Leicester’s newest attraction has opened today in a venue you might not expect – the old Leicester Central Station.
From the outside, it might look just like a humble train station turned bowling alley – but there’s much more than just bowling on offer.
And when you first walk inside the first thing you notice is the size of the space, which is no bad thing with social distancing measures still in force.
Alongside the alleys, there are also is ping pong and pool tables, mini golf, gaming machines and photo booths, as well as a food court and multiple bars – so there’s still plenty to do before and after you bowl.
We booked our bowling slot for 8pm, so arrived at 7.30pm – as recommended – and sat down for our first drink.
I ordered a gin and tonic, while my friend had a strawberry mojito, just one of the many cocktails on offer.
Before we knew it, it was 8pm and we went for our first round of bowling. Perhaps somewhat intriguingly, Lane7 actually has ten bowling lanes – five upstairs and five downstairs.
And as we were bowling, we ordered two beers from the ice cream van turned bar – which set me back a pricey £9.80, making feel a bit like I’d just visited a bar in central London rather than one in the heart of Leicester.
After our frankly disastrous efforts at bowling, we moved over to one of the many arcade games on offer – air hockey, which costs £1 a go. Gone are the days of scrambling around for loose change, as all the arcade machines take contactless payments – which is again a great introduction for the post pandemic world.
We then decided to have a rest, before we made our way to the food court, where there were four trucks offering different types of fare.
I went for a sample of Pad Thai from Thai Express, while my friend had a chicken burger and fries from Yard Bird. Both were delicious.
Afterwards, we decided to have another round of bowling, but before that we indulged in two of the sugariest cocktails I have ever seen – a Candy the Pornstar, and a Sherbert Lemon.
Both came complete with sweets for toppings – and while I thought two beers were expensive, these sweet alcoholic treats cost a whopping £18 for the pair.
Strangely, after consuming the cocktails our second round of bowling was much more successful, and we then went into the hidden photobooth (which costs £4) before having a go at an arcade basketball game (another £1 each).
While the drinks were pricey, and the music was perhaps a little loud, overall Lane7 made for a very fun evening.
All the staff were wearing masks and social distancing, and it was nice to get out and feel vaguely normal, after one of the strangest years in memory.