Bowling House Norwich

 

Hands up who hasn’t been to the Bowling House in Norwich yet? If you’re raising your hand right now… what were you thinking?!

OK, so maybe you were too busy washing your car or walking the dog (or walking the car and washing the dog.) Who knows?! I’ll forgive you. Life’s busy and we’re often lucky if we know what day of the week it is sometimes. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a place to unwind from it all? Enter Bowling House!

 

Located at the top of Dereham Road, and a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of St Benedicts, the Bowling House is perfectly situated for a night out in our fine city.

I recently visited with my partner on a Friday evening at the end of a busy week. On entering, we were immediately taken over by how relaxed and friendly the atmosphere was. We were given a very warm Norwich welcome, and shown to our table for dinner. The dining area is located right by the bowling lanes, so you can watch all the action and listen joyfully to the sound of pins tumbling over.

The Bowling House (or BoHo) has a retro style throughout, with bright decor and pops of neon lighting. Every corner is waiting to be snapped and posted on Instagram. We admired our surroundings whilst perusing the menu and enjoyed some retro music, packed full of nostalgic hits. I felt like I was in scene from a classic cult movie, sitting in an old-school American diner but with a classy “Norwich” spin.

 

 

FOOD

 

Bowling House Norwich

 

Our waiter was already very clued up on my dietary requirements, having specified these in advance. He happily answered all of my questions regarding allergy information and made some helpful suggestions. Being gluten-free, the kitchen catered so flexibly and easily to my needs. They took all of the pressure out of navigating through the menu, which can be a daunting process when you have any form of dietary requirement.

It was recommended that we order 2-3 dishes per person (we never need much persuasion when it comes to ordering multiple dishes!!) My partner ordered Beef Nachos and BBQ Back Ribs. I went for the Moroccan Meatballs and Tiger Prawns. We also ordered some Chorizo Style Crackling to start us off. Anyone who knows me knows my (slightly worrying) addiction to anything crackling related – and this was sublime. I’ve never had Chorizo Style Crackling before, and it really added a new twist on a much loved snack. They were so deliciously smoky and moorish. Needless to say, they didn’t last very long.

 

Bowling House Norwich

 

When our main plates arrived, we were very impressed by the sheer amount of food. Dan and I are not ones for small portions, so our eyes lit up when a feast was laid out before us.

The casual style of dining was just what we needed after a long week, as we picked from the various dishes. This would be perfect for large groups of friends or family, as it encourages sharing and creates a very social and laid-back atmosphere.

 

 

Each plate was delicious in its own way, perfectly seasoned and packed full with flavour. Every dish added a new sensation on the palate. The sheer variety was so refreshing, and we were spoiled for choice at what to try next.

A personal favourite were the Moroccan Meatballs, which were so juicy and flavoursome. Dan loved the BBQ Back Ribs – the meat just fell off the bone!

 

To wash it all down, I opted for a couple of mocktails. Being a non-drinker, I often judge a place purely by the soft drinks on offer. I had nothing to worry about here though, I found some unique mocktails on the menu, which were more thought-out that the usual non-alcholic Mojito or Pina Colada. Care has clearly been taken to make sure there’s something for everyone here!

 

Bowling House Norwich

 

Looking at the regular cocktail menu, I could clearly see these being a hit for those who like a good drink. Just in itself, the bar would be a great place to grab a chilled drink with friends in the evening – even if you’re not in the mood for bowling!

 

 

Despite the mountain of food we had just conquered, dessert looked too tempting to pass up!

I opted for the BoHo Pinapple, which was by far the best dessert I’ve eaten since being gluten-free. The ingredients were so perfectly balanced – the tropical pineapple paired beautifully with the heat from ginger and chilli. The toasted coconut ice-cream pulled everything together with a creamy velvet finish.

Dan ordered an Eton Mess Sundae and was equally as delighted with his choice. The dessert was gone in seconds.

 

Bowling House Norwich

 

BOWLING

 

Next we turned our hand to a few rounds of bowling. Shocked we could move after all that food? So were we.

It’s been a while since Dan and I went bowling, so it must have been the excitement to get playing. Needless to say we were both hilariously rusty – but isn’t that half the fun of bowling?

 

The Bowling House offers 5 intimate lanes for you to practice your strikes (or spares in my case!) The boutique bowling alley adds a hint of sophistication to a night of bowling that you wouldn’t get from any of the current chains in and around Norwich.

I can see it becoming a staple addition to the city’s nightlife, and seems perfect for any occasion – whether that be date night, a family day out or fun with friends + co-workers.

 

Bowling House Norwich

 

Bowling isn’t something we’ve done together just the two of us, and we found it a really fun and refreshing addition to date night. It reminded us that we need to step out of our usual go-to activities and mix things up every now and then.

While I didn’t come away victorious, I certainly left in high spirits feeling like we had shared a wonderful evening together as a couple – and what could be better than that?

OK, so maybe a few strikes would have been nice. But there’s always next time – right?

 

Bowling House Norwich

 

You can find out more and book online here.

