The Playhouse Bar is the best thing about going to NUA

Drink anyone?

If you have lived in Norwich for any amount of time, you should know about the Playhouse. If you don’t, are you living under a rock?!

With the theatre next door, the Playhouse Bar is a cool little place right next to the Guntons and St. George’s NUA buildings on St. George’s Street, and let me tell you why it’s just the best.

The beautiful location

Coming from the NUA buildings, you have to cross a cute little bridge on the river to get to the bar. The amount of people stopping to take photos here is crazy, and for good reason – it’s bloomin’ beautiful. When the sun is shining, you can just see it through the trees to the side and the way it reflects off the water just begs for a selfie in front.

Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll walk over when there’s a guy playing some really chill music. Once across, you have the ‘Astrology benches’ just opposite the Playhouse and the statue. These are such a quirky collection, each with a lit up star sign on the side and offer a great place to relax.

The daytime visits

Being open from 10am (or 12 on a Sunday), if you have a break in between lectures or even just want somewhere different to sit on lunch, pop down! They’re so relaxed and as long as you buy your drink there, you can eat your own food. Grab a book, grab a game, or just people watch. It almost makes packed lunches seem cool again, right?

In Summer, it’s the best place to just sit in the garden, drink, read, whatever tickles your fancy, and just embrace the lovely city of Norwich.

The incredible music

If you’re lucky, you’ll go along and the Playhouse will have a guest DJ present for those week nights (and sometimes weekends) when you want to be around some well-mixed music without having several drunken bodies swaying against you.

The lovely staff

All the bar staff seem to have been so lovingly hand-picked to provide the most friendly bar experience in Norwich. Each showcasing their outstanding fashion choices, it’s easy to feel comfortable around here from the start.

The inspiring interior

The interior of the bar has always been the coolest, and since the refurb it has got impossibly better. Let’s start with the notorious cardboard city. My first question is, how did someone get that up there without completely ruining their neck and experiencing potential vertigo?!

But seriously, it would be easy to spend hours looking at all the details from the Ferris Wheel to the giant Polo mint structure hanging below. There is also now the addition of the glass topped bar with several figurines underneath, which provides much entertainment whilst you wait for your drink to be served. Plus, we can’t forget about the fish tank. A fish tank! In a bar!

The chilled exterior

Whether you enjoy the shivers in winter or the rays of summer, the outside area is the place to be. Getting cold? Pop to the bar for a hot water bottle or blanket. Each bench has been painted by incredibly talented illustrators and the joy of sitting on your favourite bench (the pineapple one for me) provides a childlike glee. Add this to the colourful fairy lights all around the garden and the whole atmosphere feels so warm and magical.

The range of drinks

We can’t really talk about a bar without discussing the drinks, can we? There is a really surprising range of drinks on offer, whether you want to class up those Tequila shots with a bit of 1800 Gold, drink your favourite local brews, Aspall’s and Redwell, or even a juice from a crazy selection for you non-drinkers/hungover folk, this place has something for everyone. They are really well priced and it makes me sad now when I go to visit my family back home and can’t get a good old Aspall’s.

If this all hasn’t convinced you, then just head down yourself and see what all the fuss is about! Open until midnight every night, you’d be a fool not to visit.

University of East Anglia