A SOCIALITES PLAYGROUND
Over the past few years, many of us have been opting for experiential days out. To do something that will serve as a unique memory. Many venues across London have been adapting to this movement by providing aesthetically pleasing, immersive experiences at reasonable prices. There has also been a rise in the number of platforms promoting such places and provide discounted rates, meaning that it isn’t too hard to find a quirky spot for your next venture.
Below, in no particular order, I have compiled a list of 10 places that are worth a visit based on my own experiences.
5 EXPERIENTIAL VENUES
1. Neverland London
Located in Fulham Beach, South London. This venue hosts the ultimate summer and winter experiences and a lot more in between! Personally, I have only attended their Bottomless Brunch in the summer time; It was packed with the perfect vibes for a chilled July weekend. Picture a sandy setting. A range of day beds, private cabins and general seating areas to choose from. A section for games, yummy cocktails (and other drinks) and delicious food on offer. The larger the group size, the more fun to be had! I remember sitting there thinking, “Am I really in London?!” As winter comes around, Fulham beach turns into ‘Winterland London’. A space bursting with festive inspired décor and food to get you into the Christmas mood. The sun loungers may be swapped for heated igloos, but the games continue! And as for the in between – they have a range of themed brunches and various other events running throughout the year, so be sure to check out at least one!
Photo Credit: bruncher.com
2. Duo London
This restaurant and bar/club in Camden is an Instagramable hotspot offering a supreme experience for the senses. Their Pancakes and Prosecco Brunch left me a little tipsy, I cannot lie! But that’s kind of the point when free flowing Prosecco’s involved, right?! Add in some chart-topping throwbacks to boogie to and that’s the mixture for absolute weekend vibes right there! Whether you’re looking for a place to brunch or to end the evening with a rum punch – the creativity behind their cocktails is ingenious by the way - from Wednesday to Sunday, there is always something exciting happening at Duo! Honestly, the list is endless, so go and check out their website, grab some friends and to quote Drake “Thank Me Later” – seriously, what are you waiting for?! Needless to say, it definitely left me wanting to experience more of Duo’s events within the venue itself. The guys behind this awesome venue also hold other events around London and the UK. Stay tuned as I will be sharing an insight into another of their great ventures!
3. ZSL London Zoo
As the days get warmer and longer, ZSL London Zoo hosts ‘summer in the city’ at their Zoo Nights*. Explore the zoo, learn about its residents and indulge in food from around the globe at a more tranquil pace. As with a day pass, there are a number of workshops and guided tours on offer too. Whilst the animals begin to settle in for the night, there are plenty of other things going on within the compound to keep you entertained. Live acrobatic performances will transport you to Africa, whilst an acoustic concert provides the perfect soundtrack as the sun begins to set. For the ‘big kids’ out there, you can even get your face painted with the pattern of your favourite animal!
*Please note, this event is for over 18’s only.
4. Roof East
Another one for those summer months! Not too far from Westfield, Stratford lies a smaller shopping centre and above it is where you’ll find one more of East London’s many hang out spots. Book in advance to secure your place to play your hand at a round of the available games (curling, crazy golf and batting). When I went, there was a selection of street vendor style shacks where you could grab a bite to eat from and two bars to quench your thirst. They also hold other activities such as rooftop cinema experiences and comedy nights, be sure to check their website for the latest events on offer.
Ping pong and pizza, a pretty perfect way to end the day, week or spend a Saturday, right?!
With a number of locations around London, you’ll be able to reach one of their venues in a ‘Bounce’ (pun intended). This is a fun experience no matter your group size or level of expertise at playing the game, book in advance to secure your turn on the table as the space can get pretty crowded. Just don’t get too tipsy around the table, or you may end up being a sore loser the next morning!
Photo Credit: bouncepingpong.com
5 BARS WITH A TWIST
This chain of bars spans across many spots in the UK and each time, I was left surprised by the décor, ambience and menus. The Revolution in Cambridge has a rooftop lounge area, perfect for those long summer days. The most spacious of Revolution’s venues (that I have been to) can be found in London, Leadenhall. It spreads over 4 floors, including balcony and basement areas – providing any type of vibe you are looking for right in the City centre. If the bars and restaurants along Brighton’s seafront seem to crowded for you, Revolution is based not too far from the beach and has an aesthetically pleasing outdoor area to still soak up some sun whilst being surrounded by nature. As for the drink’s menus… YUM! Whether you’re looking for a cocktail, to do some shots or something simpler, you’ll find a variety of classics and signature flavours to choose from. I highly recommend trying out their ‘shot sticks’, where you can choose a number of uniquely flavoured shots to tantalise those taste buds! - there’s something for every palette.
2. London Sky Bar
Situated amongst some of London’s prime tourist attractions, London Sky Bar offers
panoramic views overlooking the City’s most iconic landmarks. Of course, there are many
venues around London offering similar experiences, such as The Shard, Sky Garden and
Vertigo 42 – to name a few. But what I believe makes this bar stand out is the venue as a
whole. Within Millbank Tower, under the name of Altitude London, there are two floors
with completely different characteristics at the top and another at the base of the building.
The venues offer experiential packages and can be hired for a variety of events and
occasions. This means that depending on which event you opt to partake in, you’ll get
a unique insight into the venue and the 360 views simply add to the magic of it all.
3. Tiger Tiger
Get away from the crowds of Piccadilly Circus and step in to an adult’s party playground. Tiger Tiger is a bar, but as the evening rolls on, it becomes a buzzing hub of nightlife in London’s West End. The venue features 3 bars (mainly playing a mixture of R&B, Hip Hop and commercial chart hits), a lounge area, dining space and my favourite part - a retro dancefloor designated for those old skool vibes. This is a popular spot for all ages (over 18) to enjoy and can get packed really quickly, so if you are planning to go, try and book in advance and keep an eye out for any special nights they may have going on!
Photo Credit: london.tigertiger.co.uk
4. Queen of Hoxton
Located in the heart of Shoreditch, the Queen of Hoxton is most commonly known to be a bar. However, when I went a couple of years back, their rooftop was transformed into a Moroccan Medina. Imagine the cosy setting of an Arabian tent decked out with pillows, rugs, lanterns and all. Take in the décor with a selection of indulgent food to nibble on, not forgetting some traditional mint tea - with the Queen’s twist! Since then, they have incorporated a variety of different themes – due to Covid-19 restrictions, the running of these experiences may have changed since. But when they are back to normal functioning, I do hope to see some more unique events happening there!
Photo Credit: the resident.co.uk
5. Shaka Zulu
Okay, so I may be cheating with this one a bit because it’s first and foremost a restaurant, but the two-storey venue also transforms into a bar and club. From the moment you enter, the tribal spirit within is awoken, with carved murals escalating up the walls and covering the ceiling, the essence of South Africa is brought into Camden Town. Focusing on the two bars within the venue: Champagne & Oyster Bar and a Cocktail Lounge have a range of drinks available. For the wine connoisseurs, be sure to have a dribble – or more – of South African wine that Shaka Zulu has to offer.