Destroy those prejudices.

Where (not) to go in Guildford: 8 clubs and bars to avoid like herpes

with 22 comments

Preppies, chavs, general knobs. Yep, it must be Guildford at night.

If you plan on visiting Gtown for a drinking sesh (if you say it like that, Guildford is definitely for you), then please address this post with utmost attention. Repeat after me: I solemnly vow never to attend these places, unless hopelessly inebriated and / or lack better judgement.

So let’s begin the rundown of despicable watering holes with number eight (and be sure to read the Sequel afterwards).

8. Fahrenheit 55

This place used to be cool. Up a small alleyway that you’d pass unthinkingly during daylight, Fahrenheit offered a bit of an escape from the usual tumult of Guildford High Street. Regularly, you’d get great jazz and acoustic acts playing in there, providing a great atmosphere. Sadly, it’s become yet another hole for your average shitfacer. Good music is replaced by the chart, and voilà; it turns to shit, and is absolutely packed almost every night. It’s not like it’s even cheap.
So why did every piss-head in town start descending upon this lovely seclusive place? Oh yes, because a member of every group drinking had the marvellous idea, ‘come on, let’s go to Fahrenheit because there won’t be anyone there,’ all at once. Then again, I suppose the managers aren’t complaining.

7. Tickled Ivory

‘Over 21s’ the sign reads. And at these times, I’m sure it’s a sophisticated – albeit expensive – evening out. However, come Tuesdays, it’s a different matter.
As it’s a Tuesday, which is a social vacuum in any culture, there’s naturally fuck all else to go. But thanks to relatively cheap drinks that night, a wine glass-tinking and smart attire affair becomes yet another lewd, sticky and fucking packed Guildford night out.
If you attempt to move in the throng that surrounds the bar in a quantum-tight 5 mile perimeter, you will spill your drink – either on yourself, or another patron. At which point, they will demand you buy them another drink. You should then explain that the physics inside Tickled Ivory don’t correspond to those in the outside world, and that the accident with your £3.50 cosmopolitan – which is now residing in the fibres of his polo shirt – is simply not your fault. In all honesty, you shouldn’t have been trying to be so sophisticated.
There is, on the plus side, a corking live covers band who play – but sadly, appreciation is limited to screaming the words of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in your friend’s faces, which is what everyone else seems to do anyway.

6. The Legion

Expensiiiiiiive. Nice digs, but fuck off. I am not paying six quid for a double JD and coke (why not just have a single instead? Because I’m a man.)

5. Wetherspoons

The go-to of every young person in Guildford. You’ll see me in here more often than not, though I avoid the weekends; it is packed every single time.
‘Spoons doesn’t seem able to decide if it wants to be a club, or a bar: stupidly loud music ensures that you won’t be able to have a conversation with your friends while sitting at one of the booths or tables that dominate 99% of the place, and those who are on the 3 foot-wide dance floor are having the time of their lives. ‘Spoons is constantly sticky, too – if you touch a table-top, you’ll need a crowbar if you want to go somewhere else. Which is what you’ll probably want to do.

4. Flares

Hahaha. Apologies, I can’t stop laughing thinking about this place. It’s unbelievably derisive that it exists in the first place.
Essentially, it’s a 70s bar that plays music from that glittery decade exclusively – although now you get 80s, and a smidge of 90s. A bit of a compromise given the horrific disco outfits the staff are made to wear.
It all adds up to make this one of the most heartbreaking clubs in the fucking universe. You will see mid-life crisis suffragetts sway boozily on the dance floor, trying to win younger men over with their afro wigs (£3 from the bar) and their ‘cheeky’ older women routine (not available from bar, but can be achieved with substantial loss of dignity). Cue that with a forty minute wait until you’re served, and you’ve got another shitty night out on your hands.
A positive that can be said is the DJ that regularly plays there; sporting a purple pimp suit and smooth bald head, he’s a motherfucker, pure and simple. It’s a shame that he’s the one who instigates the Grease megamix, every single night. Every single night.
However, the most entertaining aspect – which I can guarantee happens at least three times a weekend – are the fights on the door. Get your popcorn.

