Trinity BarSam Stern with permission for Varsity

Trinity’s bar is versatile. In the daytime, it is a cafe with spotlights and matcha coffee. In the evenings, it is a bar: thankfully, for the sake of our retinas, the spotlights are turned off and dimmer, hanging lanterns are turned on. The transition from an industrious coffee shop to a bustling bar is impressive.

The process of actually reaching the bar is an adventure in itself. If you can brave the infamously frosty porters and make it through the porters’ lodge, you will be greeted by a massive front court. Divided by green lawns with a fountain in the middle and surrounded by picturesque old buildings, the oldest of which, King’s Hall, dates back to 1317, it is certainly one of the more spectacular sights in Cambridge. Unfortunately, there are no signs to direct you to the bar, tucked away at the end of a corridor. Thankfully, helpful students will be happy to show you the way.

“At one end there are tables facing the walls in case you do not like other people”

The bar is worth reaching, though. It’s a rectangular room with impressively high ceilings from which hang dimmed lanterns. The tables are oak with a range of high tables and low tables. Unfortunately, some of these tables are rather wobbly which dramatically increases the likelihood of spilling beverages. At one end there are tables facing the walls in case you do not like other people.

Maia Livne offers a nuanced view of the bar’s attributes. Despite her concerns that the bar is “too iconic”, she is incredibly impressed by the range of drinks on offer. She tells me that they serve “not just still water, but sparkling water too, but I don’t drink it because it attacks my mouth, but my friends do. I love the port at 3pm in the afternoon, though they need more plug sockets.”

The range of beverages is decent for a college bar, although three of the eight beers they normally serve had run out. They serve a nice range of beers from trendy craft beers like Ice Breaker and Camden Pale Ale to classics like Estrella and Guinness – probably one of the widest ranges in Cambridge college bars. The drinks are served by incredibly popular college staff, who have a good rapport with the students.

“According to an anonymous physnatsci at the college, there is ‘too much work and not enough drinking’”

The prices are fair too, averaging at around £3 per pint which is not bad at all for a drink out in the centre of town. They also serve a range of spirits and both a blue and a red College cocktail at just £3 each. The jury is out on the red one, however. According to Sam Hudson, it is “sickly sweet, like a trashy American romcom in a glass”.

Out of all the bars I have covered so far, only Trinity’s serves alcohol all day, which is a plus, especially for exams season, although it does close at 11pm with a sharp ring of the bell. However, this is largely due to the hard-working nature of the college bar. According to an anonymous physnatsci at the college, there is “too much work and not enough drinking”.

All too often students are revising, reading books and furiously typing away on laptops in the bar. This creates a rather studious environment that lingers, even at night, and acts as a disconcerting reminder of impending deadlines and that one should be doing work rather than getting inebriated.


Mountain View

Homerton’s cocktail pub: a mix of wonderful contrasts

Yet maybe this is the most appropriate Cambridge version of the “drink responsibly” advert. “You have work to do tomorrow” lingers in the air. The atmosphere is one of a library-bar. There is a significant number of students drinking, with scholars working hard next to them. Yet you can still have a great time, and this is enhanced by some brilliant Sunday jazz.

Overall, I would recommend visiting Trinity’s bar and rate it 8.5/10. It is an elegant space, enjoyable to be in with a fair range of drinks at very reasonable prices. The atmosphere is unique – a mixture of jolly drunkenness, scholarly revision and soothing jazz. So are the people too. And much like the people, it is not your average place for a night out. It may want to stock up on more beers but it has enough for sure. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this quirky unique bar and I recommend you do so too.