Review: Jack and Boule, South Bank

Review: Jack and Boule, South Bank

We check out a festive game of Pétanque

If you thought that Pétanque was primarily a past-time for Frenchmen of a certain age, well, you’d pretty much be right. The game is played up and down the country, and is best enjoyed in the sun, with a glass of pastis in hand. But it has found a new home – and a new following – on London’s South Bank and it’s just the place for a festive get-together.

We tried it out on a busy Saturday – a host of revellers flocking in for a bottomless prosecco brunch or to a gender reveal party in the adjoining private space. It really does attract a wide range and so if you are the one being tasked with organising the office get-together, this could be the answer as you have an activity plus street food and drink, too.

Having tried to play the game in France, my family looked a little worried – I’d almost taken an innocent bystander out with one of the heavy boules. But the game is simple to pick up and easy for everyone to play. With mulled wine and hot chocolates to keep us fortified, we enjoyed our session. There was a wait for food and drink – but it was busy. And with its festoon lights and neon signs, it’s a fun spot to head to after browsing the festive attractions along the South Bank.