Once you’re in the centre of town you’d think that there’d be a smorgasbord or decent pubs to visit right? Sadly not if we’re wanting to hop of at Monument; I mean, there are plenty of pubs around, i’m just not entirely convinced any of them are all that decent. Monument Mtero is the most central metro station in Newcastle right next to Greys monument and it’s slim pickings!
There are two options within eyesight of the two different entrances to the station and they’re both at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Use the Blackett Street exit and you’ll be right next door to the Botanist, which is located above Jamie’s Italian and is built in what used to be the food court of Monument Mall. The interior is spectacular with the fairy light adorned dome, seating for food around the edge and the bar area in the middle meaning there’s always a lively atmosphere. It also has beautiful views down Grey street and an outside area with blankets and space heaters for that extra shot of hygge should you want it.
Sadly the fancy fixtures is were it ends. We visited at around 7pm on a Saturday night and it was shoulder to shoulder busy. They bar is way too small and understaffed to cope with the size of the room and as such it takes an absolute lifetime to get served, when you do get served the drinks are severely over priced and the staff are cold and unfriendly. Unless you’re a gaggle of 21 year girls in tiny dresses you don’t seem get a look it. It’s far to loud, bright and manic for my liking and as such we left before we were even served.
Come out of the station’s Grey Street exit and look to the right and you’ll see The Charles Grey. As a complete contradiction to the Botanist this place seems to have been there since the beginning of time and it shows. It’s dark and dingy yet a little too over priced to be classed as a dive bar. Granted we got served the second we walked in, despite it being a bust Saturday night, they do have real ale on tap and we just generally felt more comfortable in there. Price wise though we paid almost £7 for a pint and a diet coke!
I have a feeling that both places would be better during the day for spot of lunch and a drink or two whilst doing a bit of shopping and both offer great views to sit and watch the world go by. I just think with the fantastic No28 and the Gate Complex right around the corner; location, location, location is the only thing that makes them desirable in any way.
Contact:The Botanist, Unit 12-13 13 Monument Mall, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7AL, England