Once home to banking and finance companies, Grey Street has developed into one of the most iconic streets in Newcastle City Centre for a bit of fine dining and classy wine bars. The Victorian style buildings which now occupy the likes of Las Iguanas, Zizi and more recently Pizza Punks have always attracted my eye. In a built-up city, the beauty of history has been preserved in even the most minor ways of architecture. The newest addition to the glossy Newcastle dining and drinking street is All Bar One.
Since the closure of Browns, there was much speculation surrounding the replacement of the restaurant or bar and who could take over such an extravagant space. Although the popular chain can be found in many cities across the country, All Bar One has never ventured up north before now. Known for their style and all-round great food, I was dying to try this British favourite. Surprisingly, as a foodie I had never been to one of the venues before, possibly because it was a chain and possibly because when visiting a new city, I prefer to try local businesses.
When an invitation came my way to attend the VIP launch evening, I jumped at the chance to head along. When we walked in the door it was like being transported into a contemporary and cosmopolitan style bar; something you would find down south. A fresh botanical theme contrasted against modern tones of brown, brass and gold. Artificial plants hung from the ceiling in one area creating a romantic atmosphere, whilst circular booths envisioned cosy and comfy vibes. With a range of seating areas to choose, from long, high bar-styled tables to lower intimate snug tables, All Bar One catered for all types of evenings.
The evening began with tokens for two of the drink stations of our choice. My friend and I lent our hand at cocktail making in the private dining room. One of the bartenders walked us through the steps to making a classic Aperol Spritz. This bit was a really nice touch because you could really engage with the cocktail rather than just being served your drink.
Once drinks were made, we wandered around the venue taking in the stunning décor and decided to have a seat on one of the high booth tables. The atmosphere of the VIP evening was really relaxed yet an energetic and friendly tone to the evening really allowed my friend and I to enjoy the night. All Bar One sets an agenda for all their venues, aiming to celebrate life by sharing food, drink and experiences with all. From your morning coffee to your Saturday night dinner plans, there is a menu and choice for everyone.
Whilst enjoying our drinks we pondered over some of the menus, discovering that there was certainly plenty of choice. Caterings were even made for vegans on each menu which I thought was really great. From typical main meals, to brunch and even tapas, the newest edition to Newcastle have got you covered.
Throughout the evening, the staff circulated snack and drink tasters which included the stunning Blossom Birdcage sharer. A four-person sharing cocktail experience takes sharing trees to another level. We were given the opportunity to try out the vodka-based option. This included a mix of vodka, watermelon, raspberry and rose. The other option was gin based with ginger and blood orange.
Not only were we very kindly gifted some drinks on the evening, but All Bar One Newcastle had put on a spread of their starter dishes available on their main menu. With the prices starting at £5.95 per dish I was extremely impressed with the flavours. We sampled stone baked garlic flatbread, vegetable tempura and mustard glazed cocktail sausages. My favourites were definitely the Pil Pil king prawns, the amazing fish goujons with saffron aioli dip and the chorizo and halloumi skewers again with a dip of Pico de Gallo salsa.
I was super impressed by the new restaurant and bar which opened late in September. The food we sampled was so delicious with great flavours and the hospitality was on point. The vast range of options on all menus, including bottomless brunch, will certainly impress fellow Geordies. I can’t wait to return and try out some of their weekly offers like Tapas Tuesdays or the 5 after 5 cocktails (£5 cocktails after 5pm). Thanks so much to All Bar One for inviting me to the VIP launch event, I would certainly recommend you guys give it a visit!