Lifestyle Editor Emilio Beneventi investigates Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch, the famous Ball Pit Bar London to see what all the fuss is about.
Now, for most who know me, I am a ‘don’t pop past the second button on your shirt’ kind of guy. Don’t get me wrong, I am always up for fun but my idea of a quirky activity is a game of blind-folded croquet. So when I was assigned the story to go and check out Ballie Ballerson, well, let’s just say I didn’t exactly go without preconceptions or enthusiasm. Reconnect with your inner child? Oh great, what’s next? Naptime? Not exactly my vibe.
The fact that upon arrival the “No ID, no entry” rule was in place made me feel a lot better. No kids! To the bar! But, I will be grown (not trying to be cheeky) enough to admit that I completely fell in love with the space the moment I walked inside.
Firstly, the decor is inspired. It is the perfect mix between child-like fantasy and luxury-club. The 70 metre glowing UV mural is a quirky yet sophisticated element that adds whimsy to the room. It’s not an “oh let’s feel young and paint our faces like idiots” kind of establishment. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a place to let loose and enjoy yourself.
The famous Ball Pit Bar London started out as the brainchild of Wenny as a “one month only” pop up in Dalston in November 2016. Needless to say, its popularity ensured an extension to the summer of 2017. But with a staggering 150 000 visitors, it was only logical that the Ball Pit Bar London needed a permanent and much larger venue.
Laid out over 5 000 square feet, this expansive adult-playground is the most fun I’ve had in years. The atmosphere here is superb and they have a great selection of food including pizza and other delicious nibbles.
Of course, one of my biggest concerns was the cleanliness of it all. Take over one million balls and a spectacular average of 25 000 visitors a month, and to me that just sounded like a huge risk. Well, the guys at Ballie Ballerson thought of that as well. Every single ball in this place is perfectly cleaned by a mechanical ball cleaner called Gobble Muffin who sanitises and cleans 18 000 ball p/hr.
Now, most importantly, the drinks. This was most certainly one of the best parts of the entire evening for me. The cocktails are inspired and will take you down, be it drunken, memory lane. All inspired by retro sweets, such as Skittles and Bubblegum, these drinks perfectly round off the entire immersive experience. I highly recommend ordering the Dibbie Dabberson. This drink is beyond delicious and, well, just order it and thank me later.
The Ball Pit Bar London, as it affectionately referred to, also has a VIP section. This space offers a booth, table service and an exclusive ball pit. It also offers a VIP menu as well as a VIP drink menu. Here, they have fabulous giant cocktails such as the Giant Pornstar Martini that serves between 6 to 8 people. Or if like me, you’re a, let’s call it a ‘fast drinker’ to seem more polite, this is the perfect drink to keep you all night without your waiter having to run their legs off all night.
I honestly cannot recommend Ballie Ballerson enough, and this coming from a guy who arrived thinking “I am so not going to enjoy this”. It is the perfect blend between nostalgia, club and escapism. It is the kind of place in which to lose yourself and will make you want to go back again and again. A definite must-visit!