UK CitySlicker Sian: Bottoms Up!

Ivygold discusses why she’d swap the late-night lashes for the nights where the discussions are long and your drink doesn’t have the word ‘bomb’ stuck on the end of it.

Name: Sian Keen
Age: 21
University: University of Exeter
City/Country: Exeter, United Kingdom

Happy New Year, Lomo-ers! Now that we’ve hit mid-January, the food babies are still leering and no amount of New Year’s resolution promises are going to fix it, so I say, if you’re going to fail, fail in style. January is usually seen as the most depressing month of the year, which I’m quite offended by as it is my 21st this month and I plan to celebrate big time. Not just this but also student loans have come in and has brought a smile to every students face, so let’s all try and take on my one resolution, positive thinking and drink the blues way. Exeter has some really lovely places that’ll be perfect to do just that.

Particularly this year, I’ve found myself enjoying a night out with a few drinks with friends more enjoyable than clubbing. I don’t know about you, but clubbing seemed far more exciting when I wasn’t allowed to go. Last weekend our musical theatre society was promoting our musical, Reefermadness, at the Firehouse. If you’ve ever been down to Exeter, I’d like to think someone recommended this place to you, but if not, then definitely put it top of your list for your next visit. I love the fact that it looks and feels old and worn.

Smothered in fairy lights and flowers, with church-like pews against the wall, it’s warm and always packed. If you go there on a Saturday, then don’t expect to get a table right away, me and my sister had to wait for an hour or so, but it’s worth it. On Sunday, our planned fifteen minutes of music to promote our show turned into a two hour open mic night for the cast of Reefermadness, and one of the best nights I’d had in a long while (plus I only spent £3). Their food is lovely, the atmosphere is warming and I don’t know anyone who’s been there that dislikes it, plus their winter deals are beautiful. Mulled cider you say? Yes please! Fingers crossed it’ll be a good opportunity to perform more often as I do miss my days of busking for fun.

I know I briefly mentioned Mama Stones in my last article but I thought it deserved another big up. If you’re a bit sick of going out ‘on the lash’ then Mama Stones is lush. Cocktails, embroidered cushions and Moroccan lanterns hanging from the ceilings that are painted in beautiful bright oranges and greens and just every colour really. It could be below freezing outside those doors, but as soon as you get in there and snuggle in, you’ll feel toasty from the inside out. The only down point is the fact that you have to be willing to bear the cold to get there but it just makes it even more inviting. Went there last term to see University of Exeter’s Soul Choir perform (bit of cheeky promotion? Don’t mind if I do) and if Mama Stone’s is about anything, it’s about having a whole lotta soul. Mondays and Tuesdays they have acoustic performances and bands, and if you’d like to check some out just type ‘Mama Stones’ into youtube or, to make it even easier, have a look at this. This is my friend, Claudia Campbell doing a cover of ‘freefalling’ by John Mayer. People do covers and originals and to be honest it’s just nice to go relax, catch up with friends, try some Shisha, and to listen to some really beautiful music.

Amber rooms is society social central, well, I know it definitely is for drama. Whether it’s a Blast from the Past, Awkward Turtle (themes that is) or a cabaret night, Amber rooms is usually where you’ll end up. Ah I keep making this mistake, it’s no longer called Amber rooms actually, but instead it’s taken on a new persona, ‘The Monkey Suit’ which I’ve yet to get my head around, I think it’ll always be Amber rooms to me. Still, whatever the title, it really is a lovely little bar. Open to the public down stairs, with booth seating and cocktails, whereas upstairs is where they hire out for events. The last one I went to was a cabaret night for Shotgun Theatre, to raise funds for the charity ‘Dig Deep’ and the students climb to Mt Kilimanjaro (If you’d like more information on that and how to donate then just contact me!) Again, more music and cocktails (we seem to be a city in love with this combination) and ruddy good times.

Finally, I couldn’t really do an article about pubs and bars without mentioning every Exeter student’s go-to, The Imperial. Also known as the ‘Impy’ or ‘Imps’, its one in a long line of Whetherspoons pubs BUT this particular one is situated right across the Alexandra Building (Drama central) and it’s a fifteen minute walk from campus and student accommodation. Perfect. If you walk down to the end of the pub, it opens out and looks like an old railway station, with people always fighting to get the comfy sofas hidden in the corners. Pimms in the beer garden in summer is blissful and the outdoor films nights are still something I am looking forward to experiencing next summer.

Like I said previously, if you delve a little further into Exeter, you’ll always find somewhere special to spend your evenings.

Photo of me taken by Stevie-Ella (msnicks).

Are you looking for more UK City Slicker articles? Head over here to read more!

written by ivygold on 2012-01-31 in #lifestyle

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