Drinkers of Notts rejoiced upon hearing that the Roxy Ball Room, a boozer with a sporty twist, would be opening its doors on Thurland Street. It promised to bring a taste of London’s nightlife gaming culture to Hoodtown, and our Emily couldn’t wait to get down to the opening night...
We were greeted at the door with a glass of Prosecco and three drinks tokens and, as we sipped away, we took the opportunity to scope out the room. The place is full of pool, ping pong and graffiti-adorned beer pong tables where groups of people were already battling it out; the walls are decked out with neon signs, plus a giant picture of “King Pong” the Gorilla.
We decided to put our drinks tokens to good use and sample a few cocktails. We started with a Pingstar Martini (£7.50), which was easily my favourite. Complete with a shot of Prosecco and a strong presence of passionfruit, it was a perfect take on the classic pornstar.
Samples of the menu were being passed around the room so that everyone could try a bite from a selection of their dishes. My mate is allergic to tomatoes, which makes feeding her difficult at the best of times. She was only able to try the garlic butter dough balls (£4.50), but she was pretty pleased with the warm garlic butter they’re covered in. I took it upon myself to sample as much of the pizza as possible, and managed to bag a few slices of both the Cajun chicken and the meat feast (both £10.90). Plenty of toppings with a healthy serving of cheese meant it was a big thumbs up from me.
After failing to nab any of the burgers floating around, we went back to drinking. We cashed in our second drinks token on a Fast Paddle (£7.50); a gin, elderflower and apple juice concoction. Both sweet and refreshing, it gave us enough courage to play a game ourselves. We decided on ping pong, which on a normal night costs between £4.50 and £6. We were given bats, eight or so balls, and half an hour to go crazy.
And go crazy we did. There were balls flying everywhere. At one point, we attempted to play with four at once, but we got too hot and sweaty to continue so took up residency in the photobooth instead. Four sets of silly pictures later, we now have evidence of the exact moment that the gin kicked in.
Finally, it was time to cash in our last token on the Ballzee Move (£7.50). The mixture of Havana rum, Briottet strawberry liqueur, lime and cranberry juice was lovely, and was by far the strongest drink yet. As we sipped, we watched the groups of people crowding round the beer pong tables and cheered when anyone managed to drop one in their opponents’ cup.
By the end of the night, Roxy Ball Room had managed to put three kinds of spirits, some pizza and plenty of laughs inside me. You can’t really ask for much else on a night out, can you?
10 Thurland Street, First Floor, NG1 3DR. 0115 684 7200
We’ve seen bread served in flat caps and we’ve heard of bowls of American cereal sold for £5 on Brick Lane, but Murat dwarfs them all for hipster pomp: no menu, no waiters. Hell, there aren’t even any tables. But you can definitely get a good bit of scran for your buck.