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19th March 2024

Crashing pres and judging the drinking culture at different student accommodations

On a mission to discover which student accommodation hosts the best pres, I crashed some flats to find out the answer
Crashing pres and judging the drinking culture at different student accommodations
Credit: Efren Barahona @ Unsplash

As a first-year Richmond Park resident, I am of course biased towards Richmond having the best flat pres, but going by the number of adopted flatmates I have, I think it might just be plain facts. I decided to test my theory by attempting to get invited to (or just crash) as many pres at different accommodations as possible.

Unsworth Park 

Feeling like royalty, I recently had the absolute honour of being invited to the palace that is Unsworth for pres, and was shocked at the experience. TV is blasting. Everyone is huddled in their little groups like it’s a high school canteen and I’m fully expecting a Mean Girls “You can’t sit with us” moment. People are drinking sangria. I get the unnerving feeling that I’m being watched through the horror film-like windows. Terrifying, but I did get free sangria. 

Oak House 

Chaotic. Oak House pres isn’t actually pres – it’s the main event. The decks are out and there’s even a disco ball. It becomes the club and I’m all for it. Plus, if you’re really lucky, you might get to meet the odd rat or silverfish. They know how to party.  

Whitworth Park 

Whitworth Park flat layouts are so incredibly confusing that a stranger is bound to come in and ruin pres at some point or another. Therefore, The Grove (aka fake Squirrels) is where you really want to go. It’s cheap, has a sort of grey minimalism chic thing going on, and you can even do your laundry right next door or catch up on your work on the computers at the back.  

Richmond Park 

A constantly sticky table (beer or mayonnaise?), drinking games verging on making me paralytic, an inevitable lack of seating (I feel like I’m paying enough to have a sofa?). There are some incredibly comfortable and not at all pointy rocks downstairs for the smokers to sit on, or I know some people who like to lie in the equally comfortable jagged bushes when they get a bit sleepy from all the drinking. Plus, you always get the weirdest decorations in Richmond flats – we have somehow ended up with a giant bear that judges our drinking habits, and I know another flat who mysteriously walked into their kitchen one day to find a collection of garden gnomes. What more could you want? 

Ashburne Hall 

I’ll admit I never made it to Ashburne pres (fake journalist, I know), but I’d imagine it would feel like I’d joined a secret cult-like society where we drink merlot in the library and discuss the work of Dostoevsky whilst listening to Bach. All whilst not knowing who our flatmates actually are. 

Woolton Hall 

Their kitchens may only fit two people at a time, but the common room pres have my respect. There’s pool, sofas and someone blasting music that only they enjoy from a speaker. My friend had all his hair shaved off at a Woolton pres, and that’s all you really need to know.  

Uttley House 

I’m not sure who really lives here or whether they even know what pres are, but I’m tempted to bring a pint to the study zone just for something to write about. That said, I will be trying to spread the word about using the sofa room and garden for a summer party, so get ready.  

Denmark Road 

When you spend your entire life savings to live at Denmark Road, you expect pres to be majestic. Champagne shots. Caviar on chips. Bailey’s fondue fountains. This is everything that I’m expecting if I ever make rich enough friends to actually get an invite here. 

Sheavyn House 

It’s basically Richmond 2.0, isn’t it? The same chaotic scramble for seating and pretending to be interested in a conversation with the one person you know who actually lives there, all because you’re dying for the loo and need to form a friendship to use someone’s ensuite bathroom. Except, for no good reason, Sheavyn is somehow worse than Richmond, possibly because when you look out the window, you’re presented with the mansion that is Ashburne Hall that makes you feel like you’re drinking in a slum. 

Hulme Hall  

The only Hulme Hall pres that I have been to lasted about five seconds before everyone decided a Curry Mile restaurant was a much more atmospheric place to get off your face. However, I’d like to see some summer pres on the front lawn so that I can pretend I’m a Year 11 again trying not to be kicked out of the park by the police whilst I’ve told my mum I’m having a GCSE study sesh with the lads. 

Weston Hall 

The best thing about any city accommodation is that it is near the clubs, meaning you can wear a skirt without getting hypothermia. Having said that, my flatmate hated Weston Hall pres so much that he sacrificed these skirt privileges to move to Fallowfield, which brings me back to my main point – it’s Richmond Park pres or nothing. 

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