U Going Smokeys? A guide to clubbing in Maidenhead

An informative guide to clubbing in Theresa May’s parliamentary constituency


During Fresher's Week, I was hit by the harsh realities of 'real' clubbing. I came to realise that a vodka and coke in Brighton was about the cost of a 3 course meal for 2 back home, and it turns out that some people actually care about their appearance when they go out. I quickly learnt that clubbing in Maidenhead is actually quite shit.

Maidenhead is a town caught in between. Geographically, it is situated between Slough and Windsor, the former being known as the place The Office is set and containing Europe's biggest trading estate, the latter being home to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's favourite residence. Maidenhead isn't horrible, it's just not nice. And that is a pretty accurate summary of what a night out in Maidenhead is like.

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Not shit but not great

Maidenhead is home to one of Berkshire's biggest rivalries. Forget Tupac Vs Biggie or Taylor Vs Kanye, the only rivalry on the lips of Maidenhead kids is Cocos Vs Smokeys.

Coco Bar

Coco Bar is, to an outsider, a club to avoid. The kind of club where your feet stick to the ground because the floor hasn't been cleaned since 2012; The kind of club which is the about the size of a corner shop. Agreed, the toilets are so small that you simply have to turn 45 degrees away from the urinal to wash your hands, and yes it's so basic they can't even fully describe it as a 'club', merely a bar. Coco's isn't going to win any awards soon.

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However, I dare you to have a bad time in that tacky little club. The music is a perfect mix between current music and tracks of the past. Moreover, I can go to Coco's with the full assurance that most of the people in there will be people that I know. The inside is a who's who of the Windsor and Maidenhead local area. Is there any greater moment than meeting some randomer you haven't seen since Year 6 and drunkenly letting them know how much you've missed them since primary school? If you don't know everyone on your first visit, you sure as heck will when you return because those who Coco, Coco every Friday without fail.

You say too small to move, I say too small to lose your friends. You say tacky, I say cheap! Which is perhaps the greatest selling point for Coco Bar. For those familiar with Spoon's infamous 2 for £12 Pitchers deal, Coco Bar will simply be a home away from home for you.

Smokeys

But, of course, as the Parliamentary constituency of our dear Prime Minister, Maidenhead has a (slightly) classier option in the form of Smokeys. Compared to Coco, Smokeys is the Taj Mahal of the clubbing world, with its multiple rooms and the fact it's actually a club. However, when one steps outside the sphere of Maidenhead, it is, in reality, not that great.

The clientele of Smokey's differs significantly to that of Cocos. Cocos people are people who do not fear judgement, who are merely looking to get as drunk as possible for as cheap as possible. Smokeys, on the other hand, is jam-packed with average looking 'lads' who think they're basically male models, with fully buttoned Superdry shirts, skinny jeans, and that haircut that every basic straight boy has. You know the one.

The club is cramped. You'll find yourself being pressed up against the (slightly unnecessary) LED light wall which is a key emblem of Smokeys, or feeling like a battery hen in the smoking area. And I would strongly argue that the DJs play way too much Ed Sheeran for any club that boasts an ability to provide a 'great night out'. I also once had to queue for an hour and a half on the last Wednesday of summer because of the sheer number of Berkshire kids with nothing else to do (And it was on this day that I witnessed a guy piss into a bottle not 3 feet away from me. Smokey's isn't quite as classy as you might expect).

Never a dull night at smokies! Featuring a randomer?

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However, Smokeys, like Cocos, has its positives. It is actually quite a nicely decorated club and avoids tacky tropes such as a light-up dance floor. Also, the DJs tend to avoid yelling 'ARE YOU HAVING A GOOD TIME?' at the start of every single song. More often than not you will have a good time in this club.

Which is better?

So, which will provide a better night out, Cocos or Smokeys? They both have their positives and negatives, and if you're willing to pay the extortionate surge prices that Maidenhead Ubers seem to think is acceptable to charge (once had to pay £45 for a 10 minute journey), then either will provide a decent night out, provided you've had enough to drink beforehand. If you want class, go to Smokeys. If you want to lose any inhibitions and self respect you have whilst having a sick time, go to Cocos. But with the arrival of a new club in town, who knows what the future will hold for Smokeys and Cocos?

(P.S. I would choose Cocos ANYDAY. 2 for £12 Pitchers? I think yes)

@_northwood