Wednesday 11 December 2019

An Instagram Guide to the Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle

I realised during a short stroll round Newcastle recently that a lot of new cocktail bars have opened over the last couple of months and we hadn't visited any of them. Slightly worried that we were perhaps turning into Nanas we made it our mission to head into Toon for a spot of day drinking, our aim to get round as many of the new cocktail bars as we possibly could.

Whilst this may make us sound like the life and soul of the party, I promise my old lady reputation is still very much intact ... don't tell anyone but we completed this mission on a very sleepy Sunday afternoon and in the first bar I may, or may not have ordered a pot of tea!

An Instagram Guide to the Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle

As with most new arrivals these bars tick a lot of the boxes when it comes to Instagrammable interiors so I thought it only right to share our new discoveries as an Instagram Guide to the Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle! The perfect spots for a selfie or two, a few drinks with friends or a date night with your other half.

Get ready to plan your Christmas parties!

nstagram Guide to the Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle

Slug and Lettuce

When I'm walking about claiming that Slug and Lettuce is a new bar to Newcastle, let's just remember that the city's second branch of Slug and Lettuce actually opened a whole 4 months ago - I think I surely have to be the last person in Newcastle to the party!

The affordable chain has had more than a lick of paint over the last couple of years with Slug and Lettuce bars across the country having complete refurbishments, taking the bars from pretty tired, dingy forgotten about spaces into some of the most "must visit" Instagram locations.

You will find the new Slug and Lettuce on Grainger Street, where Yates once was and the interiors are very much designed with hashtags and filters in mind with bird cage booths, neon lights, floral chairs and cocktail trees. Although not for everyone, it's a great destination for a girls night out or hen weekend where photo opportunities and affordable drinks are top of the priority list.

Instagram Guide Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Slug and Lettuce

A great spot for the cocktail lover you'll find one of the largest cocktail menus in the city at Slug and Lettuce with an impressive selection including an entire menu dedicated to the Pornstar which includes a Pornstar Tree, a Giant Pornstar and Strawberry Pornstars. With long drinks, shots and bombs, plenty of gins, martinis and classics there is plenty on offer to get your night started with a bang and lots of offers to be found including Two for One Cocktails, Tipsy Tapas, Wine Down Wednesdays and Fizz Friday.

The Slug caters for every food occasion from Breakfasts (dishes start from £1.99!), to small plates, £5.00 lunch deals, Afternoon Tea and Cocktails & Cakes. Affordable with plenty of choice, if you're bar crawling on a budget this is the place for you!

Perfect for: Girls Night, Hen Weekends, a Night Out Before Pay Day and Hangover Breakfasts 

Find Slug at Lettuce at: 30 Grainger Street, NE1 5JG

Instagram Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Slug and Lettuce
All Bar One

When I lived and worked in London, All Bar One was pretty much the place to head to for Friday night drinks after work. With a branch on most street corners in the City I couldn't quite believe it when I arrived in Newcastle to discover that All Bar One didn't exist! Where on earth did thirsty office workers gather at 5:00 pm?

I'm pretty sure Newcastle is the last major city in the UK to get an All Bar One, but in September it finally arrived in the Toon, bringing with it a huge refurbishment of what used to be Browns and a large bar decked out in golds with a ceiling full of greenery and plenty of large tables to gather with your friends.

With a real focus on wine there are plenty available with many recommendations throughout the drinks menu if you fancy trying something new.  If cocktails are more your thing the Blossom Birdcage Sharer serves four people fruity cocktails in an ornate floral bird cage.

The menu offers a well selected range of lunch, main dishes and desserts or, if you're feeling very healthy, nutritious power foods. It's the brunch that's caught my eye though with a lovely menu of classic dishes - perfect for a pre shopping treat.

There are plenty of offers to be found including Fizz Friday, Tapas Tuesday, 5 O'Clocktails, Set Menus and 2 for 1s. They also have an app which includes a loyalty card, birthday treats and a complimentary cocktail on download.

Perfect for: After Work Drinks and Catching up with Friends 

Find All Bar One at: 51 Grey Street, NE1 6EE

Instagram Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - All Bar One


I had heard a lot about new bar Horticulture following its recent opening so couldn't wait to check it out for myself.  Hidden down a little alley off Pilgrim Street, step inside and suddenly you're in a beautiful little bar that instantly gave us all of the loft apartment vibes - definitely more New York than Newcastle upon Tyne!

Spread across three floors you will find you're first welcomed into a cosy bar before heading upstairs to the small restaurant who specialise in small plates served from their open kitchen. The top floor of Horticulture houses the Aviary, a function space perfect for a private party or event.

We spent our time in the bar, grabbing the last available table (be warned, it's pretty tiny in there!) and feeling slightly gutted that I didn't manage to bag myself one of the super instagrammable swing seats! I have to say out of all the new bars we visited this one was definitely the "coolest" and perhaps a little too cool for us!

