Lane 7 Leicester

Lane 7 Leicester: We were invited in our bubble to head over to the new Lane 7 leisure complex in town today. Lane 7 is a national chain/franchise offering a range of entertainments coupled with street food vendors, mainly also smaller sized franchises and chains at the moment, although one food vendor space seems to still be vacant.

This is an area I know *really* well, having had my main office at Jewry Wall for twelve and a half years (that seems absolutely mental now) just around the corner. I remember when all this was garage units, with a mixture of lovely mechanics that would say good morning to me every day when I cycled past versus the awful ones who would drive the wrong way up the one way street and move to knock me off my bike when I wouldn’t give way to them (yes, I still remember you mid-llfe crisis mechanic.)


In terms of entertainments, as the name suggests bowling is the main attraction at Lane 7. It’s a compact alley but equipped with everything you need – lanes, pins and balls mate. As with all bowling alleys, what’s not to love? I finally remembered I absolutely suck so got them to put the bumpers up for me. No shame in sucking at bowling, it’s still fun to play. More so actually when you don’t have twenty gutter balls in a row…

Anyway, we loved the bowling, but the only niggly annoyance was that all of the lanes have high tables for the guests placed a little way away from the actually alley. The space is bijoux so proper distancing is a little difficult, and as we were placed in Lane 1, everyone else coming through to the lanes after us passed through our group to get to their game. Disruptive and inconvenient if I’m honest. Ask for the furthest lane!

Also they have painted different coloured spots on the balls so you know which is yours – but if they roll out with the holes on the bottom, then you can’t see the spot and you have to touch it to turn it anyway. Since everything is cleaned regularly and all guests are santising their hands regularly I don’t think this is a huge problem, but just something to consider if you are particularly careful in your personal Covid risk management.

Retro Arcade

There is plenty more to keep you occupied though – retro games (or arcade games as I know them, is that what kids know them as?), table tennis tables and pool tables to hire by the hour. There will also be a crazy golf course, but that does not appear to be quite completed yet. Looking forward to seeing it when it is though, as my crazy golf skills are a vast improvement on my bowling ability.

While we bowled I had an espresso martini brought over (table service only of course). This was my first in quite some time so I was looking forward to it a lot. And it tasted delicious, for the first mouthful – but as it was served over a lot of ice it just got more and more diluted. Not ideal. Happily, there are a great range of craft beers available. If you like Beavertown (which we do) then you are sorted. There are also a range of coffees, soft drinks, in fact there seem to be about 5 or 6 different bars to choose from so you’re good if you’re thirsty.

Outdoor Food Court at Lane 7 Leicester

Out in the courtyard there are some street food vendors. You’ve got chicken and burgers, Thai and bao outside, as well as sweet treats and bubble waffles indoors. I had a little sample of a cheese and bacon burger from What’s Your Beef, which was a really tasty handmade burger – full of flavour from good quality beef and a lovely spicy kick from the burger sauce. An absolute delight.

Next up were the bao. You know I like bao, as I wrote about them recently. These from Deckards were admittedly better – more filling and more flavoursome. I tried a Korean beef and a fried chicken one. Admittedly I discovered that it is near impossible to eat a well filled bao when the danger of dropping it on your baby’s head in the sling beneath your mouth is ever present. But I thoroughly enjoyed them both nonetheless, although the chicken one in particular I had to wolf down. They were made fresh to order so be prepared for a short wait. But this makes all the difference in the taste, partucularly with bao.

A great addition to Leicester

Like it. I am definitely keen to return and try more fun, more food and more drinks. This is an absolutely stunning renovation of the former Great Central Station. Architecturally, it is a delight. Please refer back to this post when it wins awards. I cannot gush enough about how transformative this development is. This includes the area of town and how amazing the redeveloped space is.

This is a great place to hang out. Great. Just moments away from the ‘rest’ of the city centre, I think we may well start to see more people venturing here. All Saints’ Church has been coming into better use. There has been the opening of the Novotel and Adagio and of course the Wullcomb. Not to mention Esquires. The whole part of town feels fresh and clean. It all really has a lot going for it, so go and take a look for yourself.

Thanks to Lane 7 for inviting me and my bubble for some free bowling, our first drink free and some tasty food samples. We paid for the rest ourselves and we’ll be back to pay for some more!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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