It is currently unclear when London will decide to grow up. In times gone by the opportunity for spontaneous and childish behaviour was confined to your youth and maybe a brief midlife crisis window in your early 50s when you would buy a leather jacket and trade in your Volvo for a Mazda two-seater convertible. However in recent years there has been a surge of new openings designed to fuel our inner-children. Boozy ‘whiff-whaff’ at ‘London’s home of ping-pong’ Bounce, Regression Sessions parties with bouncy castles and ball pits and even a giant slip and slide at Alexandra Palace, all point to one thing: we’re not ready to grow up.
One chilly winter’s day my friends and I decided it was time to put down the chamomile infusions and stop exchanging numbers of good plumbers and allow ourselves to backslide into adolescence. Based in Shoreditch ‘Swingers’ provides a haven for fans of competitive socialising with a 9-hole crazy golf course, street food pop-ups and an experienced cocktail team. Neither of the latter improves your game.
Despite arriving early, we were greeted by an ever-growing crowd, the golfers are punctual and keen. Thirty minutes later with our slot booked in, scorecard filled out and our clubs selected, we were ready to get serious. The game was fast and furious, mainly because of the six stroke limit to prevent things dragging, a limit that I reached frequently. After a brisk 45 minute contest we retired to the bar to calculate the scores. The only male in our party came first while I held up the rear with a less than respectable score. Mini-golf’s a stupid game anyway. The complimentary sweets on the tables softened the blow.
Swingers as I experienced it closed its doors last February, but the good news for those who missed out is that it is planning a triumphant return. Launching this Spring it is set to be bigger and badder than ever. Housed in an ex-WWII bunker in the heart of London, the rumour mill is buzzing with talk of an all new 9-hole course, a two storey clubhouse with a gin terrace and no less than 3 street-food outlets. Keep your ear to the ground for the ticket release date, last year they sold out fast.