Is it just me or do others think of Forest Gump when they think of Ping Pong? Maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, Ping Pong is a game which I think is universally loved – mostly because it seems so silly but is actually insanely fun and after all that, people get kind of competitive, hence why it eventually became an Olympic sport.
Recently I was invited along with a group of other expat bloggers to check out Bounce, a newly opened bar on Holborn and on the very site that the original Ping Pong was invented. We had the most ridiculously fun afternoon, but I don’t think any of us will be future Olympians anytime soon… My apologies if I have offended you Emm, Mo, Jen, Melissa, Melizza, Oneika or Selina!
According to Bounce, they have verified that their bar/Ping Pong hall is actually on the very same site that in 1891 John Jaques II invented Gossima, a game of tennis for the dining room, essentially out of frustration at tennis taking over croquet at the Wimbledon Croquet Club. Could you imagine the likes of Murray or Nadal being superstars at croquet? Gossima didn’t take off as the Brits just didn’t like it, but Jaques’ son, John Jaques the Third, decided to give the game one more try and introduced what he’d now titled ‘Ping Pong’ to Hamley’s Toy Store and the world never looked back.
Bounce opened up a few months ago and I was very excited to check it out. Though useless at any sport requiring any form of coordination, I love a good game of Ping Pong as it’s not violent (I’m looking at you Mr Man and your terrifying games of Squash) and you don’t need to run all over the place only to end up swatting at the ball but missing it. Emm and I even managed to get a great rally going! At one point, Selina’s husband actually managed to get my heart rate up in a rather competitive streak – perhaps this is the sport for Lady loves Cake? I checked, Ping Pong can burn 200-250 calories per hour for beginners, but if you get really good then that goes up to 400-600, bye-bye running.
After tiring ourselves out we shared a bunch of platters and cocktails. As it was mid-afternoon I went for Joe’s Iced Tea made up of Earl Grey tea syrup, fresh raspberry and lemon juice and lemonade. It was delicious and I went back for a second not long after. Others had a range of cocktails and all seemed very happy with their choices.
The food was surprisingly good – they’ve put as much thought into their menu as they have in creating a great atmosphere in the place. We had pizza strips and antipasti platters which came with a range of small dishes.
I’m definitely going to return, mostly because I know Mr Man would love it and I really liked the atmosphere. Good music was playing but it wasn’t too loud – you could actually have a decent conversation while playing Ping Pong and still hear eachother across the tables. Everyone in the place was having a good laugh, from the kids who were having a birthday party in there when we arrived, to the hipsters and professionals who were appearing as we were leaving. I may even come back for my own birthday party in January…
Thanks Bounce for a brilliant afternoon!
We were guests of Bounce but none of us were obligated to write a good review – this is purely my own opinion. However, I can’t imagine not being able to write a good review about this place as it was just so much fun.
Bounce can be found at 121 Holborn, near the Holborn roundabout between Chancery Lane and St Paul’s. Nearest tube is Chancery Lane. Prices for the Ping Pong tables range depending on the time you go but the food and drinks were about normal for a mid-range bar in London.Â
P.S. Lady loves Cake is taking a holiday now. Posts to resume on 7 January. Have a very merry Christmas and all the best wishes for a prosperous and enjoyable 2013. Thank you for such a wonderful year readers – I’ve read every single one of your comments and tweets, got to meet quite a few of you (!) and have been unbelievably grateful for your visits which have encouraged me to be a better writer.
May 2013 be as amazing as 2012 was. Kat x o x o