Instagram Guide Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Horticulture
I opted for a Gin and Tonic which was noticeably cheaper than anywhere else in Toon which surprised me considering the beautiful setting, I could be wrong, but I think they probably serve single measures of gin rather than the usual double!

I have heard great things about their food and the breakfast plates look particularly good with Turkish Eggs, Vegan Hash and the Muckle Breakfast all on the menu so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we swing by earlier in the day.

Perfect for: Hanging out with your Coolest Mates and Intimate Drinks  

Find Horticulture at:1 Market Lane, NE1 6QQ

Instagram Guide to Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Horticulture

The Purple Peacock

If you love your bar filled with vibrant colour then you will love The Purple Peacock, surely the most decadent place in the Toon for a cocktail. The bar and restaurant is pretty eye popping with gold details, colourful pillars and flower garlands - it's the closest that Newcastle has to a palace and if you need an excuse to dig out your tiara, I'd say this is it.

Instagram Guide to Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Purple Peacock

The drinks menu hosts the usual range of champagne, wines, gins and beers but it's the cocktails that are something to write home about. The signature cocktail, "The Purple Peacock" mixes Ketel One Citroen with Port, Lemon Juice, Pineapple and Blackcurrant topped with a colourful peacock feather which will have you grabbing for your camera before it's even hit the table. We were particularly impressed with the bar's efforts to create well loved classics that don't feature in the menu and Simon decided that the Old Fashioned they served him was the best he's ever had in Newcastle!

Instagram Guide to Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - The Purple Peacock

If you really want to get the party started then The Purple Peacock has some great concepts on offer including "Drunch" (three small plates and bottomless fizz for 90 minutes) and Pick and Mix Gin offering four gins, four tonics and four fruits for you to create your own perfect G&Ts (I'm definitely looking forward to giving that a go!)

Perfect for: Starting the Night

Find Purple Peacock at: 55 Degrees North, Pilgrim Street, NE1 6BJ

Instagram Guide to the Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - The Purple Peacock

Leila Lilys 

Saving our favourite for last, I have not stopped going on and on about how much we loved Leila Lilys since our visit. Simon and I were both blown away by the beautiful interiors, lovely atmosphere, friendly bar staff and amazingly presented cocktails. This place really is something special!

A complete transformation to what was there before, the restaurant and bar have swapped places meaning more room for drinks and a more intimate offering for those wanting to dine. We were impressed by the live music that greeted us as we stepped through the door and sipping our drinks with a pianist playing in the background was the very best way to end our evening.

Instagram Guide to the Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Leila Lilys

We felt spoilt for choice when it came to picking a table at Leila Lilys, with cosy corners, private areas, plush bar stools and beautiful booths - every area of the bar has been beautifully designed and I will not be happy until I've sat at every single table to work out which is my favourite.

We hid ourselves away in a corner almost concealed by velvet curtains where we grabbed a comfortable booth with views out over Grey Street, with our own small bar this would be a really lovely area for a private party and I'm now trying to come up with any excuse to throw my own.

Instagram Guide to Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Leila Lilys

Cocktails at Leila Lilys don't come cheap and this is easily the most expensive bar out of all the places that we visited on our tour. Probably best saved for a special occasion this is going to be our go to for anniversaries, birthday treats and when we really want to impress someone. The cocktail menu is wonderfully presented with creatively named cocktails displayed in the colourful pages, it's easy to lose a lot of your evening just trying to decide what to order.

I opted for the "Not Every Rose Has a Thorn" - presented in this truly incredible glass (when Simon appeared with it I honestly thought he was balancing a plate on top of my glass) - Briottet Rose Liqueur and Rose Sugar Syrup are mixed with Hibiscus Tonic, Lemon Juice and Elder Flowers.

Now that we've been to this lovely spot for drinks, I can't wait to visit again and try some food, headed up by Chef of the Year 2019, Ronnie Robson, Leila Lilys menu looks incredible and it's only a matter of time before we try it out for ourselves.

Perfect for: A treat with your Best Mate, Romantic Date Night and When you want to Impress 

Find Leila Lilys at: 2-12 Grey Street, NE1 6AE

Best New Cocktail Bars in Newcastle - Leila Lilys

Can you believe that there are even more new cocktail bars in Newcastle that have opened over the last few months that we still haven't made it to yet?  It's a good job that party season has arrived so we have plenty of excuses to carry on ticking new bars off our list.

Something tells me Christmas is going to be extra fun this year!


  1. Oh Leila Lillys have a fab deal on Wowcher for afternoon tea at the moment. I can't wait to try some of these x

  2. I lived in central Newcastle for over a year and I've never been to any of these! I absolutely loved going out in Newcastle - my favourite bars were Colonel Porter's, Aveika, Lola Jeans and Yolo Townhouse xx


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