You only live once. It’s a belief that certainly inspires you to get stuff done. So I decided to embrace some of the best things in life – cocktails and food at ‘new kid on the Newcastle block’ YOLO Townhouse last week. Smack bang in the centre of Newcastle (opposite Motel One on High Bridge), it certainly won’t take long for this three-storey cocktail paradise to become a firm Toon favourite.
It was nice to see fellow bloggers again after not going to many events this year. It was also a great opportunity to celebrate self-publishing my book. I was immediately impressed with the decor (you can’t beat neon signs and palm trees – £1 million has been spent on the refurbishment) and the Parlour area where we were seated on the first floor, in front of the DJ booth (if you’re planning a party there’s a snug available for up to twenty-five guests). I was happy to find out that they have a Manhattan-inspired rooftop terrace (queue daydreaming about summer al fresco cocktails – luckily there’s a canopy to keep out the inevitable rain).
|The best cocktails in town? From top left – Pornstar Martini and Espresso Martini, Candy Pants, Strawberry Daiquiri|
With so many top-class cocktail venues in the city, it’s important that any new bar can hold their own and offer something different. After sampling some crowd-pleasers from the menu (Candy Pants comes adorned with Love Hearts, what more could you want) I was seriously impressed when a cocktail tree arrived! We were offered all the Martinis – Pornstar Martinis, Espresso Martinis and French Martinis. They were all equally delicious (click here for the cocktail menu). My friends and I had a go at cocktail making, so I decided to give the Amaretto Sour a try. After managing to add the ingredients without spilling too much, I was too scared to wack the cocktail shaker at the end, but luckily the very friendly barman helped me out. If you want a night out with a difference, you can book in for cocktail classes to hone your skills.
|The legend that is the Cocktail Tree (complete with nine cocktails)|
The food had arrived by the time we came back from the our bar antics. We were treated to a wide selection from the menu, from Spaghetti Carbonara to their Classic Burger, to my personal favourite, the Seafood Platter. (Check out the food menu here). The smoked salmon and whitebait were great. I would have devoured the Antipasti platter if I wasn’t vegetarian. Don’t miss the kebab hanging skewer (you can choose to drizzle it with sweet chilli sauce or garlic butter). We also got to try a selection of pizzas which were definitely a high point (I loved the Margherita, but the meat feast and the signature YOLO pizza also looked amazing). Every Wednesday they have a 2 for 1 pizza offer from noon, even more incentive to come back soon. There’s also a range of very reasonably priced sandwiches available and salads, and a good balance of meat to meat-free options on the menu.
|The delicious Seafood Platter|
|Highly recommend the Tempura Prawn Starter|
If you’re planning a special event, you can book the first floor Parlour or the second floor Sky Terrace (both hold up to one hundred guests and come with their own dedicated bars). As well as lunch and dinner, you can also enjoy a sophisticated breakfast here from 8am (check out the menu). It would be lovely to have brunch up on the terrace here in summer. YOLO is open practically all hours, from 8am until 2am seven days a week, and thank God, they have free wifi (I’m defintely going to bring my laptop here). They also serve Sunday Roast and vegetarian options.
|The all important neon #yolo|
If you’re looking for casual sophistication, then you’ve come to the right place. Wish a casual dining policy in place, there’s no need to book a table). It is possible to book tables on the roof terrace though (good to know). If you have a party of eight or more you can hire a private booth with hostess service for the price of a small deposit and a minimum spend. YOLO is also available for corporate events, networking and business presentations in the Parlour. If you’re into live music, then come along on Tuesday evenings, weekend evenings and Sunday afternoons for live acoustic sets showcasing local talent. What left a good impression? The friendliness of the staff, cool decor, that thing of beauty – the Cocktail Tree – and tasty, unfussy food.
As the menu says, you only live once, so go on, enjoy yourself (while you can)!
To explore the YOLO Townhouse website, click here
Thank you to OPR for the invite.