Which is Bristol’s best smoking area? Vote now
This is important
Bristol, a place where more people smoke than eat. You literally can't have a rollie without somebody asking you for one, and the most common phrase 'has anybody got a lighter I can use?' is heard at least five times a day. Through this need of nicotine a community of sharing, understanding and sympathy is built. With this, and much deliberation, we have narrowed down some of Bristol's finest clubs to decide what really matters in life, what smoking area is truly the best? Have your say now.
Blue Mountain smokers, a fresher’s safe haven. This smoking area will quickly become your second home, you will spend more time here than actually listening to the music you paid £5 entry for. As you clamber up the hellish stairs without the whole world seeing your arse, all you seek is a ciggy and an hour’s chat with a complete randomer, otherwise known as your new best mate. Just getting to this smoking area is an experience in itself, as you file through the hundreds of wreckheads, you’re pleasantly screened by the greenest of green lights that you actually forget where you are.
You made it outside. Can’t seem to make a friend? No problem! Just ask for a riz or filter, it’s a sure way to start a conversation with the person you've had your eye on skanking downstairs. Comfort levels are at an all-time high in this luxurious smoker’s paradise, supplying guests with a century old sofa at the back. With enough room for at least 4 people, a K hole with friends has never felt so good.
Although Lakota's smoking area can be a bit hit and miss, especially when the vast majority of it is closed off, it's actually a very decent smoking area. It has everything you want: people chundering in the corner, roadmen with their ralphy bumbags slung across their bodies asking if anyone wants to buy their last pill, and of course, the creepy, slightly older looking guys who just can't quite understand why you don't want to talk to them. If it's not raining while you're here you're all good, but if it is then the place to be is under the little shelter where they sometimes have a jerk chicken BBQ going, classic.
It's pretty much just a free for all on the floor, everybody sits around the edges of the car park/playground whatever it actually is during the daytime (yes I have once seen children playing there).Even though it may not be the classiest of places to sit and ride out your gurn, it's ours, and it's actually never felt so good when you're sucking on the soggy rollie in the arms of your friend next to you.
Considering how busy it gets, there is surprisingly always quite a lot of room for you to lay down and hide away from the sweaty, crowded skankathon inside, and really what else can you expect from Lakota? With so much to offer on the inside, just stick to the basics outside. Simple really is effective.
Home of the fresh faced. Thekla’s smoking area is the breeding ground of fresher’s who’ve never touched a cigarette before in their life. An equal mix of UoB and UWE students alike, the general atmosphere is friendly and unthreatening.
You scan the smoking area and observe the various groups of people scattered across the deck. There will always be a handful of dazed looking Thekla Thursday goers who are simultaneously trying to balance a can of Red Stripe whilst lighting a cigarette the wrong way round. So wholesome and pure. Undoubtedly, you’ll have a group of freshers amble into you and your friends, making brash, amicable chitchat about what you’re studying and what halls you’re in. Their eyes light up as they see you pull out that naughty pack of cigs, and they’re suddenly filled with an eager incline that convinces them they’re smokers. “Do you mind if i pinch a cig? I’ve just ran out ahaha”.
The Thekla smoking deck is one of boisterousness and excitability. You’ll never feel alone because everyone is simply just loving life with open arms, ready to chuck a spare cig your way.
The tranquil water view, the abandoned tiki bar, the rustic lights setting the perfect scene for you to pick up your jaw and close your eyes as you melt to floor with the naïve newbies puking in the corner. Motion's smoking areas will have you making some of the best memories you'll never remember.
The deep psychoanalytic talks, the distant city lights, the glittery wavy garms and the sudden realization of how fucked you actually are sinking in, you know you've lost your head when you actually give away your lighter and still expect to get it back.
From the random geezers, who are always on their own with their jaws on the floor speaking to you like they've known you for years, to the girls sat on the decking with adidas jackets asking if you have any chewing gum while they cling to their bottle of water like Gollum with the ring.
To the uncomfortable cobbled road leading to the taxis where they are waiting for the faint hearted to be carried out by security. Motion smoking area is one of those places where you have the time of your life and make life long sesh buddies, give yourself the worst smokers cough and everybody comes together as one. Motion, you are always a winner in my eyes.
The Love Inn
If you're looking for that ‘hump day hype’ the chances of you strolling into The Love Inn, on a Wednesday night, oblivious to tomorrow's 9am is almost certain.
You'll eye up the event a few hours before opening, realise a good percentage of your matey's are interested and that's it. You're set. Give it ten minutes inside until your best mate hits you with the “fag?”, but don't expect this to be a quick matter. Before reaching outside you will enter a weird ‘mid-way’ room where a scary looking bouncer will be controlling the disorderly queue with his tally counter. After arguing with the person behind you, a 15 minute wait and actually contemplating whether to give up smoking, you've finally made it through.
After congratulating yourself for making your way past, you'll enter the elegant garden of The Love Inn. You will receive your fix of fresh air here if that’s all you were going for. The lights, wall art and six man tables (which tend to fit about 14) offer you an ideal interval from your crazy night. With it being just as snug outside as inside, this is up there in the smoking areas from heaven.
The Black Swan
An unspoken treasure. This is not just a smoking area, this is bonfire night, trainspotting and a burger and chip shop all rolled into one. Here you will find trollies, your best mate that you lost as soon as you walked through the door and utter skat.
When the music gets too much because it is literally making all of your internal organs shake just take yourself outside, I can assure you you definitely won’t be short of a seat. It’s kitted out with enough furniture to run IKEA out of business, they’ve got benches, chairs, tables, bed frames (yeah I know) you name it.
The Black Swan is your favourite worst nightmare, located on the infamous Stapleton Road, you’re never quite sure if you’re gonna make it out the same person as you went in as. Inside, you fear death, chunder, and burst ear drums. Outside you seek refuge, a fag and the strength to continue the sesh.
The Full Moon / Attic Bar
This is the mother of all smoking areas with an abundance of benches to cater for not one but two clubs that live next to each other. As winter approaches and the cold, dark, wet nights draw closer, Full moon and Attic bar have fully catered for the infamous British weather needs with a shelter (a fucking massive one too). No soggy cigs for you my friend.
Located in the heart of the cultural hub that is Stokes Croft, this smoking area is one of the largest, and dedicated smokers are left fully satisfied knowing that rollie isn't going to get wet. As if the shelter isn't enough, they have a drinks bar outside so you barely have to move to get another pint, and there is a noodle bar just in case you get a little peckish in between dances, and who doesn’t love being able to stuff your face midway through the night.
On a Friday and Saturday at it's busiest time, this courtyard is full of Bristol's most weird and wonderful characters all together in the smoking area as one. What a treat!