London is stupid. I live in a city where the simple act of going for a drink just doesn’t cut it for most of us. We’re presented with ‘immersive’ experiences, pop-ups and quirky concepts. I’ve drunk cocktails from vintage jelly molds, consumed hot buttered rum inside a giant rooftop wigwam and craft beer straight from the brewery, but Alcoholic Architecture takes the top spot for ‘most ridiculous alcohol consumption’ ever.
Dreamt up by bonkers foodie pairing Bompas & Parr, there is no drinking involved here. Instead you enter a room being pumped full of gin and tonic mist. The alcohol is taken in through breathing and absorption through your skin, and you get 45 minutes to do as you wish in the room and see how it affects you.
We entered the experience through a slightly dodgy looking door, on a corner by Borough Market. The doorman warned us that the more skin that we exposed, the more alcohol we would take in, and not to raise our heart rates too much as this would increase our breathing which would also make the process work quicker. It probably didn’t help that we had gone for a double G&T before actually going in the room too, just to help us along.
Bags ditched, we threw on ponchos that made us look as though we were about to hit the log flume at Alton Towers and made our way to ‘the cloud’. Behind a plastic curtain and beyond a sign reminding us to ‘breathe responsibly’ we entered a surprisingly small room. Including the two of us, there were probably only six people in there altogether and we all had enough room to swing around.
Once we’d got our bearings and figured out how to not walk smack into a wall, we found the extractor that was pumping out the mist and made sure we rolled up our sleeves to make the most of the boozy condensation that was subsequently ruining my make-up.
The lights gradually changed from blues to pinks to yellows and once the lights were fully on, we knew our time was up. We moved between the ‘cloud’ and the bar just outside to dry off and make sure we weren’t too drunk, which turned out to be a big fat waste of time when I fell up the stairs on the way out. Apparently that mist on an empty stomach is the equivalent of 3 double G&Ts, so I was gleefully giddy by the time we left. The abandoned monastery in which the concept lives is conveniently close to an outpost of Bill’s, because we are responsible adults who need to eat when consuming alcohol. And buy a bottle of prosecco to see through the rest of the evening…
Alcoholic Architecture is open until January 2016 and tickets cost between £10 and £12.50 depending on the time and day you go