 The Bowling House kindly offered me a free meal and a couple of games of bowling in return for this review. My opinion remains honest and unbiased.

 

Hi all! How’s things? It’s been a while.

I’m turning 28 soon and that’s pretty damn scary. The older I get, the more I feel the need to self-reflect and look back on the passing year. I also like to set myself little goals and notes to prepare for the year ahead. Inspired by my good friend’s blog, I wanted to start up my own annual list to summarise all the things I’ve discovered about myself. This will consist of anything from life-altering realisations to silly little things.

I don’t pretend to know all of life’s secrets, these lists are mainly for me to look back on someday. Maybe you’ll enjoy them too!

So here’s twenty seven things I’ve learned whilst being 27…

 

ONE

Time is money. Time is worth more than any amount of money you can ever earn.

TWO

It’s all about work-life balance.

THREE

Never google your symptoms.

FOUR

Deleting Instagram made me instantly more productive.

FIVE

Avoiding social media doesn’t mean missing out. Conversations become more interesting + meaningful without it.

SIX

Don’t respond to every message or notification instantly. It can wait.

SEVEN

I am obsessed with Hygge and would love to visit Denmark soon.

EIGHT

If you don’t give a fuck about something, DO NOT GIVE THAT FUCK.

NINE

Playing boardgames with friends has become one of my favourite things.

TEN

Believe the stories. Buying a house is stressful and hard.

ELEVEN

I can make excellent sesame prawn toast.

TWELVE

What we are and what we need; they are different things. (Thank London Grammar for that one.)

THIRTEEN

There’s something soothing about the process of making loose leaf tea.

FOURTEEN

Minimalism keeps the mind clear. Get rid of the clutter and keep only what you use and love.

FIFTEEN

I really don’t like being micro-managed.

SIXTEEN

I love visiting new cities and rediscovering old ones. Toronto + York were highlights this year.

SEVENTEEN

Don’t buy cheap vinyl players. They break as easy as your heart will when you can no longer play a Sinatra record.

EIGHTEEN

Joint Hypermobility Syndrome is the thing that’s been giving me pain all these years – who knew?

NINETEEN

I really must start muscle-building and core-strengthening exercises to help this.

TWENTY

I love live music, but really hate standing in the same hot sweaty spot for two hours. Is this an unsolvable problem?

TWENTY-ONE

You can do more than you think. Mind over matter.

TWENTY-TWO

I love Norwich more with each passing day.

TWENTY-THREE

I need to pick up old hobbies and passions. Make and create more.

TWENTY-FOUR

You can grieve for someone you’ve never even met. Scott was a musician close to my heart + I felt like I lost a friend.

TWENTY-FIVE

It’s ok to have a day of self-care every once in a while.

TWENTY-SIX

Smoothie bowls are my current addiction.

TWENTY-SEVEN

I will be a homeowner by the time I’m 28 – and that’s pretty much the most excited I’ve been about anything.

 

What did I learn very early on when planning a baby shower?

Pinterest and eBay are your best friends.

Yes, over the last couple of months I have been scouring the internet to find the best deals and ideas for my sister’s baby shower. As always, our lovely internet did not let me down! I searched Pinterest and eBay daily to put together what I hoped would be, a baby shower to remember.

 

 

I am happy to report that after months of planning, the shower was a huge success! My sister, Faye, was delighted with everything I had planned. All the guests seem to enjoy the food + games, and passed on lots of lovely compliments. For any baby shower, I feel like a happy mum-to-be should be the main priority. So I was just so pleased to see Faye enjoying herself on the day, and getting even more excited for what’s to come.

 

 

Planning a baby shower

I don’t know about you, but not many people I know of have actually been to a baby shower before, or know what’s really involved. I think there’s a couple of reasons for this. The first being quite simply that not everyone decides to host one. The second being, that it’s a fairly new tradition in the UK which has recently come over from America.

So… what elements are involved in planning a baby shower?

  • Baby-themed party decorations
  • Baby-themed party games
  • Party food + drinks
  • Party favours
  • Party music

Let me take you through this one (baby) step at a time!

 

Party Decorations

Baby-themed party decorations are usually a good place to start for any baby shower. This helps you to build a theme for your shower, and also helps to tie everything together. So whether that’s simply blue/pink for a boy or girl, or a woodland themed extraveganza, the possibilities are endless!

My sister and brother-in-law decided to keep the gender of their first-born a surprise, so I opted for a neutral theme. I went with a trendy kraft look with highlights of white and gold.

To start off, I purchased a bunting style banner in white from eBay here.

I also found a beautiful range of white and gold party supplies from the always amazing Ginger Ray. These added a touch of elegance to the baby shower, and looked so beautiful! I purchased many of these items from eBay at great value.

Equally you can find lots of baby-themed party supplies from stores such as Hobbycraft and John Lewis.

 

 

Party Games

Pinterest is a great place to start here, and gave me heaps of inspiration for baby shower games. After a quick search and a few (too many!) pins later, I finalised a handful of games to play.

