While the clubbers of Oxford await the grand opening of The Great Room at The Regal with bated breath, the venue opened its doors to The Elite Room and Foyer bar last week, and it was certainly a beguiling taste of things to come.

Overindulgence was the name of the game as I attended both The Regal's launch night on Thursday, and Sweet; Saturday's enticingly titled funky house night. Thursday saw legendary DJ Sir Norman Jay MBE play an astonishingly sexy set of feel-good tunes in The Elite Room, which provided the perfect backdrop for a friend and I to people-watch and drink exceptionally delicious cocktails.

Long Island Ice Teas were the drink of choice - we watched in mock-terror as the bar girl free-poured copious amounts of intoxicating spirits into our glasses, then splashed the tiniest amounts of Coke and lime juice into the drinks!

We clinked our glasses and sipped with gusto as a warm haze descended upon us. I woke up the next morning still wearing my clothes from the night before, my contact lenses were still in, and it was 10 minutes before I had to be at work.

You have been warned: drink The Regal's cocktails at your own peril. A painful day and a damn good sleep later, it was time again to get dressed up to see what Saturday nights at The Regal had to offer.

We had pre-drinks in a really great little bar on Cowley Road called Café Baba. With Middle Eastern décor and a huge palm tree in the garden, it was the perfect place to enjoy a quick gin and tonic before heading to The Regal, and more laid back than the obvious choice of the City Arms.

Inside the main venue, I contemplated another Long Island Ice Tea, but stuck to single spirits. I was introduced to one of The Regal's resident DJs Kieran Hayes and I asked him questions about the apparently enormous backroom that's yet to open.

Half an hour later I saw Kieran beckoning me, and a group of us including the night's headlining DJ Alistair Whitehead through a door to the right of the Foyer bar for a sneak-preview.

My jaw dropped. To describe the scale of the room as enormous doesn't quite do it justice. The ceiling is as high as two double-decker buses stacked on top of each other, and I jogged to the other end of the room and looked back to see my friends were the size of little matchstick people. Kieran's poetically described transforming the venue as "painting a masterpiece". It is going to be a truly world-class venue.

Outside, in the smoking area, a drunk and abusive midget stood on the other side of the ropes indiscriminately taunting guests and bouncers alike, which was a source of endless amusement.

I maniacally giggled in his face, which got me quickly ushered inside by the doormen as he shouted obscenities at my back! I headed upstairs to The Elite Room to find the dance floor had cleared for a couple of my friends, Jamie and Sionice, who were doing some extreme caterpillar breakdancing.

It somehow seemed appropriate when accompanied by the awesome sounds of Alistair Whitehead's set, which was pumping out from The Elite Room's mightily impressive sound system.

My one concern is the venue's policy of no admission after midnight. A stipulation of the license it may be, but speaking from personal experience I know a lot of people don't want to head to clubs until after midnight.

The Regal will be a much-needed injection of pure vitality into the Cowley Road scene and it deserves to be a phenomenal success.