A glow-in-the-dark ball pit with planet-themed drinks and UV-paint on the walls sounds like a new children’s party venue. But when you add cocktails of ice, fire and helium to the mix, along with deep house and techno blaring from the speakers, it becomes apparent that Stoke Newington Road pop-up, GlowyMcGlow, is very much for adults.
Last November BallieBallerson opened its doors as London’s first ball pit bar, but as of February it has relaunched in a decidedly more New Age iteration.
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Whereas the former was full of colourful balls and candy cocktails, the latest version has seen a sea of 250,000 clear balls, 10,000 LED lights and cocktails themed around various planets — Mars, a concoction including rum, passionfruit and chilli, is literally set on fire as it’s served, Mercury is garnished with a sprig of lavender and a sprinkle of edible glitter, while Saturn comes replete with a helium balloon to represent one of its rings.
Between the sweet alcohol and the weekend bottomless brunches of spaghetti, meatballs and prosecco, you’d be forgiven for being a little worried about the 40 people at a time getting queasy in the ball pit — thankfully, though, there have been no vomiting incidents (yet). The pit is also cleaned by a machine that disinfects around 18,000 balls per hour, and is emptied regularly to check for lost property.
The bar is over two storeys: in the basement is the pit itself (replete with a DJ booth), but the entrance is where the bar is. The room is decorated in colourful UV spray paint designs by artist Dan Feit, while plasma orbs glow above the bar.
— BallieBallerson (@BallieBallerson) March 15, 2017
Although this particular glowing pop-up is only open until the end of April, BallieBallerson have told the Hackney Post they have more up their sleeve in the year to come.
For now, though, tickets to the ball pit are from £5 per two hour time slot and cocktails are from £9.
Bridie Pearson-Jones contributed to this story.