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Friday, 2 November 2012

Bounce, Holborn

Bounce: is this new £2.5 million basement named after fabric conditioner or dog food? Either way, odd choice of monicker  - but what do I know? Adam Breeden, one of the young blades behind it must be a marketing genius as he tells me his business interests enable him to run a glam house in Italy as a getaway. It transpires his new baby is 'Bounce' as in ping-pong balls. Now, my only direct experience of those is summed up in that well-known limerick that begins 'The buxom Bangkok bar hostess's ultimate stunt, was to shoot ten ping pong balls out of her....' but I digress. I'm at  Britain's first dedicated table-tennis social club/ bar/ diner opened by the peeps who also gave us All Star Lanes bowling alleys.  By sheer fluke, they have located it in the very building  where ping-pong (aka wiff-waff) was trademarked by games manufacturers Jacques and Sons in 1901. Big on the Manhattan nightlife scene, the game is increasingly featuring in bars here such a Ping in Earls Court. Bounce takes the phenomenon to a whole new level, thanks to a dozen and a half competition tables including the one used to decide the medals at London 2012. Get in practice for Rio 2016: Britain has yet to win an Olympic medal of any shade for table tennis. As I'm not much into the idea of having my balls whacked by over-competitive, gimlet-eyed Chinese midgets, I'll not be in training at Bounce; but sportier types will want to get stuck in on a regular basis. Table hire is £10 per 30 minute session.  For that, I'd rather have a Match Point Margarita, Winning Smash or Wiff-Waff (Beefeater 24, Earl Grey, tonic, lemon & cucumber). Antipasti, tasty thin crust pizza such as caramelised onion and goat's cheese  from £4 a strip, and Eton mess are probably best left until after your game. 
121 Holborn EC1N 2TD www.bouncelondon.com