When I first went to St Vincent Newcastle in October last year, I was totally taken with it from the get go. Located in what used to be Caffe Vivo on Broad Chare, St Vincent is a sophisticated mix of cafe and brunch spot, casual tapas dining and a wine bar all rolled into one. Taking influence, and more importantly a large wine cellar from France and Italy, it really is like a cross between a chic French cafe, and a casual Italian bistro.
My first visit was a quick pop in after work late one Wednesday afternoon when I finished work early, to meet my parents who had basically spent the afternoon there. The wine had obviously gone to their heads as they were well on their merry way, sat up at the high table and people watching those that passed.
Over the course of a few hours they’d had tapas including prawns, pate and meat platters, but the plates had been cleared and the dregs of the most recent bottle of wine were swimming about in the ice bucket. They were both perfectly relaxed after a leisurely afternoon watching the world go by. Pretty good for a Wednesday afternoon right?
While they finished off their wine I had a drink alongside them, and had a bit of a read through the drinks menu. There’s a huge range of wine, as mentioned before from both France and Italy. The seating at the bar and the high table by the window is perfect for wine drinking, and later into the afternoon or evening, it really does have a strong resemblance to the wine bars I’ve been to in Florence.
My second visit was on a busy Saturday night before Christmas, when Kieran and I decided to venture down to the quayside for a change instead of staying up near Grey Street. The place was packed, as places often are in Newcastle when they’re newly discovered, but this crowd was definitely a lot more civilised.
Couples were sat around the cosy little tables for two, and the booths were filled with bigger parties of people tucking in to a selection of tapas dishes. We sat at the bar and sunk a good bottle or two, and enjoyed the atmosphere. The tapas looked pretty good, so it wasn’t long before I was back midweek one night for them myself.
The food menu aims to be for a shared, relaxed dining experience among friends, and like any tapas style menu there’s plenty to choose from. Look at the size of these bad lads! They were so good, as was the antipasto cold meats.
It’s also a good place to go for weekend brunch, I actually think it’s my current go to for this type of lazy Saturday or Sunday morning. It’s at this time that it feels so much more like a Parisian cafe.
The brunch menu has everything from small fruit salad, yoghurt, porridge and pastry options, to more fully cooked plates including eggs, bacon sandwiches, waffles and avocado on toast with poached eggs.
The coffee is strong and the orange juice is freshly squeezed. Even if you aren’t eating brunch, and are going on to either Broad Chare or Piccolinos next door for Sunday dinner it’s a great place for a pre dinner cocktail.
And finally, if you haven’t got time to sit in at all, they offer coffee, cakes and pastries to go too.
I think they’ve done the right thing turning it into this multi purpose, pretty cool spot tucked up on the Broad Chare. It’s definitely my current favourite and next time you’re looking for somewhere a bit different to go to you really should try it. The best thing is it’s suitable for any time of day.
Located on the Broad Chare down on the quayside, they’re open every day except Monday, 8:30am – 10pm, and 10am – 10pm on weekends. If you want a table I’d suggest you book to avoid disappointment.
Other posts you might like: