Some of you may think that bingo halls are old fashioned, only for old ladies or hen do’s and generally just not your scene. You’re wrong, well, half wrong. I admit Bingo has a lot of stigma about it, it is full of old ladies but is also full of characters. Yes the halls are bit old fashioned but it’s still a lot of fun, definitely not a game to be sniffed at, especially for a date.
We ventured to Mecca Bingo in Camden for more of an offbeat date. Having never been to a proper bingo hall before it was quite daunting, on arrival we had to sign up to be members, this only took two minutes but by this point we’d already seen some of the characters that bingo attracts; two old dears flirting with the man behind the counter and commenting on the couple (us) that had just arrived. Like I said daunting but funny all the same. With the membership card (free) came a dabber and some vouchers for drinks that would come in handy during the night. After you’ve got your membership you need to buy game books as well as additional game sheets for the big money draws. The price varies night to night so check before you go, on Tuesdays it’s about £20 per person.
Walking into the hall you realise how MASSIVE it is, it could probably seat 500 people or more easily however it was mostly empty on our visit, Tuesday is one of the quieter nights but we have been informed that Thursday to Sunday are the busiest nights with larger prizes up for grabs.
Luckily before the first game of the night started we had a lovely membership manager called Eva teach us how to play, explain the rules and what to do, it’s pretty simple but her guidance definitely came in useful.
When the first game started we both had an exhilarating rush, not quite bungee jumping or sky-diving but a rush all the same. Keeping up with the caller, dabbing your numbers off, checking to see if you had a winning line and being a little tipsy was tough going. a wave of relief hit us when someone shouted “EAR YAR” (It means they’d won) and we got a little respite.
After the first 3 games there was a much-needed short break so ordered something to eat. The food is very cheap and similar to the quality you’d get at a Wetherspoon however you’re not there for the food and it’s great for a snack. The bar is also ridiculously cheap, £2.50 for a pint, £7 for a bottle of wine and yes they had a deal on WKD’s. I will be coming here first when I’m next on a night out in Camden.
By end of the night after loads more games we’d won £10 and at one point I was one number off a full house which would have bagged us £150 though at that moment I thought I was close to a heart attack, I‘m not sure how the old timers do it.
As well as the Camden club there is also a Mecca Bingo in Hoxton so both in brilliant locations for going out afterwards, it finished fairly early (around 9pm) giving you plenty of time to hit up some bars in the area but to be honest after the adrenalin rush you may just need a lie down.
If you’re after something truly different from the norm then a date to Mecca Bingo is definitely the way to go, not for a first or second date but third date onwards it’s a winner.