I visited the UK’s smallest gin bar and it’s situated right here in the Toon!
Not quite Narnia, but still pretty magical
Whilst there’s no denying that Newcastle is full of some of the best and buzziest bars around, I’ve always struggled with where to take the parents when they come up and visit.
After six long hours in the car, the last place they want to be dragged is The Five Swans. I suppose this is a safe option when it comes to cheap and cheerful drinks, but then again there’s a Spoons in literally every city and it doesn’t exactly scream “special occasion”.
As luck would have it, I recently stumbled across my saviour: WC Gin Closet (AKA. The UK’s smallest gin bar), and I can’t recommend it enough.
Traditionally a block of female cubicles, this bar is just 11 square metres big, and can hold up to 15 people. What better way to spend quality time with the fam than by getting trollied in an old toilet together?
In all seriousness, this retro-style speakeasy is the perfect place to bring the ‘rents (or maybe just your favourite as it is a bit of a squeeze).
Whether you’re a fan of the classic G&T or fancy trying something new, the WC has plenty of choice and you’ll be able to browse their extensive collection along a corridor of colourful cabinets.
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest gin-drinker. However, I was willing to overlook this when I saw they had “Jaffacake Gin-tinis” on the menu. Who knew chocolate orange gin could taste so good? Me, I had three.
But the drinks aren’t the only thing which make this place unique, it’s the music as well. According to my dad, this bar plays “banger after banger” (perhaps a little biased considering he was born in the 70’s though). Nonetheless, I have to agree.
From Bowie to The Pet Shop Boys, WC is a trip down memory lane for anyone who enters and in addition to their great soundtrack, each table has its own bell which you can ring when you need a top-up on your gin! Both quirky and ideal- especially if you’re too awkward to ask in person.
Keeping some history alive, the bar also features the original tiling from the toilet, along with Victorian-themed decor. Moreover, you’ll be glad to know that there is an actual loo for customer use.
Granted, it isn’t the most student-friendly when it comes to price, but it is a unique experience and if mum and dad are kind enough to cover the cost, you may as well treat yourself.
So, where is this mystery closet which even gives Potter a run for his money?
Good question. Well, no doubt you’ve walked past it before as it’s located along High Bridge- you know, that cute cobbled street everyone uses as a cut-through to Shaker.
What’s more, the secret door is just a stone’s throw from its sister venue in Bigg Market (or should I say “brother” given it was a men’s urinal before). Classy and convenient.
The only downside to this bar? They don’t take bookings.
I can assure you though, it’s worth the walk-in. After all, it is a hidden gem and if you’re planning on extending the night to Flares, you might as well get on the gin first (just bear in mind that it is a small room so choose your company wisely).
For more info about WC Gin Closet, check out their website