Peruse the dog-eared menus and twiddle your thumbs as the waiter collects the bill – go! These eight London restaurants offer wine vending machines, virtual currency, dining tables you can gamble on…and a robot calling bingo. The future is already here.
1. Spend virtual currency to pour yourself beer: Otherworld
Put on your VR headset and enter a fantasy island where challenges, quests and rewards await. Inside your private game mod, you are connected to your friends via a microphone and find yourself in the virtual world (this changes from the local boozer). 16 games include childhood games like Fruit Ninja, cruise through iconic world landmarks with Google Earth VR, and a zombie apocalypse in Arizona Sunshine. During your otherworldly adventure, you can earn DreamCoin – a virtual currency that can be spent in the real world. Pour your well-deserved DreamCoin at the automatic beer taps in the sci-fi bar.
Other worldVictoria and Hackney
2. Play electronic darts: Oche
If you thought darts was an activity only for pubs that haven’t changed since the 80s, you haven’t been to Oche. Here, among the faux foliage, artistic lighting, and glowing neon slogans are 30 glowing electronic dartboards. Create a custom avatar and select one of six games, ranging from a simple “countdown from 201” for beginners to complex challenges involving (eek) axes and swords. Do you hate mental math? Technology-driven darts automatically track your score, so you can focus on the important task of ordering another mai tai.
3. Pulling cheddar from a conveyor belt: Pick & Cheese
In 1958, Yoshiaki Shiraishi revolutionized catering by inventing the sushi conveyor belt. In 2019, a restaurant in Covent Garden revolutionized the sushi conveyor belt by putting cheese on it. Pick & Cheese (pun brie-lliant btw) two rotating bands (worth 40 meters) moving in opposite directions, orbiting plates of over 25 varieties of UK-made cheese. The color of the plate indicates the price, varying from £3.95 for a Cornish Gouda accompanied by a rich square of clotted cream fudge, to an Oxfordshire Bix enjoyed with lemon curd on a scone for 6, £26. Leave room to try the cheesy dessert options – the goat cheese donut stuffed with apricot jam and vanilla is something else.
Pick & CheeseSeven Dials Market
4. Play video games on the dining table: inamo
Waiting for your food to arrive is usually the most painful part of the restaurant experience, but inamo has the answer, thanks to its interactive dining table surfaces. Once you’ve placed your order (via the high-tech table, naturally), you can play a range of one-on-one trivia games like Sudoku, or unleash your competitive side in one-on-one arcade-style battles. with your table. friends. You will be almost disappointed when your delicious sushi arrives.
inamoSoho and Covent Garden
5. Wine tasting with vending machines: Vagabond Wines
Channel your inner wine connoisseur by picking up an Oyster-like top-up card which, instead of being used on overpriced transport, dispenses a glass of one of the 200 wines Vagabond offers. The wine bottles are stored in display cases and connected to the jugs by straws. The bespoke By The Glass system keeps opened wine fresh for weeks and ensures that each bottle is stored at the correct temperature. Using the touchscreens, choose your drink of choice and size – there’s everything from a splash of wine for a few pounds to big pours of your trusted favourites. And while it’s all very futuristic, there’s a real, in-the-flesh staff on hand with recommendations and tips for navigating this adult vending machine experience.
Wandering Winesmany sites in London
6. A robot calling bingo: Hijingo
Hijingo blasts the cobwebs away from the image of bingo as a dusty game for people of a certain age, thanks to its 360° sound system, high-tech lighting and graphic animations that give you feel like an extra to Tron. And then there’s the caller bot number, which will guide you through a busy 45-minute bingo session. Audience members are encouraged to take the stage, dance at their tables, and sing along to the poptastic playlist. Between calls, sip on a range of exotic cocktails – Gin-Tendo 75 and Pandan Pop – and raise your glass to the future, unfolding right in front of you.
7. Push the Button for Champagne: Bob Bob Ricard Soho
The old ones are the best, as Bob Bob Ricard and his “Press for Champagne” button well know. Inspired by the design of the Orient Express, each table is an opulent cabin, on the wall of which diners will find a button in golden relief. When pressed, as if by magic, a waiter with a bottle or a glass of champagne is conjured up. The reopened Searcys St Pancras champagne bar has the same glitzy gimmick. Really, all wine bars should do this.
Bob Bob RicardSoho and City
8. Sip cocktails AR: The Alchemist
Cocktail lovers may already be by the way with the weird and wonderful creations The Alchemist serves up. Now, alongside smoke, explosions, and color-changing drinks, comes drink with a twist – drinks that come to life through your camera lens. Six immersive augmented reality cocktails are offered through The Conjurer App. Scan your drink and your screen is overflowing with information about the concoction, the story behind it, and the best way to enjoy it. Each cocktail is designed to recall childhood experiences; the Seaside Sour, for example, is a perfect whiskey-based drink for beach lovers (even if, hopefully, your childhood didn’t involve much alcohol). Once you’ve tried them all, you unlock “Alchemist” status and discover a secret elixir. Catch them all.
the alchemistmany sites in London
And… turn off: Dans Le Noir?
Once you’ve had your fill of tech wizardry, turn everything off – including the lights – as you dive into three-course gourmet heaven in total darkness. What may seem daunting at first (you’ll probably drop your glass several times on the table) is surprisingly liberating. And while we can’t promise you’ll find your soul mate here, as Domhnall Gleeson (aka Bill Weasley) did in About timewe can guarantee you an experience that connects you to your dinner (and your guests) like no other restaurant.
In the dark ?Farringdon