Nestled on the city end of Dereham Road, the Bowling House is a vibrant and fun addition to Norwich’s Independent food and drink scene. Reading the name you would assume that this is just a bowling alley, but boy you would be wrong. Yes, there are five boutique bowling lanes but the food and drink alone should be the reason for you visit. Last weekend I headed down to The Bowling House with a friend to find out what all the fuss was about.
The Bowling House (or BoHo) has a lively and retro feel with that Norwich laid-back attitude. Nineties tunes were playing as we entered, there were colourful geometric designs and neon signs on the walls. The old cinema style seating gave nods to the buildings heritage. There’s an instagrammable outdoor courtyard too, with picnic benches and lights strung through the surrounding bushes and trees. The whole place just oozes cool.
Food glorious food!
It was approximately a billion degrees on our visit so we headed outside to enjoy our food.
There was an impressive range of dishes on offer, catering vegetarians, vegans and those with other dietary requirements. I was pleased to discover a wide range of gluten-free dishes – I definitely wasn’t going to go hungry, in fact, I had the opposite problem!
The global-inspired menu looked delicious – it was near on impossible to settle on one thing. There were burgers, nachos (which I need to go back and try) Asian salads and Mac n cheese to name but a few. In the end, we settled on chorizo style scratchings and crispy Jalapeños to start, followed by burgers and skin on fries.
Both the chorizo style scratchings and crispy Jalapeños were so more-ish. They whet our appetites nicely and would be a great bar snack too. Our burgers were divine! They were succulent and juicy, the cheese was perfectly melted and the pickles added a vinegary kick. The skin on fries were a real treat too. The combination of the crispy skins with the salted thyme seasoning made them pretty addictive.
It’s cocktail o’clock
We decided to have another drink and skip dessert (though the BoHo Pineapple sounded incredible!). The cocktails I had were some of the best I’ve tried in Norwich. I started with a refreshing April Spritz and moved on to an absolutely divine Espresso Martini. If you’re not a cocktail fan fear not! There’s a fully stocked bar, with plenty of Adnams ales, wines, coffees and soft drinks. Naturally, with it being Norwich there were no plastic straws in sight.
…And the Bowling
After a few drinks, Bowling seemed like a fantastic idea. I should probably point out that this is in spite of us both being spectacularly rusty (read rubbish.) But it was such a laugh! There are five boutique lanes, which are shorter than average, theoretically making it an easier bowl. Our two games flew by, by the end we well and truly got into the swing of things and I ended with two strikes. Maybe this will be the start of my professional bowling career…watch this space!
I had such a fantastic evening at The Bowling House, I can see it becoming one of my go-to hangouts. It’s hard to explain, but it’s very Norwich. It has that playful, inclusive and independent vibe. The staff are wonderful here too, they’re so down to earth and friendly. I honestly can’t sing the praises of The Bowling House highly enough. If you want a fun-filled day or evening with great food and incredible cocktails, head to BoHo, the bowling is merely the icing on the cake here. I for one will be back!