It’s time to vote for your favourite smoking area in Southampton!

Are you even a uni student if you don’t become a chain-smoker on a night out?

This is an important part of every student’s night out, whether that’s because it offers somewhere to take a breather after too much overenthusiastic dancing, a place to make new friends by offering out a few cigs or an opportunity to choke through a cigarette because “you’ve had a few drinks and now you’re really craving one”. It’s time to take your pick and decide on Southampton’s best smoking area!

Sobar

The social one.

Sobar is famous for two things: ‘quadvods’ and a massive smoking area which everyone runs to, desperately trying to escape the small, overcrowded and unair-conditioned dance floor . This is the perfect social hub as it features benches and tables, a covered roof and its own bar! It also has a balcony and huge staircase so you can scan out those people you see every Tuesday night but desperately try to avoid in sober daylight. Cons: the very long, slippery iron staircase. We are all guilty of needing unbearable amounts of concentration to ensure we make it to the bottom alive, praying not to be that person who is watched by everyone, as they descend the whole thing solely on their arse.

“Hey! Haven’t seen you in ages”

Switch

The disappointment.

Switch is one of Southampton’s most popular clubs, especially after its new renovation and construction of “The Bunker”. However, their smoking area remains just as cramped and uncomfortable as before, even if it has got a big, shiny new sign. As Switch is one of Southampton’s biggest clubs, with dancers, lasers and a bouncy castle, students go to the smoking area with high expectations. Unfortunately, it is small and uncovered, making it a very cold and wet experience for 80% of the year. If you’re the one person in the group who actually smokes, you’ll probably have to do it alone. Pros of this smoking area: it’s part of Switch.

“Can we go inside? I’m cold.”

Cafe Parfait

The shisha den.

Parfait’s smoking area, like the club, is small and always packed. It has seating areas, shisha pipes and a ceiling of fairy lights so you can lie back, smoke shisha with your friends and pretend you’re watching the stars. This can easily be considered the prettiest smoking area and always stays fairly warm because of its size. Just like Sobar it’s a great place to socialise, however, this is because you’re basically sat on each other’s laps. Cons of Parfait smoking area: there’s always a fight to find somewhere to sit and once you’re there, your chances of pushing back through the crowd are near impossible.

“Sorry, can I just squeeze in?”

The Edge

The one with the burger stand.

The Edge is famous for being Southampton’s only gay nightclub and having a smoking area that just keeps on giving. Not only is it completely under cover with a fully stocked bar, it also has a built-in food stall – “Rosie’s Diner”, preventing the 2:55am rush to subway because your post-night out meal is right at your fingertips. Cons of The Edge smoking area: there are loads of tables but rarely any chairs, so you’ll have to smoke and eat your burger standing up.

Can anyone else smell burgers?

Junk

Basically just a seating area.

Junk is famous for being one of the South-Coast’s best clubs for underground music, playing alternative dance, meaning the smoking area becomes more of a place to relax and put your feet up. Can it really be considered a smoking area? It’s more like a barricaded section of the street and, therefore, as you’re directed there, you’ll question “have I just been kicked out?”. As a junk smoker, you can rely on the strange looks and, sometimes, offers of loose change from the passing public, as from an outsider’s point of view, this smoking area looks like a shelter for homeless students, trying to find a place to sleep. Cons of smoking area: it is impossible to sneak drinks out as there’s nowhere to hide!

“I don’t want to go home yet!”

Jesters

The f***ed up one.

Jesters’ smoking area is a perfect reflection of the club –  it’s hard to tell whether you’re in a smoking area, a stranger’s house party or someone’s garage. Again, it is hugely oversized in comparison to the club, but unlike Sobar, it rarely fills up – perhaps because being there for too long makes everyone feel a bit uncomfortable. Cons of Jesters’ smoking area (or perhaps not, as some people find this very entertaining): one of the seating areas is directly in front of the boys’ and girls’ toilets, neither of which have doors, so you can watch people doing their business while enjoying a fag – classy!

“Why’s everything so sticky?”

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