When I turned 18, I was out in Leeds nearly every weekend, and nearly every weekend was the same story. I have come to realise that I hate the feeling of being drunk, particularly because I like to feel in control of my body and when I am not it makes me super anxious. So, whenever I could feel myself heading into the ‘blackout drunk’ stage I would take myself home to my safe, warm, and cosy bed, yet it wasn’t as safe as it seemed.
Throughout the past few years, I have thrown up in my sleep countless times, with no memory of it occurring. Although I knew the dangers of this and was fully aware that I could choke in my sleep and potentially die, there were so many times when I had gone to sleep feeling somewhat fine, so I could not understand why it was happening so frequently.
Despite the frequent occurrence of what I now understand was alcohol overdose, I continued to drink excessive amounts in a short space of time. It’s also cost me a small fortune having to constantly replace duvets, bedding, pillows etc.
Before I share with you what I know now and how you can prevent this from happening, I want to highlight my most worrying experience of alcohol overdose which was during a girl’s holiday in Zante. As you’re probably aware, these kinds of holidays are centred around excessive drinking, and drinking to ‘get drunk’.
One night we paid for a 3-hour unlimited bar, and of course I wanted to get my monies worth. After the 3 hours were up we went to the next club and I knew I was on the verge of blacking out, so it was time for me to go to bed and ‘sleep it off’. My friend kindly walked me back to the hotel and the next thing I remember was waking up very confused and seeing sick on the floor.
Pretty much every time this has happened I have still been drunk when I’ve woke up, so I’ve somehow managed to find light in the situation and laugh it off. I guess it’s one of those things where if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.
Anyway, after having a conversation with one of my friends (who usually stayed out until the early hours) she told me she came back to the hotel not long after me, and for some reason got a taxi home (it was only a 15-minute walk). This friend was also staying in a different room to me and for some reason she didn’t have her room key, she had my second one.
She said she could hear me choking from outside the room, and when she opened the door she saw me laid on my back, foaming at the mouth and choking on my sick. Luckily, she was there to turn me onto my side, so I could throw up all the pasta I had eaten a few hours before, and considering the strange coincidences, I’m lucky to be alive to tell the tale.
You’d think this would’ve stopped me from binge drinking again, but it didn’t. Since then, I have unknowingly thrown up in my sleep multiple times, but after gaining an interest in reading books on alcohol and experiencing life in lockdown without these kinds of nights out, I’ve become more aware of the causes and effects of alcohol overdose, and I’ve realised how good life is to feel ‘fresh’ every day. I will never allow myself to get into those states again.
Even after you’ve finished drinking your last drink, your alcohol levels continue to rise. There have clearly been many times when I’ve gone home feeling relatively stable, yet unaware that my alcohol levels are rising, causing me to ‘blackout’ in my sleep. Alcohol also hinders the signals in your brain that trigger your gag reflexes, and this can be fatal for obvious reasons.
If you know you have a ‘low tolerance’ to alcohol, then make it known to the people you’re drinking with.
Your age, gender, weight, height, medication, and food intake are just a few of the factors that impact your tolerance levels. So, as a 5 ft 1 women weighing just over 100 pounds, my tolerance to alcohol is understandably going to be much lower than your average persons, and this is something I would encourage you to consider when trying to ‘keep up’ with your peers.
I’ve always felt that people would perceive me as ‘boring’ if I didn’t drink. If you want to wake up in the morning with no regrets that doesn’t make you boring, just sensible, and more people need to realise this.
Even though alcohol is a poisonous drug, people advise us to get to know our limits, but we all have different tolerances to alcohol and our ‘limit’ is dependent on so many factors, making it difficult to do so. So, try not to bow down to the pressure of having to keep up with everyone else and instead keep it steady.
Reducing your alcohol consumption is an effective form of self-care, it improves everything from our finances to our physical and mental health.
Whilst waking up to find yourself in a pool of your own sick is most definitely the least glamorous part of a night out, it could also be the most dangerous.
Be aware of the risks, take it steady, live in the moment, make memories, and look after yourself and others.
Meet some of our volunteers and hear what their tips are to have a night with no regrets and a great next day.
Lockdown is tough and it’s only made tougher by the hangover the day after the night before. But you don’t have to spend your nights drinking with mates over Zoom or stuck in the house drinking out of boredom. Why not try out some new things to pass the time and have you feeling fine?
Whether it’s a sea shanty or the Junebug challenge, Tik Tok has plenty of videos to watch and challenges to join in on
The shops are closed and you’re fed up of couriers leaving your parcels in your bin. Why not raid your wardrobe for the clothes you haven’t worn in a while and show off your masterpieces on Instagram.
Always wanted to play guitar but been putting it off? Now is as good a time as any to take on that challenge.
Lockdown and drinking less may be hard but don’t let it stop you from indulging in the finest food and desserts. Why not get your housemates involved and enjoy the 3 course meals?
