The 6 best things about York nightlife

The 1990s alumni view

We asked one York grad and one current York student to tell us about York’s nightlife highlights. Creative writing tutor Yasmin Khan graduated in the ’90s, and this is her take.

1. The early bird catches the worm.

At 5pm, sit down to a KwikSave value pasta tea. At 6, begin getting ready.

Blast residents of Tang Hall with an unwanted dose of House of Pain, NWA, Propellerheads and DJ Shadow courtesy of a tin pot ‘stereo system’. Wince as the shoe box speakers crackle under the strain.

Check wall-planner: It’s Tuesday night, AKA Student Night, at the ironically-named ‘Toffs’ Nightclub. Decide that Wednesday morning lecture can be sacked off.

7pm: Head to campus for some budget friendly sharpeners.

2. It’s all about the old-skool.

Make like Shaft down to Goodricke bar in your best standard issue, retro flared hipsters. Ponder the merits of leaving your 70s vintage sheepskin/leather/suede jacket at home on bed.

"That hit new movie"
“That hit new movie”

Opt to skip the Vanbrugh student bus and walk in to town, making a grand saving of 70p. Saunter down Hull Road picking up other coat-less student buddies along the way.

Drop in to The Rose & Crown for a cheeky one. Discuss that new, hit movie about revolutionary mobile phone technology, The Matrix. Pray it doesn’t snow.

Arrive in town. Avoid that pricey, flash, new ‘Townie’ place, The Slug & Lettuce. Progress directly to the trusty, crusty, student-friendly Lowther.


3. It’s fun and games!

Regret leaving your coat. Quick drop in to O’Neill’s over the road for giant jenga jinks and a warming pint of Cafferey’s. Head over the bridge towards club-land. Spy The Bondage Whorehouse – sorry, The Bonding Warehouse.

Insist that your best friend does not finish the evening on either a sporting kebab or ‘comedy’ roll down Clifford’s Tower hill. Or both. Especially if the kebab rule is broken first.

Clifford's Tower
Clifford’s Tower
4. It’s a trip back in time.

In the seemingly endless queue for Toffs have a momentary panic that your NUS card is on bed with longed-for coat. Breathe a sigh of relief after discovering it tucked in your bra along with a lighter, pack of ten, and emergency fiver for the cab home.

Hypothermia beckons, but you’re finally ushered in by moody bouncers. Smile blissfully at black velvet carpets, unchanged since 1980-something.

Enter 70s room to bust best Saturday Night Fever moves in front of classy mirrored walls. Head to main room; yet more ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain.

5. It’s cheese-tastic.

Enjoy four sweaty hours of boogieing on down, smoking tabs (hey, it was the old days) and drinking cheap shots. Become distracted by sudden aroma of hot cheesy chips upstairs. Praise be!

Crawl upstairs and scoff cheesy chips. Feel almost instantly revived: amazing! Queue for cloakroom for ten minutes before remembering true location of coat back at home.

Exit Toffs. Curse snow. Begin bun fight for street cab. Give up and decide to head to Whipmawhopma Gate cab rank. Struggle to explain plan to best friend due to inability to verbalise ‘Whipmawhopma Gate’.

6. It’s a miracle to get home in one piece!

Argue with best friend for stubbornly obstructing attempt to ascend Clifford’s Tower. Grudgingly accept it’s for the best. Stop off at the 24 hour Spar Garage Shop off Hull Road and retrieve a pasty.

Get in and stumble up to your bedroom. Put Jeff Buckley on and cry about the guy from your Politics lecture who isn’t interested and the forgotten essay due in tomorrow. Oops.

Sleep the sleep of ages, oblivious to the responsibilities a few short years away. Happy, happy days.