I have a confession to make … I don’t really like ping pong!
I just never really got why it’s fun! Apologies any ping pong fans out there …. but even the name is a bit naff!
So I didn’t have high hopes for a ping pong singles night!
That said, if anyone knows how to run a good singles night in London, it’s DoingSomething. The company has pioneered weird and wonderful singles ideas across the Capital for the past year, with everything from yoga dating to climbing the O2 in Santa outfits.
Last month, Kink went along to DoingSomething’s record-breaking ping pong singles night at Bounce in Holborn, and really enjoyed it, so when DS announced they were running another similar event, but even bigger and better, I decided it was time to give ping pong a chance!
At my side for the evening was the ultimate wingwoman – Purdey Miles!
Purdey and I arrived at Bounce at around 8.30, and the bar was already rammed. Looking around there was a real mix of ages – from early twenties to late forties at least. To be honest I quite liked that – realistically if you’re getting 600 singletons in one place, it’s unlikely they’ll all be the same age. I was impressed by the turn out – a Bank Holiday Sunday night is a good time for a singles event, as people are up for coming out and getting drunk, but you’re not competing with normal Friday and Saturday nights out.
Purdey and I joined forces with AskMen’s Matt Chappell, who was there with a friend, grabbed a round of drinks, and headed to the tables.
There was no real formal arrangement for playing. People subbed in and out of games whenever someone got bored. There was no real scoring going on, and it varied from table to table as to how seriously people took the game, and how seriously they were scoring / abiding by the rules!
Perhaps one thing the event lacked, was a bit more structure. Some guys literally stayed on the same time all night, and there was just as much chance to stay on a table of all girls or all guys, as there was of mixing it up and ending up playing with a stranger of the opposite sex. Perhaps if DoingSomething had staff ‘reffing’ each table, they could have ensured there were always mixed couples / gay couples on certain tables, to make the ping pong more of an icebreaker, where you ended up teamed up with a random stranger for a five minute game.
I think it’s one of those situations where unless you’re particularly forward (like Purdey!), you need someone to push you forward, and make you team up with a hot stranger.
Bounce is not a bar for the faint hearted. There are literally hundreds of ping pong balls all over the bar, flying at all angles, and not everyone has a good aim, so whilst the aim of table tennis may be to aim at the table, quite often balls came flying through the air at your head, regardless of where you were in the room!
The area behind some of the tables is quite tight, and I definitely got smacked by a couple of ping pong paddles midway through shots, and likewise trod on a couple of people while I was playing! And I was surprised to see that Bounce serves drinks in actual glass glasses. A tip for any future ‘Bouncers’ …. keep your drink in your hand – a ping pong ball smashed my entire glass of Prosecco before I’d even touched it! Beginner fail!
As per usual the DoingSomething guys were ‘on theme’ handing out rosettes to say what kind of ‘Date’ we all were – Cheap Date, Fun Date etc etc. They’d also laid out a heap of Space Hoppers by the dance floor, so that we could literally ‘bounce’ at Bounce.
It’s rare to go to a Singles Event and see so many guys. I know some of the guys mentioned that they’d been at Bounce earlier in the day, and asked to stay on to make up numbers, but as Singles Events go, it was pretty successful. The bar was like a packed nightclub.
Unfortunately, it was a little bit too much like a nightclub.
Early on in the night, the music went really loud, so you could barely hear your friends talking, let alone approach a stranger and get chatting. It completely killed the singles night vibe, and made the whole place just seem like a nightclub where you knew everyone was single.
Then the infrared lights went on. Big mistake.
This is what people look like in infrared light ….
Yes … Purdey looks like a deranged sea monster, and I look like I’m on a trip to my dentist!
This is NOT what you want to look like on the pull!!
It gets worse ….
This is what the rest of the room looked like …
Very cool … BUUUUUT you can’t see anyone!
You need to be able to check people out at a singles event!
So well done DoingSomething for getting so many singles together. It was a really fun way to spend the Bank Holiday, and I actually rather enjoyed hitting ping pong balls around, but next time, keep the music down and the lights ON! You want to be able to talk to strangers at a singles do, and actually know what they look like!
And no one wants to look like a sea monster, when they’re on the pull!
Rather amusingly though, Purdey was still recognised from First Dates by several of the daters, even in the crazy blue lighting! And I spotted several regular blog readers in amongst the crowd – reminding me that London may be a big city, but Single London is actually a really small world!
It felt like being back at a club in uni – and not in a bad way! Was lovely to know so many people on a night out that isn’t in my home town! 🙂
Next time just crank up the music a bit later in the night, and leave the lights up!
Thanks for a fun night DoingSomething … we can’t wait to see what you do next!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx