London's best bowling alleys
With London branches in Bayswater, Brick Lane, Holborn and Westfield Stratford City, you’re never far from an All Star Lanes. The '50s Americana vibe is reminiscent of Bloomsbury Bowl, but look of All Star's venues is slightly more polished. Decide for yourself whether that's a good thing or not.
This newly revamped bowling alley has really run with the 'Hollywood' theme – an all-American diner offers burgers, hotdogs and milkshakes and the VIP lanes are decorated with the faces of film icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Harrison Ford. The bowling itself is set up using tablets and guests may wear their normal shoes to bowl in, though if you're partial to the sweaty red-and-blue slippers they do still have those available. If you're looking for post-bowling competitions make sure to hit the arcade which boasts four-player Mario Kart and plenty more.
This Finsbury Park institution offers so much more than bowling. As well as two floors of lanes you can play pool, spend hours on arcade games, sing karaoke, drink vodka slushies and dance to R 'n' B until inadvisably late. Prices are keen but if you're going at the weekend make sure to book ahead, and be prepared to pay an entrance fee from around 10pm.
North Greenwich may not be an obvious choice for a fun night out, but that could be about to change with the new opening of US import Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 Arena. Food-wise, the menu here is the same as in Brooklyn, serving up classic American fare including sloppy joes, oyster po’ boys, cajun catfish and fried chicken. Family Bowl sessions for all ages run on Saturdays and Sundays from midday until 7pm, with a kids' menu alongside the main one.
Okay, so it's not the most modern bowling alley in the city, and a visit necessitates a trip through what's surely one of the ugliest shopping centres on Earth. Still, by now this 26-lane establishment must surely be tatty enough to qualify as 'vintage', and if nothing else the prices are certainly right. Students who pitch up on a Monday or Tuesday can bowl for just £2.35 a game (or £5.95 for unlimited, all-day bowling), and there's generous mid-week deals for everyone else, too. Tackle the £3 quarter pounder at your peril.