I love a little road trip, and as you may know from my previous blog, I have a friend who lives in Leicestershire. This NYE, I really wanted to do something. My Nan passed away shortly before Christmas last year, and to be honest both Christmas and New Year were a bit quiet. I think I might have actually even gone to bed before the clock struck 12.
I don’t know whether I can call my little weekend a holiday or not, but to be honest I’m going to because I booked it off work.
Where we went
I’ve never been out in Leicester. I’ve been to the coach station previously, but drug addicts asking me for 50p and cold metal toilets really are the extent of my sightseeing. As you can imagine, based on these wonderful insights, I didn’t hold much hope for there actually being cool places there.
The first place we visited was my favourite. I don’t know if it is because they were playing Friendly Fires when we walked in, or the atmosphere, but The Orange Tree was cool. It has a kind of rustic vibe, the kind of place where you enjoy your red wine just that little bit more because you feel a little bit sophisticated.
Next we went to Firebug. If you live in Essex, you will know what I mean when I say Firebug is a bit like the Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh. It is a bar rather than a club, but the rock/indie music is really good, and best of all they have an old school video game table where you can play Space Invaders (much to my disappointment, they didn’t have ‘Pong’). It was everything you would hope and dream for a little indie bar, and to make anyone who loves Brush feel at home the smell was similar.
Café Bruxelles, where we finished up, genuinely had the best ceiling I’ve ever seen. It was like the Sistine chapel for people out on the sesh. It had a little bit of an older clientele than the others, but the music was still cool and there was a pretty chilled out little downstairs bit.
The main event I had gone to the midlands for was the NYE party at Rainbow in Birmingham. The line-up was pretty decent, buy Kurupt FM were amazing. I’ve been to a similar venue on a smaller scale in Birmingham before, the Custard factory, so I don’t think I was ready for the sheer scale of the Rainbow venues. It’s a massive venue. I don’t think we even ventured into all of the available rooms. The arena was massive, and one thing I was really pleased about was that the drinks weren’t too pricey. Although I supposed I’m used to London prices, and being stung £10 for a drink in Ministry.
The only downfall was the portaloo’s. Definitely not up for discussing the slipped in a portaloo and got a flusher up my bum incident.
Where we stayed
So we stayed in Birmingham, because travelling would have been a nightmare at 5am (we couldn’t even get an Uber from the club to the hotel let alone back to Leicester – note, NEVER use Uber unless you want to be charged then stranded at 5am), and we stayed at nite nite hotel.
A few weeks after we booked, my friend informed me there were no windows. I was a little bit freaked out, but it was only £57.50 for the night.
Yes, the rooms are small, and yes there are no windows. This isn’t anything they do not advertise, they are open that they are based on Japanese capsule hotels, and that they are a budget situation. You still get a bathroom (albeit it’s literally on top of the bed in the room so if you want to keep any vomiting or pooing private when you stay with a friend that isn’t really on the agenda), and you still get a bed. The communal area’s in the hotel are actually really nice, so if you are staying more than one night at least there is somewhere to stretch your legs.
How I got there
I got the National Express coach from Victoria to Leicester, and it only cost me £18. The downside was, the wifi didn’t work on either leg of the journey, so I couldn’t use my tablet to catch up on work like I wanted to.