I moved up to Newcastle upon Tyne from Liverpool in September 2015, and with only one prior visit I had no idea what I was expecting of this new city. Apart from making new friends and getting to grips with my course, I had one key thing in mind; saving money. I'm not from a particularly affluent background, nor a poor one. Being in the middle ground seems to be unfortunate since Student Finance wouldn't allow a bursary, but I was left with only enough money for rent and some food. I tried my hardest to get a job but it didn't happen until I moved home that summer and I even stood outside as a promoter for a club for two nights and it was not fun.
I also had the task to look for a student house - do I pick Jesmond or Heaton? I chose Jesmond since it had the most bars/restaurants and had the metro nearby (even though I barely used it). Picking a student house is hard and there are a lot of factors to choose from such as how many people to live with and which student housing company to choose? I made a big mistake in choosing the wrong company (not naming names) and I regret not having a proper look around and getting advice. Looking on websites for student housing, such as Walton Robinson can make looking for a house a lot easier. You can filter results on the website to find how many bedrooms you want, the price and the location. For me, Jesmond is where I would pick time and time again.
Anyway, back to my main point. How do you enjoy yourself on a student budget? How do you balance a life in the library and a social life? Here are my recommendations for places to visit, with student offers that aren't too far away. You don't have to stray far from home and saving travel time means it won't interrupt your studies too much.
If you're after a sweet treat, Archers is the place to go. They make their ice cream on site with 16 different flavours to choose from made with their own Jersey cream. Some of their popular flavours include Salted Caramel and Black Forest Gateaux, not something you see every day. The staff are lovely and you can guarantee on a sunny day there will be a lot of people walking around West Jesmond with a huge ice cream.
As You Like It
For someone who enjoys food, As You Like It serves a lovely selection of meals including Pan Roasted Seabass, Thai Red Chicken Curry even 250gm Steaks there is something for the most fussiest eater and the cultured eater. They have a gluten free menu and an amazing selection of cocktails too.
Affordable comfort food to suit everyone. They have a simple menu of burgers, salads, and sides, with prices up to £15 there is definitely room for a lot of hungry students. They also have a happy hour Mon-Fri 5pm-7pm with three courses for just £12. They sell alcohol too, with beers, wines and ciders and some yummy milkshakes too.
This is the place to go when you want drinks with friends no matter what time of day. They have seats outside and it gets packed when the sun is shining. Well known for their happy hour (Mon-Sat 5pm-7pm and Mon-Thurs 9pm-10pm) with a red button to press to determine what your offer will be. The offers are half price, 2 for 1, free or full price (for the unlucky ones). I went for some birthday drinks and loved it.
If you're after more adventurous drinks on a student budget, Osbornes offer £5.95 cocktails, and a range of "Hardshakes"; milkshakes with alcohol. Some include salted caramel, chocolate, raspberry or vanilla flavoured vodkas. I can't think of a better cocktail.
Jesmond Dene House
Along with doing fine dining and breakfasts, Jesmond Dene House do an amazing Afternoon Tea. The photo above was for myself and my boyfriend (who has a post here) and we didn't need tea that night we were that full. The newer menu includes a Chocolate and Salted Caramel Finclair which sounds divine.
The Butterfly Cabinet
If you're into Buttermilk Pancakes, Triple Chocolate Pancakes, or a lunch to fill your boots, The Butterfly Cabinet can satisfy your needs. A favourite among students, they sell hot lunches and doorstop bread sandwiches which will make you want to arrange your next visit before you leave.
If you're like most students, you love pizza. Cal's own makes fresh Brooklyn style pizza pies, going up to 18" pizzas. I would never finish that, but a hungry student might. To go with it, you can enjoy Grape Soda or Hawaiian Punch to wash it down. Just what we want after a night out!
An Italian Restaurant for everyone to enjoy. La Vita sells pasta, pizza, calzones, stromboli, and other mains to make it hard to pick just one dish. Their prices are student friendly with separate opening times for lunch and dinner so make sure you check the website if you're wanting a visit.
A take on 'Central Perk' from FRIENDS, Heaton Perk is a coffee shop with a wide selection of books to read too. If you're catching up with friends or simply want a 'pick me up' then Heaton Perk is a lovely place to visit.
Newcastle City Centre
People of Newcastle have been raving about The Botanist which recently popped up above Jamie's Italian (another favourite of mine, but not so student budget friendly). Apart from their Punch Bowl cocktails and sharing Watering Can drinks, The Botanist delivers home comfort foods like Lamb Tagine to BBQ foods like Hanging Kebabs. With exquisite presentation of food and drinks, it is most definitely Instagram friendly.
Coop Chicken House
I'm a chicken lover and there's nothing more to love than a restaurant dedicated to it. Coop sell whole, half and quarter chicken with sweet potato fries, bbq beans and homemade slaw. The best part is the sauce to go with it all. From mild spice to 'nuclear', some sauce shots include alcohol, scotch bonnet chillis and Naga Morich (for the dare devils) which you can also buy per bottle. On Mondays they also offer a 'Bottomless Monday' where you get 20% off your food bill and re-fillable drinks.
Not only do Bonbar sell vintage cocktails, they offer barrels of punch and bottles of champagne. The catch is that there is no catch, Cocktails are around £7 and the sharing punch for 4 starts from £8.50 a person. Yes they sell a bottle of champagne for £700 but their selection of student priced drinks with a great selection of music and atmosphere is worth the visit. You never know, you may get a glass of champers if you're lucky (I've had this happen to me here!).
With half price thursday's (ridiculously student friendly) and a massive range of cocktails, Jalou is really popular with the students of Newcastle. They claim they are 'dedicated to drink' with a huge selection of drinks offers through the week, such as Orange Wednesdays (offers on orange inspired cocktails) and different music themed nights, you're guaranteed to have a good time.
You want to go bowling, play beer pong and eat some great food; go to Lane 7. They even have a private karaoke room for hire, pool and ping pong tables and you can book ahead online. Lane 7 serve up full racks of ribs, pulled pork buns and ice cream pies, with a vegan menu on offer too. There are plenty of drinks to be drank too!
Finding the right place to go, and the right place to stay in a new city is difficult, but not impossible. Stick to your guts when finding a house and ask plenty of questions, the right company will give you the answers you're looking for. To save money, make a simple budget and do your best to stick to it.
If any Newcastle students, or future students have any questions, feel free to ask!
*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Walton Robinson