They may not have been used since you were ten but board games can be a fun way to pass time and be sociable. Failing the board games whip out Cards Against Humanity. There’s even an online version to play with the pals you can’t meet right now.
We can’t travel yet but one day you can tick off some countries from your ultimate travel goals. No harm in daydreaming.
You may need yoga to distress or you may want to take up running to get out of the house. Whatever it is, get moving and feel them endorphins.
Select a night and take it in turns to choose which series to watch as a house. Whether it’s Brooklyn 999, Superstore or the latest murder documentary.
Now’s your chance to finally read that book you’ve been meaning to, get your favourite bath bomb, face mask and relax in the bath.
Let us know what you do to keep occupied in lockdown and don’t forget to tag us @NoRegretsLeeds and include #FeelingFine if you try any of these out.
You could sink 8 pints or…book an off-peak flight to Barcelona and soak up some winter sun.
You could fork out for 8 Mojitos in your local bar…or bag yourself an Amazon Echo 2nd Gen Alexa. “Alexa, play Oh Happy Day!”.
You could buy a round of Pina Coladas for you and your mate…or treat yourself to a new pair of Old Skool Vans.
You could splash your cash on 6 Bloody Marys whilst out on the sesh…or invest in a fitness watch to help you track your workouts.
You could order 5 double G&Ts when you’re out with the girls…or order that dress you’ve had your eye on for weeks.
You could chin 6 Jagerbombs on a Freshers’ night out…or head out for meal to get know your new housemates properly.
You could buy 5 vodka and cokes at a beach bar…or get yourself some statement swimwear and turn heads for all the right reasons!
Surprise side effects can be more than just trippy – they can be a warning sign for much worse. Think about where your head’s at and if you’re not feeling 100% then it’s a definite no-go.
You might trust your dealer, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re selling, or what’s in it. So if you’re heading on a big night out this weekend, find out if they’ll have drug safety testing available – that way you’ll know more about what you’re planning on taking.
Sounds super obvious, but before you head out, think about how you’ll get home. Make sure you’ve got your money, keys and phone, as well as some taxi numbers saved just in case you have to make a quick getaway.
This goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway – if you’re going to drop, do it with friends. It’s easy to stress out and get lost so make sure you have good people around you and decide on a meet up point just in case. If someone disappears, don’t presume they’ve bailed, find out for sure before you leave.
Oh yeah, and eating definitely isn’t cheating – line your stomach by smashing some food before you head out.
Try a small amount and then go slow until you know the deal. Even alcohol can take a while to have an effect, so make sure you pace yourself properly or it won’t just be your dignity at stake.
Keep yourself cool and stay hydrated. Take regular breaks from the dance floor and check in with your friends if you’re feeling rough – who wants to waste their night hugging a toilet bowl?
Mixing is a risky business. Stay in control and remember that mixing drugs with drink or other drugs can seriously increase the risk of something going wrong. If you want a high, pick one and leave it at that.
If you spot your friend suffering from any of these, help them out.
Throwing up: As grim as it may be, if your friend’s chucking up, give them some water to sip slowly but avoid food. If they want to sleep, lie them on their side and stay close by.
Paranoia: If they’re freaking out, find them somewhere quiet and safe to sit. Let them know that the feeling will pass but bare with them – it might take a while for them to calm down.
Chest pain: Get a medic and whilst you are waiting, sit them down and try and comfort them.
Fits: Get a medic straight away and clear the area around them so they won’t hurt themselves.
Overheating: Stimulants raise your body temperature, so if you or a friend start overheating, find somewhere safe to sit and ditch the extra layers. Wet some clothing with lukewarm water to cool the forehead and grab a glass to sip slowly.
Whether it’s pissing in public, shouting “TAKE YOUR TOP OFF” to a random lad or getting a tacky dolphin tattoo on your ankle – if you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it abroad, it’s as simple as that.
Determined to return home with a killer tan? Remember your sun cream. Red marks aren’t chic and who wants to be the ultimate Brit abroad and sport a t-shirt in the pool? Not us.
Plus, do yourself a favour and give sunbathing a miss if you’re hungover. You’ll be at risk of severe dehydration and even sun stroke, and put yourself out of action for the rest of the holiday.
It’s easy to lose your bearings in a new place when you’re sober, let alone after a few drinks, so be sure to stick together when you’re on a night out. Even if one of the girls is really getting on your tits, it’s never a good idea to split up.
Decide on a meeting point or make sure you have a way of contacting everyone in case you get separated.
You want us to come back to your crappy, run down hotel for an ‘after party’ with you and your gross mates? We’re good thanks hun x.
As we’ve said above, there are some creeps out there and it’s easy to get too trusting after a couple of margaritas. Stay safe and never leave your drink unattended or accept one from a stranger, regardless of how nice they may seem.
