If you’re heading into London and want to go somewhere special then we highly recommend Clays.
You might expect that a virtual clay pigeon activity venue would be quite male orientated, a bit gubby and all flat caps and wellies. This couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to Clays. Clays is a gorgeous cocktail bar, lovingly crafted to utilise trees and greenery to create a welcoming escape, with décor in a classy combination of soft pink and rose gold.
As well as creating the perfect ambience for a fun night out Clay’s have managed to recruit an incredible team who are welcoming, generous with their attention and genuine in creating a night for you to remember.
Virtual Clay Pigeon Shooting
The first round I played I hit one clay: through all six rounds, which I think scored me a huge 25 points. The gun seemed heavy and I feared this was one of those things that I was going to be rubbish at due to my lack of upper body strength … but I was wrong.
It wasn’t long before I had mastered the reloading technique and the staff were excellent at giving tips on how to aim more effectively. Soon I was wielding my weapon with confidence and scoring around 1000 points and absolutely loving it.
There are four games to choose:
Moon Shot – is the simplest of the games. Successfully shooting clays scores you points, which are used to move your rocket between earth and the moon. The aim … reach the moon!
Bonanza – sometimes the clays move towards you and sometimes away. Look out for the bonus clays for a boost or bomb. Highest score wins.
Piracy – this is a brilliant group game. Successfully hitting clays creates bombs which take out your opponent’s ship. Once all your lives are lost, you’re out. Last ship standing is the winner!
Peleton – this was my favourite game. All players are represented on a bike, racing along a track. Accuracy with your shots gains you points and moves your bike towards the front of the pack. Each round sees the points available go up, but so does the speed of the clays whizzing across the screen. Look out for the coloured clays to score big.
The games can be played with two players, however the real joy of Clays is in the competitive dynamics of playing in a group. Each playing area (a peg) is brilliantly designed to safely accommodate a large group of friends in a way that feels private without isolating you from the energising vibe of the main bar area. There is ample room to hang out, drink and eat whilst you wait for your turn, which comes around surprisingly quickly. Many of the pegs contain comfortable seating areas, ideal for quality time together.
Clays is first and foremost a beautiful bar with a clubbing atmosphere. Throughout the night the lighting subtly goes down and the volume goes up. Even if you don’t fancy a game there is a generous bar area with ample seating.
As well as the full range of beverages you’d expect from a bar, Clays also offer a range of bespoke cocktails. For me, Ruby, was the winner – Vodka, raspberry puree, rose liqueur, vanilla syrup, plum bitters and raspberry and rose soda with Clay Burst coming in a very close second (Pink gin, fresh lemon, cranberry and raspberry tea syrup). The mixologists were on fine form, making the creation of the cocktails an experience which enhanced the pleasure of the evening.
Food at Clays
Their website describes their food as “top-quality moreish treats” and they are absolutely right. Not only do they offer a broad range of choices but their chefs deliver high-end food which is wonderfully tasty.
At our event, canape servings of a range of the dishes were available and the number of completely empty slates being manoeuvred back to the kitchen was testament to their claim of serving “moreish” food. From oysters delicately served in shells over ice, with a teeny tiny bottle of Tabasco, Pork and Venison Scotch Eggs, Sausage Rolls (most definitely hand crafted with the finest ingredients), whitebait, cured salmon on a charcoal crisp (these were heavenly), flamed celeriac, sweet potatoe fries (which were piping hot and topped with sriracha – my new favourite thing to sprinkle onto chips) and incredible loaded focaccia … really, really yummy!
Choose a night to remember
I think it’s fair to say that Clays is an exceptionally good venue. Having been crafted by people who are passionate about the sport of clay pigeon shooting (some of them are Team GB sports professionals) the activity has been excellently designed for mass appeal and can be enjoyed by everyone. Plus, as well as the party atmosphere, the creative drinks, delicious food and friendly staff … they have fancy toilets – the ultimate indicator of a venue’s quality!
Great job Clays. Looking forward to coming to see you again.
Where: 55 Moorgate, London, EC2R 6LL
Cost: £40 off peak / £60 peak