My dad, bless him, always said I was a natural sportswoman. “You could play tennis for England if you wanted to,” was a particular favourite phrase of his but alas, I am built for comfort not speed and so my tennis career never quite took off. The closest I got to playing professional sport was being Goal Shooter for the FT’s netball team when I worked there as a 20-something-year-old.
So when Monarch Airlines invited me to a golf evening last week, I wondered whether I could risk showing myself up in front of a group of bloggers I didn’t know. However, the competitor in me RSVP’ed with a big fat YES and so that’s how I found myself at the Greenwich Peninsula Driving Range in Greenwich on a beautifully sunny Wednesday evening.
Of course, the mention of Tapas and wine tasting may have influenced my decision too.
The driving range is nestled between Canary Wharf and the O2 and makes for a stunning backdrop, especially at night when the whole of London is lit up. In fact, it really took my breath away because it’s a really unique birdseye view of London that you don’t usually see. It was quite magical! Not even thousands of One Direction fans at the O2 could put me off.
After a welcome glass of Prosecco (or two,) we were ushered over towards the driving range area, which is actually on two levels. Luckily (for me!) there were a couple of golf pros on hand to give us some tips on how to actually hit the ball because quite frankly, my group of five bloggers well, let’s just say we weren’t exactly naturals. The interesting thing, however, was that after our golf pro had spoken to us, we all dramatically improved almost instantly … although I still had a tendency to hold onto my club more tightly than I should. I’m not quite sure what that says about me. (But I think we all know. #singletoolong)
The climax of our golf practice was a competition to see who could hit the ball the furthest. I had made a couple of fluke long shots which took me by surprise, so I felt confident I was at least in with a chance of winning the flights that Monarch kindly put up for grabs as the competition prize, and I put up a good fight but unfortunately my 105 yard shot only put me in third place.
I brought my friend Alice from Project Wanderlust along with me and she managed to get second-place and won a £50 voucher to the restaurant on site, so I may give her a dead arm until she promises to take me out for dinner and not her husband.
We all then went down to Vinotech Compass restaurant where we enjoyed a beautiful tasting menu (think seabass, onglet, marinated tuna,) and a beer AND Wine tasting selection. It was glorious!
As a veteran blogger, I’ve been to my fair share of events put on by brands but Monarch got this one absolutely spot on! Great food, drink, company and even though I didn’t win, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of playing golf. So much so that I’m going to find out if they allow children to come along because I think it would make for a great day out as a family.
A massive thank you to Monarch Airlines for inviting me and if you get the chance to go along to N1 Driving Range and/or the restaurant, Vinotech Compass, you won’t be disappointed. It’s fantastic!