You might know your limits at home but that won’t necessarily apply when you’re away. Foreign bars and clubs tend to free-pour spirits so one G&T abroad could feel like three from your local. Pace yourself properly to avoid writing off the next day.
Counterfeit alcohol is also more common abroad, particularly in Asia. This is fake alcohol that has been produced illegally, which usually means it’s been cut with loads of other substances such as nail varnish remover and cleaning products – ew. It goes without saying, but drinking dodgy booze is really dangerous and can cause issues like dizziness, liver problems and even blindness.
If you’re planning on drinking, make sure you buy your booze from legit bars and shops and remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Your pals might tell you that ‘what happens in Maga stays in Maga’ but if you’re not careful, you could end up reenacting that scene from Bridget Jones in a foreign pharmacy. If you fancy a holiday romance, do yourself a favour and protect yourself against any unwanted surprises.
In the past, the choice of low abv (low alcohol) beers was limited to warm, dusty bottles of Becks Blue, usually accompanied by words of contempt and looks of disgust from your drinking buddies. Well, the modern world of craft beer is changing that, with a surge of breweries trying their hand at making some beers that are low on ABV but BIG on flavour. 2019 has seen the comeback of Victorian Table Beers (ooh err), Radlers (tasty beer and fruit juice mixes) and the introduction of session/small pales and IPAs. Often weighing in at below 3.6%, this mix of low ABV beers can provide a refreshing break between the stronger stuff, keeping you on top form throughout the session.
The best thing about beer festivals? The huge range of ‘out there’ beers to choose from, including some that you’ll never find at your local pub or bottle shop. They’re often high strength special brews, barrel-aged for big bold flavours, with a hefty ABV to match. If you spot a beer with the words BA, Imperial, DIPA, TIPA, Barley Wine be prepared for anything from 8% to 16% ABV.
One of these is essentially the same as a pint of strong wine, so share the love and share a third with friends. Get a couple of different ones and swap after a few sips. This way you can experience more without breaking the bank.
Street food is to beer festivals as Mo Salah is to Sadio Mane, both brilliant in their own right, but damn, they’re good when they’re together. When it comes to street food, LIBF doesn’t disappoint – from Indian delights brought to you by Leeds legends Bundobust, to Korean bao buns from Little Bao Boy and not to be missed Cadillac Jack’s classic burger and fries combo.
If you’re partial to a mixed-meat kebab, give Döner Summer’s delicious Berlin döner a try – a vegan upgrade to the end-of-the-night favourite. If it’s cheesy chips you’re after, head to Blue Caribou Canteen for their authentic French-Canadian poutine.
There’s a beer for everyone, and a dish to go with it. Getting your fill will mean you don’t peak too early so you can enjoy the festival right ‘til the end.
Once you’ve swapped your tokens for that first cold beer, it’s time to check out all that LIBF has to offer. Check out the live music on offer and, head to the tipi on Friday and Saturday night, keep your ears open for a performance from Leeds DIY legends COWTOWN.
For pub quizzes, descend to the crypt below the town hall, and for an experience to remember, the old school jail cells will be unlocked throughout the festival, offering probably the strangest setting to enjoy a pint in Leeds.
All beer-ed out? Head to Cardiff brewers Tiny Rebel’s arcade room and get your fill of free-to-play arcade games. Be sure to pay the glass washroom a visit – it might not sound like the go-to destination for beer-related fun, but the glass washroom offers loads of seating and unlimited tap water. Switch the odd beer for a pint of water and finish this year’s festival with no regrets.
Normally you’d never be able to stomach a pint at 7am but you force yourself to order one at the airport because “we’re on holiday”. If this sounds familiar do yourself a favour and leave it at one – you don’t want to rack up regrets before you’ve even landed. Being drunk on a flight is illegal and could result in a two-year jail sentence – yep, you read right. Plus do you really want to be the most hated people on the plane?
With the music blasting and countless drinks free-flowing from the poolside bar it can be easy to lose track of time – but being out in the blazing sun all day can seriously affect your health. Hot weather causes dehydration anyway, but add alcohol to the mix and you’ve got a pretty nasty combination.
Avoid sunstroke by alternating your alcohol for water or other soft drinks and switch up the sunbed for a shady patch when you can.
It’s easy to lose your bearings in a new place when you’re sober, let alone after a few pints. Stick together when you’re out and make sure you’ve got a meeting point or a way of contacting your mates if you do notice someone’s missing. There’s nothing worse than spending the whole time scanning the crowds instead of enjoying your night.
You might know your limits at home but that won’t necessarily apply when you’re away. Foreign bars and clubs tend to free-pour spirits so one drink abroad could feel like three from your local. Pace yourself properly to avoid writing off the next day.
