Walking through Battersea Power Station’s new redevelopment, I could not help being dazzled. The impressive architecture of the plant, flanked by layers and layers of luxurious flats prove quite an impressive sight: this is more a city than a neighbourhood. Looking up so much, it might be accused of being too cold, too clinical. But down on the ground are the likes of Vagabond Wines, Cinnamon Kitchen, Battersea Brewery, Megan’s… all focusing on offering a warm, come-with-friends-and-relax atmosphere and mouth-watering dishes. Add to this a few art commissions – one on which children are allowed to climb and slide happily, a stunning view on the river and it all suddenly feels quite charming. No wonder Birdies chose this vibrant hub to open their latest mini-golf venue. Funky, vibrant, neon-happy: it’s quite the party place!
The funkiest mini-golf in London
Remember mini-golf in the 90s? Concrete based installations, paint faded by the sun, occasional fake grass… Kids, of course, were oblivious, accepting every single challenge, loving the kitsch settings, soaking in the small victories… No wonder then, that my generation can’t resist Birdies and its modern, colourful take on a childhood’s favourite…
Nestled beneath the railway arches awaits a mix of industrial architecture and pop art. It feels like having jumped in a Roy Lichtenstein painting and boy, oh, boy is this the 9-hole course fun. Some of the designs may be conventional, I guess, but there are so many shapes, patterns and vibrant colours around you are too excited to notice. You can take your cocktail along, the playlist features lots of cool all-time favourites and yes, this is the perfect decor to dance with your friends, take selfies and feel 20 all over again…
Like the one you see above. You start on the right side and have to send your ball all the way up to that back box (easier said than done but sure to bring a few laughs). It is then distributed to the swirling, hypnotising railing above you to drop it in a flipper-like wall or if you’re lucky quite close to the hole… The next one is in a more enclosed, super dimmed space with a bright light at the very end. Another is a long corridor ending on a mirror and flashing light. Just the right level of challenges to keep everything fun and make amazing memories with friends. Or colleagues – this is going to be quite the Christmas party place!
And cocktails too!
Some, like the Electric Boogaloo (Espolón Tequila, pineapple, lime, orange, popping candy and Electric Blue) or the Yum Yum (Cognac, citrus and Baked Dougnut syrup) will give you a welcome sugar rush (and the urge to go straight back to the mini-golf course). Others are sharp and powerful the Nuclear Daiquiri (rum, Chartreuse, Velvet Falernum and lime) comes to mind…. Worked up quite an appetite? Indulge in playful street food from Taco-Yaki: finger-licking good octopus dumplings, moreish yakitori, creative tacos, nachos with superb spiced fries.
The pink neon sculpture, which swirls reflect beautifully on every table and in every glass, adds an irresistible surreal touch. Time flies at Birdies… but you already know you will be back soon, with the biggest group of friends you can put together. It’s just that kind of happy place…
Birdies | 8 Arches Lane, Battersea, London, SW11 8AB