Average drink price: £3
I was, I think, desperate to be impressed by The Parish’s converted 14th century church. Imagine my disappointment then when, having been waved through by the supercilious bouncer, I was assaulted by thumping dance music so loud that I barely caught my boyfriend’s suggestion to get a drink. Moving in to the nave, I could not help admiring the building, its high arches swooping gracefully to the exposed rafters above. But the effect is spoiled by tacky primary-coloured spot lighting, which leaves the peripheries of the room in near-darkness. Unable to hear a thing, we moved over to a table, where we sat sipping our two-for-£6 cocktails, feeling, all the while, faintly sacrilegious for drinking in a church.
The Parish is a confused bar/club hybrid. The main dancefloor was populated by non-students, drinking and shouting in each other’s ears. But opposite me, on the far side of the room, was an array of sofas on which people were attempting quiet conversation. I felt let down: after all, the idea has so much potential. Exchange the dance music for chillout, the fussy plastic chandeliers for cool, modern lighting, and you could be on to something good. As it is, The Parish is an unfortunate example of misapplied ingenuity, missing its niche and pandering instead to the mainstream.