Hidden London – Strike!
Bloomsbury is famous for the Bloomsbury Group, bookshops, its leafy squares and the house of Charles Dickens, among other things, but for many of us in the area, it’s also the London home of American fifties rock and roll.
This is because there are two bowling alleys within a five minute walk of each other, both underneath older buildings, and both boast authentic fifties US food, decor, music and bowling. Actually, there’s a third larger alley a short bus ride away, too.
How did it happen that this most English of London boroughs become home to fans of the Big Lebowski? Well, London has had a long-standing love affair with 20th century Americana, from the Hard Rock Cafe to the King’s Road Ribshack. There was a boxcar diner in King’s Cross called Sally’s, and another in Covent Garden, and the Ed’s Easy Diners replicate a fifties burger ambience.
However, dining US-style in London is strictly limited to these nostalgia-fests. American cuisine is almost the only world cuisine not represented in the capital. Why this should be so is a complete mystery to me.