Counterfeit alcohol is also more common abroad, particularly in Asia. This is fake alcohol that has been produced illegally which usually means it’s been cut with loads of other substances such as nail varnish remover and cleaning products – lovely stuff. It goes without saying, but drinking dodgy booze is really dangerous and can cause issues like dizziness, liver problems and even blindness to name a few!
If you’re planning on drinking, make sure you buy your booze from legit bars and shops and remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
It might seem like a great idea after a few pints, but is being dubbed ‘an absolute lad’ worth the shame (and excruciating itchiness) of catching an STI? We doubt it. Battle your beer goggles, but if you do decide to go there, be smart and wrap it up.
Whether it’s going home with that shot girl, ordering another fish bowl or getting ‘IBIZA 2K19’ tattooed on your arse, remember that just because you made that decision abroad doesn’t mean it won’t come back to haunt you. Think of future you and head home regret-free.
It’s easy to get carried away and forget to eat, but drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. Arrange to meet for a bite beforehand and avoid having to make an early exit before the party’s even started.
C’mon people, if there’s ever a time for shots, 1pm is not it. Necking a few before the bar gets busy might seem like a great idea at the time but you’ll regret it when you miss brunch because they’ve made a reappearance in the toilet bowl. Do yourself a favour, swap a sambuca for a cider and enjoy a vom-free day.
The best thing about starting early? Finishing early. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can start drinking at midday and still last until 3am the next day – it’s just not going to happen. Quit while you’re ahead and call it a day before things get messy.
Entry into Backroom after midnight = £7. Heading home knowing you’ll still get a solid 9 hours sleep = priceless.
It’s hard to imagine a hot day without a pint of lager or a pitcher of Pimm’s in hand, but if you’re not careful, alcohol and the sun can be a dangerous combination. To avoid dehydration and heat stroke, alternate your alcohol with soft drinks and the sun for some sweet shade.
Need to slow down but don’t want to be branded ‘boring’? Switch tap water for a pint mocktail between drinks and wake up feeling fresh.
We know the drill. Just a couple of hours ago you were boomerang-ing the hell out of a glass of prosecco, now you’re walking barefoot through town with a Maccies in your hand and mascara down your face. The rest of Leeds are judging you hard.
Keep it classy this weekend by pacing yourself properly and head home looking as good as when you left.
Think of how annoying your mate is when they’re smashed and you’re not. Now imagine there are ten of that irritating person and they’ve been plonked on the table across from you at a civilised family lunch. Picturing it? That’s how 70 year old Vera feels. All she wanted was to enjoy an afternoon in the sun but she’s fighting to be heard over the sound of “DOWN IT FRESHAAAAH!”. Think of Vera next time you head out.
Packing enough alcohol to sink a small ship might seem like a great idea at the time, but you’ll no doubt regret the decision when you realise how far you have to carry it. Pack wisely and remember the essentials: a portable charger, anti bac, dry shampoo, a water bottle, factor 30. Not forgetting snacks for the weekend and a money belt or bum bag for your cash and phone. Your future self is guaranteed to thank you for switching that extra bottle of vodka for Berocca and a loo roll.
Ah, the classic festival dilemma. Some of your group are desperate to stick to the main stage all weekend, whereas the other half are keen to explore. To play it safe, stick together. But, if you can’t find a plan that suits all, make sure your phone’s got juice (hello handy portable charger you packed earlier) and decide on a meeting point before you part ways. You can’t always bank on having signal and there’s nothing worse than getting lost and wandering around on your own.
Hangovers in tents are the worst – fact. If you’re starting early, opt for a drink with a lower percentage of alcohol (think lager, cider, VKs) and go from there. That way you’ll avoid peaking too early and landing that unwelcome midday hangover. You don’t want to miss your favourite band because you took it too far…
Speaking of festival stamina, it’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re standing in a sunny field for three days. Sipping water between drinks will help you keep a clear head and party for longer. Plus, that way you’ll wake up feeling fresh and ready to do it all over again.
Alcohol and other drugs can seriously cloud your judgement. In any other situation you wouldn’t dream of going there with an unwashed stranger, but after a few drinks you’re more than happy to get jiggy with Steve the ‘part time DJ’. Avoid morning regret by listening to your gut and stick with your friends instead. If your inhibitions do win, make a point of letting your friends know where you’re going and who you’re going with.
Mixing substances is never a good idea, as it increases the risk of something going wrong. Whether it’s different drinks, alcohol with drugs or drugs with other drugs – whatever combination, they’re all a recipe for disaster.
Giving drugs a miss is always the smartest decision but if you do decide you want a high, make sure you get clued up before you take anything. For more info on drugs, click here.
Sadly, even if you’ve decided against drugs, there’s still a chance someone could drop something in your drink without you realising. Never leave your drink unattended or accept one from a stranger. If you can, put your hand over your pint when you’re moving through crowds.
If you notice someone throwing up or passed out, put them on their side and alert security asap so they can help.
