London

PING!!!

I went to college round Earls Court, so the memories I have of hanging out in that area are distinctly based around drinking G&Ts in the pubs that would serve us without asking for ID and playing pool in places that have carpet. Occasionally we would venture on to the Kings Road to drink pitchers of frozen strawberry Margaritas at @BigEasyTweet or drink bottles of Becks in the Cadogan Arms. These evenings would almost inevitably end up in 151 (before the refurb when Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke was still manning the door) or in K Bar (anyone else remember that place…!!?).

As we got older (ahem legal), our choice of drinking venues predictably changed. Bungalow 8 was always one of my favourite places. It always felt mischievous and the sort of what happens in Bungalow stays in Bungalow attitude kept it fun for several years. @MrAlexPotter) was Marketing Manager at this time and this boy definitely knows how to throw a party. He went on to co-found the phenomenally successful Love Brunch with @JonnyBoud of Rose Club, so it was a natural progression for these two to open their own place.

This brings us back to Earls Court, where they have taken over what used to be Miss Q’s and brought a bit of much needed new life to the place with Ping. We walked downstairs to this dimly lit ping pong den and found a choice of two bars at which to sit and sip relatively cheap, but well-constructed cocktails. This is before we are greeted by possibly the most enthusiastic front of house manager I’ve ever met (he’s a dancer in his spare time. I know this because he told me while dancing round our table. Loves). He told us about the pizza offerings. It is worth mentioning here that, because the dough is allowed to rise for such a long time before cooking, apparently something happens to the base when it cooks that means it doesn’t leave you feeling bloated. I have to say, I actually agreed with him on this (just don’t ask me the science behind it).

I had a great pizza with cream cheese and chicken which was exactly what it said on the tin, but using fantastic ingredients, accompanied by a boozy rum and strawberry slush puppy (probably my favourite bit of the evening). As regular readers of this blog will also know, I am a total dessert fiend so obviously couldn’t resist sharing their legendary strawberry and nutella pizza with my friend. Lush.

To top it all off, there are three ping pong tables here, where you can get competitive with your friends, or even better (although maybe save this for the weekend) get stuck into some serious beer pong action.

For somewhere really affordably priced, in an area that still feels local but is central enough that it won’t be too hard for people to get to, this place is brilliant!! The minds behind some of the greatest and most exclusive parties and nightclubs in London have produced something with the same level of fun, creativity and attention to detail, and brought it down to a more accessible level. They have definitely given me reason to return to a part of London that I’d basically abandoned after turning 18, which I love too. With that in mind, I’ll see you over the tables. Anyone want to challenge me to a game?

[Editors note: That’s a real challenge, right there. Tweet Helena at @HelenaFleur… Go on, I dare you!]

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