Aim for bullseye at darts joint Flight Club

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Darts just got cool. For a long time it’s been a game associated with old men and dated pubs – but that’s all been thrown out the window now thanks to Flight Club.

This fairground-themed bar brings fancy computerised score-keeping and exciting team-based knockout games to make darts fun and social.

Think of what Top Golf did for golf; that’s what Flight Club has done for darts.

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Add inventive cocktails, tasty tear-and-share food (that’s brought straight to your area at the touch of a button), a buzzing atmosphere and feel-good music to the mix and you’ve got a winning combination for an alternative experience in London.

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Choose from four different games on a slick, touch-screen system, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never played before, you’re likely to be hooked after a few turns.

The smallest details have been thought of, from engraved throw lines, also known as ‘oches’ – marked ‘rookie’, ‘regular’ and ‘pro’ so you can match it to your ability – to coat hooks in every area, and the capability for every player to take a mug shot at the start of the game, which will flash up every time it’s their turn.

Hire an area well in advance, and we’d recommend booking for a minimum of two hours to give yourselves sufficient time to get through all the games. It is perfect for a group of friends/colleagues/family members – we had 10 people in our game.

The carousel-themed bar downstairs in the Bloomsbury branch is vibrant and inviting, so even if you don’t go to play, this is a cool place for drinks.

While ping pong has had its moment – proving popular for team building events, dates and birthdays – now’s the time for darts.

…And it’s not just for boys.

Flight Club has two venues in central London – Shoreditch and Bloomsbury.

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A night of mayhem at Bogan Bingo

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Bingo has shaken off its granny rep in recent years thanks to the likes of Rebel Bingo and Musical Bingo et al, and with live comedy game show Bogan Bingo it takes another entertaining and rowdy turn.

Presented by a couple of awesome bogan (derogatory Aussie term for an uncouth, poorly educated person) bingo callers, the focus here isn’t on handing out life-changing amazing prizes, but on amusing (and sometimes embarrassing) the players.

Bring a brave and unserious face, for the bingo callers are brash and there are no shortage of crude jokes and sexual innuendos to be heard – no wonder it’s dubbed “bingo with balls”.

This is a noisy affair that quickly descends into a messy drinking game – and it’ll have you lol-ling all night.

You’ll find yourself making friends with strangers beside you (many of whom are Aussies and Kiwis) and singing along to anthems from the Eighties and Nineties. There will be people dancing on tables, drinks will get spilled and it will get chaotic, so this isn’t for the weak. And at the end of the mad bingo session, the benches are pulled aside to make way for a party.

It’ll be easy to get into the spirit of it all if you’re a little sloshed – and it’s best enjoyed with a bunch of friends or workmates sat by your side.

P.S. Don’t be the dude who mistakenly ticks off a wrong number and claims to have got a winning row, because if the crowd’s anything like it was last night, you’ll be booed off the stage and have things thrown at you. He probably won’t forget this night in a hurry – and neither will I.

Time to play at the board games café

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Fed up with hearing about gimmicky hipster cafés? Me too.

But here’s one without the gimmick that’s worth hunting down: London’s first (and only) board games café, Draughts. If the thought of Monopoly, Cluedo, Hungry Hippos, Articulate, Scrabble, Game of Life and 400 other games excites you, you’re well overdue a visit.

This place isn’t just a pub with a few games thrown in; it’s a dedicated gaming zone with a bar to boot, and it’s bloody good fun.

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The premise is simple: for just £5 per person, you get a four hour slot and a table to play any number of games you wish. There’s food and drinks to keep you going (at extra cost, of course), so take along your buddies and make a night or afternoon of it.

The dedicated games corner has everything you could wish for, from the family favourites such as Doddle, Jenga, Articulate and Pictionary to more difficult strategy games such as Ticket to Ride. Everything is organised according to the games genre, too, so there’s no need to scramble through boxes.

What’s more, the staff AKA the ‘games gurus’ can help you pick a game if you’re unsure, or talk you through the rules.

I visited with a group of colleagues and it made for a fun-filled, alternative night out, perfect for those of us doing Dry January. We munched through sandwiches and sharing plates, and washed them down with soft drinks, wine and cider, and it ended up costing about £20pp.

Nestled under the arches in Haggerston, the board games café is a warm and cosy place to hide away in these cold months. If you are planning to visit on a weekday evening, try to book in advance as it is a very popular time. Booking isn’t required for the weekend but gamers are allowed in on a first come, first served basis, so if you’re eager to get a space you will have to get there for 10am sharp.

Bring your best game face – but maybe leave your overly competitive friends at home.

Fun bachelorette and hen party games: tried-and-tested!

A few months ago, I took on the responsibility of organising my sister’s hen/bachelorette parties. Yes, I used the plural – ‘parties’ – because the madam decided that she’d have one hen party abroad (for those who could make it to another country) and one nearer to home (for everyone else who couldn’t) – apparently it’s the new thing to do.

Having only ever been to one civilised hen party before taking on this mammoth task, I was a little lost for ideas, so I had to be inventive.

I wanted to share the games I researched, and created, to help those ladies who are stuck in a similar rut – with a hen party to organise, and a limited amount of time to get it together! Remember, the main aim of the party is to make a fuss of and embarrass the bride-to-be, while entertaining her hens.

Give these heart-shaped bubbles to each of your hens – they’re cute and chic, and a nice memento of the night! Or you might like these or, alternatively, these naughty ones

Hen party games

-Wedding-themed memory game: If the hens don’t know each other too well, this is a quick way to break the ice. The first hen starts by saying: ‘My name is ______ and I’m taking a _____ to [bride-to-be’s name’s] wedding. So if the hen’s name is Sally, and the bride’s name is Mary, Sally would say: ‘My name is Sally and I’m taking a sausage to Mary’s wedding.’ We played it so the name of item also began with the hen’s first initial, so Sally took a sausage, and Laura took a lizard. The next hen has to repeat Sally’s item, and add one of her own, etc.

