Sometimes you want more than just good food, you want to let your hair down and have some good old fashioned fun. In Newcastle we’ve got somewhere that aims to combine the two – Lane 7, the ’boutique bowling’ alley.
Open for nearly three years and a staple part of newcastle’s hipster scene, if you’ve never been to Lane 7 erase all thoughts of smelly bowling shoes, Formica tables and cheap hot dogs. Having been a few times before and thoroughly enjoyed myself, I was interested to see if the food would still hit the spot given the departure of Head Chef Chris Finnigan (now at Branches restaurant in Ponteland) who had given the place its foodie credentials.
We ordered our drinks and got down to bowling (around £7 each a game). My bowling skills leave a lot to be desired at the best of times, but drinking prosecco while doing so probably didn’t improve them! The Mr was driving and ordered a ginger beer, which caused a bit of confusion with our waiter (no, not an alcoholic ginger beer) and resulted in a mixer-sized ginger ale being served.
The Mr was presented with a huge trayful of ribs (the food comes on metal trays with an annoying piece of greaseproof paper which gets all wet and ripped when you cut into your food) #WeWantPlates. He was a little underwhelmed by the ribs; they were decent enough but not a stand out contender when the Newcastle dining scene is so over-saturated with BBQ joints (Bierex is the best in my opinion). His corn on the cob would’ve been excellent as it was nicely chargrilled but had been coated in loads of salt which rendered it practically inedible.
We finished up (apart from the ribs, they defeated us!) and as the pool and ping pong tables were all booked up we settled on a game of PacMan on the retro arcade machine. I won at Pacman, natch.
Overall we had a laugh bowling but were left a little underwhelmed by the dining experience. Perhaps this is due to Finnigan’s departure, and the changing of the guard – let’s hope so. It would be shame to lose sight of what made this place a success.
*Update – since we visited Lane 7 have launched a new menu and installed a permanent ‘Racing Rig’ on the top floor which looks fun. We will be back, hopefully next time we’ll be more impressed.*
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