Hitting balls with Monarch Airline

Last week, I was very kindly invited to a very unique event on behalf of Monarch Airlines. I flew Monarch twice this summer so I am already a big fan and so it is no surprise for me that they are one of the top airlines for golf holidays, flying all over Europe to amazing golf destinations, such as Spain and Portugal. I have never been on a golf holiday (surprisingly) but what better way to get a taste for a proper European golf break than heading to a driving range, learning how to actually hit a ball whilst drinking European wine and eating tapas.

So off I went to N1 Golf in Greenwich. The driving range is literally smack bang next to the o2 Arena and looks over Canary Wharf. Amazing location – however there was a One Direction concert on at the o2 the same night, so I had to share my tube carriage with thousands of girls covered in glitter discussing which is the best song and defending Zayn till they die.

But once off the train, I was able to think again, and was able to appreciate just how amazing the location of the N1 Golf is. Easiest way to get there – get the tube to North Greenwich and then from there it is about a 5 minute walk, just follow the big black banners.

When I arrived, I was given a delicious glass of bubbles in the gorgeous restaurant, Vinothec Compass, and then headed upstairs to see what this driving range had to offer.

The location and the views literally make you say WOW out loud. It was pretty busy when I arrived, full of a nice mix of men fresh from work, taking out the stress of the city on some poor golf balls, to groups of friends coming for an evening of balls and wine.

Hey London skyline.. looking fabulous at sunset.

I was pretty nervous about the actual ‘you have to play golf’ part of the evening. I once got a hole in one when I was 11, but that was playing mini golf in Center Parcs, so to say I was an novice is a large understatement. However, we were treated to a quick demonstration lesson by a golf pro, Mark, and then we were set loose on the driving range, in the hope that we didn’t endanger ourselves or others.

As the evening went on, the competitive part of me came out & the jacket came off.

Nailing the hair swish more than the golf swing.

After a good amount of time practicing, it was time for a gentle competiton – The aim – hit the ball the furthest. The prize and upside – if you win, you receive some flights from Monarch. The downside – stand in front of a lot of people and miss the ball and humiliate yourself.

You got two chances to hit it as far as you can. First time, the pressure got to me and the ball just about rolled off the mat.

But my second swing sent it flying 100 yards, meaning I didn’t win – but I didn’t embarrass myself totally so I was very pleased.

(I would highly recommend getting a lesson from Mark if you don’t know what you are doing.. I had never hit a golf ball before and after some quick 1 on 1 instruction, I sent it 100 yards in a straight line, ish.)

After all the golf and some tapas starters up in the bays – Basque Style Crab, Prawn Carpaccio & Twisted Prawn Tempura – we headed downstairs to the restaurant for some more amazing food and a beer and wine tasting.

This is what you get when you ask everyone to act natural for the photo

For mains we were served Tuna Steak, Longhorn Onglet, Cornish Lamb and Sea Bream – Bilbao Style. Ahhhmaaazing.

Say Cheese

Wine is a big part of what makes Vinothec Compass special. They have over 600 wines there so you will never be disappointed for choice. We tasted some beers first – a Inedit Damm (Barcelona) a Keller 18 (Barcelona) and a Ebora Ale (Extremadura) and then moved over to the wines.

We tried the Conde De Haro 2011 (Rioja) which was beautiful,
Avancia Cuvée de O Godello 2013, Valdeorras (Galicia),
Bancal Del Bosc 2013, Montsant (Tarragona)
and a Breca Old Vine Garnacha 2012, Calataud (Zaragoza).

The food was absolutely amazing.  The Vinothec Dark Chocolate Cake at the end – to die for. I can’t wait to go back for another amazing meal!

Thank you Team Monarch and everyone at N1 Golf & Vinothec Compass! It was such a great evening and I now want to go on a golf holiday and/or drink wine and eat nice food somewhere in Europe whilst practicing my golf swing for maybe an hour or so. The evening was a total hole in one!

Cocoa Chelsea x