Step back in time at Bar Ruelle!

Warning! One off lengthy blog! in the words of the Mighty Miranda, bear with! Also, no friends have been harmed in the writing of this. I've remained civilised and anonymous throughout!

I only went in for a coffee and ordered a gin and tonic! When I last visited, it was a cafe! I even ordered a coffee, then saw the line of different gins calling me. Well, they had my fave - Whitley Neill Rhubarb and ginger with Aromatic tonic. I'm a bit of a gin snob now with my matching tonics! I  never use the whole tonic though as it takes away from the taste of good gin. There were crisps and nuts on the bar, which was a lovely touch but we all know the myth about nuts on a bar! I told the new owner of this fab cafe/bar that I loved gin before it was in fashion and she agreed. I remembered the good old Gordon's and original tonic always settled my palette after an evening of mixing drinks. I sat sipping my gin, listening to Champagne Supernova and ideas started forming for a new blog.

Suddenly, all the different pubs and drinks came back to me in a rush! By now Robbie Williams was playing. Probably not the best act to follow Oasis and not his best song, Let me entertain you. you'd do that by turning the song off! My fave is Love Supreme. Anyway, I started thinking about the pub crawls of my youth and felt the need to share. It was mainly Barnsley we frequented. Sometimes we'd venture to Sheffield and Wakefield or York for a hen night and always loved it but Barnsley was just great! We'd sometimes have a trip up to Tivolis in Rotherham. What a night that was!
We'd have our different nights set out starting with Wednesday Student night at The Whispers, my fave night club ever. A pound a pint! I still remember drinking Snakebites and Green Monsters, walking around with my British Heart Foundation clothes and my red dockers! We'd be on the dancefloor for most of the night to The Smiths, The Cure, Nirvana and Radiohead. I'd always see my friend from college and when she had her 40th party, we danced all night to the 90s tunes but were blooming shattered at the end of it!

Thursdays were hit and miss and sometimes ended up at The Burntwood. It was fab here! I just remember dancing then all of a sudden women would start screaming and running to one side. Apparently there were strippers but I never got a glimpse. All I saw were giddy women in their forties, picking up their handbags and running for it! That would be my friends and I now! My friend and I were the same size back then and poor students so shared in buying a dress from Oasis. It was gorgeous in black and white with a bolero jacket to match. We had to plan out who was having it when and I remember wearing it to the Burntwood, feeling like something out of a Danielle Steele novel! We are both not the same size now, if you were wondering! Fridays and Saturdays were back into town. Fridays with the girls and Saturdays as couples. How did we do it? Every weekend? Some Fridays I'd stay at my friend's house and we'd drink Lambrusco whilst watching Graham Norton and Eurotrash! What an education that was! We both wore Angel perfume and when I wear it now, I'm back being that carefree 19 year old. For a few minutes anyway! Some Tuesdays and Sundays in the summer, we'd go to the Old Post Office at Haigh. Loved it there. I did do college work. Honest! I worked at a fast food place too and we'd get ready at 11 o'clock, smelling of chip fat and be in the night club, then Hedonism at ten past 11! The actual miracle was getting up and being on shift to serve hash browns at 7am the next morning!
Friends say I have such a detailed memory of the past and that's true. I can remember the pub routes and the alarmingly different drinks far too well! I was reminiscing with some lovely friends the other day about the 90s drinks. We loved our pub route and knew we'd meet friends in the same pub each week. We sometimes started at Dolly's to meet friends getting off the bus. I loved the student Draycotts, Brown's and O'Neills and would have my half of Caffreys there. Yate's Wine Lodge was a must. We only danced on the pole in York though. Barnsley was a bit too near to home! Wellington Street was amazing back then. We always aimed to be at The Corner Pin for 9 o'clock. You knew you were on time if the Manics were blaring out on MTV as you walked in! We loved Silvers, later Tut n Shive also. The 90s music was brill and I loved the Grunge scene but also the Brit pop. I loved Oasis, Blur and Pulp especially. Also, the Manics, the Phonics and The Verve. So much good music in all the pubs.

Onto Chennel's, where we always sang Paradise by the Dashboard Light in the most dramatic way ever! We never realised pubs had sticky carpets till we revisited 30 years on and pretty sober! We were also very prim using the Ladies separately! Rewind 30 years and we all piled in! And toilet paper? We were all very versatile and flexible in those days, fishing out a tissue or receipt from our bags. Now? I hold it and wait till I get home!
Who could forget Bodegas? Their Double Rum and Cokes? I could not stomach the Choccabombs! They were nearly as strong as the Mad Dog 20/20s at The Wine Bar! I always stuck to the strawberry one. If you have not visited the Wine Bar and danced on the tables to Grease Summer Lovin', you haven't lived! I once won a Dirty Dancing competition at The Whispers. Apparently, my moves were ace but I did regret the white pants and the black tights faux pas! You know when you have to keep pulling your gusset up? Great memory!
I can't forget The Theatre either! We loved the live bands here and ended up dancing on the stage with one of the bands one night. I've obviously missed my calling as a dancer! We loved The Radical and Liberal Club where you paid 50p for a raffle ticket to enter. I'd always have a Cherry B and lose on the game, Ducky Fuzz!

The fast food places were fab too but my fave has to be K2 for delicious onion bhajis.
There are so many more memories of later night clubs and pubs. I did love Chicago Rock and Hedonism, dancing to Underworld's Born Slippy. Wherever I was, when I heard Walking on Sunshine, we hit the dancefloor! Also, the night clubs pre Whispers like Rebecca's and Visions, in my Brosette days with my Grolsch bottle tops! Maybe they are for another blog?
We'd also go for meals at Pinnochios and feel all grown up ordering wine instead of our normal Hooch! We still go there now. In fact that is a night out. Night's out now are centred around a sit down meal, emphasis on the word sit! We are then in two minds whether to call it a night and sneak home for cocoa whilst catching up on the latest bbc/itv drama or carry on and not be party poopers. On the very odd night out now, the slippers and hot cocoa win every time! I love Chillis too and had my 30th, then 40th meal there. On my 30th our drinks bill was more than our food, thanks to the sambucca Slippery Nipples!
I can't end this blog without the memory of getting ready for your night out. That was definitely a huge part of it! We'd get ready at each other's houses, yet I was always drawn to my best friend's! I wonder why? Possibly, her big brother but who knows! We'd sip Alcopops and try each other's tops on, listening to Let Loose and Extreme. Crazy, Crazy for you!

Oh good. Blur and Parklife have just been on the radio. I love the dirty pigeons bit. Folowed by The Farm's Altogether Now. Right 90s soundtrack to accompany my blog! Blondie's Atomic has just come on the radio. A great song to end the blog on. This cafe bar up Regent Street South is lovely in Barnsley. It does tapas and pub grub too for next time.


  1. Great Memories - a trip back in time !!!!

  2. Great stories. Lovely memories.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Live the Pooh way

Bookshop Love

A breath of fresh air