It was totally deserted at 8pm on Thursday night. There are certainly no Bridgegoers in this tragically peaceful haven of cobbled stones and cottage accommodation. We later discovered where the party was, however, as from the bar we spied the library filled to the brim with sexless bleary-eyed postgrads.
Our first impression was one of disgust, as we glowered at the B&Q outdoor garden furniture, tacky plastic sofas and off ensive crimson walls. The criminal choice of paint might have been forgivable if Green Templeton’s college colour wasn’t, unsurprisingly, green. The red radiator only adds insult to an outright injury.
At one end lies a hollow space that probably used to hold a TV; now there lies nought but an empty cubby hole with plug sockets. Screaming in a hollow and empty voice, it invites the College once again to liven up the study breaks of its students with re-runs of Cash in the Attic.The industrial furniture has clearly been selected to survive being trashed by rowdy students, although of course no one in Green Templeton ever gets remotely disruptive.
The bar is also home to a questionable vanity mirror set-up, where rather than talking to their peers, students are encouraged to stare at themselves as they sip their vodka soda-and-limes, perhaps inducing narcissistic thoughts and existential crises. The mirrors really do create a horribly sad atmosphere, as they attempt to suggest the bar is much fuller than it is.
And then the artwork. If you like irrelevant geometry and constellations that look like enlarged pictures from your GCSE science textbook, you’ll really dig this style. Apart from their weirdly crested GTC paper cups, there is absolutely nothing to affiliate this bar with Green Templeton, and it’s totally soulless. The beams, also painted red, are in desperate need of an oar or two to create some college spirit. The vibe reeks of a hostel in continental Europe, and is totally uninspiring.
Having three college drinks in an empty bar is an impressive show of audacity. They also have a fantastic array of spirits and bottles of better-than-average Spanish red wine stashed behind the bar, and cheap prices are presumably subsidized in a desperate attempt to lure these hard-working folk into a social arena. As we sipped on the Basilisk, their other college drink, we reflected on the Slytherin vibe of this hellhole, and half-expected Crabbe, Goyle or Mrs Norris to slope their way in. They didn’t, however, and we were left to enjoy our Blue Curacao cocktail in peace.