There's nothing more British than a pub quiz, and London has plenty of fine showcases for tavern-based trivia. Here are ten of Time Out's favourites, including options for those whose specialist subjects are worthy of 'Mastermind', and some that are just fun excuses to spend a weekday evening in the pub. Although these are regular nights, it's worth calling ahead to confirm the quiz is on before you and your team head out. Know a great quiz we've missed? Use the comments box below.
Organised by Rough Trade shops, the Lexington's pub quiz is one for the music geeks. It's far from serious stuff though, as the potty-mouthed quizmaster guides you through some pretty silly rounds, including one based on Bob Holness's 'Blockbusters'. A multipack of crisps goes to the team with the best name, as judged by a not-at-all suspicious 'clapometer'.
A quiz for the sort of people who shout out the correct answers while watching 'University Challenge', thanks to its obscure rounds. Even a team packed with boffins will find questions on the subject of, say, martial arts a challenge. The quizmaster's excellent waistcoats should help keep up morale.
The more unusual variety of subjects and some very challenging questions keep this popular north London quiz appealing, so the prize – all the evening's entry fees – is usually worth striving for. Jackpot and raffle rounds mean that every team gets its moment, even if your score is more likely to lurk around the bottom of the league.
With rounds that involve paper planes, rude drawings and kazoos, this isn't the quiz for straight-laced fact fans, but it is a blast. The quizmaster is billed as 'truly outrageous', and teams are playing for a cash prize, though you'll have a job finding personnel to provide the full range of specialist skills required to win.
Absolutely no cheats allowed here – mobile phones must be put away for the duration – but this quiz is actually a lot of fun. A broad selection of questions ends in teams getting a chance to gamble their points in the final round to get to the cash prize, and if that doesn't work, there's a raffle with a separate prize afterwards.
This excellent music quiz has a monthly slot at Jerusalem on Rathbone Place, but also makes appearances at other venues and festivals. It's more likely you'll end up dancing inappropriately to a song you'd forgotten existed than naming every track of a Bob Dylan album, so come braced for fun. Rounds have included 'Does Liking This Record Make Me Uncool?' and 'Down Wid Da Kidz'.
You'll get an interactive experience at this famously difficult film quiz where the questions are asked using projections, sound clips and posters. It runs monthly at the Boogaloo, but now also makes appearances at the Ritzy in Brixton. There's no maximum team size, which is lucky, as you'll likely need all the movie-buff help you can get.
Machine No. 3
Machine No 3 is a Hackney launderette-turned-cocktail joint, so when, on approach, we noticed that the windows were steamed up, we had high hopes for an atmosphere as pounding as our very own clapped-out washer-dryer. Yet when the door swang open, it revealed just a couple of regulars at the bar and a slightly lost-looking pair of ramblers nursing half-pints in the corner. It’s a shame that Machine No 3 finds itself perched on the corner of a busy junction on the Homerton backstreets: not an area offering a huge amount of natural footfall. Fortunately, their Twitter feed tells a different story of lively gigs, themed events and DJs at the weekend pulling in punters until 1am. We can only assume we picked a quiet night. Beyond this, it’s a sweet space with a community feel – you can order kebab fodder from the Turkish next door or Italian from Well Street Pizza down the road. Old reclaimed furniture doesn’t offer much comfort, but should at least get the patrons moving; there’s certainly ample space for a makeshift dance floor. The cocktail list makes appealing reading, with monthly themed drinks deals and a roster of three craft beers on draught in support. Sadly, a Smoke and Orange (whisky, cinnamon syrup, orange, bitters, £8.50) didn’t quite live up to expectations – not as ballsy as billed and very sweet on the palate. The Elderflower Wash (£8) was easily knocked back though, frothy from egg whites and pleasantly heavy on the gin. And when it’s party time, you probably w
Venue says: “Weekend party DJs. Happy hour every day 5-8pm with two cocktails or Aperol/Campari spritz for £10, two beers £6. Events at machineno3.com.”