Get this badge set so each hen has their own. These badges are cool too

-Interesting fact: This is another great icebreaker but it takes some preparation. In the run-up to the hen party, ask the hens to tell you an interesting fact about themselves. Then, at the party, read out the fact and ask the rest of hens if they can guess who it relates to. We had some hilarious revelations: one hen was a member of a medieval re-enactment group, one liked to drink tea in between a drinking session, another owned 60 pairs of shoes – you get the gist!

-Pin the willy on the bloke: A variation of the traditional Pin the Tail on the Donkey game – simply replace the donkey with a hunk, and the tail with a willy. I did a DIY job with preparing this – I just stuck lots of pieces of paper together and drew on a life-size hunk, then used Blu Tack to secure to the wall. Draw or print off a cartoon willy, cut round it and use Blu Tack to give it a sticky back. If you don’t have time, just buy the game. Blindfold the hen, swivel her round a few times and then let her pin the willy. We wrote the hen’s name on the spot she pinned to compare performance!

What’s in your purse? The hen with the weirdest things in her purse is likely to win this game. Hens get points for the items they arrived at the party with – so, for example, as the host, you would ask: ‘Who has a receipt for shoes in their purse?’ and all those hens who have one are awarded 20 points. You can make a list of a range of things, such as: toothbrush – 5 points; picture of partner – 5 points; condom – 10 points; PMS medication – 15 points; spare underwear – 20 points; a pen which isn’t black or blue – 10 points, etc. The hen with the most points wins!

-Mould the best willy: Arm some of the hens with Play Doh, and challenge them to model a willy. If you’re feeling really adventurous, get them to do it blindfolded, or with their eyes shut. The rest of the hens then vote the winning model.

-Pass the bouquet: This is just like musical chairs, but it uses a bouquet. Get your hands on false flowers, or real flowers if you fancy it, and you’ll need one of the hens to control the music. Get everyone else to stand in a circle with their back to the centre, and while the music plays the hens have to pass the bouquet to the person next to them. The person who is holding the bouquet when the music stops is eliminated, and the last person standing is the winner!

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Inflatable selfie picture frame

-The biscuit game – You’ll need a packet of digestives from the supermarket for this game. Get hens to bite the best heart, bouquet or willy shape and compare the results at the end – awarding prizes for the best willy, biggest willy, or biggest heart, for example.

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Inflatable props and accessories

-Mr & Mrs Quiz – Get the groom to fill out a quiz, and the bride-to-be to guess his answers. Turn it into a drinking game by making her take a shot for every answer she gets wrong. Here is a list of questions I gave to the groom > Questions for groom.

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A cute keepsake for the bride

-How well do you know the bride? Craft a multiple-choice quiz for the hens, about the bride-to-be, which she has answered in advance. Split the hens into teams and get them to guess the answers. Swap sheets at the end and get the teams to mark each other’s answers – the winning team receives a prize! Here is the quiz I created for the bride to fill in > How well do you know the bride? Quiz questions. Then you can get the losing team to do some dares – here are some outrageous dare cards

-Bridal pictionary: Based on the well-known Pictionary game, for this you need pieces of paper and pens. Think of wedding-related words, such as rings; flowers; bride; champagne; cake; music; wedding dress; 27 Dresses; bridesmaids etc and write them on small pieces of paper. Split the hens into teams – perhaps ‘The Bride’s Team’ and ‘The Groom’s Team’ and get them to take turns in picking a word and attempting to draw it using pictures. The team that guesses the most correct answers wins.

-True or false: Gather 10 to 15 facts about the bride-to-be. Half should be true and half should be false. Get the hens to try and decide which ones are true!

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Prosecco pong – beer pong’s classy sister

-I Have Never – drinking game: One hen starts by revealing an ‘I have never’ statement such as ‘I have never eaten a whole box of chocolates’ or ‘I have never lied about my age’. Those hens who have done this – who have eaten a box of chocolates, or have lied about their age – must drink. Then the next hen says what she has never done, etc.

-Scavenger hunt and to-do list: Give your bride-to-be a list of items she must acquire, and a set of tasks she must complete during her hen party. If you don’t want to be too cruel, you can add that she can nominate her hens to do some of these for her. Items to collect could include: a business card; a condom; a phallic-shaped item and boxers. Things to do could include: get a guy to buy you a shot; get a photo with a man in uniform; get a guy to dance for you, etc. The prize of the game is a lifetime of memories. Click to see the ‘Bride to be to-do list’ and the ‘Bride-to-be’s list of things to collect’

-My first kiss: Get the hens to go round and reveal details of their first kisses… Prepare for lots and lots of giggles.

Themes for hen nights

It’s great fun to set a dress code for the hen parties. We chose nerds, where we wore oversized glasses, braces, knee high socks and drew on zits. We also dressed up as Disney characters – we coordinated so we were all different characters, from Cruella de Vil and Pocahontas to Snow White and Minnie Mouse. For the final night we dressed up as animals – so the girls wore animal print dresses and tops, and some wore ears, tails and I got hold of some face paints, too.

Easier themes would include cow girls; angels and devils; fairies; neon; James Bond and The Only Way Is Essex! If you’re looking at hen tat to buy, sashes, whistles, mini bubbles necklaces, Hen Party name badges and willy straws really went down a hit! If you want to go OTT, you could get an inflatable willy, mini tiaras, glow sticks and a bride to be veil. Have a happy hen x

Use these bits and pieces to accessorise the party:



        
        

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