South Gosforth

South Gosforth station is one of three major interchanges on the metro line which means it’s accessible from any station and located in a leafy residential street however is a mere two minute walk from a couple of decent watering holes.

Hike a right from platform 1 and head down the bank towards Hadricks Mill Roundabout where you’ll stumble across the Brandling Villa which whilst geographically is closest (aside from South Gosforth Social Club directly opposite the station) isn’t my favourite of the three on offer in this area. We’ve visited the Brandling many times, and although it offers a great range or real and craft ales, it’s a dog friendly pub. Many people will see this as a positive, and I myself, don’t mind it at all, I think it gets people talking who perhaps wouldn’t normally socialise with each other, Mr Newman isn’t a massive fan of dogs so would rather not have them sniffing his crotch while he’s enjoying a beer.

Diagonally across the road from the Brandling is the Victory, which anyone who’s ever had to commute to town from Cramlington will have passed every damn day but, like me, have probably never been in. We found ourselves there one Sunday afternoon before Chrsitmas last minute after having plans to meet Ang & Dave over in Northumberland Park were scuppered by the busyness of the Pavilion and despite my nerves that the jukebox as the saloon doors swung open, it was really cosy and welcoming. I was very taken the kitchy faux Victorian art on the wall. Who doesn’t love a dapper dog in a military uniform?!

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Mr N seems to think it’s been refurbished since the last time he was in (albeit probably some 10 years ago if not more) and it does all feel quite new but not in a polished Brewers Fayre kind of way. There’s a small bar in the middle of the room in front of you as walk in which offers  some standard real ales (Bishop’s Finger, Mordue etc) as well as pub grub. Despite being Sunday afternoon we’re weren’t eating on this occasion but the roast dinners that were coming out the kitchen looked hearty and were reasonably priced at around £7.

With the soft chairs and and dark wood finishing it was the perfect environment to do our annual blokes present swap and as the wine and beer flowed and the Christmas tunes got louder, what was supposed to be a few cheeky drinks on a Sunday afternoon became quite a session. So much so that with the phrase ‘shy bairns get nowt’ firmly in my head, managed to score some free Yorkshire puddings which were otherwise just going to get thrown away. And I must say they served as the perfect bar snack, pubs should offer that more often!

Whilst there were some big plasma screens on the wall, any sport that was on wasn’t intrusive, how different that would be if there was a Newcastle match on i’m not sure, but there are quieter areas of the bar which looked more suitable for dining so if you wanted to be away from any sporting nonsense i’m sure you could be.

Worth a mention while you’re in the area is the Millstone which is anther couple of minutes along the road to the right f the Brandling towards Matthew Bank however I think it have a slightly rougher edge than The Victory, last time I was in there although the wine was only £8 a bottle it was high on the paint stripper factor.

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