I’m going to come right out and say it: Breakfast Club Bingo is by a million miles the most fun you can have in London for a fiver. Or £5.75, I suppose, once you’ve added the DesignMyNight booking fee.
The Breakfast Club, best known for its eclectic eighties-themed decor, boozy brunches and ridiculously long queues, has a cunning ruse to get the punters in on those otherwise quiet Tuesday nights: bingo. Yes, originally the preserve of elderly ladies with fuck-all else to do and Blackpool vacationers as a very, very last resort, bingo is making a comeback via one of London’s most hipsterish micro-chains. Don’t let that put you off though; it’s actually a fantastic night.
I’ve been to a couple of these now and they’re always hosted by a comedian in character as a friendly but deranged lunatic armed with a microphone and a collection of unorthodox bingo calls (“Chicks with dicks, there’s no quick fix! Number six!”) The first time we went we had a lady who had the exact same voice as Babs in Chicken Run, the one who doesn’t want to be a pie because she doesn’t like gravy. The second time we had a chap with a magnificent false moustache, multiple hat changes and the pompous, hyper-British tones of a modern-day Mr Banks from Mary Poppins.
The format is quite straightforward. You play three games over the course of the evening; there are big prizes for full houses – usually a meal for two with booze – and cocktails for the first people to score a line. Periodically, when bonus numbers are called, everyone gets a shot of of Apple Sourz. The Breakfast Club is also one of the only places I know that sells Fentimen’s DELICIOUS alcoholic ginger beer, so one tends to leave quite tiddly, I find.
Only about 25 people play at a time, so the odds of winning are quite high. The first time I played I won two out of three games, proving that bingo is not in fact a game of chance like we all thought, but one of incredible cunning and skill. Skill that I happen to possess bucketloads of. The second time my flatmate won an unlimited (!) cocktail evening at the Battersea branch. I suspect they’re going to regret that; he’s a right slag for a Kir Royale even when he has to pay for them himself. I hope they’re well insured.
There’s also food on offer, which is pretty decent. Nothing particularly special – you can get good food like this all over London – but definitely worth doing if you’re there for bingo anyway or if you really, really love the eighties. It’s all good solid stuff, pies and pulled pork burgers, but not great if you’re on a diet or have a hankering for some roughage…
…You see, no greenery in sight. Delicious though. And bingo burns loads of calories anyway, especially if you’re as much of
an over-competitive arsehole a glowing example of keen sportsmanship as I am.
Tickets for BCB are sold on DesignMyNight.com and are available for both Angel and Battersea locations. They cost £5 plus booking fee, and include your bingo (and any prizes!), plus some free shots throughout the night. It’s good fun to go as a gang and also an amazing (and inexpensive) date idea. Menus can be found on the Breakfast Club’s website, which has really irritating sound, so make sure you turn your speakers down before you click.
We visited the Breakfast Club Angel, which can be found 31 Camden Passage, N1 8EA.
Author: Emily Gibson
Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and
glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in East London and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.