Dover is admittedly one of the last places in Kent I would think of going for a night out.
In the past, I have only been there because I had to get to France.
Much-loved nightclub Funky Monkey once dominated the scene in the town, but this was sadly closed - and then demolished - last year.
So, I decided I would head in the direction of lorries and ferries to see if their venue – The Art Club – could live up to a party in the capital.
When I tell my parents where I’m going, their faces fill with fear.
“Dover?” is the response I get, followed by a grimace.
A friend and I - both women in our early 20s - are dropped off just down the road from the venue in Market Square, which opened in November.
It doubles up as a cafe and co-working space by day, and a live events venue and bar by night.
As we walk towards the club it instantly stands out.
It is covered in glass windows and the neon lights give the building and surrounding street a cool glow.
The bass of the music echoes through the otherwise quiet town centre, and there are two bouncers at the door as we approach.
When I looked at the bar’s Facebook page before visiting, the Saturday night in question was advertised as a ticketed event.
Including the booking fee, I spent £15.30 for my friend and I.
However, when we approach the door, the bouncers look at our IDs and make no mention of the tickets, sending us straight in.
If I was living life a bit more recklessly and had not already splashed out cash, I would be thrilled.
But it’s a bit frustrating that my purchased entry is not even needed.
(Later in the evening, I spoke to two other girls in the loo - who informed me they had also bought tickets they did not apparently need.)
I put it behind me and we make our way inside, finding a seat at the bar.
The music is the first thing that hits you.
It is a small venue in one room, with the DJ at one end. There is a small dance floor and seating around the edge.
The bass fills the little room up entirely, but it’s not so loud that it is impossible to hear yourself think.
With limited space, they have made good use of it when it comes to seating.
One wall has a bench running alongside it, and there is picnic bench-style seating near the front of the club.
The ceiling is adorned with light-up neon beams flashing in red, purple and blue.
It looks funky and cool – almost futuristic – yet the bar is quite classic and is made of panelled wood and there are pot plants in every corner.
I’m keen to get a drink and order a single spiced rum and coke to start, with my friend having a peach schnapps and lemonade.
Oddly, all the beverages besides the beers and cider on tap are listed as ‘POA’.
I’ve never seen this before and find it quite strange. Our first round costs £10.30.
Beer drinkers will be pleased to note you can get a pint of lager on draught for £5.50.
Those prices have got to be cheaper than almost anywhere in the big city – and lots of places in Kent for that matter.
As the polite and efficient bartender pours our drinks, I get excited.
Normally in a nightclub, you are given a grotty cup made of hard plastic with a layer of god-knows-what around the top.
But here I am given a real glass, in a stylish round shape, and don't even need to ask for a straw.
It isn’t just the glasses that are clean - the toilets are too.
What a relief to sit on a working toilet seat, close a door that actually locks and have an abundance of paper and soap!
I have seen some truly shocking club toilets, including ones that do not even have a door at all.
The Art Club’s are tiny though, leaving not much room to fumble in together as a group and re-touch your makeup, as we girls like to do.
I fancy a cocktail next, but unfortunately, there are none on offer.
However, I am reassured that a menu is coming out in February.
We opt for the same drinks and are downgraded to clear plastic cups, but they are clean and new so I still feel I am winning.
The staff are all lovely and the service is fast and efficient.
It’s a small space, but it’s not packed on this evening.
It seems to attract people from all walks of life.
There are alternative folk with bright hair and funky outfits but also gaggles of middle-aged men, getting up from the table occasionally to dance badly past us.
The music is upbeat and on this particular night it is all drum and bass style, played by ‘Art and Friends’, so I assume it is picked by the owners themselves.
It certainly has a trendy ‘London’ sound.
I know it’s a popular genre, but it is not really our cup of tea, so we spend most of our time at the bar chatting away.
It is clear others are loving the tunes though, including a woman in black leather trousers and see-through heels higher than I care to wear.
I watch on in awe as she dances all night and manages not to fall over.
At one point she makes it onto the DJ deck and looks to be having the time of her life bopping to the hits and hyping up the unfortunately small crowd.
While we sit, a staff member comes over and asks us how we had heard of the place, admitting it is quieter than usual but adding that they were really busy over Christmas.
We stay until just before closing time at 2am, and there is a conveniently placed Super Pizza right outside, which is serving the greasy food we desire.
All in all, I don’t think The Art Club quite lives up to a night out in London – not yet, anyway.
It has huge potential to be a super trendy, popular spot to party, but there are a few teething issues.
The ticket system was a bit odd, as was the POA on the drinks menu – and it needs more people coming in too.
But it looks awesome and one great thing I noted was that the whole place is on one level, making it very accessible.
Usually, night spots have precarious-looking steep stairs to contend with - a challenge when you do not have your wits about you.
As for Dover itself, I felt plenty safe and it was not nearly as scary as my worried parents made out.