Partners in Wine do Karaoke at Cosy Joes

‘I love karaoke and totally hog the mic when I go out and do it with my friends’ – Charli XCX

Being an army brat and travelling around a lot when I was younger means it’s never been particularly difficult for me to make friends and I’m lucky that I’ve picked up friends and kept them from every job I’ve had in my adult life. There’s something intrinsically special though, when you get together with your school friends. They’re the one’s who’ve known you the longest, who talked you out of bright red parachute pants and were the first on the phone when you got dumped by your high school boyfriend over MSN messenger group chat.


Me and my 3 best friends from school Ang, Janine and Steph don’t see each other nearly as often as we’d like but when we d get together, I think we laugh consistently from start to finish. We were looking for something a little bit different for our most recent catch up and since every time we go on road trips together we end up belting out hits of the 80s in the car. Karaoke seemed the obvious solution!

Other than in a few chinese restauarnts in China Town the place to do karaoke in Newcastle is Cosy Joes slap bang in the middle of the bigg market. Despite what I like to think, Beyonce I ain’t so although you can do old fashioned karaoke in front of a baying crowd of drunk geordies, the safe option (for me and everyone else’s ears) is their private party pods which can be booked from between 4 to 20 people and they are. so. much. fun!

At a weekend it costs you £5 each for your first hour and £2.50 for each subsequent hour; we went for two hours as one didn’t feel like enough to really get warmed up and it was the perfect amount of time. The pods are dimly lit so have a really cool nightclub type vibe which really adds to the night out feel you’re looking for when you’re out with your mates. They have large plasma screens where the words are displayed, a small unit mounted on the wall where you pick your songs, large sofa to relax on while your mates are taking centre stage and two microphones (i’m sure the larger pods probably have more). There’s also a call button on the wall to press and a member of staff will come to your pod to take your drinks order  – that’s service!

The computer you pick your songs from is really easy to use; you can search my artist or song title, or alternatively everything is listed alphabetically if you just want to scroll through and see what takes your fancy. You can play songs immediately or add them to a playlist so can line them up and create your very own setlist. You’ll also be hard pushed to want to sing a song that’s not available, in our two hour wailfest we sang everything from Bowling for Soup, Backstreet Boys and Alanis Morissette to Pantera and Megadeth.

If you were looking to push the boat out a little ore they offer different pre paid packages included drinks, mixers and food if there’s a big gang of you. We absolutely loved our night at Cosy Joes and will definitely be going back to get a fix before Christmas. It’s the perfect way to hang out and be silly with your mates will singing all your favourite songs from your angsty teen years or would be the ideal venue for your work Christmas party!


Groat Market, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1UQ


Partners in Wine do The Split Chimp

‘Prosecco: How classy people get shitfaced’ – Unknown

Diamonds, dachshunds and my good self (ahem) are all proof that good things come in small packages.

I’d first clocked Newcastle’s first micro pub, The Split Chimp, when we walked past on the way to the Spoiler Shop Steamer last September and always had it in mind to try. And try I did when Dave and I went for a few pre Bowling for Soup bevvies. It was then I noticed that they do bottles of prosecco for £15. So i thought to myself, who do I know that likes £15 bottles of prosecco?! Partners in Wine assemble!


l-r Ruth, me, Ang, Steph & Mum

It’s not called a micro pub for nothing; it’s pretty teeny inside, but that’s what I love about it. Especially on the cold snowy February afternoon we visited. It sounds like an estate agent cliche to describe somewhere so small as ‘cosy’ and ‘homely’ but that really is true of the Split Chimp which is built into one of the railway arches directly underneath Newcastle Central Station. It’s set over two levels though so is actually twice as big as first meets the eye when you walk in. Most importantly, there’s not a fruit machine or plasma screen in sight.

