Most of the holidays and other exciting things I’ve done over the last few years have been thought of and decided on with a cocktail or two on board. If something seems like a good idea in a bar, in the dark, noisy, alcohol-fuelled conditions a bar provides, then chances are it is a good idea and should wholeheartedly be followed, before a more sober head might intervene and cast doubt on said good idea.
This weekend was no different. What a fantastic Saturday evening – no real plans other than to try out a new bar and to see where the night ended. The afternoon was spent at home, with a very relaxed, leisurely pampering session, with lotions and potions galore, make up being carefully applied, and hair straightened and curled until it was just right, all with a glass of vino in hand. Eventually, we were done, ready, evening bag sorted and an Uber man en route to collect two happy girls.
The plan was to go to Be At One bar in Nottingham. Apparently this has been around for a few months but I have no recollection of ever seeing it or hearing about it (I’m told it’s been discussed with me many a time…). I didn’t even know where it was, but when Mr Uber dropped us nearby, I realised I’d been before twice, before it was taken over as Be At One. It was about 6pm, midway through Happy Hour, and we thought our chances of finding a seat would be slim, however luck must have been on our side as we found a table straight away. Happy Hour there consists of 2for1 on all cocktails, as long as the two drinks are the same. Not a problem for us – to avoid having to trawl through sticky cocktail menus we always arrive somewhere armed with our first order – pornstar martinis, our favourite. I went to queue at the bar, and within seconds the barmaid had smiled at me, and told me she would be with me next when she’d finished what she was making for someone else. I was impressed – bar staff don’t usually acknowledge someone waiting in the queue – it’s usually hard enough getting served full stop!
So, not very long after arriving in the bar, I was carrying four carefully made (and very much free-poured – no skimping on the measures here!) pornstar martinis back to our little table with the accompanying four little shot glasses of prosecco. The drinks were good – really good – and went down much too easily. The benefit of them going down so effortlessly was that there was just time to get a second round in before happy hour ended, although trying to decide what to drink next was a struggle, from the extensive and interesting looking menu. Eventually, we decided on a cherry cocktail, the Jackpot, which was bright pink and deliciously strong, and a Cointreau Fizz – passion fruit, Cointreau and champagne, which weirdly worked, really quite nicely. By the time the cocktails had gone down, we moved onto shorts – Hendricks gin served properly with cucumber, and Kraken rum. A bar that serves either of these, especially with cucumber in the gin, is pretty good in my book, so finding a bar that does both, is pretty much unheard of and made for two happy girls! The bar staff were great, and reading the menu it said each one had been professionally trained, at a cost of £5000 per staff member, and each knows all of the 150 drinks by heart – quite impressive when each drink is so detailed and different to your standard cocktail bar.
By this time the holiday-making thought processes in our two blonde brains were definitely working well. We had been excitedly talking about festivals for a while, and as well as our usual group outing to Y Not in Derbyshire, we were planning to branch out and try a slightly different one this year, Latitude, which is a mixture of music, theatre, and dance, with the added bonus of Mumford & Sons headlining. However, deep-seated in our festival hearts is V Festival, both having been twice before, always having an amazing time knee deep in mud and piss wet through in soaking, driving rain. The lineup this year is not quite as exciting as we’d hoped it might be (but a million times better than last year’s Rihanna and Justin bloody Bieber, which we absolutely couldn’t cope with, not being 18 year old Beliebers), but Pink, Pete Tong, Rudimental, Jess Glynne, George Ezra…. it certainly could be a lot worse. Oh, and Ellie Goulding is going to be there, who was probably the most surprising act last time we went, when we were literally soaked to the skin as it poured with rain, and we sang and sang without a care in the world, covered in neon paint.
The biggest drawback about going to V, without a doubt, is the mammoth trek from the car park to the horribly overcrowded hilly campsites, all whilst laden down with everything but the kitchen sink (or, realistically, including the kitchen sink…), then having to pitch the tent and get everything inside before it starts raining. So, brains by this time being totally logical, we decided on the only sensible option – V Style camping – basically staying in a (canvas) hotel with luggage porters, showers, real toilets and a hair straightening tent. Obviously, completely sensible. Not silly at all, just totally good solid logic. And the glitter for our faces has obviously already been bought – again, a very sensible, well-thought out plan. I wonder which will arrive first – the glitter or the tickets?! Oh god, this summer is shaping up to be fantastic!