All posts by Lina

My way... or the Hemingway

Nights Out for the Laid Back: A weekly Newcastle guide

This article will be of interest to you if you find that, although you are in one of the biggest party cities in the country, and you are still trying to find out why people can go out without wearing coats in the middle of winter, bright lights give you a headache and you think ‘mushroom’ is a stupid name for a club. Do you find yourself not knowing where to go every day of the week?

But fear not! Newcastle has plenty to offer you, there are clubs with a more laid back atmosphere. The two universities in a small-ish town guarantee that there is a vibrant musician atmosphere, with plenty putting on open-mic nights and random gigs.

Monday: Ice Skating!

The Centre for Life in the middle of town opens an outdoor ice skating ring in the winter. For a nominal fee, you can make a fool out of yourself in front of the people you want to impress the most.

Tuesday: Open Mic Night at the Trent

Exactly what it says on the tin: the open mic night at the trent runs every Tuesday and is usually packed with professional and amateur musicians. It’s a lovely atmosphere, and if you had gone there before and been scared by all the creepy doll pictures, you don’t have to worry anymore: they have replaced it with art you can (and would like to!) buy. The Trent is right next to Newcastle uni, so you won’t even have to walk that far. Awesome.

Wednesday: Eat at Eye on the Tyne

What? You need to eat, right? Although Eye on the Tyne isn’t super cheap, if you have a taste for good food you can probably enjoy the rustic platters which have amazing ham and bread. You haven’t lived until you have tried their stuff olives. Don’t like olives? You will. 

Thursday: Jazz Cafe

Yeah, go to the jazz cafe. Jazz is still cool, right? Smack in the middle of town, the Jazz cafe is an affordable pub with different entry fees. Call ahead and ask if you remember. It’s a cozy, intimidate atmosphere, with loads of beautiful calligraphy everywhere and a man with a great big white beard. Don’t worry, I hear he is good at jazz.

Weekend: Before you go to your normal clubs or whatever it is you people do on the weekends, consider going ghost hunting. Newcastle is a really, really old city, full of tortuous history which, if there are ghosts, is very conductive to them. There are a couple of companies around the area that do ghost hunting tours, but the best thing to do is sleep over at a haunted place. One of them even lets you stay over at the Castle Keep, and that place is dark as anything. Enjoy getting your soul taken in your sleep for under £20 per person!

And where should I eat?! For the Newcastle Foodie

So you are due to arrive in this North-East city within the next couple of weeks. You are all set: you already think you know the best spots to party and are looking forward to the heaving night life scene. But have you thought about food? Of course you have, what else do students think about?

Newcastle has all the normal fast food restaurants you need for your night out, along with a massive selection of chippies and take-outs. In the city centre, you have your KFC, McDonalds and Burger King, and then the more stereotypically Northern Greggs. If you want some, ehem, local food, you can always head down to Greggs and acquire a sausage roll for a little under a pound, always making it ideal for the student budget.

But what about when you fancy someone and want to impress them, or when your parents come to visit and they say they’ll take you out to a meal, wherever you want? You can’t just mutter ‘Greggs’ at them, can you?

Here is a handy guide for some of my favourite restaurants in Newcastle. It is a surprisingly multicultural city, with China Town at the centre of it, and places scattered around everywhere.

Paprika Tandoori – Indian Takeout – Gateshead

Paprika Tandoori is located about 15 minutes away from Newcastle by bus, on Old Durham Road. Although take-out and delivery are available, this is also a small, well-lit restaurant that has recently undergone refurbishment, and the prices are reasonable. But where Paprika shines is its food and customer service: always delicious and always willing to go the extra mile.

Nudo - Japanese Food – Town Centre

Nudo is a Japanese restaurant in the middle of the town centre which serves sushi and other japanese plates. The food is reasonably priced, and the concept of the place inviting and relaxed: someone will keep coming to your table to get your sushi orders, or you can order a main if you are short on time. The food is very high quality and the servers friendly and helpful, as I can attest after looking at a bottle for about 30 seconds somebody came and explained what it actually was.

Da Mimmos – Italian – Town Centre

Also located in the town centre near the comedy club, this genuine Italian restaurants offers all sorts of Italian food, from risotto to pizza. It also has very good promotions on occasionally, from 3 courses for £10 pound, making it ideal for the broke student. It has a much posher interior than its atmosphere would let you to believe, but don’t let that intimidate you! Everyone is more than welcome.

The Charles Grey – Pub Food – Town Centre

The Charles Grey is the epitome of the town centre pub, situated up four flights of steps right next to the famous Newcastle monument. It is a great pub to go have a drink at, but they also do food, and it is surprisingly nice. Their opus magnum, however, is their home-made chips, which are only available during the weekdays. They also do student discount so it isn’t painful.

If you are already in Newcastle and have some more recommendations, please do not hesitate to leave them in the comments!

Newcastle for Nerds

Have your friends always teased you because you prefer to sip on white wine, wear tweed sweaters and are often partial to watching QI. Does this sound more appealing than going out to a club where everyone’s going to be all sweaty and touching each other?

Are you the type of person that would save your books over your fashionable shoes if there was a house fire? Oh, you have no fashionable shoes? Then this is the perfect post for you. Consider this a nerdy guide to Newcastle, where you can do nerdy things for fun – like play board games and talk about science. Here’s a helpful list with some attractions:

  • Adult only events are put on by the Centre for Life almost all year long. There is one which explores the science of fire  and an event called ‘What’s your poison?’. You get 5 cocktails when you buy the tickets for the latter one. You know, for science. Keep checking the website for more events, as they are constantly changing!
  • The Cumberland Arms, located in Byker near-ish to the Cloony has board games available to play while you have a drinkie. They also put acoustic nights on, and story telling nights, too. Again, it’s always changing, so go check out their website here.
  • Tyneside Cinema: If you are a more artsy nerdy type and into foreign, artsy and cult films, this is the place for you. They are an excellent student-y cinema, as well, since they occassionally put on free movie night. So you can just pop in! They also have slam-poetry session and other artsy stuff. And a coffee shop that doesn’t close until eleven o’clock at night. Best in Newcastle.
  • The Sage Gateshead: Although not technically in Newcastle, this slug like building has many offers for the more musically inclined nerd. If you are into Classical music then you are very much in luck! The Sage has several shows a day. But it’s not just that, it’s also the heart of folk music in the Northeast. Oh, and I guess if you are an architectural type, then you wouldn’t want to miss the building either.
  • The Lit and Phil society: Are you a book nerd? Do people look at you weird because you get a dreamy look in your eyes while you sniff a yellowed page deep? The Lit and Phil society is the place of your dreams. Lined with old books everywhere and old staircases, this is a totally fascinated place in which I – cough – I mean you – could spend all your time
Now these are not the only events and places like this in Newcastle. If you know of any please do share in the comments.
Posted by Lina, Newcastle Uni