Well, last week I told you I was in love with Univ. This week I’m afraid to report I’m still monogamous, after what I felt was a rather disappointing trip to St Catz. On Monday, a disastrous power cut meant that the bar review team had to stop chain-watching Golden Girls on video, put down our knitting and venture to the wastelands of the East. Here, we found the long forgotten St Catherine’s (shortened to St Catz in an attempt to pretend their aesthetic isn’t stuck in the 60s) and, naturally, checked out their bar.
All we wanted was electricity and booze, but when I strolled confidently up to the modern bar and asked for a double vodka n’ coke, the friendly barman requested a Catz Bod Card. I grumbled something about leaving it at home, to which he replied, “No problem, that’ll be £7 please.” £7?! My jaw hit the floor. Gasping for air I reordered a pint of their cheapest larger, itself £3.85, and slumped down, shocked and confused. It seems to get the standard college bar prices one needs to pay with a Catz Bod Card, otherwise it’s double the price. What the fuck is that? It’s one thing to hike up the prices outside of term to screw the conference guests, but this is something else entirely. Thankfully, at least one member of our group knew at least one of Catz’ 779 undergraduates, and as Catz students never have anything better to do, we managed to convince one to come buy us drinks. Having to piss around with change in order to pay him back was a bit of an inconvenience, but as pints were now around £1.80 I was distinctly less furious. We felt bad about forcing the aforementioned Catz friend from his essay, and for constantly sending him to the bar on our behalf, but it was almost like having a personal waiter.
Their bar has a pleasant open feel, with the seating organised sociably in wide circles. A first-rate sound system pumped edgy tunage at just the right volume all night. The toilets are gender neutral, clean, and snazzy as hell. It was also impressively busy for a Monday night, and we were informed that their 500 capacity bops (sorry, “entz-es”) are not to be missed.
The drinks choice is impressive for a college bar, particularly the non-alcoholic options (though we can’t claim to have sampled these) and mixers. Which mixers were best was left to our own imaginations, as there was no cocktail menu, whilst our choice of gin with elderflower was a lovely rarity and Hoegaarden on tap was a nice surprise. Drinks were served in plastic glasses which, while a small complaint, really grated with me. My drunken compatriots didn’t care. The signature drink, a Catztail, was just Spoons’ Cheeky V; a sweet but tasteless mix of WKD and port. The price was more impressive than the creativity.
If (and only if) you’re a Catz student with a well-stocked Bod Card, or have a Catz friend, this is an ideal place to spend the night.