Purple Turtle in Reading is the most tragic night out in the UK
I’m calling it
It's inevitable. You reach the end of your night out in Reading, you're practically gagging for a kebab and your bed, but out of the corner of your eye the glowing hue of Purple Turtle catches your attention.
Your night started off so well. Some civilised cocktails in Revs, some less so civilised (but 2-for-1) cocktails in Yates, before you headed for a dance and more drinks in Matchbox.
Alright, sometimes you slip up and end up in Q Club instead, it's fine, we've all been there. We can grow together.
But before you know it, you've passed the oh-so-friendly Purple Turtle bouncers at the door and you're downstairs in the dungeon, pretending you can shuffle to some dirty drum and bass while your friends grind on the prison-esque bars.
You can't stop it from happening, it's a right of passage on a night out in Reading, everyone knows it.
Purple Turtle is where you must end your night or you will probably be cursed or something. Basically just imagine that it's illegal not to go.
You walk straight into the main bar, where most of the older generations tend to stay put (they rarely venture elsewhere).
You're most likely to head straight to the bar and order a standard vodka mixer, after musing over the countless beer taps but then going with your regular anyway.
The tables are always taken, and the sofas at the front are always filled with cuddling drunk couples eating each others faces. There's no point trying to sit down inside, you won't get a seat.
If you thought your head was spinning outside, just one look at the checkered flooring is enough to send you over the edge. It reminds me of something out of Alice in Wonderland. By the time you reach the infamous destination, you're that smashed that anything goes.
Shisha? Go on then. A round of drinks for your mates and those people you met back at Walkabout? Absolutely, they're going to be lifelong pals. What about a dutty wine to a song you probably shouldn't dutty wine to? It's a must.
There's an eclectic mix of people who only come to Purple Turtle for a shisha. You'll find them outside, keeping to themselves, huddled around a single table and taking it in turns on the pipe.
Despite being absolutely steaming you always seem to find your way around the many levels of Purple Turtle – it's like you're a regular.
Why are the toilets up so many stairs? How do I get outside? Who put this sofa outside? These are some of the many questions that remain a mystery, no matter how many times you've been.
There's always a strong mix of ages inside, I'm pretty sure I've met the entirety of Reading's granddads in there and shared a shisha with a lovely group of mums on many occasions.
My own mum often ventures to Purple Turtle with her work pals and absolutely loves it. You've probably seen them on a table near the stage, sipping on G&Ts, belting out Mr Brightside. True fans.
Along with the strong mix of ages is a strong choice in decor. There's posters papier-mâchéd to all the walls, funky floors, and a shit ton of mirrors in the toilets.
To add to the tragedy, Purple Turtle is pretty well known for that one time a bus swerved and hit a guy on the pavement in front of it. He got up like nothing had happened and went straight inside (probably for a pint).
A true icon.
Truth is we'll probably always end our nights out in Reading in Purple Turtle. It wouldn't be a successful night if we didn't, think of all the stories we'd miss out on.
In the wise words of Ian Hill (above), the 76 year old Reading raver: "You don't stop raving when you get old, you get old when you stop raving."