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It’s time to admit it, Priors is the best night out in the country


Malvern, nestled in the heart of Worcestershire, is home to innumerable cultural points of interest. The famous Malvern Hills, which J. R. R. Tolkien roamed, leading to his creation of "The Shire". Its illustrious springs, which sparked frenzy in the Victorian era for "the water cure". It was even home to C.S. Lewis at one point, with its many gas lamps inspiring the famous lamppost found in Narnia.

But you shouldn't visit Malvern for the hills or the water. You shouldn't come and visit the graves of Edward Elgar or Charles Darwin's daughter. The only reason you should visit The Vern, is, frankly, the establishment that goes by the name of "Priors Croft".

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It's free entry, for starters. Unless it's NYE or a Bank Holiday or something, but in your drunken state, I doubt you'll notice as you fork over a tenner – because no one in their right mind would enter Priors sober. No one would even enter it "drunk". You've got to be crawling between the bouncer's legs to be the right level of slaughtered for Priors. Obviously you've spent the three hours prior (pun intended) getting bladdered at Spoons or The Nag's, and ten pints later someone's suggested "Priors?", and here you find yourself squaring up to an unfriendly looking bouncer in the freezing cold.

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Once you're in, you can say hello to about five fifty year old men leering at you from the bar and a smattering of people you recognise – cue awkward whispering amongst your friends. "Didn't you get with that guy once?", "isn't she from The Chase?", "oh my god, is that the guy who I shared my first ever joint with?". Welcome to Malvern, where even if you don't know everyone, you know everyone.

After diabolically failing to avoid the group of people you half-know due to Prior's claustrophobic layout and minuscule smoking area – think the smoking area in Bushies but condensed to about one square metre – you'll get a round of Jaegerbombs to cope, and make your way over to The Poles™.

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This can only end badly, obviously, as you and a friend take one pole each and start performing the most un-sultry, un-sexy pole dance ever witnessed. You're also on day 5 hair with no makeup, in jeans, Converse, and a Leavers' hoodie bedecked with cigarette burns and some cringeworthy school nickname, likely relating to some ignominious scandal. This was meant to be "a quiet catch up at the Nag's", you think to yourself, as you slut drop to the encouraging screams of your old school friends and the creepy bartender.

The toilets are no better. The queue will spill out into the porch (yes, there's a porch in this club lads), and so you'll perpetually be in the way of people leaving and entering. By the time you get in, a cubicle will burst open and a man and a woman will topple out – the woman hastily pulls down her dress, the man has a smug look on his face as he fiddles with his fly. Neither party washes their hands. The queue makes some indistinct noise – whether it's approval or disgust is uncertain. You wonder why you must be the first in line at this particular moment and brave that particular cubicle.

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Come the early hours of the morning, you think you've seen your PE teacher from Year 6 who was "asked to leave" for some undisclosed reason, and you and your mates decide to do a runner. You'll then either:

1. Have a brief argument outside the theatre about whose house you're staying at.

2. Wander around aimlessly looking for food even though there are no late night takeaways in Malvern and you know this after twenty years of living there but still, you want to try.

Bonus point: cry outside Hung's and insist you're going to stay there 'til it opens the next day.

3. Venture onto the hills and watch the sunrise and maybe get hypothermia.

So all in all, a shit night. You've somehow spent twenty quid on drinks, been chatted up by a fifty year old man, and got with a guy from your primary school. But it's about owning it – yeah, it's shit, but it's Malvern's own brand of shit, and I'll defend Priors 'til I die because no one's allowed to shit on The Vern – apart from people who are from The Vern.