If you start to feel weird or unwell yourself, tell your friends and head straight to the medical or welfare teams for help. If you’ve taken something, always be honest about what and how much – the staff aren’t there to judge but knowing the full story will help them treat you.
It’s summer, the sun is shining, and the beer garden is calling your name, so it’s easy to be tempted into a full day out. Sounds great in theory, but in reality, that means three whole meals to fork out for – plus, let’s face it, a load of drinks too. Save your cash by opting to eat at home and head out later or invite your friends over for food at your place.
Contactless might be convenient, but it’s also the devil. We all do it – you have a few drinks and all of the sudden you get tap happy, paying for things left, right and centre (because using your card isn’t real money right?). How we wish that was true. Swinging by an ATM before you head out and leaving you card at home is a great way of setting yourself a budget and keeping track of what you’re spending.
If you’re planning on drinking, choose your tipple wisely. Cocktails are overpriced, pitchers are mostly ice and rounds are seriously damaging to your bank account; it can be easy to get roped in, but that often leaves you paying for your friends’ drinks even when you’ve had enough. If you’re going for a spirit, swap your usual double for a single measure and only pay for yourself. This way, you’re taking control of what you’re spending (and drinking) and can easily duck out when it’s time to head home.
Water is your friend, particularly if you’re out in the summer sun. Anywhere that serves alcohol is legally obliged to give you tap water. In fact, a lot of bars in Leeds have a jug on the side so you can help yourself. Water not only helps you sober up if you’ve had too many but also fills your stomach, leaving less room for pricey drinks. And the best part? It’s free.
From free gigs, to a scenic picnic in the park, there are tonnes of free things to do in Leeds – especially during the summer months. Why not switch your usual weekend plans for something a little different and save your cash while you’re at it?
The taxi ride home is a night out expense that’s often overlooked. When it’s time to leave, avoid being out of pocket by arranging to get a taxi back with friends. This way you can split the cost* and make sure everyone gets home safe.
*Please note: A lot of taxi apps have a split fare function, so you can easily avoid the classic “I’ll buy you a drink next time” crap.
Whether it’s a day trip, casual drinks with friends or a full blown night out, knowing when to leave is a skill, but once mastered it can help you save a heck of a lot of cash. When things start to wind down, use this as your cue to leave, not buy another round. You’re bank account and future self will thank you for it.
“This group of girls were really drunk and one of them started touching up her make up, but as the car was dark, she accidentally smeared red lipstick all over her face instead of foundation. I didn’t realise until I pulled up to drop them off and all her friends started laughing at her. She was so upset that I ended up driving her straight back home.”
“A customer I had stole one of those big plastic plants from outside Nando’s after a night out and tried to stuff it into the car with her and her mates. It wouldn’t fit so I had to charge them to cancel their ride and leave them to order another taxi.”
“I was taking one guy to the station, or so I thought…turns out he was hungover and had slept through his alarm, so I had to drive him to the airport instead. £90, and a lot of stress later, I bet he wished he’d called it a night sooner.”
“I once waited ages outside this house to pick up a customer. When she eventually came outside she was so drunk that she couldn’t work out which car to get in and started running up and down the road trying all the doors of the parked cars. I ended up having to get out and wave at her whilst her friends watched and laughed.”
“I was taxiing a group of girls home after their night out and they all had McDonald’s. I said they were find to eat it in the car as long as they were careful and they agreed. When we were about 5 minutes away from their destination the car started to smell really strongly of BBQ sauce. One of the girls had fallen asleep with her food in her hands and there was BBQ sauce all over her coat, in her hair and all over the back seats of my car.”
“I picked up 3 passengers on Halloween – they were sat awkwardly in the backseat, huddled together, and there was a strange smell coming off them. It wasn’t until they got out of my car that I realised they’d spilled a bag of fake blood all over themselves, and the back seat smelt like something had crawled back there to die.”
“I got an order from a customer who wanted to go to Manchester after a night out (we were in Leeds). I thought it was strange so I asked him if he’d got it wrong but he said no and told me to take him there, so I did. Halfway there the guy shouted at me to turn around. He’d got so drunk that he’d forgotten he was staying with his mate in Leeds rather than his house in Manchester. There was a surge that night so it cost him £140. He was not happy.”
“This girl got into the back of my car, slurring down the phone to her friend. As soon as she sat down I noticed a disgusting smell so wound all four windows down, trying to work out where it was coming from. It turns out she had got so wasted that she’d s**t herself and what’s even worse…she was in white jeans.”
“I once picked up a guy at 4am from Leeds City Centre. It was obvious he was drunk but he was really chatty and started asking me lots of questions about my life. We were still talking when we reached his destination but instead of getting out, he extended his ride, saying I was a safe guy and he wanted to be my mate and just drive around for a bit. I was fine with this as it put his ride up from £4 to £33 – but I’m sure he wasn’t too pleased the next day when he realised how much he’d spent!”
