REVIEW: Lane7, St James’ Boulevard, Newcastle.

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Think you know bowling alleys? Think again.

Forget Formica tables, cheap burgers and garish amusement arcades blaring in the background, Lane7 has elevated the traditional UK-take on tenpin bowling into an upmarket experience.

Set over two expansive floors, Lane 7 certainly looks the part, with trendy exposed brickwork, walnut finish bowling lanes and low lights abound.

From the outside it looks like an old-fashioned cinema and that fusion of 1950s style with the contemporary can be found throughout.

While it looks very different, some things remain the same. You still hand your shoes in at reception and slip on the bowling shoes (thankfully not those tasteless red and white clown boots), your scores appear on TV screens above the alleys, and the satisfying clatter of 10 pins still reverberates around the building.

But there’s a lot more to Lane7 than just the bowling.

Upstairs there are full-size pool and table tennis tables, and even karaoke booths should the urge take you.

Lined up alongside the bowling alleys (strangely, given the name, there are eight lanes!) is the restaurant, which is worth a trip alone.

You don’t have to be playing tenpin to book into the restaurant, which has a menu offering top-quality food.

There’s a distinct American flavour to the dishes. The house smoked baby back ribs (smoked, we’re told, in Lane7’s own smokery) were a dream, served with fries and a ranch coleslaw.

I opted for a giant pulled pork bun with green chilli slaw, house pickles and a ranch dressing (£9.50).

There were a selection of side orders that were different from the norm, including creamed corn with bacon, charred hispi cabbage and pulled pork with butterbeans to keep the foodies happy.

Bowling prices are – peak £7.50, off-peak £6, students £4.50, kids £4.50.

Richard Ord