When the weather is cold and wet and windy there’s nothing better to do than grab a group of friends for a night indoors. But staying indoors doesn’t mean you have to stay at home, especially not when you could go bowling instead. Whether you’re up for a night of tough competition or just want to see if you can actually hit a strike, we have found the best places to go bowling across the UK where there is great food on offer, too. Because someone in the group is going to need some celebratory pizza at the end of the night, right?
Bloomsbury Lanes in London’s Tavistock Hotel has been a firm fixture in this part of the city for years but it always guarantees a great night out. There are eight bowling lanes to book up, DJs, a private bowling room and karaoke booths too, should you wish to show off your singing skills. The venue has Ray’s Pizza and Diner, serving classic American fare including a strike burger and a giant 26-inch pizza. There is genuinely something for everyone.
If you like the Black Dog Ballroom in Manchester then you will love Dog Bowl, a lively venue with five full-length bowling lanes open late. The bar has an extensive cocktail list with a few Big Lebowski-inspired drinks on offer, while the American-themed menu ranges from ribs and wings to hotdogs, with some quesadillas and classic Tex-Mex thrown in for good measure.
Queens Ice & Bowl has been a west London favourite for an impressive 85 years and has recently re-opened its doors after the biggest refurbishment in the business’s history. Now you can go bowling on one of its 12 state-of-the-art lanes, skate on its rink or grab a drink at one of its two bars while checking out its British-retro décor. And the food there is not to be missed: Queens also boasts Jimmy’s Diner, where you can get British-themed diner food created by pop-up restaurateur and This Morning chef Jimmy Garcia.
Bristol’s answer to the retro 10 pin bowling alley experience is not just to have a boutique venue filled with five lanes, a karaoke room and pool tables, but to also have regular club nights and live gigs to visit throughout the year, too. For the full experience get Ray’s Pizza while you’re there and choose from thin crust Italian pizzas or calzones.
Roxy Lanes in Leeds boasts a real all-round boutique experience with the chance to go bowling or reserve a booth for watching big sports events – there’s even a beer pong table for you to use to battle it out with friends. The menu has everything from flatbreads and pizzas to burgers and mac & cheese balls, with a lovely long cocktail list to get you through the night.
This is a guest post from London-based journalist, Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, who has written for The Independent and the Evening Standard, as well as our Open for Business blog.