Visiting Beach Box, Jesmond – Newcastle’s Newest Beer Garden By Holy Hobo
Before I get into my experience of visiting Beach Box, I just want to highlight that I only discovered it because of Geordie Scran on Instagram – check her out she has a great Newcastle food account. She went along earlier this week and it looked fun so I booked up for last night. Needing a bit of a change from eating in all week, and making full use of the fact we can finally go out, we went along to Beach Box in Jesmond to see what it was like.
What is Beach Box, Jesmond?
Essentially, it’s on outside beer garden but with a lot more than just picnic tables for drinks. There’s an undercover tent area, where you can reserve tables, an outside table area, a couple of fire pits with benches around them, and as the name suggests a makeshift beach.
The beach has deck chairs in clusters, that you can reserve just like the tables to sit around in households or with friends to enjoy some food and drinks.
Where to find Beach Box, Jesmond
It’s located in Jesmond yes, but people want specifics judging by the replies I had to my own Instagram stories last night. So it’s right behind Holy Hobo and As You Like It. If you park in the AYLI car park the entrance is right off it. Parking can be paid for online with Pay To Park, you don’t need to create an account, but it’s free after 6.
Parking is limited here, we got a space no problem on a Thursday night but I doubt you would get in as easily at weekends. There is further parking by the Valley Indian restaurant nearby, or across the main road. It’s a 5 minute walk from Jesmond metro too. Remember masks and sanitiser if you’re using public transport at the moment.
What happens at Beach Box?
Basically it’s an outdoor space to enjoy street food from one of the carts, food from the Holy Hobo, and or drinks from the Holy Hobo with your friends. You are shown to your table by one of the staff, and it’s yours for up to 90 minutes.
The menus are stuck to the tables, and are a limited version of the Holy Hobo menu. They take your drinks order, and explain that it’s all table service, so you can order food whenever you like, unless you want it from the food trucks which you have to get yourself – keeping a distance if there is a queue.
The service was quick and painless, and we were sipping on pints and cocktails within a few minutes of getting there while we browsed the food menu.
I don’t think there was music playing, if there was it was quite quiet but there was a good atmosphere and it was relatively busy for a Thursday night. There are huge deck chairs as photo props, and the fire pits I mentioned would be good for if it got colder later on.
Dogs are welcome, and Arthur loves the beach so he was entertained by the sand on the floor.
What food and drinks are there at Beach Box?
Like I said it’s a smaller version of the Holy Hobo menu, but it includes things like fries, with all sorts of toppings, four burgers to choose from, hot dogs or kebab boxes. There was a pizza food truck, a Greek food truck and a crispy duck food truck available if you prefer anything like that.
I went for the Hobo burger which was amazing, the Kim Jong’s Weapons of Ass Destruction burger sounded interesting, and there is a Greta Thunburger for vegetarians. Quite funny. We got pulled pork fries which came with sauce and guacamole too and they were amazing. The halloumi fries on the next table to us looked impressive too, I had a bit of food envy.
Kieran got the chicken kebab box and truthfully he was a bit disappointed with that. It was quite small and only one skewer with four bits of chicken which wasn’t really worth the £7.50 he paid for it. He wished he went for a burger as they were a lot bigger and very filling. He also couldn’t fault the fries.
For drinks I got a pornstar martini, as I’ve been making my own all lockdown and I was so excited to be finally having one made for me. The other cocktails are classics you would expect to see, Espresso Martini, Frozen Aperol Spritz, Daiquiri etc. There are pints, bottles and cans available, and Prosecco by the glass or bottle.
I’m not sure if it was just teething issues or if they don’t always have the full menu available but there was only one of the three draught pints available when we asked. Overall it was great and I’d definitely go back for food and drinks, and maybe try one of the food trucks next time.
Can you book?
Yes and you probably should. They do accept walk ins but like most new places in Newcastle once people know it’s there I think you would struggle to get in without a booking. You can book directly on the Holy Hobo website here, and you have a choice for undercover or not covered seating, so it’s worth checking the weather!
They are quite flexible if they can be though, I booked an undercover table as it was forecast for rain, but it turned into a really sunny night so I asked for an outer table and they were fine to provide it. I asked a few questions about reservations, and basically if they aren’t too busy they don’t mind people swapping. If you decide to move from your table to by the fire pit or onto the beach and deck chairs though you do need to tell them so they can fully clean each area first.
Finally, you can book for up to 90 minutes. This was plenty time for us one evening after work with Arthur, for food and a few drinks, but I can imagine people will wish for their table a bit longer at the weekends especially if the weather is good. But that’s just the current situation isn’t it and it’s lovely to be out so no complaints here.
How safe did it feel?
They were very well prepared. As you go in you scan the code with your phone which gives them your details in case they need to contact you, then everyone who goes in gets their temperature taken. There is sanitiser dotted about, and each table or seating area is cleaned fully after use.
It’s actually the first place I’ve been to where all the staff were wearing masks at all times. The tables and all seating areas were spaces well apart, and payment is taken per order via card.
It’s not totally polished, the outside fence is makeshift, the banners attached to them are too, there might not be everything on the menu, but it doesn’t matter and won’t stop you having fun. It’s one of those places that is what it is and with the right people you’ll have a good time.
I will definitely be going back, and although it might not be totally fair of me to say this as I do love Stack, I want to go back before the Stack crowd find it. It wasn’t full of really young people getting hammered, (I’m sure you’ve seen the videos on Facebook from the fish quay last weekend!) but that might follow.
The staff were very good, and there were a lot of them running the show. I think it obviously pays for them to be on top of it at the moment with all the strict guidelines and they were all very enthusiastic and good characters working within the guidelines.
It was very chilled, relaxed, had people of all ages and would be a great way to spend an afternoon through the summer, or as part of a few bookings at places in Jesmond.
See more on my Instagram here.
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