We’ve all been there. We decide on a night out, and after the week just gone, it needs to be a BLAST. I’m talking decent cocktails, great conversation, a double Berocca at night with the promise of never drinking again in the morning. But where to go? An over-priced popular watering hole you know will be rammed to the rafters serving the same old same old, or taking a punt on a new venue that could very possibly leave you out of pocket and out of fun, but could also be the best decision you’ve ever made?
We asked Nick Telson, co-founder of bar review website DesignMyNight, to give his tops tips for having a great night out in a brand new venue… (I don’t fully understand the message behind the below image, but I think it’s awesome.)
1. Look for hidden gems
Many people think the best bars are found in the most central locations BUT I would suggest going off the beaten track and looking slightly off the radar for a venue. Hidden secret bars, usually the ones hard to find, are the places you will have the most fun in. They usually have a quirky interior with a drinks menu that will test your taste buds and an eclectic mix of people that are all there to have a great time.
2. Try a themed bar, but only if they’re going all the way
My preference on a great venue is how original it is, from its decor to the drinks menu, it’s always good to experience something a bit different. It’s good to see cocktail menu’s changing with the seasons so keep an eye out for this. If a venue is themed…make sure they follow through with this or you might be slightly disappointed. A great example of a venue that lives up to it’s themed expectations is The Liars Club in Manchester offering tiki cocktails and tropical theme from the get-go.
3. Even if you’re not into local brews, drink where the locals drink
For me the drinks on offer are a big part of the night. I like to look for bars that stock local beers and not the just the standard international beers and ales. More localised brews bring in the locals and I feel this ensures the venue can be trusted and has a good reputation for a great night out.
4. Test out their beer garden or open space
A big perk of the weather getting nicer is that we can sit outside while having a beer and chatting to friends. Even at night, a well lit up beer garden is home to some of the best chats I’ve had on a night out as we can actually hear each other and enjoy the spring evenings. The Plough in Birmingham is a great haunt for a good beer garden. I like to look for heated beer gardens or rooftop bars as the atmosphere and views from these are usually electric as the good weather looms.
5. Don’t settle for an upper class bar serving below par booze
Personally, I am all about value for money…paying a high price is justified if the drinks merit it but not because the venue itself is in an expensive area. Check the price list so your night doesn’t have to be cut short as your wallet is bled dry. There are all types of venues suiting different budgets so a little bit of research here can go a long way.
Do you have a favourite bar you rely on for a good night out? Or are you one who prefers to try anything and everything on offer? Let us know below!