My posts are going to be more irregular at the moment because is such a crazy season for me between it being peak summer season for events and finalising the details of a festival I work on during the summer. However I am able to take advantage of my few free evenings to see friends and try new things, so today I am going to review my experience of Ballie Ballerson.
Ballie Ballerson is a ball pit cocktail bar with one million balls, retro sweetie cocktails and damn sexy food – Ballie Ballerson is the ultimate adult playground to get loose. The Shoreditch venue provides masses of space and nostalgic hedonism with unparalleled photo opportunities.
Ballie Ballerson is covered with a 70 metre glowing UV mural twisting around the walls. Get stuck into the main glowing ball pit, or book the private pit looking directly out on the street on two sides. We also have a golden VIP pit for the ballers who book a table. This is the ultimate night out for new memories.
You may have seen in my previous post: London on a budget, that Timeout had (and still does) have an offer for Ballie Ballerson on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. This makes entry super cheap but there are a few things you need to know before attending.
- Cloakroom – you HAVE to pay for cloakroom as you aren’t allowed to leave your bags or coats anywhere or take them into the ball pit with you. This is £1 for a coat and £2 for a bag. Expecting this, I brought a relatively empty rucksack and put my coat and my friends bag inside to reduce this, however the cloakroom also only accepts cash and the nearest cash point charges you AND you have to take £20 minimum, so make sure you bring it!
- Cocktails – these are priced at around £9-11, which is super expensive for what they actually are (most are very juiced based), but they do sell bottled beer for £4-5. I would also recommend drinking before you arrive… it’s just that kind of place.
- Heat – Wowza it is so warm in that ball pit, especially this time of year.
Once we were inside, we tried a couple of the cocktails from the nostalgic menu. Now I think kitsch cocktails are relatively trendy at the moment, and this place is absolutely embracing it. I had the Dibbie Dabberson cocktail, which is essentially strawberry gin and cranberry juice with a packet of dip dab sherbet poured over the top and a lollypop. It is apparently their most popular drink and though I found it relatively nice I thought it was super sweet and a little underwhelming in the presentation. I didn’t try it, but ‘Salt Bae’ gets set on fire with a marshmallow on top, which is kind of the drama from a place like this!
My friend tried the ‘You’re a Wizard Harry’ cocktail, which we are all pretty convinced was just juice, but it did smoke at least.
Long and short of it is really it’s not worth the money you spend on the cocktails. They are fun to photograph and watch be created but they aren’t particularly strong, incredibly sugary, and cost a lot of money. Though they do give you a lot of energy to expel inside the ball pit.
The whole place seems like it was designed to be instagramable, there are great photo opportunities and background and the whole notion is so nostalgic. I reckon if you were with a big group of friends, or booked the whole thing out it’s actually quite a fun party location, but being with a load of random people trying to find a few inches of space in a ball pit isn’t something you can last the full two hours doing. There is also a private ball pit, which could be more fun if you’re thinking of having your party here.
After going myself, I think it’s definitely aimed at a much younger crowd (and I say that at 23…). However, if you only paid the reduced price for the ticket and didn’t pay for cloakroom or drinks, it’s a VERY cheap fun night out and there’s so many brilliant bars around Shoreditch that you should definitely visit before/after.
Anyone else been and have an opinion? I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree!