This year the aim of the section was to introduce students to the copious amounts of bars, clubs, restaurants and events in Nottingham, to show that there is more on offer than Ocean and Crisis (as much as they are loved). We have chosen from the best venues, music, food and cocktails so you can end the year in style and pick up where you left off on your return in September.
When looking to attach the moniker “Best Bar” to a drinking establishment in Nottingham, a number of factors need to be considered. A bar needs to look great and have a terrific atmosphere. It needs to have tasty drinks, fantastic music and promotional nights galore. Crucially for Impact, it needs to address the needs of students, allowing us to get intoxicated for less, but still make us feel like we’re the belles of the ball.
The place which springs to mind has an ever-changing plethora of live DJs, friendly bar-staff serving delicious cocktails, a wide range of beers, wines and spirits which supply students with night after night of drinks deals, allowing us, The Great Unwashed, to mix with the fashionistas and cool-cats of Nottingham and not feel out of place.
But where fulfils all these criteria and more? Brownes, that’s where.
Best All-you-can-drink Night
Boogie Nights has nailed the recipe for the perfect all-you-can-drink student shindig, gaining huge success after only 3 events. What could be better than combining two of Nottingham Uni students’ favourite pastimes; decking yourself out in ridiculous fancy dress and getting utterly inebriated? But let’s not get preoccupied with clichéd ‘laddisms’ about the wonders of limitless lash. It’s not just alcohol that makes Boogie Nights such a beauty; it’s also the little touches that do it – the way every night has a different theme, free sweets, quirky decorations and prizes for best fancy dress. As if all this wasn’t enough, serving up a selection of 60s and 70s soul, disco, funk and motown within the intimate walls of Snug (where you can shake your stuff ‘till 4am) produces a feel-good vibe and party atmosphere that makes this a night like no other. Miss your 9am the next day? Blame it on the Boogie (Nights).
Blues Blazar at Tilt Bar. Cognac muddled with orange liquor, vanilla sugar and warmed over a flame.
Students and pubs are quite a synonymous and harmonious paring. According to a national study we spend between 350 and 450 minutes each week at the pub on average. A home from home some may say. So, it figures our pub of choice is one that is welcoming, awash with comfortable furnishings, offers a fantastic selection of drinks that can even keep the ale enthusiast happy, and a Sunday Roast to rival Mum’s. Fortunately, the Sir John Borlase Warren (pictured) in Canning Circus can proudly boast all of the aforementioned. The pub has a living-room finish, complete with dark wood, leather sofas and chandeliers; it is an interior triumph and delight.
Aside from all the usual beers, wines and spirits you would expect to find in a pub, real ale lovers are catered for well, with 4 permanent fixtures including Green King IPA as well as rotating guest ales. So, if you like the sound of whiling away the time in a traditional English pub that ticks all the boxes, we solidly recommend the Sir John Borlase as our Best Pub.
Best Boys’ Night
Best Girls’ Night
Harts Restaurant, Park Row, is tipped as the crème de la crème of Nottingham’s cuisine. Its classy surroundings, tucked away in the Park Estate, combine with high quality service and a dining experience rarely available to students. However, if the occasion merits a budget of £40 a head – anniversaries, birthdays or a visit from parents – you will not be let down. A modern take on old British classics – try venison served with a daring chocolate sauce – is this establishment’s forte, and a meal enjoyed in the rustic environs of Harts is a truly classy affair. Unfortunately, a visit to Hart’s is a rare luxury, but The Living Room opposite Pitcher and Piano, in the Lace Market, offers an excellent alternative on a budget. At £25-£30 a head, this is a romantic setting and offers a range of unintimidating dishes, from seafood and salads to Asian and Italian, there literally is something for everyone. ?
Stephen Wythe and Jonathan Mackie
Best Freshers’ Night
I take great pride in being a fresher. It is a time when we all do idiotic things for no apparent reason, and make complete imbeciles of ourselves in the name of Lord L.G. Banter. So where can the first year best express that insatiable desire for freedom? This has been a difficult decision to make, as I don’t want people who ritually take a dip in the Ocean to start bottling me in the streets for saying that Crisis is the best freshers night. It smells bad and it makes you hot like Tropicana, but it stays up all night getting lashed, making it the ultimate night for any budding fresher. Thank ye o temple to Lord L.G. Banter!
If we took it upon ourselves this year to bring you the antithesis to Oceana and Ocean, then it is only fitting that our best night award goes to Twisted Hearts Club. It shoved its way into the student week unashamedly and is now a stalwart in many a student’s nighttime plan. Held every other Monday night at Pink, the night is a concoction of face paints, circus acts and blinding lights with dirt-cheap drinks and possibly the friendliest crowd in any club in Nottingham. The music is a medley of jungle-bass-dubstep-folk; a description can’t even do it justice. If there is one night that needs to be attended it’s this one. This may sound incredibly over the top but to get our prize as favourite night of the year but it really did stand out, seeing off competition from new nights popping up across Nottingham to be the crowned the winner. Well done Twisted Hearts Club, you have become our best night of the year.
The Underground Rebel Bingo Club
Give them…[email protected] Bodega? ?This year saw the arrival of the much loved combination of synthy tech, lazer electro, bumping house, rude dub, baile funk, afrobeat, bassline garage and general skankyness. As well as having the most welcoming and “house party” vibe of any professional club night run in Nottingham, it is something totally new and different for people looking for a new style of clubbing, whatever their music taste. If you’re new to the sort of music played at Stealth and most electro nights, then this is the best place to ignite that newfound passion for all things electro and bass. On top of that, it’s a student run night, so exclusivity and pretentiousness is left on the pavement as this cool clan get you moving well into the early hours. Although the venue is small compared to most, this only helps the flow of sound waves right through you as you sip on your Red Stripe or Jaeger Bomb (no cocktails allowed). This is an absolute must for when you return next year.