When your colleagues ask you on a Friday night what you’re up to over the weekend and you reply that you’re going to a place called ‘Swingers’, you’re bound to get some odd looks, even if you very quickly explain that it’s not what it sounds like! It’s not some weird sex club, it’s actually mini golf!
I love mini golf, when I was little we used to go to Skegness in the summer and whilst not the classiest of seaside resorts, I love it for all its tackiness. I love the penny pushing machines in the arcades, I love the fairground rides and the pedolos on the little lake there and of course, the mini golf. I also used to love teasing my sister about her complete inability to putt, frustrating her further and leaving her ridiculously over par. However, Skegness is a long way from London, so I was excited to learn that mini golf was bring brought to a warehouse in Shoreditch by SwingersLDN. On the day that booking opened I booked tickets and I was glad I did because their sessions quickly booked up.
This is Shoreditch so of course it’s not the mini golf I played as a kid, this is mini golf with booze, music and street food, however, it’s got all the things mini golf needs – ramps, bridges, turns, sand traps and a water feature.
We arrived after work and were given a tee-off time within our allocated golfing slot and settled ourselves down in the clubhouse to have a drink. All decked out in leather chairs, for a pop-up this was a pretty good imitation of how I imagine a golf clubhouse to be.
As it was Halloween, all the staff (and some of the attendees) were dressed up, my favourites were the zombie golfers – Halloweeny and topical. The place was also decked out with carved pumpkins.
In addition to permanent street food residents, Pizza Pilgrims, there is a rotating guest street food seller and when we visited it was When Mac Met Cheese.
We decided to start with pizzas, Nduja for me and Portobello and Truffle for my boyfriend.
These were incredible, the bases weren’t crispy but were instead soft and pillowy, the kind of pizza that you cradle as you bring it up to your mouth. The nduja sausage on mine perfectly contrasted with the creamy cheese.
We ate our pizzas overlooking the course (my competitive side kicked in and I tried to learn the pitfalls of the course from watching others).
As our tee-off time rolled around, we joined the course, drinks, clubs and scorecard in hand.
It was a much trickier course than it appeared at first and the pars were very low (or maybe the mid-course bar impaired my ability to putt straight!).
However, despite some rather wonky putts and ending up in both the sand and the water, I ended up having won more holes than my boyfriend and declared myself King of the SwingersLDN, the Shoreditch VIP.
We finished our round with a Carlos the Cactus mac and cheese – unbelievably rich and cheesy but with a real kick from the jalapeños.
It was a really fun way to spend a Friday evening. I’m not sure how many golfing slots they still have available but you can definitely buy ‘ground passes’ which allow access to the clubhouse and food (you never know, you might have the chance to sneak in a round if they’re quiet on the day) from their website.