3. Platform Nine / Scrumptous / Divas

Dirty, scummy shit-hola. We’re getting into the real dirge of Guildford locales now, but don’t be afraid to continue the journey. Do be afraid, however, to enter this place, whatever guise it takes on next. It’s like a metamorphic turd: it can transform, but underneath it’s still a colossal pile of shit.
Firstly, it was simply your normal dive, eventually being shut down due to the drug cartel within. Next taking the form of a gay bar (replacing the Elm Tree), and then briefly a more lesbian-oriented establishment, the management and security here have remained complete fuckheads through its existence. Bigoted, small-minded intendance – and hobos for regulars – certify that it’ll always be a frequent resort for those with lower tastes when it comes to having a drink. For instance, my first experience here, while it was called Platform Nine, saw a wasted patron approach me within the first ten minutes and proclaim, ‘you get a choc ice, you put it on your dick. Feels great, yeah?’
I did not come up with that. This is the abode of evil, and is a black hole that will eat your soul.

2.  The Casino

Michel Harper is slime. Guildford does not want, nor care for a casino to be built. It also does not care for a glamourised strip club to bookend one of its busiest streets.
I’m not against nudity whatsoever, of course – but Guildford isn’t seedy. It’s a hyped-up prep hole that thinks its a mini Kingston. However, Harper – who probably believes he’s the second coming – nonetheless named the latest incarnation of his Onslow Street nest egg, ‘The Casino.’ Because, you know, we’ll get used to there being a placed called that, so we’ll eventually just accept the idea of one actually existing. But onto the club itself.
In a word, ‘sexist’ comes to mind. Females are allowed on the beds inside (yes, there are beds – awesome), yet those with penises aren’t allowed to go near ’em. There is no reason for this. No-one is going to attempt having sex in a club right next to a spot which is heavily supervised by security. However, I use ‘supervised’ lightly as they’d rather use their time threatening expulsion to patrons who look like they’re about to fall asleep. Can you fucking blame them?
Not that it matters to me. I wouldn’t come here if Surrey was overrun by zombies, and this was the last safehouse. Drinks start at £4, and probably end near 10k for a bottle of chardonnay. You’ll feel raped from the entrance fee and cloakroom prices, too, and bouncers will not be tender, gentle or caring. The extremely busy road slap bang in front of Casino is the first stop for their victims.

1. Dusk

So, we come to numeruno uno. The Guv’ner. The pisshole to top all pissholes. Yes, welcome to Dusk – read: Chavland.
This is the end of the road for all society. Once the nuclear apocalypse eventually happens, I’ll bet you five rashions of spam this place will still be open. The first thing that’s majorly wrong about it is its size – it’s friggin’ tiny. Therefore, if you want to get to the bar, you’ll have to grind against the Park Barn and Bellfields elite to make any progress. Everyone will have a VK, so feel free to load up on these as they’re relatively cheap. Well, that’s before the sugar ache in the pit of your stomach kicks in, and when that happens you’ll have to worry about the toilets themselves. Oh my life, the toilets. Remember that scene from Trainspotting? Someone inform Health & Safety.
But it’s definitely the clientele that make Dusk the club it is today (and Time before it.) Stripy jumper-wearing, gold chain pimpin’ scum. Do I care what these people look like? Not really, though they may look slightly silly. No; what abrades me is that they’re all stnuc. Dirty, dirty stnuc. They will:

  1. Try it on with your girlfriend. They care not for such social constraints as ‘relationship’ and ‘love’, and will look to harrass those they’re even slightly attracted to (which happens to be everything).
  2. Step in front of you at the bar. Even if you’ve been there for twenty minutes already, they’ll waltz up and lodge in the 1cm gap between you and your friend. And he will get served first, because he stands out more than you (because he’s orange).
  3. Push you off the dancefloor. Doesn’t matter if you’re minding your own business while getting down to some gangster rap,  you’ll still suddenly find yourself jiving around the dancefloor, not on it. I guess the biggest dicks need the most space, after all.
  4. They will try to fight you. This is usually instigated by a cautionary signal from them, what I like to call the shoulder flash. If this happens, run – they’ll have bigger muscles than you. If not, they’ll have mates who do.

Hold one bloody second. I did say the patrons are the worst, but no: the bouncers take the cake, in truth. Step on someone else’s foot accidentally: they’ll beat you up out back. Bring a drink onto the dancefloor: beaten up out back. Breathe: beaten up out back, with extreme prejudice. Even though they’ll allow seventeen year-olds entry, because they think that maybe they’ll sleep with them.
But paying £7 on the door to get in, nothing would be worth what’s waiting inside for you.

