House of Wolf is a new concept restaurant in Islington, delivering high end experimental dining in a trendy new venue. We weren’t there for the food, but instead a one off night hosted from the guys that usually run events in Concrete. As a big fan of London’s other bingo based nights out (Rebel and Bogan), and with a Halloween fancy dress twist, it had to be done.
I must stress that the food was not the experimental dining menu in the restaurant, which is by all accounts amazing, but was the bar type menu they were providing to the bingo attendees. We were promised a venison burger, and it wasn’t that, but more a sliced venison sandwich with chips. We had to wait until pretty late to get our hands on it by which time we were ravenous, and everyone was a touch disappointed with the quality and we had to send one back to secure some actual meat in it (given that there were only two options on the menu, they could certainly have done better). It did leave me wondering why they had even bothered with a food menu when to all intents and purposes it was a pub/club night.
Solid bar, with good bar tenders and a good range of everything. It was certainly pricier than you’d expect in a pub, but we still managed to get through quite a bit of alcohol so it apparently wasn’t prohibitively so.
The concept is very simple – you get a ‘bingo’ sheet with song names on, they place snippets of the song and you mark them off if you have them on your sheet until you get a full line. It’s fun, but the room wasn’t really set up for it so it was hard to hear what was going on and if someone from the back won they had very limited chances of making it to the front in time to claim victory. There were quite a few interludes with games etc on the stage, but again – from the back it was hard to know what was happening. I think it could be much better in a different venue but will never be as good as rebel bingo. The ‘sitting down round a table’ makes it too much like Mecca and not enough like a fun club night, which is a hard balance to strike.
That said, it was a fun night to be in Halloween fancy dress, and we were very pleased to win ‘Most Ghoulish’ for our team entry of Team Heebie-GB athletes. The music was also quite fun and we did manage to get in some dancing towards the end (at least that’s what the pictures tell me.)
The game is fun, but I’m not sure House of Wolf (even though it is very “current”) was right for it. House of Wolf should stick to the amazing food, and Musical Bingo should focus on finding the right type of venue for this kind of event. I’d go again, but I’d want more space and the whole room to be a bit more included. We had an awesome time, but I think that was more testament to the group of people and the alcohol consumed than anything else. That said, at just £7 a ticket (plus an optional £10 for the food) it was pretty reasonable for a Halloween event.
Go there if…
You love cheesy 80s power ballads and a competitive element of fancy dress, plus added awkward audience participation, drinking, music and dancing.
You want to try out the actual food at House of Wolf, or you actually want to play bingo properly.
If you manage to get a full line and make it onto the stage, you’re likely to have to engage in an embarrassing public competition with the other winners to actually get your hands on the prize. And at least at our Halloween one, Fancy Dress was taken surprisingly seriously – there was an entire troupe of unicorns sitting next to us.
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