“I picked up this couple once – you could tell they’d had a few but seemed okay until the guy threw up all over himself and his girlfriend’s handbag he was carrying. This resulted in a huge argument between the two of them over the fine and I had to ask them to get out.”
“I once had to carry a girl up to her flat after she passed out in my car. She put herself in a very dangerous situation and it’s a good job I’m a nice guy or it could have ended very badly.”
Will you pace yourself to help you get home safe next time you’re on a night out?
Try out rock climbing at City Bloc in Hunslet. Complete with a huge climbing wall and yoga studio, this converted warehouse is so much more than meets the eye. Plus they do student discount and are open until 10pm Monday-Thursday. Win, win!
Test your sketching skills at a life drawing class hosted by Leeds Drawing Club. They run a range of evening sessions all year round in Meanwood and Leeds City Centre and provide everything you need to create your masterpiece. All you have to do is try not to laugh when they drop the robe…
If you can’t be trusted to stay composed at life drawing, maybe HIFI’s Comedy Sessions are more up your street. They run every Saturday, 7pm-10pm with previous acts including Alan Carr, Russell Howard and Katherine Ryan. If you’re looking for a guaranteed good night, this is it.
With sofa seats and freshly made pizza, Everyman Cinema reinvents the big screen experience. Scrap predrinks in favour of a late-night viewing of a new release.
Work together, solve puzzles and unravel clues to escape in under 60 minutes at Tick Tock Unlock. Pick your theme: Alice In Wonderland, The Forgotten Tomb – to name just a few, then bring along some mates for an evening of detective work.
Whether you’re showing off your skills or falling on your arse, a trampoline park is a great use of your Friday night. Oxygen offer loads of sessions, from freejumping slots, to classes with qualified coaches.
Your friend is smashed and has just bought the rounds, low and behold they hand you a Jagerbomb. You find yourself necking this foul combo to a feeling of instant regret. Next time they offer you this, do yourself a favour and chuck it over your shoulder.
Whether it’s in a cocktail or a shot, sours have never tasted good. Save yourself a morning hugging the toilet and just say no.
A strong contender for the worst shot a friend can suggest – tequila. Your hope for a nicer spirit gets lost in translation and suddenly your biting down on a piece of lime wondering where it all went wrong.
The smell itself is enough to make you want to hurl, why do people think JD and coke is a good combination?
The devil takes form in the shape of a sambuca shot, so how did you end up doing three?
I made jelly shots for my birthday – no one else liked them so I had them all myself before we went out. I was far too drunk and ended up falling under a table on Call Lane, throwing up on my friend’s feet, and was put in a taxi home before midnight. – Anonymous Female, 22.
I once got really drunk and uploaded multiple videos of myself singing (awfully) on Instagram. Over 300 people saw them, including my mum, and I still shudder thinking about it. – Anonymous Male, 19.
I got so drunk I once fell asleep on the toilet in a club, only to be woken up by a panicked cleaner and my friends. I’ll never live it down. – Alex, 23.
I threw up all over my friend’s shoes after one too many drinks – he wouldn’t speak to me for about a week. – Anonymous Male, 25.
I was predrinking with my friends before going out and one of them thought it would be funny to pour gin into the wine I was drinking. I decided to drink it anyway (a really, really bad idea) and spent the rest of the night puking at home whilst the others went out. Although, I didn’t make it to the loo in time…instead I threw up in the sink and spent hours cleaning it the next day. It was without a doubt, one of the most embarrassing nights of my life and my friends will never let me forget it. – Anonymous Female, 23.
You’ve got half an hour until the taxi comes so you down drinks to avoid forking out for them at the club – that’s if you even make it out. Everyone’s focus is on drinking instead of having fun and there’s always that person who goes too far.
Yeah, you’ve got more room to dance, but what’s a club without other people to dance with?
Maybe they’ve pulled a 10, maybe they’re busy throwing up in the toilets. Either way, you won’t know until you’ve escaped the avalanche of drunkards blocking your path. Not ideal.
Generally, shots are gross – everybody knows that. Plus they have disastrous consequences for your ability to remember anything the next day. You’ll wake up feeling like death and you didn’t even enjoy your night.
Normally talking to strangers is a bit awkward and weird. But with a bit of booze inside them, your mate will be spilling their life story like they’re chatting to Piers Morgan. Cringe.
It doesn’t work. Those shots we mentioned? They now decorate the back seats. And yes, you have to fork out £50 for it.
You’ll remember the events of the night before for years to come – and for all the wrong reasons. Every regretful decision you made haunts you, especially when you have to relive them repeatedly through your friends’ Insta story. Plus your head hurts. It really, really hurts.
Having a night in with your pals and a takeaway is a great way to hang out, without breaking the bank. Who wouldn’t wanna get a pizza in and binge on reality TV?
