There are no greater vessels for time travel than the escalators up to Palace Bingo in Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre. They take you to a vast chamber, with a ceiling chandelier and ’60s hypno-spiral carpet, that can pack in 2,000 punters – so there’s plenty of space for new members to join, if you play your cards right. It’s a social club, a community centre, a part of the south London tapestry. It managed to survive the smoking ban, but like the rest of the shopping centre, it’s facing the threat of bulldozers. Support it while you can. The London Palace, first floor, Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre. Tube: Elephant & Castle. Prices vary, register in advance.
There so many newfangled things to try in London, it can get a little overwhelming. You can go to a London escape room any day of the week (if you’re into being locked in cramped spaces with only your intelligence to save you), take a weird fitness class or sleep beside the lions in London zoo. But every now and then, a classic London activity renters the fold – and right now, it’s bingos time to shine.
There are 'alt' bingo nights of every description (music bingo, drag bingo, brunch bingo – you name it, they play it). But dabbing for a full house is no trend, just ask the regulars who file into giant cinemas-turned-bingo halls across London.
As a brand new bingo venue opens its doors in east London, we seek out the best places to make your mark. Eyes down – we’re feeling lucky…