We arrived at about 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon and there were only a few people in at that time so we took advantage of the benches and beer barrel tables at the front of the pub by the window, after all it’s a known trick that restaurants always but their best looking people in the window to draw more people in, and what real ale pub doesn’t want a gaggle of giggling lasses drinking prosecco in the window?! Surely we’re they’re perfect demographic!


Panoramic view of the whole downstairs – with Ang & Steph of course acting perfectly natural

It wouldn’t be a complete review without highlighting what else they have on offer, and of course their big selling point is super trendy hipster drink du jour; real ale, usually 4 cask ales ( at around £3.40 a pint) which rotate every fortnight or so. I happen to know from some mild twitter stalking that owner and ex paramedic Mark travels the world (most recently Lanzarote) looking for new ales to bring to the beer swilling connoisseurs of the North East. They also do wine by the pouch (£3.50 for 250ml) a variety of bottled lagers and beers and some really tasty bar snacks (the peanut butter pretzels are one of the nicest things I’ve ever put in my mouth).


If all that on offer wasn’t enough they also have a (very) small pavement licence so if it ever stops raining for 5 minutes or the temperature rises above 5 degrees, you can enjoy your drinks outside. Special mention has to go to the music being played; we heard Squeeze, Level 42, The Police, The La’s and The Cure over the 5 hours (don’t judge – we sipped our 5 bottles of prosecco and large glasses of wine very responsibly) we were there, which, if anyone knows my musical history, could have been right off my own ipod. In fact if they’d played some Backstreet Boys I’d have moved in.

I’ve always wanted a favourite pub that wasn’t a Wetherspoons and I think the Split Chimp has definitely 100% taken the place of the Five Swans. Their prosecco is only £2 dearer, and if we’ve proved nothing else it’s that you don’t have to be a bearded hipster or flat capped octogenarian to enjoy a real ale pub. Oh and if it looks like you’re there for a session they get more prosecco out the back to chill for you – that’s service!

Contact Details:

The Split Chimp
Arch 11, Forth Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Twitter: @SplitChimp
You can find out a little more about the PiW Gang here


Partners in Wine – Meet the Gang

‘We’re sleeping late but were not lazy we’re getting older but were still crazy. I’m so glad that I have these friends of mine’ – Bowling for Soup

Established on my hen do in York in 2013 ‘Partners in Wine’ have taken it upon themselves to sample what Newcastle upon Tyne (and beyond) has to offer 4 Prosecco addicts and report back our findings. It’s a science really is what it is.

One of our favourite games to play in a bar or pub that has an extensive cocktail menu is Cocktail Roulette where we close our eyes and pick a cocktail blind. Only rules are you HAVE to drink whatever you choose however you do get one veto ingredient that if the chosen cocktail contains that, you get to pick again. Yep, we’re THAT crazy!

Here’s a little bit more about the partners, in case you cared:



Aka: AB, Flange, Shandy Pants
Favourite Drink: Rum & Coke
Favourite Cocktail: Pina Colada
Cocktail Roulette Veto Ingredient: Whiskey
Likes: Malteasers, A good book & a warm bed with clean sheets
Twitter: @angelalharrison



Aka: Newman, Helly Nelly
Favourite Drink: Prosecco
Favourite Cocktail: Peach Bellini
Cocktail Roulette Veto Ingredient: Banana Liquor
Likes: Swimming, Reality TV & Marmite sandwiches
Twitter: @honestlyhelen



Aka: J9, Janice, El Nino
Favourite Drink: Rum & Coke
Favourite Cocktail: Raspberry Mojito
Cocktail Roulette Veto Ingredient: Tequila
Likes: Dancing, Rocking out of the guitar & adventures in the countryside
Twitter: @janineweightman



Aka: Stephalupagus, Stephen
Favourite Drink: Gin & Tonic
Favourite Cocktail: Margarita
Cocktail Roulette Veto Ingredient: Coke
Likes: Drinks with friends, little adventures & gym gains
Twitter: @stephymonty