LONDON EVENTS – Escape Hunt London – Escaping the room is hard, but choosing to book this should be ‘Elementary’!
If you’ve ever played those Escape the Room games on the iPad, you’ll have some idea of what this is. If you haven’t, be prepared for the freshest, funniest, most competitive team game to hit the streets of London.
The escape the room games essentially involve you having to work out passwords, find keys, combine clues and crack riddles to try to escape from a locked room. These games have provided me with hours of fun on the underground for years. Well guess what – now you and up to 4 of your friends can pay to have yourselves locked in a room, and try to figure your way out in under an hour!
If this sounds at all sadistic, I assure you it is not. It was the most fun I’ve had in an hour, for a long time.
It was the most fun I’ve had in an hour, for a long time.
Arriving at Bank station, we had the usual problem of finding our way out of the station, somehow exiting at Monument. A little google map search then shows us the place is about 5 minutes away. Having walked to where the address took us, we found ourselves down a back street, squeezing in and out of narrow, cobbled roads, with no sign of any Room. After a further 15 minutes circling the area, we finally found it. A large door with an intercom. This was probably the only down side, although there was something quite mysterious and ironic about struggling to find a room to lock yourself in for an hour. You feel like you are Sherlock Holmes before you’ve even entered. Then, once you do enter, that is exactly whose boots you are thrown into.
A 19th century inspired London painted on the walls, chesterfield sofas and ‘private eye’ girls running around in deer-stalker hats, tartan skirts and miniature cloaks, will have you arguing over who is Holmes and who is Watson within minutes. Naturally, I was Holmes, accompanied by 4 Watsons.
We were warmly welcomed by Danielle, the tall, young, blonde, Dutch owner, who, with the aid of one of her ‘private eye’ helpers, explained to us the rules. Our jackets, bags and phones were taken from us, and we were then escorted to our room…
53 minutes later we emerged victorious. As I pranced around screaming “Elementary, my dear Watson” the satisfaction was immeasurable. For a moment, I felt closer to the four others whom I had shared this triumph with. That quickly vanished when one of them tried to claim responsibility for my success.
The place itself is larger than you may at first realise with 10 different rooms ranging from Easy to Medium to Hard. Fancying myself as a bit of a pro at these games I wanted to go for the Hard – but it was a good thing that we were booked in for Medium: the fun decor may mislead you into thinking this is one for the kids. It isn’t. It’s tough. You need to be observant, think fast, think outside the box, work as a team and be prepared for red herrings. The only thing worse than not attempting the Hard, is not escaping within the designated hour – Thankfully, we did, but I am not convinced we would have done if the others shared my blind ambition and we had opted for the Hard.
Fancying myself as a bit of a pro at these games I wanted to go for the Hard – but it was a good thing that we were booked in for Medium: the fun decor may mislead you into thinking this is one for the kids. It isn’t. It’s tough.
If, however, you feel you may not be good at this type of thing, that shouldn’t put you off. There is a telephone in the room that will ring with help if you are struggling, or alternatively, which you can use to ask for a clue. (If you call up, though, a minute is taken off your time.) It can, therefore, be as easy as you want it to be if you choose to get repeated clues. This kind of defeats the object, but does mean you won’t feel you have wasted your time because you can’t get past the first riddle.
Once you have escaped/your time is up, you are taken to a lobby area where you can discuss your success/failure over a nice cup of London’s finest – a pot of tea and cute little teacups are brought out – which is a nice touch, adding to the novelty of it all, and… Well, when is a tea not welcome? After you have argued over who was the MVP and who solved what, you can then dress up in – you guessed it – a deer-stalker hat, a tartan skirt and a miniature cloak, grab a violin, magnifying glass and smoking pipe and take some snaps in the photo booth!
The theming is first class, the staff, friendly and attentive, and the activity itself is one of the most enjoyable things to do in London at the moment. It costs £29, £27, £25 or £24 pounds per head depending on whether you book 2, 3, 4 or 5 people. Given the cost of a cup of tea in London, this is a steal. Do yourself a favour and make a booking.
George Yard, London EC3V 9DH
Heart London Magazine 5 star rating:
Overall Experience: 5
Lianna, Heart London Magazine