One of the things that many freshers will hear about before arriving at Southampton is Jesters. Elite journalists at Pause have risked life, liver and dignity in the Palace of Dreams, repeatedly, to bring to you the top survival tips required.
Step 1. Preparing to go out
It is said that you can catch a rare tropical disease through excess contact with the floor. Shoes that are both capable of surviving the dissolving properties of the sludge and cheap/old enough that you won’t lament their inevitable heroic death are required. Likewise, clothes shouldn’t be too fancy. The author of this article once went to Jesters after a formal event, the dry cleaning bill was costlier than a week’s food shopping. It sounds big and clever at midnight but hope you can get a good deal at the cleaners.
The other (more crucial) preparation needed is not to go sober enough to be aware of the smell. You can smell the place from street level, let alone when you’re in there, so make sure to pre-drink enough that you’ll not notice and have fun in there. Talking of pre-drinks, as a fresher, this can be an excellent way to meet your neighbours for the next year, with ‘Never Have I Ever’ giving an excellent ice-breaker, although after a few weeks the game gets petty with ridiculously specific rounds.
Step 2: Getting in
Jesters doesn’t exactly have a strict door policy, although in Fresher’s week and on Mondays throughout the year, the queue outside can get long. Try not to sober up too much or you’ll begin to notice the stench of the club. Try also to maintain enough co-ordination to successfully navigate the stairs down. You really, really don’t want anything other than the soles of your shoes to touch the floor in this place.
Step 3: Now what?
You’ve made it in, not wearing clothes that will be ruined and without noticing the smell. Now what do you do? The bar’s pint-sized cocktails, of which the Jesticle is the most famous, are cheap (particularly on a Tuesday, when you also get t-shirts for buying rounds of them) but it would be advisable to drink water before going to bed if you’ve had a few. As with all sugary bevvies, the hangover is ridiculous.
The dance floor is tiny and gets cramped like nothing else, so you don’t dance, but get carried up in the mass of inebriated students. The DJs usually play a superb selection of only the best cheese. Wannabe-DJs with pretensions leave for other clubs as soon as possible, where the patrons are likely to be sober enough to want anything other than hardcore cheese music.
Step 4: Onwards and Upwards
You would be forgiven for thinking that your night out ended at 2am when you are thrown out. Not so. You would be a fool not to go to Manzil’s afterwards. The curry is cheap and exactly what you want after all that drink, but also good to go to earlier in the evening for a more dignified meal out. If dignified isn’t your thing, then the magical, mystical place that is Chickoland will sort out your fast-food craving. Serving the most wonderful selection of meats and high-quality (frozen) chips, for many people it is engraved into any night-out plan.
Despite the wondrous nature of Jesters, remember that there are more clubs in Southampton, so feel free to explore Sobar, Cafe Parfait, and many other clubs in addition to pubs for nights out. Have fun during Freshers (and beyond) and stay safe.