The Lanes is one of Bristol’s best-loved institutions, known to everyone as a one-stop shop for fun in the city centre. Stepping through the doors feels a little like stepping back in time; the bowling alley has a certain vintage charm, helped by the photobooth and displays of retro bowling shoes. The lanes themselves are set slightly apart from the main bar area, so while you’ll hear the familiar sound of pins crashing down and teams cheering, you’re able to enjoy the unique ambience whether you’re a bowler, a drinker or a diner.
We started our visit in the bar area, where we eyed up the cocktail menu and ordered a rather vast pizza to share. Those who grew up dreaming of the huge pizza slices shown in American movies will instantly fall for Ray’s Pizza. The base was satisfyingly crisp and the toppings generous. Ours was loaded with goat’s cheese, pancetta, red onion and basil leaves, drizzled in a delectable balsamic glaze – we devoured it in embarrassingly little time. Desserts of waffles and sundaes round things off in appropriate all-American fashion, but we opted to burn off our hearty meal with an energetic and entirely unskilled game of bowling.
The Lanes is also one of Bristol’s best live music venues, and home to some of the city’s most popular club nights – check out their website for details of upcoming events, or to book their karaoke room for your next party.