One of the things I like about the metro (aside from its proximity to lots of amazing pubs) is that where possible they have kept most of the original structures from when they were first built. Monkseaton station opened in 1915 and other than the actual platforms, which were completely replaced for it’s use as a metro station in 1980, everything else remains largely untouched.
Stations like Monkseaton are the easy ones to review because as far as the WBMT is concerned it pretty much ticks every box. The pub (the quaint Left Luggage Room) could only be closer if the metro doors opened directly into the pub (location, location, location!) and although the outside seating areas is pretty much on the platform, when you’re sitting in it you don’t feel like you’re on a station platform. Plus with the North East Weather being as tumultuous as it is, you can ‘sit outside’ without actually having to sit outside!
The pub inside is a miss match of chince and train related memorabilia (it reminds me a lot of The Cumberland Arms in Ouseburn in that respect – with is one of my favourite pubs ever!). It also has loads of different ales and craft beers on that are on heavy rotation which is great as you get to sample loads of different types however careful if you find something you love, it may well not been available the next time you visit!
The inside is all benches and wooden tables and benches which allows for a really sociable atmosphere and despite it treading dangerously close to hipster territory I think it manages to pull off cosy and quirky without being too pretentious or intimidating. It’s not very big so doesn’t take many people to make it full so I would get there early on if you’re picky about having somewhere to sit. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s dog friendly, there’s free parking at the station, and has a large selection of wines and gins as well as all the ale!
Once our metro guide is finished we’re going to create a WBMT Awards list and I think LLR may well be on track for ‘best bar on the network’ – watch this space!
Norham Road | Unit 6 Monkseaton Train Station, Whitley Bay NE26 3NR, England
Find out where else we’ve been on our Wine & Beer Metro Tour here