I remember The Guild hall when I was growing up, it was always a little shabby – but the gateway to the bus station (Preston bus station that is, if you’re not clued up on my home town.) With its Grahams for cheap Charlie deodrant, Hydes shop – the perfect spot to spend your pocket money! Gabbots farm shop, which was THE place to get a little cheeky Chinese chicken snack before catching the bus home and not forgetting the weigh shop – which was basically a shop full of bins, the bins were full of everything from sweets to washing powder, Bombay mix to dry dog food – a real eclectic mix. You’d scoop what you wanted into plastic bags, weigh them and buy them. I think that was probably my favourite – you’d get to use the machine and print of your sticker – it helped me live the dream of working in a sweet shop!
Anyway, life moved on – quickly and then one day after living out of Preston for quite a few years, we returned and ended up taking a little trip through town. The guild hall was derelict to say the least. I know there’s been a big problem with shops closing in town/city centres, but this was just so far beyond this. The once fully occupied mini-shopping centre was just empty, nearly every shop front dark, about three people just scurrying through, trying to get through to the bus station. It really was grim.
Flash forward to now, and earlier on in the week attended a pretty amazing launch of a complete new leisure complex in there. Level, holding a bowling alley, interactive darts, crazy golf course, karaoke booths, Later tag, Children’s and adults assault course.
The whole of The guild hall has been transformed by local business man Simon Rigby. From Review the bustling metropolitan cocktail bar, Villa Italia restaurant, there’s coffee shops, a Tapas restaurant, a newly opened ice cream parlour and now of course this new venture.
Though the entire unit isn’t fully finished yet, it still is pretty marvellous. The Bowling alley is really something special! Our only other local place to bowl Isn’t up to much, but this place is shiny and new. With its neon lights and leather seats, its high tech player sheet is pretty cool too – with a selfie function if just writing your name is a little to mainstream for you.
One of the more luxurious aspects to this as a bowling alley, is its private bowling party option. Entering through your own entrance, you have two lanes just for you, as well as large chesterfields to lounge one, fridges ready to be stocked for your party, a small stage, plus the option to connect your phone up to the sound system – if you fancy getting your own playlist on. It really is a treat.
Its not all about the bowling, another cool feature to this place – and actually so far my favourite activity here – is the interactive dartboards. Set in a more relaxed environment, just off the main room. You’ll find a cosy little section. The walls lined with warm wooden panels, holding a row of dart boards at one side, the rest of the room filled with a pool table and shuffleboard – which is also a lot of fun! And though the ‘interactive’ aspect is a little tricky to set up – the staff here can help you figure it out – once you get going, it is actually really simple. Even for a complete novice like myself (who actually ended up winning the game with a bullseye!!) its so much fun to play, the room itself is a much more relaxed area, somewhere you’d come after work for a quick drink and a de-stress with your mates.
And last but not least. The main hall. And I call it a hall, because it is just HUGE! I didn’t actually get a number on how many people this place can seat, but I’ll just say its a lot. There’s seating everywhere, including a raised little diner style setup overlooking the bowling alleys. The food served here is from Mundo’s Street Kitchen – which if I’m not mistaken is a side business from the Mundo’s tapas bar – also in The guild hall. We were treated to a lovely selection of bites, I was a massive fan of their garlic & chilli prawns. YUM!
The decor of the place is hard to fit into any one box. It’s a little industrial, but soft. Its playful with some incredible wall murals painted by the very talented local Artist Shaun Sharpe, but its still got a grown- up vibe. Most importantly is that when you combine all of these elements together, you end up in a place where you can relax, enjoy yourself, wether its a family day out or a date night. After work drinks or a children’s party. This place caters to it all.
We really did have such a good night trying this place out, the only bad thing I can say, is that I want to see the rest of it! I’m most excited for these karaoke booths! But the adult assault courses that will be filling the top level is definitely going to be something special! I’ve had word that everything on every level is expected to be up and running by the 15th – or there abouts – of December. And its open today, if you fancy having a pop in to see what all the fuss is about first hand.
It truly is such a brilliant addition to the city.
The little woman pretends.