London has always been a subterranean place. Aside from the obvious tube network, there’s a host of amazing spaces underground – basements, World War II bunkers, toliets…
But so many of these underground places are off-limits to the public. In the opposite direction, rooftop bars are becoming more popular every year, but unfortunately given our unpredictable weather, these open-air venues never reach their full potential.
However, when it comes to weather, the unique London venue that is the Old Vic Tunnels has nothing to worry about. Having been curious about this venue for quite some time, I was intrigued when I found out about the Easter Holiday Camp taking place over the Easter Weekend, which turned out to have disapointing weather.The large venue had been turned into a retro Easter Holiday Camp spread over several tunnels – think Hi-De-Hi meets school fete. What was so appealing was it had things on offer you hadn’t done since your schooldays, such as the coconut shy, a badminton court and bouncy castle. A bonus was there were no children… as much as I like children, their presence would have made the camp feel like a normal school fair. Having attended a few children’s parties over the years, I’ve always lusted after a good jumping session on the bouncy castle, but it’s socially unacceptable for adults to do this alongside little kids. Unsurprisingly at the Easter Camp, there was a bit of a queue for the bouncy castle, with a host of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings desperate to relive their childhood. Once on it with my friends, we and the other people on it found ourselves laughing our heads off – it really is quite hilarious being hurled into the air when your friend has landed on the next bump.
Another element which made the fair an altogether adult experience was several bars serving a selection of alcohol and the ultimate British summer beverages, Pimms. Who needs sunshine when you’re chilling out on a deckchair with a jug of Pimms and a stick of candy floss (which was free BTW… a nice touch!)? As we chilled out on the chairs, we were entertained by the retro sounds of girl band, the Tootsie Rollers, who got the crowd going, despite looking rather chilly in their outfits.
Overall, the camp itself was entertaining and an unusual way to spend some of the Easter Weekend. I loved the venue of the Old Vic Tunnels and will definitely be keeping my eye out for future events in such a unique venue.
- The Old Vic Tunnels are located on Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 8SW. Nearest tube/overland Waterloo.