“Have you ever played curling? Are you tempted? I’m really motivated to try! » it’s roughly with these words that our friend convinced us to follow her in this activity she had just discovered: Sliders, one of the rare places in London where one can experience curling, this Olympic sport that looks like a contest of “broom and boules” on ice …

So here we are at Roof East in Stratford having a blast during the full 40 minutes of the game, booked well in advance as the slots sell like hotcakes. There is no ice rink… actually there is no ice full stop and no brooms either. This rooftop, perched atop a parking building, is a prized spot for “pop-up” activities, so there is no heavy infrastructure: on one side 6 standalone synthetic curling lanes with neon lighting, and on the other 2 food stalls, picnic tables and “glassy rooftop igloos”. The whole thing is amusingly adorned with a couple of sports cars unexpectedly used as outdoor planters. The main entry is through a heated ski lodge style lobby where a bunch of people are playing Jenga with log sized wood blocks! Its ambience is warm and cozy on this cold winter afternoon, but we still decide to have our late lunch in one of the non-heated igloos.

Bear in mind that you can’t bring your own food or drinks, and they don’t serve coffee! You will however find cocktails to help you overcome the chilly temperatures on the rooftop; or you can go for wine, cider, and even warm whiskey, and a choice of raclette hamburgers, hog roast and other winter sandwiches at more or less affordable prices.

If curling on plastic doesn’t cut it for you, you can still enter the rooftop for free and enjoy the setting and views with the help of a brandy infused hot chocolate! Or else you can try the Queens venue, an affiliate of Sliders, that’s just opened in Queensway, this time on real ice!

 what Sliders Curling Club
 where Roof East, Level 8 Car park, Great Eastern Way, Stratford, London, E15 1XE
 when Tuesday to Friday 5pm – 11pm, Saturday Noon – 11pm
 cost 40 min: £50 (team of 4) to £90 (up to 8 people) + raclette burger £9 + hog roast £9
 tips Original and great fun though not a training ground for the Olympics. Price is not cheap given the duration of the game. Rooftop still has a margin to reach full potential.

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