Swingers. When I first heard the name two years ago, I thought it sounded like a strip club. I can confirm, having visited last Wednesday, that it definitely isn’t. Instead, it’s a super stylish crazy golf venue.
This place is nothing too new. Opening in 2016, it was the first of its kind: a place to drink and play crazy golf simultaneously – what could be better? I hadn’t been able to persuade anyone to go with me until one of my friends suggested it recently. I was excited and, spoiler alert, it didn’t disappoint!
There are two venues, the original City one which is next to the Gherkin (near Liverpool Street) and the other in the West End, just off Oxford Circus. After work on Wednesday, the three of us headed to the City venue. It’s themed around a 1920s golf club set in English countryside. There are two courses, each with nine holes featuring different obstacles like bridges, slopes and a lighthouse. We paid £13 each for one round of the Lighthouse Course. If you go off-peak, tickets are £10.
The best thing is that there are caddies available who can take your drinks’ order straight from the course. It has a sophisticated cocktail menu with modern twists on classics, plus tons of unique flavours and even frozen cocktails, perfect for summer. Of course, with all the premium alcohol, this makes it quite pricey, and you’re looking at about £10 per cocktail. I got an Elderflower Spritz, which was cava, vodka, elderflower with cucumber and watermelon tonic – it was as refreshing as it sounds, but mostly tasted like cucumber, which I grew to like. Each hole conveniently has its own little table for you to put your drink down on.
We played through the nine holes pretty quickly since there was no one ahead of us. Having never played crazy golf before, I was surprised at just how much fun it was. There were a few mishaps (mostly me), and even though I came dead last, I had a lot of laughs. The only downside was that I was disappointed when it was all over. You can go at your own pace, particularly if it isn’t too busy, but because we were competitive, we sped through pretty quickly.
Once it was all over, it was time to grab food. Swingers City has three street food vendors: Patty & Bun, Pizza Pilgrims and DF/Mexico. I got a Colin Montgomery burger and brisket nuggets, which were both great, but proved a little too filling for my appetite. I paid £16 for my meal.
It’s worth mentioning that it was the England vs Croatia semi-finals, so we headed to the main bar and grabbed a seat near the screen. If you were in London during any of the games, you’d know how incredibly busy all the pubs and bars got, but this was our own little sanctuary. It was a relaxed atmosphere to watch the game, so naturally, I had another two or three Elderflower cocktails.
Expensive? On a student budget, yes. The whole night cost me just under £60, but you don’t need to drink as much as me. Would I recommend? Definitely, it was a ton of fun. The West End venue could be worth a visit too; it’s British seaside-themed which also sounds very summery and apt given the scorching temperatures we have all been wilting under these past few weeks!