Dusk is the type of place which will always sit near the top of the list for a weekday bar crawl, sitting somewhere between upmarket Evil Eye and piss-stained Stone Roses bar in terms of price and general griminess, its cocktail menu is perfect for getting the juices flowing.
Monday to Thursday, their concoctions are 2-4-1 with a student card. They are, however, two-of-the-same-for-one (not as catchy…) which means you have to buy tactically if you don’t want flavour overkill: pair up and swap. Most of the cocktails on offer are on the sugary side so they’re ideal for those of you with a sweet tooth but there are some more bitter tastes to sup: the ‘Jack Bauer’ features a good neck of Guinness.
It takes time to get familiar with the cryptic cocktail names which use celebrity names for your standard line-up. Some are fairly intuitive (the Phil Collins is just an Elderflower Collins, etc.), others less so. It’s annoying when you’re first there but there’s a novelty in waiting on an uncertain order. And once you’ve got the menu nailed, you feel like a boss.
Never visit in the day. What looks quirky (and a fantastic photo backdrop for all you happy snappers) by night becomes a malibu streaked mirror in which your past and future sins are reflected during GMT daytime. Plus, the food is crap. Pop to Bluefly next door for a coffee, and decent outside seating.
Finally, never underestimate the power and allure of their student wine offer. £8 or so for a bottle provides you with the perfect drinking companion which can again be split (or spilt) between two following an armful of cocktails. Your mother may have told you never to mix your vices but I have found the combination of gin, vodka and Dusk red wine results in a lovely pink-tinged Willow experience, Lucy in the Sky can eat her heart out.
The music’s loud. Like really loud. You’re going to end up shouting a lot. Your poor strangled vocal chords will feel like an overplayed lyre fraying as you glug your morning coffee.
So Dusk is the go-to place whether you’re looking for a place to pre-drink before a club, or a seat to hold fast for the night when you’re not fully “on it”. Either way, make sure you’ve got a decent-sized water bottle to take to your seminar the next day.