Pocket the cash you would have spent on that last round of drinks and save it for a rainy day or a trip away.
That pair of shoes you’ve walked past again and again but you thought you couldn’t justify buying? Treat. Yo. Self!
Spend some quality time with your friends – where you can actually hear each other speak! Why not head out for dinner together and catch a film afterwards.
Wanna take up a new hobby? Do it. That new gym you said you’d join? Why not? Spend your cash on something new and exciting, instead of a substandard night out at the same club you always go to.
Half a glass of lemonade
¼ glass of apple juice
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Fresh mint leaves
1 lime (half to squeeze, half for wedges)
(Makes 1 glass, repeat the process for more)
Source: BBC Good Food
100ml of cranberry juice
500ml orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
1 lime (cut into wedges)
1 orange (cut into wedges)
100g of frozen cranberries
(Makes approx. 8 glasses)
Source: BBC Good Food
500ml of smooth orange juice
500ml cranberry juice
400ml of sparkling elderflower
(Makes approx. 4 glasses)
Source: BBC Good Food
Don’t underestimate the power of water. Drinking a glass between bevs will help you stay hydrated and in control – no one wants to see your regurgitated turkey dinner. No, really.
Although beer, mulled wine and a shot of tequila might have seemed like a greaaat idea at the time, mixing your drinks will leave you feeling less than merry the next day. If you fancy a drink, pick one type of booze to avoid spending Christmas Day nursing a banging headache.
‘But it’s Christmas’ won’t save you from feeling rough tomorrow morning. Staying away from sickly shots on a festive night out so you’re not that friend who has to head home before the party has even started.
The best thing about Christmas? The food, obviously. Turkey sandwiches, mince pies, pigs in blankets – you name it, everywhere you look they’ll be something to gorge on. Take advantage of the stocked fridge and feast on food to help pace yourself.
Trifles, Christmas pudding, even mince pies…alcohol sneaks its way into anything and everything during the festive season – so don’t get caught out!
As tempting as it might be, the office Christmas party is not a competition to see how much free booze you can drink from the open bar. Avoid a Christmas full of regret by not taking it too far.
If you plan to have a drink, don’t get behind the wheel – it’s as simple as that. Even if you’re not planning on driving that night, remember that you can still be over the limit traveling back home the next day. Don’t be caught out this Christmas, club together and get a taxi or bag a lift with someone who’s not on the booze.
The food has gone, the games have been played and Christmas carols are becoming increasingly hard to stomach – it sounds like it’s time to call it a night. Slowing down as it gets late and knowing when to head home will save you money and a whole lot of regret the next day.
Are they lying in bed for hours after a night out, feeling sorry for themselves and complaining that they’ve done nothing with their day? Are they turning up to work mega late, bailing on plans or skipping yet another gym class?
If so, it sounds like booze is taking priority over the important things in life. Try making alcohol-free plans that they can’t get out of and encourage them to take it easy the night before.
Whenever you go out they’re determined to drink as much as they can, as fast as they can. They’re known for always being the one who’s on a ‘different level’ to everyone else, but that doesn’t stop them from ordering that third round of shots (that nobody actually wants!)
If their pace is a problem, discourage them from getting that extra drink and order them some water to sip instead.
You dread that “I’ve had a bad day at work, let’s get smashed” text – Sam’s beginning to sound like a broken record and your suggestion that drinking isn’t the answer seems increasingly lost in translation.
If this rings a bell, why not invite your pal over for platonic Netflix and chill, order a takeaway in or meet for coffee and cake to chat things through.
It’s like you’ve got déjà vu. You spend half your night in the club toilets holding your friend’s hair back whilst they throw up and the other half trying to keep them upright. At first, it was a laugh dragging them out of the taxi to avoid the hefty cleaning fee, but now it’s a standard end to the night.
Encourage them to eat properly before you drink and head home together if you notice them getting out of control.
You know where the night’s heading before it’s even begun. It’s no longer just a one-off, and you forget what it’s like to have a few drinks without thinking, “I never want to end up like they did last night”.
The morning after the night before. It’s finally time to relive last night’s events. But it turns out your friend blacked out. They can’t remember anything, not even you carrying them to bed at 4 am.
Maybe you’ve fancied Anna from accounts for months, or perhaps a serious case of beer goggles is clouding your vision. Either way, she’s married with kids and definitely not interested in your cheesy chat up lines and slurred spiel. Save yourself the rejection and keep your thoughts to yourself – future you will thank you for it.
It’s 1am and you’ve got work tomorrow, yet you’d ended up in a rundown karaoke bar witnessing the 7th drunken rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’. Do you head to the ‘after party’ (there are four of you so can you even call it that!?) or head home now and still manage to bag yourself a decent night’s sleep? We know which one we’d choose…
You are going to see these people again*. In fact, you spend a third of your life at work, so do yourself a favour and make sure you can walk in on Monday morning with your head held high.
