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Bloomsbury Bowling

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published June 29th 2010
If you're going to bowl there are only two people you want to bowl like: The Fonze or The Dude . Either way the Bloomsbury Lanes, with eight 50s retro bowling lanes and London's only authentic above ground ball delivery system, is the place to bowl in style.

It's a popular venue so make sure you book in advance, especially on the themed nights such as 'Rock a Hula', 'Break 'n Bowl', 'Rock and Bowl', 'Shake, Rock and Bowl'. Otherwise you might have to console yourself with a decent diner burger, a karaoke session or a DJ or live band entertaining you. Or you could just relax with a White Russian at the bar and watch an old film roll over the cinema screen backdrop that's always showing something.

If you're on the guest list then come on down to the bar and sort yourself out with a drink. The sleekly shaped horseshoe bar is as original as the ball delivery system and comes from the Lucky Lanes in New York so it couldn't be more authentic.

The heart shaped seats in the diner suggest another kind of lucky entirely, and are well positioned to watch the bowling action while you eat. Bloomsbury Lanes is a good place to bring a date. It's not swanky - more shabby chic. There's also a dance floor if the mood takes you, and a pool lounge and 'games room' if it doesn't.

If you're there to bowl and everything else is an after thought you can have your drinks, snacks or your whole meal, delivered to you on your lane. The menu is eclectic American cuisine burgers, grills, pizza etc.

For something a bit more up-scale maybe your wedding there's a private V.I.P. area, which has five lanes of its own, all done up as if you were in Vegas. That's enough for 30 wedding or other party guests to bowl at the same time, and more space for onlookers.

These private lanes have their own cocktail bar and games room and, this is the best bit, the V.I.P. section is called the KingPin Suite. Genius. In 2010 they hosted a launch party for 'Scouting for Girls'.

You can also hire one of three Karaoke rooms, which have leather sofas, views over the lanes and 7,000 songs you could potentially 'sing' for between 60 and 120 an hour.

What it will cost you to bowl varies depending on the day and time. If you're a student they'll do you a deal after 4pm, but everyone else will bowl for less before 4pm. There are also early-bird deals on the karaoke rooms if you can croon before four or if you like to sing for your Sunday supper.

Check the Bloomsbury Live website for the Lane's latest event line up.
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Why? Because some things never stop being fun.
When: From 1pm Sun-Fri and from 12pm on a Saturday. Licensed until 2am Mon-Thur, 3am Friday and Saturday and until 12am on Sundays.
Where: Underneath the Tavistock Hotel, Bedford Way, WC1H 9EU Closest tube stations: Russell square, Euston and Holborn
Cost: From 10
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