College Bar Crawl: Emma Bar

Apparently one of the cheapest in Cambridge, The Tab gives Emma Bar a thumbs up.

Big bar, large choice, (almost) the cheapest in Cambridge, what’s not to like?

Emma bar is sandwiched between two blocks of fresher accommodation, and according to the architect, the main design cue here was 'a ship'. So, somewhat unusually, the bar is furnished with oversized blue sofas, a mezzanine deck, and plenty of thick rope. Add to this the remnants of Ents past and you have a fairly garish – but still very serviceable – place for a drink.

Odd interior decor aside, Emma’s JCR is justly famous for being a good place to get a cheap pint and have some good chat and as an aim it is well-fulfilled here; the lager is reliable and plentiful; the interesting lucky dip; the bar is almost always full enough that you don’t feel like you’ve stumbled into Oxford, but with space for plenty more; and service is quicker than at most places with four eager servers and a very wide bar. Just don’t give away that you’re not from here with the typical, 'Do you do doubles?', 'Can I pay by card?', 'What wines do you sell?', to which the answers are, respectively, 'Don’t want a quad then?', 'Yes, if you bugger off to Spoons', and 'Red, white, and pink'. By the way, none of the aforementioned are worth drinking. Pick something else.

I don’t need to say much about why, it’s simply a good bar. However, there are some things you should know. For some time now, the second thing that impresses upon you as you come in (after the generous size of the room) is the fact that your shoes are now semi-permanently attached to the floor, and if you can unstick your way to the bar, there will be no glasses, per se, forthcoming. They are all made of plastic.

The times they are a-changing, as they say, and so get here quick: Rumour has it prices are going up soon, the Bursar having grown tired of a bar that makes a multi-thousand pound loss termly, there is now a professional barmaid working Thursday-Sunday, and if you catch Tam (said pro) or a student in the midst of an essay crisis, they might make you find an Emmanuel 'friend' to attest to your sobriety and general lack of malice before you can be served. Them’s the rules. Verdict's still out on whether they are being followed.

In the interests of fairness, it must be declared that I go to Emma and have a more than unhealthy love for this bar. Personal recommendation – 'Lord of the Bling' on the quiz machine. You don’t feel like you’ve been ripped off when you lose at that game.

Show me the money!

Pint of Lager: £1.35
Double Vodka + Cranberry: £2.20
Wine (glass/bottle): £1.50/£5.00