Plot twists are overrated.
Or are they….
Yes, they are. Which is why this Queensway fun factory has eschewed a trendy, enigmatic moniker in favour of something that does exactly what it says on the tin: Skate, Dine, Bowl.
A vast, but somehow hidden complex, the venue’s been going strong for over 85 years. And there’s plenty of life in her yet, especially after a neon-hued refurb that’s given the whole building a flashy new feel and the addition of two more activities that, for reasons of space, aren’t included in the title, but are nonetheless present, and extremely fun. Here, in no particular order, is what they have going on…
Arguably the venue’s biggest draw, it’s one of only a smattering of London ice rinks that’s open all year round. It’s a huge space – almost the size of two football pitches – overlooked by a bright, festoon-lit ceiling, and a buzzy rink-side bar/restaurant running its whole length. Here you can get your skates on for an hour or two, or follow the professionals with classes in skating, hockey and er, curling.
Dining comes courtesy of the only West London outpost of MEATliquor, beckoning you to tuck into hobo beer cheese-covered nachos, deep-fried logs of mac ‘n’ cheese, burgers and 7 different types of chips. That, and fried ice cream. Then, there’s the new rink-side bar, the Sin Bin – which sports ‘alpine chalet meets dive bar’ chic, serving the full MEATliquor menu and cocktails, which you probably shouldn’t get too acquainted with if you’re planning to…
First installed in 1994, the 12 lanes here have been given a real spruce. Now it’s an electric, underground retro haunt, with guest DJs spinning tracks on weekends and five private lanes for hire. And yes, technically every bowling lane is a private lane, but these come with your own personal bar and sound system. There’s also a retro games room, with Donkey Kong and Street Fighter II on the arcade machines as well as air hockey, pool tables, darts and photobooths.
CURLING & ICE KARTING
Not ones to let all that ice go to waste, they’ve now added two more sub-zero activities to the roster. Ice karting involves, well, go karting on ice, while curling is taken care of by pros Sliders, who have set up ten lanes bordering the Sin Bin, for a little gentle exercise to go with those cocktails. But if you’re after a little more exertion, there’s also human curling, which involves strapping yourself to the (heavily cushioned) giant ‘stone’, and hurling yourself along the ice.
Just be warned, once you get into it…
…it’s a slippery slope.
NOTE: Queens: Skate, Dine, Bowl is open daily from 10am until 11pm (midnight on Fri/Sat). You can find out more and book on their website HERE.
Queens: Skate, Dine, Bowl | 17 Queensway, W2 4QP
Like fun? Of course you do. Check out our guide to London’s best activity bars