Wednesday 10 April 2019

Grosvenor Casino | AD

A while ago I was invited to go down to Grosvenor Casino in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth to review their new menu. They also said I'd get to have a training session of a casino game of my choice.

I have never actually been to a casino before, I went to one once but only for a drink for an after party. I had never really thought about Casinos being my *vibe* and none of my friends seem to have an interest - except when one of us will be getting married and we're going to go to Vegas, duh.

When I told my lovely best friend Lily about the opportunity we decided to seize the chance at a glam makeover for the occasion. I love makeup but I'm not totally savvy about it, and Lily is a glam goddess!

The finished look, I've never had such glamorous eyeshadow before, thank you so much Lily!
When myself and my boyfriend arrived at the Casino they had quite high tech security, as you need a guest pass or a membership card to enter the premises. I also suggested to my boyfriend if anyone's been banned it'll flag up on their system, and a health and safety standpoint as well.

We were greeted by Jayne who was the Manager of this Casino, she was very friendly and helpful. We were shown around the different areas; roulette tables, slot machines, and the poker room.

You can attend Casino's just for their bar and restaurant area, they screen various sports on their televisions so you can socialise with your friends - and you don't have to use the Casino if you don't want to. Jayne also said it's a very safe environment, they advocate safe use of gambling and they are part of Keep It Fun with lots of advice on how to stay responsible with gambling. Also, she said that sometimes women who have been on night's out or perhaps dates in Gunwharf go to the Casino as a safe waiting place before getting transport home.

I had such a misconception of casinos, I thought they were going to be a seedy greedy place wanting to take all of your money. But, it's actually a place of leisure, a place to hang out with your friends or celebrate an occasion. There were such a variety of people from different backgrounds and ages, and at the tables, complete strangers were chatting with each other and having fun.

Before we got stuck into playing on some of the tables, we were shown over to the restaurant area for dinner.

One of my favourite meals is steak, and Connor and I love going out for a good steak! I loved how it came out with a selection of sides, and a decent amount too. Admittedly, my cut of steak wasn't exactly how I like it, but the waiter was very friendly and understanding and I very quickly was brought another piece and it was perfect!

For pudding, we both got waffles with ice cream and a selection of sauces (chocolate, salted caramel and maple syrup) and it was delicious, I loved having all of the sauces!

Grosvenor Casino had quite the selection of alcoholic beverages, but I decided to go all out with a piña colada as I wanted to feel fancy. It did not disappoint as you can see from the smile on my face.

We were both given a lucky number to use on a game of roulette as it was our first time at that casino, unfortunately, my number didn't come up, but it's a lovely idea that you could win £10 from a free spin.

After we enjoyed our dinner we were taken over to a private table where we were shown how to play roulette. I haven't really ever played any casino games so it was all new to me. We were given some chips just to play with whilst we learned all of the tips and how much you can gain by placing chips in particular areas.

The basics are the roulette gets spun and you place your chips on what numbers and colours you think the ball in the roulette might land on, but as you can see in the photo above you can also just choose colours and specific number sections if you don't want to do a straight up bet. The more you bet on a number, or numbers the more you can win back if you bet on the correct number.

Once we felt confident enough to take on the other punters in the casino, we went to a live table. I've got to say because I'm an awkward person there wasn't much room around the table and I ended up being on an edge and unable to put some chips down and was too nervous to keep asking the dealer where I wanted them. But it was all for fun, we set ourselves a budget of how much we wanted to buy into the game for chips (smart move).

Connor was a natural at conserving his chips and trying to get the most winnings by placing his chips on singular numbers. I was trying a different approach by trying to cover several numbers to try and get a big payout. This didn't work very well, but Connor helped me win some back so we both left in profit. It's amazing how quick everything is in roulette, the dealers have crazy maths skills and I wasn't expecting the tables to be so high tech. You can see on screens surrounding the tables what numbers and colours had come up recently to try and "guess" what might come up next.

I was honestly a bit apprehensive and excited for my first official time in a casino, but we both had so much fun. It was a different kind of night out and you can have a nice bit of banter, and hopefully, you'll go home with some extra pennies in your pocket or at least a full belly from a lovely meal.

We decided to become members of Grosvenor Casino, this is at no cost all at it just sets up a card so you can get easy access in and out of the casino. You set yourself up an online account as well, as you can play live online games - I have since done this and it's very strange having a real person talk to you when you're playing behind a screen. 

I would definitely recommend going to a casino for the experience, even if you just want to go grab some food and drink and socialise with your friends. If you feel responsible enough, do try playing some games, and the casino has steps in place if you do have trouble gambling, or if you think you might be susceptible to a gambling addiction. All you have to do is talk to a staff member and they will help you out. The message I interpreted from this casino is that you should have fun, but definitely don't gamble or play if you're going to put yourself in a sticky situation with rent, debt etc. I hate to be that person who says this but it's true when the fun stops - stop.

Connor and I will definitely come back here again for a night out, it was such a nice change of pace and environment, and it's completely abolished my misconceptions - I feel so embarrassed!

For more information about managing gambling addiction click here.

Let me know if you've been to casinos and what your experience was like below.

Love Saffron x

*This was a complimentary experience through the lovely ladies at Publicasity with the wonderful staff at Grosvenor Casino, all opinions are my own and I was not paid for this review.

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