A few days ago I spent the day with my brother and dad, who was back in the country for a few weeks. (He’s doing amazingly important work with his charity over in Uganda and we’re both immensely proud of him.)
Our day began with brekky at The Wolseley, then a free concert at St Martin in The Fields, followed by the BP Awards at the National Portrait Gallery (also free), lunch at Patty & Bun (uh huh) and then we dragged our weary feet and very full tummies over to Queensway for a couple of games of bowling at Queens Ice and Bowl. Hilarious.
I hadn’t been bowling in ages, but I really didn’t think I was that bad at it. It turns out I am really bad. The most terrible bad with big bad bells on. That’s me in the picture above. Extraordinary form, I think.
I seem to have developed a kind of exceptional killer spin on the ball when I bowl.. which in some ways I am extremely proud of, but the fact that I have absolutely no control over this skill (some may call it a kind of genius ability) means that it has become my kryptonite. I’m like a Superman that can only fly into buildings. Yes. That’s exactly what I’m like.
“You need to run up” said Ben. “Run up and get some momentum.”
Whatever. You don’t want to see me with momentum – it sounds terrifying and I suspect I’d end up flinging myself down the lane. At least I’d knock the pins over. Are they called pins?
I was clearly the source of great entertainment, so I wandered off to find some self respect. And some ice cream. (Delicious.)
I haven’t been able to find out very much about Queens Ice and Bowl – there’s surprisingly very little written online, despite it being the place for high society to go and skate in the 50’s… so I know it’s been around for a while.
It has 12 lanes of bowling, karaoke and houses the largest ice rink in London. In the 60s, lessons were three shillings old money (60p) for10 minutes and six shillings (£1.20) for 20 minutes… but on this particular day, I stuck with failing at the bowling and admired the skating from behind the glass with my ice cream…
Queens Ice and Bowl has a wonderful nostalgic and retro feel to it. I love the old arcade games, the hotdogs and pizzas (which we didn’t eat but would have done had we not had two enormous meals earlier in the day) and the amazing range of ages taking part; families with grandparents and small children, all bowling against each other and having a right rollicking time.
Bowling with my dad and brother was ridiculously good fun. We spent around an hour knocking pins down (or trying to..) and I spent most of the time in stitches. (Laughing. Not in hospital.)
I can’t actually remember who won, but I know it wasn’t me.
Queensway Ice and Bowl