St James is at the very end of the Coast line on the metro and primarily serves St James Park football ground however is also handy for Chinatown and Newcastle Business School on a wet day (although you’d have to change at Monument if you’re coming in on the Airport line).
Come out of the main station doors and look over your left shoulder and you’ll see Geordie institution (and, incidentally, first stop on my Newcastle upon Tyne Walking Tour) The Strawberry up the hill. Being so close to the football ground, as you can expect it’s full of Newcastle United memorabilia which gets added to periodically so it’s not like there’s a running theme, if they like an article or get a signed shirt, they’ll put it on the wall.
It’s standing room only on a match day (when we visited) and despite being worried that I stuck out like a sore thumb in my bright pink t-shirt and even brighter pink lippy in a sea of blokes dressed in black (and white) it has a really welcoming feel and the chivalrous gents of the North East were quick to offer Ang and I what few seats were dotted around.
Food and drinks are extremely reasonably priced and didn’t take massively long to get served at the bar considering how busy it was. They offer a wide range of lager and ales and also drinks in two pint steins to save you having to go back and forth to the bar too often. We got a bottle of wine wine and a two pint stein for around £20 so averaging at about £3.50 a drink. If you do manage to go when it’s bit quieter the food they offer is pretty good too. Nothing fancy but good quality beer soaking pub grub at really good prices!
In 2015 they opened a roof terrace to offer more space and something a little different from the bar everyone knows and loves downstairs. In typical north east fashion it was raining like a pissing cow when we visited so were firmly kept indoors but can’t wait to go back in the summer to try the terrace out.
Yes there are TVs and bandit machines dotted around, which usually deducts points in my eyes but bearing in mind it’s location and the purposes it serves within the footballing community they’d be daft not to have sport on the telly – so I’m letting that slide in this case.
It’s worth noting that there’s also Bar Nine and the Shark Bar at the Sandman hotel a stones throw away from the metro station however either of them have the charm or character of the Strawberry and you won’t get the same geordie welcome, that’s for sure!
Strawberry Place, beside St. James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Tel: 0191 232 6865
Find out where else we’ve been on our pubbing adventure here