One of the great tucked away gems of Central London used to be the multi floored games arcade, complete with bowling alley, in the Trocadero building between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Sadly this was shut down in 2011, not a great surprise as it was often empty, and since then the building has been revamped with a large Picturehouse Cinema. Thankfully this hasn’t meant the end of games arcades in London; the Namco Funscape under County Hall next to the London Eye is going strong.
As with so many good things, like Blacklock, you head down below street level to find two large subterranean floors. Sure if you’re there in the school holidays or during the day on weekends the place is packed with kids running around but, come 6pm, they have all gone and the adults can take over till midnight.
The upper floor of the two is complete with bowling alley, change machines, dodgems and classic arcade style fair ground games, dance games and much more besides. The lower floor, though, is mostly reserved for the adults and, alongside a more expensive bowling alley, there is a bar where they serve food and drinks, and pool and ping pong tables. Better yet, on that floor are the air hockey tables, Mario Kart games and, for those of us that grew up on it, Time Crisis, in this case the 4th edition. Somewhere there’s also a pre book escape room.
Be warned though, take both notes and change. You need change for the machines and, though there are notes to coin machines, the ATMs can be down and it’s a long walk to the nearest at Waterloo Station.
Finally, don’t bother eating there, instead head down the Southbank to the area in front of the Royal Festival Hall down to the National Theatre as there are a number of great restaurants and throughout the year street food stalls, such as Oh My Dog! In the summer.
London Lamppost Score – 4/5
Perfect For – Friends
Westminster Bridge Rd,
Feature Image – by Jerome Dominici from Pexels