Ted’s Favourite Dog Friendly Pubs!
We’ve had a great year at wigglebutt dog photography. Myself and Ted (aka, the poodle) have won photography awards and have been featured in the national press and on the BBC. This year we were overall winners of Photobox Instagram photograph of the year, received a judge's special mention in the Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year competition and have also been shortlisted for a British Photography Award. It's been a great year and what better way to celebrate than a trip down the pub.
When Ted and I are not working on new photo ideas we love nothing more than going out for long walks. Newcastle is an amazing place to live. We are 20 minutes from the coast, 20 minutes from the countryside and there are also great places to walk in or near the city. The number of quality places you can take your dog to eat and drink is growing all the time. When Ted and I are out people will often come up and say “I had no idea you could bring your dog in here!” This got me thinking it would be great to compile a list of mine and Ted's favourite places to share with people. I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to get to know more about the stories, the people and the dogs behind the places that look after us so well while we're out and about.
The cynics amongst you may be thinking I've just used this as an excuse to take the dog to the pub and ok, fair enough, but this is important work and someone has to do it!
There are so many great places that we couldn't possibly cover them all. So here are some of our highlights if you like dogs, food or booze!
The Brandling Villa
The Brandling Villa is situated in South Gosforth just minutes down the hill from the metro. Now, this place is doggy paradise. To say the Brandling Villa is dog friendly is a bit of an understatement, it’s more suitable to say it’s human tolerant. On weekends it can get a bit chocker with just about every dog breed you can think of all in the pub for a sniff and a social. I've met people there who can’t have their own dogs but visit the pub just to be around and interact with the dogs in the pub.
This is a pub with an amazing sense of humour that doesn't take itself seriously but still provides amazing customer service to humans and dogs. The staff here are great, super friendly, knowledgeable and helpful and always happy to see the four legged customers. The doggy offering is massive at the Brandling Villa. There's a variety of dog treats available, a kibble vending machine, a full-on doggy dinner menu and of course they serve a range of doggo drinks from doggy beer to pawsecco. There is a self-serve watering station for dogs which is fantastic when its busy so you can help yourself to a water dish so the hounds will never go thirsty.
The brandling villa also look after the humans with a massive range of drinks from real ales, IPA's, lagers, wines, spirits and cocktails.
The same can be said for the food offering. Everyone is catered for including a dedicated vegan menu, a kids menu as well as great pub dishes from lite bites and snacks to belly busting burgers. The menu is full of great dishes but is also worth reading even if you’re not hungry as this is where the pubs sense of humour really shines through, hopefully the vegans also have a sense of humour. The kitchen staff are very talented here and the Villa often does themed menu's offering food from around the world. My personal favourite is the chilli, either on chips or on a burger. There is always great offers on through the week so be sure to check what’s on offer when you're there. The winner winner chicken dinner is great and burger me Thursday is also a chance of a real bargain with two for one burgers.
The Brandling Villa is a pub with its own personality, undisputedly Geordie and a must visit for anyone who likes dogs, food or booze.
The Brinkburn Street brewery bar & Kitchen
The Brinkburn Street Brewery was born in Hoults Yard, Byker in Oct 2014. The creation of passionate beer advocate, Dr Lee Renforth. Lee first dreamed of opening a bar in the Ouseburn 25 years ago when he used to drink in The Ship and has also pursued a dream of owning a micro-brewery since 1986.
Lee started brewing with Richard Bazen at the Star Inn Brewery, Salford, Manchester in 2013. Richard has over 30 years' brewing experience, including many years running his own brewery (Bazens’ Brewery) Richard brings together all the elements required to create brilliant beers. Lee is still working closely with Richard today as Richard is the head brewer at Brinkburn Street Brewery.
The taproom was Inspired by Lee's experience in Germany, Scandinavia and the West Coast of America. The taproom opened this year in the old ford mailings building on Ford Street, Ouseburn Valley. Lee said “I fell in love with the building as soon I saw it.” The building still has a tunnel that connects it to Hoults Yard from its pottery days. Jo Reynolds of the Brinkburn Street Brewery said “Interestingly, my Auntie Suzy worked at Mailings. They used to wheel the pottery down the tunnel for quality checks before going out on the ships, it was also an air raid shelter during the war.”
The tunnel is still accessible today from the main bar, it’s a great spot if you're looking for some spooky selfies or something a bit different for your instagram, check out Ted's in the tunnel photo.
A master stroke by Lee was bringing in head chef Gareth Baty. Gareth grew up in Cumbria which is where his passion for local produce comes from and he has since worked all over the world from New York to Byker. Gareth serves what he calls Geordie tapas, small but delicious plates of food.
