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One of the best things about being a grown up, other than having no homework, peer pressure or unpredictable hormonal bursts, is being able to go to the pub, sup on some lovely beer/wine/juice/tea (delete where applicable), and spend your spare time rediscovering your youth by playing games with your mates. Fluid has rolled, bowled, wii-d and scribbled our little hearts out to bring you the 10 best bars and pubs in London which have mastered the art of providing a perfect drinking hole, combined with the added giggle-factor of games. None of the arcade, flashing lights, steal your money types in this little list, just some of the good old board, card, quiz and ball types, complete with some lovely food and the freedom to stay out as late as you like, well until last orders anyway.
Shoreditch / Bar / Cuisine: Pizza
Nothing gets the Shoreditch revellers going before a night out clubbing than a few hours of cocktails, loud music, sourdough pizza, and mass games of ping pong. This basement bar in Shoreditch is absolute mayhem, with table tennis balls flying all over the room (no skill necessary) providing hilarity and fun in equal measures for all involved. And it gets even better when the turn the lights off and you start doing it in the dark!
Shoreditch / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
For just 80p you can twist, pull and push your way through a game of Table Football. This Shoreditch bar takes the pastime very seriously, from the traditional French Bonzini beech wood and cast iron tables and figurines, to the experienced clientele who make this their regular, practising their techniques ahead of one of the monthly tournaments. It's so popular reservations are recommended to guarantee a place. Die hard fans can also purchase a souvenir t-shirt on the way out.
All Star Lanes
Shoreditch / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
Just like Shoreditch itself, bowling never goes out of fashion. All Star Lanes is a bowling alley, restaurant and bar with an Americana vibe enforced by the waitresses attire; the jukeboxes and the fairly predictable food of smokehouse burgers, ribs and chips ("fries"). There isn't much to expect from this place other than a good laugh on the lanes and the wide range of people you can expect to be competing with. City slickers to students to families, from karaoke to pool tables, you'll always find something to enjoy at All Star Lanes. A solid night out. Best Cocktail: Pin Up Girl
The Four Thieves
Clapham / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
The local Clapham pub with everything under one roof that includes a menu of British pub classics and their own on-site brewery producing up to 40 casks a week and even their own distillery making Four Thieves Gin. The highlight is their massive upstairs games room filled with vintage arcade games, ping-pong tables, pinball and mini-motor racing. They also have an interactive immersive escape room game in the form of Lady Chastity's Reserve.
Hampstead / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
If you can drag yourself away from the cosy open fires and gastro-pubbiness of upstairs, head down to the cellar for a spot of London Skittles. Unlike its comical shoe-wearing successor, this game's played with nine pins and not with the sensible option of a ball, but a 'cheese' - which is not a cheese at all, just a hard wood object that looks like one. Few pubs offer this game nowadays; this one boasts over 70 years of play and a record that has remained unbeaten since 1960.
The Bat and Ball
Stratford / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
The Bat and Ball is a year-long pop-up games bar on The Street at Westfield Mall, Stratford. On the top floor you will find 10 ping pong tables and a large bar, with music in the evenings, and downstairs a deli counter serving up the likes of paninis, salads, hot wings and pizzas from The Well Street Pizza Co. A large central bar and a colourful banquet seating area around creates a casual space for food, drink and, of course, plenty of games!
The Four Quarters
Peckham & Camberwell / Bar /
Four Quarters is not your average bar or café, the owners have a huge passion for craft beer and classic arcade games, and also offer film screenings, tournaments, great food, coffee and all sorts of other treats. Driven by a thriving art scene, a vibrant local community and nearby universities, Peckham has become one of London?s most diverse and liveliest areas and The Four Quarters is a valued addition to it's stand out nightlife. Try out the vintage gaming cabinets and re-live your teenage years, beat your 15-year-old-self Street Fighter score board position, get immersed in 80's Tron, Pac Man, Outrun, Asteroids, Defender, and Space invaders.
City of London / Bar / Cuisine: French
This French bar is bedecked in a 1960s theme and has a menu that is specifically Provençal in its leaning. Be sure to try the French fries, they are rumoured to be the best in London. They also serve fresh frog's legs and a variety of tasty charcuterie. It also has London?s only indoor petanque court, we believe, which has its own hidden alcove at one end.
The Old Queens Head
Angel & Islington / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: Pan Asian
Tuesday quiz nights are not your usual 30 question, pint and crisps affair, trying to remember what that Corrie star is called or who Dirty Den fathered a child with. This North London pub, which is already renowned for hosting some of the best live music line-ups in the City, has gone a flight of steps further to bring you rounds of fun stuff like Guess the Punch Ingredients, Splat The Twat and extra points for the mannerisms that would normally get you chucked out.
Fitzrovia / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Scandinavian
Nordic Bar, situated close to Oxford Street, offers an impressive list of Scandinavian beers, sophisticated wines and refreshing cocktails alongside indulgent Scandinavian grub. Head down in the evening for a bit of ping-pong or Foosball, and if the tables are temporarily in use, just gaze over at one of the venue's big screens showing a variety of sporting fixtures and movies. The great atmosphere generated by this Soho venue makes it perfect to visit with friends or to swing by for some after work drinks, and with their dedicated party team happy to plan any event you had in mind, its also a great place to stage a private function.
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