A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to Nine Bar, in South Shields to try out some of their cocktails. Growing up in South Shields and feeling such a warmth of the community there, I accepted the lovely invitation and quickly got very excited. I do love cocktails and I’d never had the chance to try *proper* cocktails in this way (apart from the Curry’s cocktail event, but that was coffee cocktails) so I jumped at the chance of being able to try some of my favourite flavours.
I had heard of Nine Bar briefly however never visited and was unsure what they were all about. As soon as I walked through the door I was welcomed in by Glen, the manager. He introduced me to the bar and showed me around. I had a quick chat with him and found out that Nine is a bar that’s all about connecting people. There are no TV’s, pool tables or anything that ruins the amazing atmosphere they have going on. I love that. I find it very rare that there are places that I can go with my friends and have a quiet, relaxing chat over some amazing drinks. My friend and I loved that and we were able to chat all evening (seriously – ALL evening) without any distractions or annoying noises. It makes an amazing alternative to clubs, which I find can grow very tiresome very quickly. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and chat with your friends. As my friends and I are all doing different things now and I rarely get to see them, it’s nice to be able to catch up in such a cosy environment.
I felt at home in Nine Bar, it was a rather cold night considering it was July, so they put the fire on which was a lovely touch. The decor is so relaxing and the whole bar is lit in a soft, romantic light. There are iconic images all throughout Nine Bar, my favourite was Marilyn Monroe looking absurdly beautiful. The bar had a beautiful vintage vibe running through it, which suits it perfectly considering it’s a refurbished World War One private members club. It has kept the original fireplaces, staircases and ceilings that are over 100 years old. It’s this attention to detail that shows just how much Nine Bar care about the experiences their customers have.
Upstairs is a function room called The Grey Lounge and offers a fully functioning bar. It’s decorated beautifully which is similar to downstairs and can be used for whatever you wish. You can bring your own iPhone to plug in or hire a DJ. The choice is yours on how you use this function room, which I think is so important. When I have a party, I like to be able to play my own music and cater how I wish (I would order pizza and curry…)
I couldn’t help but spot that they had almost every drink on offer! I find that some pubs I go to don’t offer what I want, and if they do – it’s always extortionate. They have amazing deals on drinks. Three Rekorderlig for £10, double vodka and selected mixer for £3.50 and 4 mixed bottles of lagers are only £10. (You can find a list of their drinks here) If you’ve been to South Shields on a night out and visited their clubs, you will know that their drinks are very cheap. Nine Bar competes with this in a way that I didn’t expect. All of their drinks are premium and they do not half measure! What I found admirable was that if a loyal customer has a bespoke drink that they will like, they will do their best to order it in for them. Bottles of Prosecco are currently £14.95, which is great for evenings and special events.
After a little look around the place, upstairs and downstairs, it was time to have a drink. I decided on the Strawberry Jagerade to begin with as Jager is one of my favourite drinks! It was a limited edition cocktail for July, however if it’s not *too* busy, the lovely team at Nine will make you any cocktail that you want (if they have the ingredients!) which I think is amazing service. The Strawberry Jagerade was made up of Jagermeister, Strawberry Liqueur and Lemonade. It was very strong and I loved it. Although I think if I had one too many of these… you’d have to peel me off the floor!
The next drink I tried was a Strawberry Daiquiri. This is my one of my favourite drinks to get when I’m out and I’m ashamed to admit that before I tried the one from Nine Bar, the only Strawberry Daiquiri I had tried, was from Wetherspoons… That says it all really. Glen (the manager) told me that this drink was made from real strawberries and to begin with I thought he meant it was just garnished with one, like the above. I was wrong. The drink was filled with real strawberries. He crushed ice, added all of the ingredients into the cocktail shaker and blended it all together to form the perfect slush-like consistency. I love rum, it’s probably my favourite spirit (as well as gin) so this drink went down a treat!
My friend Georgina, who came along with me, loves Mojitos. They’re her favourite so she decided to try a blueberry one. Filled with fresh blueberries and mint, it looked amazing. She say’s it’s one of the best she’s ever had (which is a major compliment, trust me).
By this time, we were already feeling the alcohol. Usually I would call us lightweights but with the amount of alcohol Glen put in – and he assured us that we were not getting special treatment – I’m not surprised we were feeling it! We decided on one more. Purely for research, I promise. I was told earlier that it was possible that you could make your own cocktail if you desired, which I thought was pretty interesting. I decided to give it a go. Glen and Georgina doubted me at first with my choice, but as soon as they tried it they changed their minds.
In the cocktail I decided to make, I went for rum, strawberry liqueur, lemonade and fresh strawberries. It was THE best drink I’ve ever tried. Which is hard, because I’m an avid milkshake lover. I surprised myself and felt pretty chuffed at the creation. It was so good, Glen decided to put it on the menu. I had to think of a name so I decided on Pretty In Pink… because of the film and the fact the cocktail was pink! You will be able to find it on the menu in September (but I’m sure if you ask for it before then, they will do it!)
All cocktails are £6 each and are made from premium and fresh ingredients. Two limited edition cocktails are added to the menu each month and are available at 2 for £9 at all times during that month. That’s such good value for money! Thursday – Sunday 5-7pm the cocktails are 2-for-1 and are 2 for £9 for the remainder of the Sunday evening. There’s something for everyone at Nine Bar and I truly loved spending my time there. It’s so lovely to support such a genuine business that makes customers their main priority. The ambience is delightful and the music they play is so relaxing and most importantly, stays in the background. I’m already planning going back to enjoy drinks after visiting Ocean Road for a lovely curry with my friends.
As it’s just a short walk from Chichester Metro it’s easy to find (Next to Hedworth Hall) and close to South Shields town centre, beach, Ocean Road and a metro – there’s really no reason to give this a miss. If you need any more convincing (which by now I’m sure you’re drooling over the cocktails) I’m running a competition on my Facebook page to win two cocktails of your choice and a bottle of prosecco. Enter HERE. The rules are simple. Like my Facebook page, the Nine Bar Facebook page & share the post! Good luck.
If you’ve been before or plan on going, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear some of your recommendations too!
Thanks for reading!