Tenpin bowling has been a regular pastime since it first arrived in the UK in the 1960s and remains a great night out, with venues springing up all across the country.
Anyone staying in the region of Bayswater in London should consider taking some time out to visit the local All Star Lanes bowling alley and restaurant.
The popular venue can be found on Porchester Gardens off Queensway, which is just next to the entrance of Whiteleys shopping centre and close to Bayswater hotel London Underground station.
Visitors can enjoy one of the six lanes on offer – with up to seven people allowed to play per lane. Games can only be booked in advance, and during peak hours the lanes are reserved for those dining in the restaurant because of the strong demand.
All Star Lanes Bayswater is unique in the area as it combines the traditional tenpin bowling alley with an upmarket American-style diner, as well as the chance to enjoy a few cocktails. In fact, the bar claims to have the largest collection of bourbons in the UK.
Bowling games start from £6.95 during off-peak hours to £8.95 during the most popular times. The venue is also popular for children’s parties during the day and at weekends. For the younger ones, there are extra light bowling balls, bowling ramps and bowling bumpers to help make it a little easier.
After 6pm, only over-18s are allowed on the premises and music is often provided by a live DJ.
People should keep an eye out for the numerous special promotions that are run throughout the year, including discounted Valentine’s Day deals and themed nights.
Each game of tenpin bowling is divided into ten rounds, which are called frames. Within each frame, a player is given two chances to knock down all of the pins.
The number of pins knocked down is added up each time. If a player manages to knock down all ten with their first ball, this is called a strike and bonus points are awarded.
Getting good at bowling takes a lot of practice but there are a number of tips that could be useful for the complete beginner.
Position is important and players need to make sure their feet point down the lane, when they come to bowl. The ball should be held with thumb and the middle two fingers in the holes.
Remember to keep the back straight and the knees slightly bent. Then aim for the middle pin down the lane, while swinging the arm back, then forward at the same time of letting go of the bowling ball.
After a fun bowl, then the experience can be completed with a meal in the diner-themed restaurant. The dishes on the menu are largely American cuisine. This includes all the traditional burgers with the trimmings, as well as classics such as buttermilk chicken and BBQ glazed ribs.
As well as alcoholic drinks, there is also a wide range of milkshakes and soft drinks to pick from. Families will also be pleased to see the child-friendly menu, with fish fingers and pasta making an appearance.
All Star Lanes has also opened a number of other venues across London – in Bloomsbury, Brick Lane and Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre – to keep up with the strong demand.
There are plenty of other things to do in the Bayswater area, including heading to the nearby Hyde Park to enjoy some fresh air and a stroll in the lovely green space.
Kensington Gardens is also a must-visit, especially for fans of author JM Barrie because of the world-famous Peter Pan statue located in the west of the gardens. Erected in 1912, the statue is made of bronze and celebrates one of the most iconic children’s book characters.