For a long time I had felt like I should have been to one of London’s many mini-golf bars by now since they look so much fun, and it turns out I was right. I have definitely been missing out because it was a bunch of fun!
We went to the City branch of Swingers (there is also a West End branch) for a leaving do and it was so much fun!
The venue at Swingers, The City
The venue is tucked around a corner right next to the iconic Gherkin building in the city. It is close to plenty of tube stations, including Bank, Aldgate and Liverpool Street.
Upon arrival they checked most people’s ID, so worth bringing it along even if like us half your party is over 30, they still checked!
There is a free cloakroom available at Swingers the City which is located as soon as you get inside down the stairs. You will want to use this as there isn’t much space to put your stuff on the course and why would you want to lug it around with you?!
There is a central bar, and three different street food vendors available – Pizza Pilgrims, Patty & Bun and Breddos Tacos, which serve both meal sized items and sides. There is picnic bench styled seating by the kitchens, as well as reservable group areas by the bar.
We had done a group booking as there were 13 of us in total. The options available were an early game with 2 drinks and no food included for £27 per person, or for £50 per person you can get 4 drinks, £12 worth of food each and a reserved area for 90 minutes with a later start time. There is also an £80 per person package with unlimited drinks and a space for 3 hours. You can upgrade to add deluxe rather than house drinks for an extra cost too.
You get a waitress who comes and takes everyones food and drink orders on an iPad too so no need to leave your reserved area to go and get food or drinks, which is pretty nice! They advise you order food an hour before your Tee off time, so you have time to enjoy it!
I personally went for a pizza from Pizza Pilgrims, which was delicious and filling enough for me. I drank Gin and Tonics with my vouchers. Top tip, if you are there late on a weeknight, people start leaving and we ended up getting given a bunch of free drinks tokens, including a few deluxe ones meaning we could get cocktails, which was awesome, thank you to those generous people who gifted them to us!
The golf course
So there are two mini golf courses at Swingers the City, one called the Windmill and one called the Lighthouse – and yes you guessed it, one has a big windmill and one a big lighthouse obstacle. They looked like pretty similar courses from what I could see – we did the lighthouse course. Both courses have nine holes in total.
They broke us up into smaller groups of 3 and 4 to go around the course. You get 6 hits at each shot, and if you haven’t got it in you must move on anyway with a score of 6 for that hole. This was good as it means you don’t end up spending too much time on one hole, and you are relieved of your frustration at how hard one is after 6 shots rather than endlessly trying (and failing) to get the ball in! Which is helpful because some of them it was really easy to get the ball stuck!
It is crazy golf style, with a natural wooden design, so lots of annoying wooden fences in the way for you to navigate, and several shots that involve ramps and tunnels.
They also have the people with iPads wandering around to serve you any drinks that you may require – there are tiny tables at each hole start point for your drinks and score cards. They provide you with tiny Ikea type pencils for these.
At the end you tally up your score and the lowest number of shots is the winner! We had a wide range from 26 being the winner right up to 45! There is a leaderboard on the screens on the way in and the people on there were on about 17, so clearly we have a lot more practise to do if we want to make it up there. Don’t think me and my 35 will be there any time soon, but it was lots of fun nevertheless!
After we had finished with playing mini golf, the place was a lot quieter and we managed to go and sit back at a big table area and enjoy the rest of our, (and the generous people leaving), drinks tokens.
It was a very enjoyable evening overall. The food was good, service was pretty decent and the activity was loads of fun! It isn’t exactly an every day activity given the cost, but definitely fun for a novelty occasion or I hear it makes a great place for a date.
I would certainly like to go back to Swingers mini golf some day and see if I can improve my score and defeat hole number 7, which really flummoxed me! Or maybe I should go to the West End branch of Swingers and see if it is any easier!