MSA, Hood Street

As far as Newcastle’s ‘colourful’ nightlife goes, I’m not a fan. We’ve all had that moment, whether it be five deep in the queue for a treble at City Vaults, or while using a toilet cubicle without a door in Basement: “What on earth am I doing here?”

Thousand of people travel from all over the country every year just to get a taste of Newcastle’s nightlife. As a geordie, who grew up in Whitley Bay of all places, I can confirm that “a night on the toon” isn’t quite as fun as it used to be when I was seventeen.

That was until I discovered MSA on Hood Street – a late bar with a drinks selection so good you’d think I wrote it myself. MSA (Music Slash Art) which opened earlier this year, focuses on combining art, music and good times.

As for drinks, they have Barcelona’s golden lager Estrella on draught (need I say anymore?) with cans of Swedish Pistonhead in the fridge, and rum-flavoured Bachata in bottles.

The cocktail menu deserves a review in itself. As an avid fan of citrus flavours, I must say that this is the best Mai Tai I’ve had in this country hands down. The mojitos are also particularly special.

The best thing about this venue is that it’s not too busy, and the people it attracts are actually okay (unlike the majority of bars in Newcastle).

In addition, the music is awesome. Saturday night is a mixture of old school hip hop and r’n’b party anthems – basically a Wednesday in The Cut but without the hipsters and chipboard walls. The bar is meticulously clean, which in itself is impressive for a late bar in Newcastle. The toilets are of a high standard, and there is plenty seating for the more chilled-out amongst us.

All in all, I can’t recommend this bar enough. Next time you’re stuck in Newcastle city centre on a weekend against your wishes, head down to MSA and let the jagerbombs and street fights wash away.

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