First off all can I make a huge apology for not writing for several weeks. I’ve just started a new job and it’s taken up a load of time. However, I’m back and I’ve got loads to talk about.
As you know I’m a big fan of London nightlife and having only been living in London for a year, the notion of pop-up bars and restaurants still really excites me. The concept of a beach by the Thames however, does make me question the sanity of some people. I mean have you seen the water in the Thames? The azure blue of the Caribbean it is not. However, when a good friend of mine announced that he was having a birthday party at the Neverland beach bar pop-up on Wandsworth Bridge Road, I couldn’t wait to see what this latest addition to our local nightlife had to offer.
Neverland, (please couldn’t they have called it something, anything else) is on the site of a former car auction parking site. So, the first tick in the box is that it is definitely aesthetically more pleasing to have the bright fairy lights and sand on the site instead of several old cars that are waiting to be sold for scrap.
The first thing to note is that you have to pay £15 entry fee and it’s BYOB. There are rules on the website about how much booze you can take in per person (it isn’t excessive) however, I took a load in (hadn’t read the rules first) and although my bag was checked by security, they didn’t seem overly fussed by the amount of alcohol I took in with me. But then what birthday party could be complete without a bottle of honey tequila?
We were there on a Friday evening and it was dark when I arrived. The twinkly fairy lights, crisscrossing above the beach were gorgeous and the music was helping to get everyone into the party spirit. We had reserved tables and seating which were plentiful for the group. Fortunately, although on the bank of the River Thames, you couldn’t actually get into the water from the beach which allayed my earlier fears.
There are several food options at the venue which all looked great and judging by the queues were very popular. There’s a raclette hut where cheese lovers can get their fix. Hot melty swiss cheese is poured generously over new potatoes to make a delicious treat.
There’s a Taiwanese bao hut where fluffy steamed buns are filled to the brim with your choice of pork belly, fried chicken or goats’ cheese. And finally, there’s a rice paper roll (spring roll to you and me) hut that does some healthy rice paper rolls filled with sweet potato, chicken satay or Vietnamese pork. Gosh, I’m hungry just thinking about all the food!
Drinks-wise, you get ice and plastic cups provided and you can drink the wine or beer you’ve bought with you. If you have bought spirits you can either buy mixers directly from the bar or, the mixologists can use your spirits to make cocktails for you.
All in all, the venue was good fun and a bit of a novelty. It would probably be great to spend a lazy. Sunny Saturday too if we get many before it closes for good in October. The one downside was that it closes at 11pm and there isn’t anywhere particularly near/walkable for everyone to continue the festivities. I’ll definitely be back before it goes and it’ll be a sad sight to see the fairy lights come down and the sand replaced with old bangers once more.