Last week, in a bid to make the most out of the last of the summer holidays before Matthew had to return to work, we popped along to the Bowling House in Norwich, for a review visit*. M has never been bowling before, but we’re off to Centre Parcs later in the year and had been considering it as an activity to do there. So, this was an ideal opportunity to see how she liked it.
We arrived for our pre-booked game at 3:30pm. This was the perfect time for us, as it was after the lunch time rush but before the evening crowd arrived. We received a warm welcome and were given our bowling shoes, before going through to our lane, which had bumpers set up for us and a ramp ready for M to use.
There’s something about Bowling House that makes you feel, well, cool when you enter. I think it’s the vintage-shabby-chic decor, with old cinema seats at each of the five cosy lanes, and funky lighting. It’s obvious that this is more than a bowling alley; it’s somewhere to socialise with friends and enjoy good food and a drink. It’s worth noting that no children are allowed into the venue after 7pm, which makes afternoons the ideal family time, and evenings the ideal date night if you’re looking for some child-free time.
Aside from the food, Bowling House has an extensive drinks menu. Matthew enjoyed a non-alcoholic cocktail, while M and I had a delicious milkshake each. The barman was very accommodating, and made M’s milkshake without the ice cream, at my request (I know, mean mummy!).
As for the bowling, I don’t think any of us will be winning any trophies anytime soon! I haven’t been bowling for years, but it was really good fun to have a go. The bumpers meant that there were no embarrassing gutter balls, and having M there was the perfect cover for being able to use them! M enjoyed bowling with the ramp, although I think she enjoyed selecting her ball more than bowling it!
B was great too, although she got a bit fed up with being in her carrycot, so Matthew ended up bowling whilst holding her – probably so that he could have an excuse for me getting a better score! The chilled atmosphere at Bowling House meant that it didn’t matter at all that we had a baby with us, and we were able to wheel the pram up to the lanes.
Overall, we had a great time at Bowling House, and I’d definitely return again, both with the children (although maybe when B is a bit older so that she can join in) and without, if we can get a babysitter. Any volunteers?!
*Disclosure: We were given our drinks and bowling free of charge, in order to provide this review.