*Unless you reeeally mess up of course…
There’s nothing worse than walking into the office on Monday morning and everyone’s talking about you. In particular, how you had too much mulled wine and fell asleep on the toilet. Know your limits and enjoy the festive fun without taking it too far.
Whatever you do, don’t call in ‘sick’ after your work night out. It’s as much use as wrapping a gift in cling film – everyone will see right through it. Do yourself (and your future career) a favour and take it easy so you can smash out the work the next day.
You crawl into work looking far from human and receive some questionable looks from your colleagues. No one is going to take you seriously with that Players stamp on your hand.
Fried chicken, a litre of Fanta or lying in a cold, dark room – whatever you’re thinking, work couldn’t be further from your mind. If that important meeting has you feeling more queasy than breezy, then it sounds like it’s time to cut down the booze.
You might think what happens in the club, stays in the club – but you couldn’t be more wrong. Thanks to Facebook, your boss sees you strawpedo a bottle of wine and you know how that’s bound to end…
You’re strapped for cash at the end of the month so find yourself bailing on work trips, networking events or socials – missing out on the chance to get yourself out there.
You’ve got applications to fill in and your CV to write, yet you find yourself wasting weekend after weekend nursing a killer hangover.
Eating definitely isn’t cheating. Whether you’re having a couple of drinks at home or off on a big night out, having a decent meal before you drink will slow down how quickly you absorb alcohol – helping you to pace yourself. After all, you don’t want to be that friend who ends the night early because they went too far…
Did you know, dehydration is the main cause of the dreaded hangover headache? Well you do now! Grabbing a glass of water in between drinks will not only help you stay in control of how quickly alcohol affects you, but it also flushes out all the toxins you’re putting into your body when you drink it. The result: spot-free skin and a healthy head.
The mixture of different flavourings, additives and sugar can make you sick on the night and leave you feeling pretty worse for wear the next day. If you fancy a drink, pick one type – beer, wine, a spirit and mixer – and stick to it. As tempting as it might be to try one of everything – we’ll put money on you regretting it.
Out of fear of being labelled ‘boring’, it can be easy to just follow the crowd. Whether it’s downing tequila shots or ordering that last double – don’t fear the FOMO, because the chances are all you’ll miss out on is chucking your guts up the next day.
Whether it’s the opening bars of Cotton Eyed Joe or sitting by the sidelines whilst your pal pursues a serious case of beer goggles – you’ll know when it’s time to head home. By listening to your gut and not staying out for the sake of it, you’ll avoid buying those pointless drinks and protect both your head and your wallet.
No matter where you are or who you’re with, they’re known for being the loudest one in the room – for all the wrong reasons. Whether that’s telling your mate’s girlfriend to eff off or spilling Jägermeister all over the carpet, they’re always causing a scene.
They’ll use any excuse to strip off and parade the room, resulting in you seeing far more of your friend than you ever wanted to. Ew.
They have one (or five) too many and slur something utterly embarrassing to someone they shouldn’t. You’ll never be able to look them in the eye again.
The DJ won’t play their favourite song? Cry. No text back? Cry. The takeaway has run out of gravy? Cry again. They receive some questionable looks that make you want to crawl into a corner and die of embarrassment for them.
Drunk in Love or just plain smashed? They embarrass you until the End of Time with their less than Flawless dance moves.
Whether it’s passing out at pres or falling asleep in a club toilet, they’re always forced to leave the party early because they’ve gone too far. They end up missing out on all the fun, but the next day swear “it’ll never happen again”.
Whether they dive out of the Uber just in time, or fork out 50 quid to clean the seats, the night always ends with their dinner making a reappearance. Pavement pizza anyone? Vile.
There’s nothing worse than waking up the next day and regretting everything that happened the night before. Lots of people have a great night without drinking, but if you do decide to, here’s my advice on how to enjoy yourself without having those mortifying flashbacks the next day.
Eating is something I particularly enjoy so I don’t find this step too hard to follow! The best nights I’ve had are the ones where I’ve eaten a decent meal before heading out. Plus, you’ll feel better the next day too. Cook something carby with your mates and make sure you don’t skimp because you want to save money on buying drinks – it’ll end up working against you, trust me. My top tip is to make a big portion of pasta and half it so that I have something easy to eat when I get home, without forking out for a takeaway. Win, win!
That little voice questioning if you need that third shot of vodka your friend just gave you? Listen to it. Learning to pace yourself and slow down when you need to will help you enjoy your night so much more. Plus it means you won’t have to be ‘the mess’ your friends put in a taxi home at 10pm.
This applies to all aspects of a night out – drink on your terms. You’ll have way more fun if you can relax when you’re out, without feeling the pressure to do what your friends are doing. Learning to say no is a great feeling, and your body, bank account and liver will definitely thank you for it!