Londoners have changed. Long gone are the days when a cold pint and a packet of pork scratchings constituted a cracking night out. These days we aren’t fully stimulated unless we have our head in book with the TV on for background noise while we eat our dinner and simultaneously instagram a picture of it.
To address this growing epidemic of technology induced attention deficit disorder, proprietors are getting creative. Activities from your youth are being carefully rebranded and sold to you as amusing accompaniments to your night’s drinking. Bingo got rebellious, crazy golf became competitive socialising and now Flight Club (review coming shortly) have transformed darts from a chubby alcoholic’s weekly exercise into a social activity for the hipsters.
Leading the way in this revolution, when it opened its doors three years ago, was Bounce and with the recent launch of their second, slightly more mischievous, Shoreditch branch, it felt like time to put my two cents in. Driven by aspirations of restoring the ‘authentic heritage of ping-pong as a high society parlour game’, the team at Bounce set up their first Holborn based sports hall for the hedonists. Pizza ovens were fired up, the cocktails flowed and the ping pong balls bounced off the walls. It wasn’t long before London caught the whiff of ‘Whiff-Whaff’ and was hooked. With Bounce springing from strength to strength the launch of their second venue was an inevitability and it came, just over a month ago, in the form of their plucky younger sister Bounce Shoreditch. The luxe furnishings are all present and correct but they’ve had an ‘East London’ refashioning with urban graffiti and UV lights.
Resistance is futile, it’s time to resign yourself to the fact that this juvenile frolicking is a permanent fixture on the London nightlife scene. With huge trampolines being installed in Acton and giant slip and slides at Alexandra Palace, Bounce really is the lesser of these evils. Soon you’ll be queuing for two hours to challenge your friends to a game of dominos whilst sipping on traditional Chinese aperitifs or ironically supping on sherry while competing in a hipster adaptation of bridge.