I think we’ve all learnt something here. Learn something more with the follow-up to this article, Where (not) to go in Guildford: The Sequel.

Written by GaryGreenScreen

July 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

22 Responses

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  1. You fucking legend.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Andy Wilson

    July 2, 2011 at 1:07 am

  2. i actully quite like spoons flares nice cheap good night out when your skint wan want a laugh with your mates specialy as rents high and works stressful

    rebecca aston howard

    July 2, 2011 at 11:28 am

  3. Although I agree, this list is practically everywhere available to drink in Guildford. Do we really have a choice but to go to them?


    July 5, 2011 at 2:43 am

  4. Could not of said it better myself. It’s why I moved to Hove. Any bar/club that insists I wear shoes when I go out, should be closed. It’s not 1994. Narrow minded townies.


    September 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

  5. Utter Hero. All of this is true.


    October 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm

  6. Excellent post, really well written. I’ve been chuckling all the way through reading it. I moved to Manchester a few years ago but spent my drinking apprenticeship around the holes (of both the shit and watering variety) of Guildford. I must say I did expect Bar Med to be in there somewhere. I’m sure Yate’s would have got a place if it was still there along with Bojangles. You’re spot on with Farenheit 55 I think it used to be good because no-one really knew about it. Would you be able to do a top 10 list of places worth going to just in case I decide to have a drink down memory lane when visiting the folks for Christmas? Or are there just not enough places warranting a top 10 place?

    Again great post, throughly entertaining. Thank you


    November 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

  7. Shut up you absolute fucking belter! F55 is awesome and always has a friendly atmosphere…Can’t be shit if every cunt in Guildford goes there…Your obviously a pretentious git who doesn’t like a crowd. Don’t like it. Stay home! Some pricks love to moan…You are that prick. #shutyourfuckingmouth


    December 14, 2013 at 2:05 am

    • See you at Fahrenheit tonight then?


      December 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    • People like you theatrebird is why we hate these places… If you think F55 is a great night out then you clearly have not traveled enough.


      December 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    • ”if every cunt in Guildford goes there…”

      More than enough reason not to go I think.


      December 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm

  8. Why not walk briskly past all these venues and get on a train. In half an hour you’ll find yourself in one of the greatest cities in the world where you’ll be the guest of honour at an all you can eat fun buffet.


    December 14, 2013 at 11:41 am

  9. If you going to about moan load music drink prices and how busy it is then why the fuck do u go out.


    December 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

  10. John Graham

    December 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm

  11. This is so badly written, pseudo-intellectual bullshit about a ‘night-out’. What’s worse than a night out in Guildford is the fact that you actually bothered writing this crap. I hate a Guildford night out but you’re writing like you want to be somebody you clearly are not.


    December 15, 2013 at 11:07 am

    • I’m sorry to hear that my post, which I wrote three years ago for a laugh, has seemingly ruined your day.

      Actually, I’m not sorry. I’m fucking ecstatic.

      Also, could you tell me who I want to be? Because I clearly haven’t got a clue.


      December 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

  12. I quiet like tickled Tuesdays and flares. The rest of it I’m 100% with you on.
    Also I genuinely had to be treated for aids after a night out there! It’s ok, after a month of treatment and regular blood test for three months I got the all clear. Haven’t been back since!


    December 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

  13. I always thought Dusk was sort of so bad that it had gone back round to good. It was just sort of hilarious to witness.


    December 16, 2013 at 10:19 am

  14. Absolute tripe Jamie there is nothing wrong with the way the article is written and certainly nothing wrong with its content. Gazz well done Sir that is outstanding observation and I tip my cap to you.
    To the rest of you that have trolled Gazz here and suggest he just ignore what he doesn’t like…. does the same not apply to you reading this article…. is your response really necessary if you don’t like it ….. in your own words…. jog on ?


    December 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

  15. Where SHOULD I go? Not that I go out in Guildford any more, but even if I was going to, I know of exactly zero good clubs to go to. Any recommendations, preferably rock/alternative places?

    Dr. James Rustles

    December 27, 2013 at 7:29 am

  16. Reblogged this on willwolf89.


    May 14, 2015 at 11:11 am

  17. […] while ago, I counted down the eight worst places to go on a night out in Guildford; many of you agreed with me, and many of you didn’t (to put it […]

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