Bar Review: Down The Alley, Shoreditch Courthouse Hotel

Courthouse Shoreditch

Courthouse Shoreditch - Credit: Archant

Slay the pins at this cool Shoreditch bar which is steeped in the history of East London’s felons

In the Jailhouse bar at Shoreditch’s Courthouse hotel you can sip a slammer while eyeballing the police cells where the Kray Twins once spent an uncomfortable night in 1965.

It was just before the East End gangsters’ first appearance for demanding “money with menaces.”

Or perhaps you’d like to dine in the wood panelled Judge&Jury restaurant - the former Court Number One of Old Street Magistrates Court, where in 1962, playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell pleaded guilty to defacing books at Islington Library.

Or you could take a lift to the Upper Fifth bar to enjoy a breathtaking view over Shoreditch Town Hall and beyond from the terrace.

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But we were there for a spot of bowling in the subterranean playroom of this uniquely quirky luxury hotel, where there was table tennis, fussball, a giant plasma screen, a digital music system and a two-lane alley.

My companion likes to think of himself as a bit of a whizz with the nine pins, and after a few glasses of fizz, he was hitting his sweet spot between winner-takes-all confidence and the kind of lack of judgement that sees your ball shooting down the gutter leaving the pins untouched.

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The party playroom can be hired out for groups, with prices starting at £45 per hour per lane, it’s a great spot for a birthday or festive bash.

Should you want to stay the night, the Grade II listed Edwardian landmark underwent a £40 million refurbishment in 2016 and boasts 86 rooms and 42 suites all furnished in slick cool contemporary style.

You might not think they could fit in a spa too, but yes, there’s a beautiful boutique pool here too.

In the 20 years between closting as a key plank in East London’s criminal justice system and re-opening as a hotel, the place was often used for filming.

So whistle up a cocktail, weight up a well balanced ball, and consider where those scenes in Spooks or Luther were filmed, while you fire another missile up the alley.

The Courthouse Hotel Shoredtich Down The Alley is available to hire for large groups. 335-337 Old Street.

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