A list of everything you’ll know if you grew up in Henley
It’s not all about the Regattahh darling
You probably only know Henley because of the Regatta – but only those who have grown up there know the true Henley. The one that finds you in The Smoky Flame at 2am after a night of regret in Magoos, or weeping over your bank balance after a wild night in Mahiki.
The one that causes you to do a double take at the line of Fiats on the college hill, or makes you cringe in Waitrose at the sheltered nature of its population. The place full of questionable drama of which you highkey roll your eyes at and pretend to hate but lowkey secretly live for.
The Henley which, regardless of all its ridiculousness and quirks, you’ll always find yourself crawling back to.
It’s universally acknowledged that a night out in Henley (aka Magoos) is pretty shit
But you can’t help but secretly love it.
You’ll be counting down the days until your 18th birthday, only to spend the rest of your Friday nights cooped up in Henley’s supposed “night club” (cupboard)
Amongst a bunch of overly-drunken 50-year-olds and all your old pals from school. But you can’t deny that it gives you mems like no other, and where else are you going to go when you live for The Sesh?
A night out in Henley isn’t complete until…
You’ve consumed several double vodka cranberries and had a little moan about The Catherine Wheel having ran out of straws. You’ve even seen half the cast of Made in Chelsea, including Liv Bentley (one of MIC’s elite). To top it all off you’ve bumped into that ex that you thought you’d escaped when you went to Uni.
Overhearing the petty gossip in The Catherine Wheel
And thinking that maybe ‘Made in Henley’ should legit be a thing.
Nights out will always finish at our beloved but questionably named ‘Smoky Flame’
No that is not a spelling mistake. Us locals will always refer to it as SFC.
When the monotony of Henley’s nightlife hits you…
Hopping into a taxi to Reading to continue the evening’s escapades is always a shout.
Life as a Henley ‘youth’ involves spending your whole year dying of boredom until Regatta comes around
Then going around £500 into your overdraft from getting too bevved up on overpriced Pimm’s and Prosecco in Mahiki – all of which seems completely justifiable at the time.
When Mahiki closes, you always know exactly where to go…
Magoos of course (because there’s literally no where else). You’ll queue for two hours and spend £20 on entry fees. The rest of your night you’ll be boogying in the little room that plays all the dance hits or be making friends with Canadian rowers over Jagerbombs.
It’s clear your town is pretty sheltered when a small gas leak in WH Smiths results in the whole street being evacuated
And the public being reassured that there is currently “nothing to suggest that the incident is related to terrorism”.
It’s a town where everyone knows everyone and apparently everyone’s dated everyone too
For instance, it’s likely that you’ll match with someone on tinder only to find out: they’ve dated your arch enemy, got with your bestie and is your weird history teacher’s nephew.
Going to uni makes you realise how insignificant your hometown really is
You’re forced to resort to saying you’re from ‘near Reading’, when you just know Henley is of a completely different calibre. You then end up inviting all your uni friends down from London for the Regatta, in a desperate attempt to pretend that your hometown isn’t completely irrelevant.
A sunny day in Henley always calls for a cheeky Kopparburg in the garden of The Angel
Or a picnic by the river with your best gal pals.
Everyone knows a rower here
No, I mean like literally everyone.
Henley is first world problem central
It only takes a walk into Waitrose – and an eves drop into an argument about which type of bubble bath someone’s going to buy – to realise this.
Everyone’s pretty middle class here
They are, aren’t they?
You’re not a proper Henley mum until you own a Land Rover
Which you can’t drive let alone need.
Henley’s population consists of about 99.9 per cent angelic and honourable inhabitants
The 0.1 per cent is made up of a few ‘youths’, who are a scapegoat for every problem ever.
White Fiat 500s are a right of passage
You can’t be a true Henley girl without one.
Regardless – when you’re born and bred in Henley it feels impossible to leave.