A date doesn’t have to stop at dinner and drinks. There are only so many bars you can go to before they all start merging into one. So, if you’re feeling uninspired and you’re after something a bit different, why not have a go at handling some balls. Bowling balls, that is. Or golf balls. Or ping pong balls. Whichever you choose, you’re bound to have a ball. Balls, balls, balls. A bit of friendly competition is always good on a date, whether it’s the first, fourth or four hundred and forty fourth. If it turns out that they’re a sore loser? Chuck ’em. And if you’re a sore loser? Grab yourself a cocktail and get over it.
Bounce is London’s most acclaimed (and most boozy) ping pong venue. Their original playground is in Holborn, in what is claimed to be the exact spot that the game was first played, but they also have a younger, trendier sibling housed in an underground space in Shoreditch. The pinging and ponging is complemented by the venue’s impressive à la carte menu and super swanky cocktails, making it the perfect place to take your date.
2. Junkyard Golf Club
Choose between three nine hole courses, all with totally ridiculous names (Frank, Pedro and Helga), and manoeuvre around old jacuzzis, boats, slides and treadmills. Homed in The Old Truman Brewery, just off Brick Lane, Junkyard Golf Club is a weird and wonderful place full of old rubbish and putting nutters. They’ve got booze, hot dogs and plenty of neon — all you really need for a tipsy night of competitive fun.
Dray Walk, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
3. All Star Lanes
A proper all star American experience. Thrash or be thrashed at a game of bowling, and follow it up with some mega tasty food. It’s nothing like the stuff you’ll remember eating at the bowling alley as a child — All Star Lanes flaunt an extensive menu of hearty, homemade and locally sourced foods. And it doesn’t stop there! Go and order a drink at the bar — they’ve got a hefty list of extravagant cocktails to bowl you over, including a Love Potion for 2 if you’re feeling extra romantic. Trust us, it’s a top choice for a striking date.
Shove anything on a rooftop these days and it’s trendiness er…. shoots through the roof. Birdies spent some time underground in Waterloo and now they’ve er… gone up in the world (yes these are terrible but they’re just so easy). Now on Roof East, Stratford’s summer rooftop bar, Birdies is the ideal place for showing off both your skills and the beautiful London skyline. You can also eat hot dogs and it really doesn’t get much more romantic than that…
Floors 7 & 8, Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, E15 1XE