Updated: Jun 15
Newcastle city centre has had a major facelift in the last 5 years. I have always loved my city but for a long time it seemed very dated, and even though Newcastle has always been known as a great party/night out city, no big interesting brands had opened here in a long time. However we have noticed some incredible bars and fashion brands slowly popping up in the city centre in recent times, especially around the Grey’s Monument area of town. The renovation of Monument Mall was the start of this renaissance, with the introduction of The Botanist cocktail bar, The White Company, Molton Brown, Hugo Boss and many more. Over the last few months, the entire Monument side of Eldon Square was revamped and opened as an amazing hub of restaurants and eateries. The newest and most anticipated addition to this is The Alchemist
Over recent years, more and more bars and restaurants have realised that their decor is extremely important and they now try to stand out with clever and unique themes and amazing interior design. The competition is fierce these days, so each establishment needs to have something very special else that entice new visitors and encourage them to return. It is so important for everything to be eye-catching and photogenic, social media is such a huge advertising tool these days with everyone sharing photos instantly, first impressions count more than ever before.
The inside of The Alchemist is gorgeous, they have fully embraced the science lab theme and gone all out to make it look and feel like you are somewhere special not just another bar. I am obsessed with all the copper, it's everywhere even down to the copper cocktail shakers, which is a great touch. I also liked the fact that there is a lot of seating, this is a restaurant as well but even the bar area has lots of places to sit and relax while enjoying your drinks.
I love the look of the cocktail menu, you can tell that every detail of this bar’s theme has been thought out, if the periodic table was like this at school I might have concentrated in science a little more!
The prices of the cocktails range between £7.50 & £8.50 for single cocktails, but they also offer sharing cocktails for 2/4 people from £20.50 up to £37.50.
I didn’t try the sharing cocktails but spied the Mad Hatters Tea Party being made and had to get a picture, it is made from KETEL ONE VODKA, CITRUS, ELDERFLOWER, COINTREAU AND SUMMER FRUITS. SCIENCE. 10 years ago if you told everyone that they would all be drinking cocktails out of teacups I think you would be laughed out of the bar, but these days since the Hipster Revolution (yes, I called it a revolution) we find ourselves drinking out of crazier and crazier objects every week! I don’t mind this at all, I think it is fun and creates talking points. I do not, however, appreciate it when it comes to food… #bringbacktheplate.
My first choice of cocktail was Bubble Bath, this one had been recommended to me by a friend that had been to The Alchemist in Leeds. It is made up of TANQUERAY GIN, APEROL, CHAMBORD, LEMON, APPLE, FAIRY LIQUID (not the soap) and is £7.75. When it was first made the bubbles just kept expanding, I didn’t think they were going to stop! It was delicious but I love anything with gin in it, it also tasted like sweets which is never a bad thing. The bubbles made it hard to drink at first but added to the fun.
My next choice of cocktail to try was the Lightbulb Moment. I say ‘choice’ but I didn’t actually choose it, I did that annoying thing where I asked the barmaid to choose for me (I hated that when I worked in a bar!). I was useless as a barmaid, but at The Alchemist all the staff are amazing and have fantastic skills. I didn’t notice one person looking at any cheat sheets or instructions, this might have something to do with the 3-week intensive training course they go on. Now that is dedication!
Lightbulb Moment is made from TANQUERAY GIN, PIMMS, GINGER BEER, RASPBERRY, LEMON, MINT and is £7.95. This cocktail was the most fun to watch so much so that I had two of them, it also tasted amazing.
For my next choice, I actually studied the menu instead of letting the child in me pick the one that smoked the most. As soon as I saw the word ‘Hendricks’ I was sold on my next choice which was Tickle me Pink, this is made from HENDRICKS GIN, BRIOTTET ELDERFLOWER, LIME, NETTLES, STINGS and is £8.50.
While the barman was making my drink I noticed some odd accompaniments on the bar, I wondered what they were for as they seemed very out of place for a bar setting. Once my drink was completed, however, everything became clear; the barman took a pink liquid filled syringe and placed it on top of my drink, telling me I would need to drink that first before the cocktail. The syringe had a Gin and chilli concoction in it which numbs the tongue as though stung by a nettle, the cocktail then acts like a ‘Doc Leaf’ which eases the ‘sting’. There is a rather entertaining video of my reaction over on my Instagram if you want to watch it.
One of my favourite cocktails at the moment is the Porn Star Martini which is made of REYKA VODKA, PASSOA, PINEAPPLE, LEMON, PROSECCO, PASSIONFRUIT and is £10.50. Sadly I had put myself on a 4 drink limit due to having a long drive the next day but my lovely blogging friends Samantha (North East family Fun) and Naomi (Nomipalony) took one (and two, three, four, five) for the team and this is one that they ordered. I absolutely loved the tiny beaker the shot of prosecco came in, a fantastic touch.
And if cocktails are not your thing there is plenty more drinks to choose from, this is a Hawaiian beer that Thom tried and loved. The cap of the beer even has a removable cover inside which, if you scratch off, reveals a Hawaiian word or phrase. Now you can learn a new language while you drink, perfect!
I will 100% be visiting again and adding The Alchemist to my bar list for a night out. I think it is a perfect starting point for nights out and even pre-dinner drinks. I think the prices are comparable with most ‘fancy’ cocktail bars in town and I am happy to pay that for one of two cocktails and then move onto normal spirits. I do think if they are busy and everyone is ordering cocktails you could end up waiting a while for a drink, but that is purely speculation as the bar staff were very quick and seamless at making the drinks when I was there. I believe they will also be adding table service for drinks in the future, so no standing waiting at the bar missing out on your friend’s conversations.
The Alchemist also does food which I can not comment on yet as I haven’t tried it fully however if the canapes at this event are anything to go by the food will be incredible.
MONDAY 8AM – MIDNIGHT
TUESDAY 8AM – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY 8AM – MIDNIGHT
THURSDAY 8AM – 1AM
FRIDAY 8AM – 2AM
SATURDAY 10AM – 2AM
SUNDAY 10AM – 11PM
Make a Booking HERE
Food Menu HERE
Drinks Menu HERE