that the Vermont – which I always liked – is doing a twin room, that is, with two double beds, for £67.50 just now.

        I was just thinking the same thing. I was last there in 2011, and Martin’s pictures stirred the longing.


  1. My first paid employment was in the Bridge Hotel. Sadly, the owners were allowed to destroy the old and very original public bar with snob screens. Great vinyl fair at Tyne Bank this afternoon!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They’ve lost the plot a bit in some cases. Gone upmarket for little reason in some – full on B&P in the Brierdene, Whitley Bay which has proved disastrous for them, but by and large reliable with decent beer. The Crown Posada hasn’t changed a bit thankfully.


      2. Does the Posada still have the portrait, of who appears to be Ho Chi Minh? He had a connection with Newcastle, I seem to recall.


    1. EP,
      That “the owners were allowed to destroy the old and very original public bar with snob screens” is a tragedy given how rare unspoilt pub interiors are.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “4.30pm on a Tuesday” is when we clear the pint that’s been in the line all night in all those pubs that don’t get round to opening until 4pm.


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