But some sports are a tad more social than physical – no one will accuse snooker players of athleticism, or test lawn bowls contestants for animal growth hormones. Instead “bar” sports like billiards, pool and darts, offer the adhesive nature of competition, but with the wet bar rarely out of reach.
Les Boules Café Petanque is just the thing for competitive sorts who don’t like too much…movement. Combining the ancient game of petanque – as played by grisly old French men the world over- with a cocktail bar, this hidden pastis palace, located in a basement just off Queens Road West in Set Tong Tsui, is the perfect alternative to afternoons in the smoky billiards hall or gathered around the local dart board. With three “terriors” or lanes, groups of four burly men can toss metallic balls in the air, trying to get closest to the jack without spilling their Guinness. All the equipment is available for rent – bring your own balls if you dare – and there is even lessons available to help you with both your back spin placement and your absinthe appreciation.
Viva Les Boules!
Les Boules Café Petanque
18 Woo Hop Street, Shek Tong Tsui, tel: 2872 0102
From $40 per hour for non-members, $600 for annual memberships, $100 for lessons.
Nuts & Bolts
Hong Kong’s first indoors patanque-playing cocktail bar