How To Actually Enjoy The London Bar Scene

Confession: I hate going out to bars.

Correction: I used to hate going out to bars.

I’m not sure what it was that changed my mind, but in the past month or so I’ve stopped feeling panicked when going out with friends and started to be excited. How did I get to this point? A lot of trial and error.

1. Pick the right bar


The bar you go to will immediately set the scene for the night ahead. While some people love the vibes of places like the Ceeps or Frog, they will undoubtedly be packed and maybe a little gropey. Opting for somewhere a little smaller—like McCabes or Molly Bloom’s—can be a great idea if you’re bar shy to get you warmed up to the scene. Plus, there will be plenty of room to sit if dancing isn’t your thing!

2. Go with the right friends

I cannot stress this enough: the people you go to the bar with will make or break your night. You need to be with people who are both responsible yet fun; they’ll keep an eye on you and your comfort level, but will also make sure you have the best possible time. Make sure you have at least one other person with you at all times and, if you’re on the dance floor, make sure you’re with people who have your back—literally. If someone undesirably sneaks up on you, the right buddy will cut in and make it clear you aren’t down to tango.

3. Don’t drink too much

If you have too much to drink, your night could quickly turn into a puke-fest and there’s no downer quite like vomiting on the cute outfit you just bought. Plus, feeling sick and out-of-control in an environment you aren’t comfortable is a bad idea. I’m not saying don’t drink, but just keep an eye on how much you have and don’t let the pre get you so trashed that you spend your night in the bathroom instead of on the dance floor.

4. Leave early

There’s nothing quite like leaving while you’re still having a good time; don’t wait until the night turns sour to cut out. Get tired? Go home! Don’t push yourself to stay somewhere longer than you want to just because you feel like you should.

5. Relax

Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be just fine. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a second to focus on your breathing and to recenter yourself. It’s amazing how far a couple moments of relaxation can go while out on the town.

Just remember, if you aren’t a bar person, that’s okay. I haven’t been one for the four years of my undergrad and I’ve never felt like I’ve been missing out on things like Dollar Beers at Jack’s. But if you want to go out and have fun with your friends who are bar people, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Just take it as it goes, use these tips and have a great night!

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