 

 

A number of games were sourced from crafttlittlefox, the most amazing eBay seller. I purchased lots of stationary items from here, and they were all so gorgeous and helpful. It meant that guests didn’t need to scramble around for bits of paper, and ensured all the games ran smoothly. I had lots of compliments over how professional everything looked, and the stationary worked so well with the rest of my theme.

 

The games played were:

  • Guess the Baby Food – Guests are given 5 mystery jars of baby food to inspect, smell and taste (if they dare!) The lucky lady who guesses the most correctly wins! We had plenty of fun with this one, and lots of laughter was had trying to figure out what the flavours were.
  • How Big is Mummy’s Tummy? – Guests are given a piece of string to tie around the tummy of mummy-to-be. After everyone has written down their measurement, mummy’s tummy gets measured with a tape measure. The lady with the closest guess wins!
  • Who’s that Baby? – Guests are asked to bring a baby photo of themselves. These are pegged to some string and hung up for people to guess who is who. This can be a fairly relaxed game for people to play in their own time, or as more of a conversation starter.
  • Dad Knows Best – Before the shower, ask the daddy-to-be a series of questions about the pregnancy, birth, and baby. The answers are written down and sealed for the party. For an added bonus, consider a short video or audio clip of the answer, particularly if it involves a funny story. At the baby shower, ask the mummy-to-be to guess his answers out loud. The results can be hilarious! This one is a really fun game that helps you bring the partner into the mix, without having to be there.
  • Disney Baby Game – Ask guests to match a series of Disney children names to their Disney Parent. This is a great one for any Disney fans! My sister (a complete Disney-buff) aced this one and absolutely loved it.

 

From all of my stationary, I also made little packs up for every guest with everything they should need. As well as the game cards, I also included an advice card and predication card for each guest to fill out at their leisure. This was a great way for guests to pass on their wisdom and keep a record of their predictions. I also thought it was a nice keepsake for the parents-to-be, to smile and laugh at after the shower, and for many years to come.

 

Party Food + Drinks

 

 

Finger food and buffets are ideal for a baby shower, and makes catering easy, regardless of how many people you have attending.

For the buffet we laid out all the standard affair: sandwiches, mini pork pies, mini sausage rolls, crisps etc.

For drinks, we whizzed up a healthy tropical smoothie and found some non-alcoholic Prosecco for mummy-to-be! We also provided Prosecco + Pimm’s for those wanting an alcoholic tipple.

I also liked the idea of offering some baby-themed pieces for the spread, to make the buffet a little bit more special. My sister’s husband splashed out on this beautiful white Nappy Cake pictured above. It was a great feature piece for the table, but also doubled as a lovely gift for Faye.

I sourced some baby cakes from Sponge, one of my favourite local cake makers. I ordered one of their Baby Party Boxes.

 

Being gluten-free, I went for their gluten-free selection, but there are a number of different box varieties to choose from. The mini cakes were freshly baked the day before I needed them, and delivered straight to my door.

They were amazing value, and tasted absolutely delicious. I can honestly say that they where one of my favourite additions to the shower! Finally, I topped them with the cutest Oh Baby! cake toppers from Ginger Ray

I also took inspiration from Pinterest, and made up some Ready to pop! popcorn tubs.

I found these shabby chic stickers for a great price on eBay, and purchased some plain white tubs too. After little effort, and a couple of minutes sticking labels to the tubs – voilà!

 

 

Party Favours

If your budget will allow, it’s always a nice idea to include some mini favours for guests to take away as a memory of the shower.

Due to my current obsession with succulent plants, I decided that this would be a great lasting gift to give to all those who came along. The little favours had the added sentiment of growing with the baby.

 

I found these baby succulent favours on… you guessed it… eBay! These were from a lovely seller known as seedhouseplants. They were so helpful, and allowed me to create a custom order for a specific quantity.

These were fantastic value, working out at just over £2 per plant! This allowed me to provide some beautiful favours without breaking the bank.

I tied them with little thank you tags from craftylittlefox – an invaluable eBay seller for all my baby shower stationary.

 

I also found this cute printable sign on Etsy, which I printed and framed in a spare frame from home. I placed this next to the favours, to encourage people to take a little succulent on leaving.

 

Party Music

Finally you will need an epic playlist to bring everything together and get everyone in the mood to celebrate! Thankfully another idea gathered from Pinterest.

Here I collated every baby, boy or girl related song I could possibly think of. Spoiler alert, there’s a lot. Personal favourites include Push It by Salt-N-Pepa and Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. The playlist is pretty eclectic with something to please all guests.

You can view and listen to my Spotify playlist below. Feel free to subscribe or use for your own playlist inspiration.

And that’s it! Once you have everything in place, you’re free to set-up your baby shower, whether at home or at a venue. I always find a bit of prior planning goes a long way, and leaves you free to relax and celebrate the arrival of a new baby human! Plus it’s always lovely to see a mum-to-be getting excited to start her new adventure!

Good luck + happy planning!

If you’re planning a baby shower and need any further tips, feel free to ask questions in the comments below x