Gareth clearly has a great passion for food and his constantly evolving menu is both original and bursting with flavour. Each dish is outstanding and the standard of the food here cannot be understated, it’s amazing. The kitchen is tied in with the brewing and the beer and food are designed to work together using the same locally sourced products and also using the beer in the stocks and the sauces. The sunday lunch is also outstanding but booking is essential to avoid disappointment.
The beer as you would expect is amazing under the expertise and knowledge of Lee and Richard. There's a wide range of beers brewed in house as well as guest beers and other wines, spirits etc. If you're fond of a gin, there’s a wide gin offering including the option to match the tonic variety to the gin to create an absolutely ‘perfect serve’ G’n’T. I personally love Brinkburns “Hop Grenade” a 6.4% pale ale that always feels well earned after walking 3 miles with Ted from Gosforth.
The knowledge, care and passion from Lee and the team make Brinkburn a must go to place to eat and drink, the fact that dogs are welcome just makes it even better. Ted loves it here, he is always greeted with a warm welcome from the staff. Brinkburn provide water dishes, free dog treats, doggy blankets and belly rubs. A fantastic place to walk to from along Newcastle quay side or through Jesmond Dene, Heaton Park and the Ouseburn. If you fancy getting straight there on public transport it’s not far from Shields Road busses and metro.
Amazing food, great beer, friendly staff and a cosy atmosphere. Ted loves the treats, greets and belly rubs.
The Central is run by Marcia Mennie & Gavin Sinclar with the help of their 2 year old Romania rescue dog, Cookie. Cookie plays a vital role in the pub as the welcoming committee and as chief treat inspector. The central has the feel of a traditional pub combined with a great selection of food and drink and is located at the Gateshead end of the Tyne Bridge. Loads of variety in the beer offering from modern craft beers, IPAs etc to traditional cask ales and just about anything else you can think of. The human food is great with pub classics like burgers, gammon steak etc and the vegetarians and the vegans are also catered for here. I recommend getting the proper home cooked chips with your meal which are both chunky and delicious.
The k9 offering in the Central goes above and beyond your regular dog friendly establishment. Dog treats are free and plentiful, there is a full doggy meal menu to satisfy even the most fussy of hounds and of course there are water dishes to quench the thirst.
Upstairs is where The Central shows its love for dogs, there is a full on doggy play room, yip, that’s right, an actual doggy play room. Ted loved it here, there are a range of tennis balls, chewy toys, agility apparatus and a full size ball pool. Can you imagine being a dog in that ball pool?! Ted loved throwing himself in and out of it.
The highlight for me personally was watching him trying to find his tennis ball amongst all the hundreds of others balls, hilarious. The Central is a great place, especially the dogs. Fantastic staff, really warm and friendly atmosphere and everything you could want and more for a trip out with the dog for a pint and a bite! Highly recommended.
The Redhouse is situated on Newcastle quayside in a Grade II listed building with a perfect view of the Tyne Bridge. The pub its self has a traditional feel with exposed beams and roaring fires, perfect place to escape on a wet and cold day in Newcastle. The highlight for the humans here has to be the pie and mash, it’s fantastic. The pies are locally sourced from a butcher in Amble and are probably the nicest pies you'll ever eat. The menu is strong and simple. Pick a pie, pick some mash, pick your peas then pick your gravy. The staff are all very welcoming to hounds with lots of strokes and belly rubs on offer and they even sell doggy beer behind the bar. The Redhouse is a traditional real ale pub but no matter what your tipple is, it’s worth going for the pie and mash alone.
The Wylam Brewery started life in a potting shed set up by John Boyle & Robin Leighton in Wylam village back in 2000. It is now firmly installed in the palace of arts in Exhibition Park.
Wylam has done an amazing job converting the last remaining building from the 1929 North East Exhibition into something really special. Not only is it the palace of arts now home to the brewery and tap room but also offers up a stunning wedding, event or concert venue within the very grand hall, all lovingly restored by the team at Wylam Brewery. The feel of the place is great and it has a really cosy but modern look. The beer is the main event here and it’s outstanding as you'd expect from a brewery of this caliber. If beer is not your thing there's still something for everyone including a wide range of gins, local spirits and wines.
The tap room is open Thursday & Fridays from 5pm and from noon on Saturdays & Sundays. Some fantastic bar snacks are available from olives and pickled vegetables to charcuterie boards. A really great Sunday lunch is also available. It gets very busy for the lunch due to the high standard so pre booking via email is essential.
This is a fantastic place to take the dog, water dishes are provided and the staff are all very happy to see Ted whenever we go in. The main benefit for Ted is the location. Exhibition Park and the Town Moor are great places for a walk or a game of fetch and alternatively Wylam Brewery tap room is also the perfect place for a cheeky pint while you're supposed to be walking the dog.
I remember when the tap room first opened I said to Caroline, my fiancée. “Someone has put a dog friendly brewery on the edge of the town moor, dreams do come true.”