We hosted pres in Senate House and this is why you should too

Their playlist needs work but you can’t look past a £4 double

We all know that Senate House is a favourite of all Bristol Uni students especially when The Beckford bar is open for a post-study pint. But can we take advantage of the cheap prices and incredible drinks selection and have our own pres there?

My housemate and I were bored of of being laughed at buying vodka and orange squash in the same local Co-op and fancied trying something new. We’ve saved you all the potential embarrassment and drank ourselves silly at The Beckford bar on a Friday night. The goal? Drink as much as we can for as little as possible without completely mortifying ourselves.


We were actually going to a jungle event after this trip so you can imagine our outfits weren’t exactly subtle. The soundtrack to our arrival was Eminem and we really did have sweaty palms and weak knees as we walked in getting very odd looks from everyone in there.

They just wanted to have a quiet pint after finishing their work for the week, not see two girls ready for a rave. Immediately we began to question whether we’d made a horrible mistake.

First Round

We started with a double vodka lemonade and a double vodka coke. They were £4 each and actually had Smirnoff vodka in, not Sainsbury’s basics. A luxury we’re very much not used to. The first thing we noticed was that the straws were abnormally short, like one straw cut in half to make two?

But after finishing our first drinks we threw away our inhibitions and the embarrassment of pre-drinking in a university study space began to fade away. We even forgot about the lecturers sat two tables over from us.

Not the vibe. Stop.

Disaster struck when they decided to play Coldplay’s “Fix You.” It really negatively impacted our time there and got us feeling sad which is not really what you want for pre-drinks. The playlist definitely needs work.

We also discovered that they dim the lights at around 8pm. Although this did get us in the mood, it meant lighting was awful for pictures. Definitely take them before heading out if you’re wanting to look half decent in your night out Instagram post. The vibes got worse after we saw someone drink straight from the tap. Is this a watering hole?

Time passed

We were shocked when we actually had to queue for drinks later on in the evening. Although this was a good sign of the beautiful Beckford bar getting a bit busier, being stood at the front for that long really meant we drew attention to ourselves. So much attention in fact that someone looked at us with their hand over their mouth in shock. By that point though we were four drinks in so we were past the point of caring.


Although our first impressions of The Beckford were quite hostile, we were left pleasantly surprised. In the end, we had to leave our jungle event early, so perhaps all the excitement and cheap drinks made us take pre-drinks too far.

The first hour was probably one of the most uncomfortable 60 minutes of our lives but we only spent about £15 each and reached a good level of drunk, even if we did have to mix drinks in order to achieve this. With £4 doubles and £3.50 pints I don’t think you can really go wrong. We would definitely (maybe) pre here again.

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