What’s your first thoughts when you think of Shuffleboard because mine were always cruise ships and an activity enjoyed by the older generation, that was up until I heard that Shuffleboard was coming to Shoreditch. The UK’s first floor-based Shuffleboard club, and London’s only dedicated table Shuffleboard bar, London Shuffle, has opened on Ebor Street and I was able to attend on behalf of The Live Review.
Floor shuffleboard is played on ‘lanes’ by two teams, with players using a ‘tang’ and a ‘biscuit’, a tang being a long stick with a fork on the end which is used to push the biscuit, which is a disc, across the floor into the scoring zone. Upon arrival we were given a half hour time slot on which we would be playing Shuffleboard and told that we would have another couple joining us to play against. Lanes are actually bookable by the hour for £40, or £20 during off-peak hours, and can hold up to eight players but six is said to be the magic number.
Whilst awaiting our allotted time slot we were able to grab some drinks from the cute refurbished caravan style bar an the outside terrace, opting for a glass of Prosecco and a Coral Fizz cocktail containing Bombay Sapphire, St Germaine, Aperol, Lemon, Rhubarb Bitters and Prosecco. They have a range of wines, beers, spirits and an array of cocktails including three Patron Tequila inspired cocktails. They don’t currently offer in-house food but for group bookings of over 15 they do take pre-orders of their foodie neighbours; Voodoo Rays, Falafelicious, Patty & Bun and Coqfighter.
We made our way to our lane for our turn at Shuffleboard and were greeted by one of the helpful hosts who was more than happy to take the time to explain the rules for us shuffleboard newbies. On either end of the lane is a pyramid broken into segments with the numbers 7, 8, 9, 10 and -10 inside, and the aim is to land within the plus numbers on the other as whichever segment your biscuit lands on is your score for that round. Each team gets four biscuits per round and you can use your turn to aim for a numbered segment or to knock the opponents biscuits off the score, but if your biscuit lands in the blank section between the pyramids then it must be removed from the lane as this is classed as the dead zone.
After a few first off practises we soon got into the swing of things, learning the the tang could be raised from the ground so the best stance to gain traction on your turn was to place the tang around the biscuit and lunge forward whilst sliding the tang across the floor. It might have been beginners luck but we scored 143 points, which the hosts were amazed by, versus our opposing teams score of 55. We would have cleared 150 had it not been for a minus ten shot, so where exactly do we sign up for the Shuffleboard Olympics?
We didn’t get a chance to try out the table Shuffleboard so we’ll definitely be going back to try out the two types of tables they have on offer, Classic and Snapback. Snapback is a UK first and is a lot like Classic, but with a board at the end to rebound off. They say you can play the tables with one hand so you can make the most of the drink options from both the terrace bar and the indoor bar. Both tables are by groups of four to eight people but again six is the ideal amount, and the tables can be hired for just £20 an hour and £10 off-peak. I would definitely recommend a night out at London Shuffle if you are looking for an alternative night out in London.