Ever notice that the North East seems to have lots of places that are similarly named simply just to cause confusion? I was quite excited when I knew there was a Simonside on the metro line. I’d been wanting to climb up that big hill for ages. Imagine my disappointment when we alighted the train only to find a massive housing estate? Not for the first time I’ve fallen fowl of my basic grasp on geography!
Simonside station is relatively new having only opened in 2008, much to the disgust of many local residents who worried it would raise crime and thoroughfare in the area. None the less I’m sure Simonside residents are appeased with the fact that with great power comes great responsibility and where there’s a metro station, there’s a pub within walking distance.
If you come out of the station onto Wenlock Road (if you’ve come from Tyne Dock then you’ll have to cross the tracks and turn left towards the roundabout. When you get to the bottom of the road turn right and you’ll see very soon Florence Bar & Bistro (formerly the Simonside Arms). And what a pleasant surprise this is.
We were there in the late afternoon of the Thursday between Christmas and New Year and it was relatively quiet,which could be down to the fact it was a Thursday or down to the fact it was between xmas and NY and most people were still eating their selection boxes in their pyjamas. It’s clearly a fairly new establishment and on first arrival we were unsure as to whether it was a restaurant, or a bar, or neither, or both.
Turns out it’s a bit of everything. Walk through the main doors and turn right to go to the restaurant or left for the bar. We weren’t eating on this occasion so took a seat in the bar, which is massive. The contemporary décor is set off nicely with lots of light wood, high tables and chairs (my mum would hate that) but also a few cosy sofas dotted around too (my mum would love that).
The drinks menu is contemporary too and offers on cocktails along with an impressive gin selection. Beer wise they have standard lagers as well as a few craft ales for the hipster bunch. Despite appearances and worries that prices would also be ‘contemporary’ we got 4 drinks for about £12 which doesn’t feel too shabby.
Because the pub is new it’s hard to tell what kind of shelf life it can offer but considering the only other option in the vicinity is the Cinder Path which is a Brewers-Fayre-by-numbers (and these kind of pubs makes my soul die a little inside each time I visit one) I hope Florence is able to stay afloat. The good people of Simonside have only just gotten over the metro station being built, they don’t this added to their woes too!
Find out where else we’ve been on out metro pubbing adventure here
‘Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former’– Albert Einstein
Two of my great loves in life happen to be Cocktails and Science* so when my blogging matey and fellow lover of all things weird (check out her website Crime Viral
if you fancy some bedtime reading) got in touch and asked if I wanted to come along to Science Bar and try out some of their new cocktails, well I’ve always loved a good experiment **.so who am I to turn an offer like that down. All in the name of research of course.
Science bar has been quietly knocking around for a while now settled in-between Central Station and the Royal Station Hotel. It’s easy to miss, although it always has been my bar of choice over Centurion when loitering around the station for whatever reason. Their location close to the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the Centre for Life makes them popular with science students and as such they’ve developed a really cool and interesting cocktail menu that I’m sure even Sheldon Cooper himself would be impressed by.
I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that I have in the past enjoyed the odd cocktail or two so I’m quite aware of the old favourites that seem to get churned out time after time (I’m looking at you Cosmopolitan) so it’s super refreshing to see a cocktail list where everything is completely different. All named with a science or sci-fi theme there’s some pretty funky chemical reactions going on with these drinks let me tell you and if the science of cocktail making was on my GCSE exam then perhaps I would have gotten higher than a C.
The ‘Showstopper’ for me was without a doubt the Gallileo which is made with squid ink to get the black colour and the melting lime juice ice ball in the middle is made to look the earth floating around in the solar system before it melts and turns into a rather refreshing Margarita (my all-time favourite cocktail)
Taste wise though my favourite was The Darkside because, well anything that tastes exactly like blackjacks and comes with its own light sabres will always be a winner with me, in fact I’d go so far as to say that it could have been invented by my 8 year self and my big brother.
The prices are all around the £6/£7 mark (all cocktails are £5 on Mondays) which is fairly standard for a cocktail in the centre of town these days and A for effort for branches out and stepping away from the monotony of Mojitos and Manhattans.
*only one of these is true
** this is definitely not true
‘If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it’ – Steve Jobs
Typically, as a youngster I would fall for anyone who just didn’t go out of their way to be mean to me. I’d like to say that over the years I’ve become a tougher cookie to crack but I haven’t. I still wear my heart on my sleeve and will trust anyone until they give me reason not to and that’s the way i’ll happily stay. It terms of winning my heart, whether it be romantically (that position has been filled) or as a friend, you’re pretty much guaranteed a spot in there if you do any or all of the following:
1. Make Me Laugh
Even though I have the ugliest laugh face on the planet, I still love doing it, so if you can make me laugh (and it’s not that difficult – I laugh at most things) then it’s likely I’m going to want you around!
2. Care About Me
I’m a typical leo so fiercely loyal. I’ll make great effort to ask you questions to find out all about you, if you do the same in return it makes me feel like you’re after a genuine friendship, and you really care about what I got up to at the weekend. Then you’ll never be able to get rid of me!
3. Bring Me Food
It’s not just men’s hearts that are accessible through their stomachs. Doesn’t matter if it’s Michelin star or from the golden arches, whether you cooked it yourself or you bought it in. The best presents are always consumable!
4. Give Me Cuddles
In the truest sense of the word (minds out the gutter please) I love human touch. If someone sympathetically puts their hand on my shoulder or playfully holds my hand, i get that auto sensory meridian response I was talking about the other day (where the hairs stand up on the back of your neck) So the best thing you can do, in almost any situation is give me a cuddle (no ass grabs).
5. Get Drunk With Me
If you’ve tried all of the above and we’re still not bezzie mates then the last thing for it is to bond over a bottle of wine or cocktails, if we weren’t best friends before we certainly will be after!