Having moved from BS8 to BS1 in the last few months, I’m now spending more time visiting places in central Bristol, rather than sticking to the Clifton area. The Lanes on Nelson Street is just a five minute walk from home and offers a hell of a lot to its visitors: tenpin bowling, club nights, live music, pool, table football, karaoke…and there’s even a vintage shop on the premises.
The vintage shop fits perfectly with the retro vibe of the place: garish neon signs outside and the American diner feel of the seating area make you feel right at home when you’re wearing a pair of bowling shoes!
We were there to enjoy an hour’s bowling (simple old school lanes and screens, no wizardry here!) and were invited to stay for a meal to sample their food offering.
Selecting our drinks proved to be tricky – the range available is far more interesting than a lot of central Bristol bars. Cider fans are well catered for, with Aspalls and Thatchers Gold on draught, and all three Orchard Pig varieties in bottles. They also stock a diverse range of Orchard Pig juices, along with the standard soft drinks list, for those wanting a booze-free visit.
Lagers are pretty standard, but it’s good to see a local ale selection, including both Chuffin Ale and Dark & Handsome from Wiltshire’s Box Steam Brewery.
In keeping with all things retro, there’s also a wide selection of milkshakes – including The Lanes’ boozy “Hard Shakes”, priced at £5.50 each, with a shot of various spirits to ‘make it a little more interesting’. I went for the Gutter Ball (spiced rum with chocolate ice cream and fresh milk) which was delicious, but I don’t think I could manage more than one!
The short-but-sweet food menu gives diners the choice of eleven different stone baked pizzas (dough made freshly on the premises), available in three different sizes: 6 inch, 12 inch and a massive 18 inch pizza. With fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh herbs and the finest Italian meats, The Lanes are keen to highlight the difference between their pizzas and those served at many nearby commercial pizzerias.
We chose three twelve inch pizzas to share between the six of us, which were accompanied by two portions of fries and a garlic bread.
Not a healthy meal, by any means, but a tasty one! The thin and crispy bases (sadly a bit TOO crispy for one of our pizzas) were packed with toppings, and there’s a decent amount of variety on the menu. Our Prosciutto (£9.95 – prosciutto, mozzarella, rocket, cherry tomatoes, tomato and basil) pizza was probably my favourite, closely followed by the combination of pepperoni, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, mozzarella, tomato and basil that made up the New York Hot (£8.95) – which had a kick, but not excessively so.
The only slight let down was with the Pancetta pizza (£9) – the combination of ingredients should have made it my favourite (pancetta, goats’ cheese, mozzarella, chopped tomatoes and balsamic vinegar), but the base was a little over crispy and the balsamic syrup slightly too overpowering.
No complaints with the waffles (£3.50) – chewy yet soft, and the perfect retro ending to our evening.
The pizzas are due to increase in price slightly (12 inch pizzas will be closer to the £10 mark) as The Lanes continue their focus on high quality ingredients, but it still doesn’t break the bank. We’ll definitely be back for both the food and the atmosphere – a great venue for a night out with a difference.
Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.
Find The Lanes on the Bristol Bites Directory…