Being an honorary Londoner, I’m all for something a little different; give me an activity with some prosecco on the side and I’m hooked. From immersive theatre with cocktails to ice skating with beer, I thought I'd experienced it all. But roller skating mixed with alcohol? That's something that's not been ticked off my list, so it seemed high time to give Roller Nation a go - what could possibly go wrong?
From its original home in Vauxhall, Roller Nation has jumped north to Zone 3 (just off Seven Sisters), but despite its relocation and brief hiatus, the space is as fabulous as before. Get ready with your flares and tie-dye; '70s is the name of the game, from the disco lights through to the tracklist that blares out as you glide round. Plonked in the middle is the skating rink, far larger than we were expecting and filled with over-confident 20 somethings trying to impress their date - though often taking a tumble in the process. Before we could attempt some of our own moves, it was over to the front desk to get our skates and, more importantly, wrist guards – stay safe kids, you’ll need ‘em.
Surrounding the rink were booths and a long bar that stretched from one end of the venue to the other, all perfect for surveying the action and taking a breather. The drinks were cheap, cheerful and easy – exactly what you’d expect and want from this kind of place, with cocktails, beers and wines all within our end-of-month budget. On the other side of the room, a diner was churning out American favourites. In keeping with the affordable price tag, a hot dog with fries was only a fiver, while halloumi fries (£6.50) were tasty enough for complete overindulgence.
Another thing to swoon over? Roller Nation has us up well past our bedtime with its late open hours (last entry is 00:30 over weekends) and the large outdoor space; great for those that feel like they’ve finished skating but not ready to call it a night – which we never are.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Now, I learnt here that I’m no sk8er boi (somewhat the opposite) but that didn't matter; Roller Nation was welcoming to people of all abilities and styles. From late-night dates through to a reunion of old old friends, this place is letting a typical millennial live their 1970s dream of neon flares, tights and, of course, a tutu.