Last week I was invited to an evening at London’s brand new underground code-cracking cocktail bar: the Bletchley, ahead of it opening to the public, so I took my pal Jessi along to see what it was all about.
The Bletchley is located in an underground bunker in the depths of Chelsea, and is the new bar venture from Seb Lyall (& his company Lollipop) who was the mastermind behind two pop-ups you might remember from previous blog posts: ABQ London (the Breaking Bad bar in East London) and the Bunyadi (London’s first naked dining experience). If you’re as much of a sucker for a themed bar or an immersive experience as I am, and perhaps partial to a bit of British History, then this will be right up your street…
If you’re clued up on World War 2 knowledge, or like me, watched the Imitation Game, starring Bendynoodle Crumpetpants (Benedict Cumberbatch), you’ll know how during this war, Alan Turing and a team of cryptographers worked together at Bletchley park to break the Nazis Enigma code machines and shorten the war substantially. This poignant part of history is where Seb got his inspiration.
However this bar isn’t secretly history lesson, it is an immersive pop up experience, where staff are in full character throughout, there are even jackets on every seat so you can get into character too. This place has the same well thought out details as one of my ultimate favourites which I mentioned earlier – ABQ London!
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Such fun cracking codes in exchange for cocktails tonight at @thebletchley's friends & family evening w/ @jessiginfox 🦊 It's a bar experience inspired by the Enigma machines used during WW2 (remember that film 'the Imitation Game' starring Bendynoodle Crumpetpants?) 🍸 anyway it was pretty fun & y'all should go! Agent Peach out x P.s. Felt a bit like Britney in this headset 💁🏻
There are no menus at The Bletchley. By following printed clues, and listening to recorded telephone messages you’re able to to create codes using elements of your identity, as well as personality traits, and favourite smells. You then communicate these to the bar staff by dialing into a secret number (which is also a code you have to figure out), who then make a bespoke cocktail especially for you & even give you the secret ingredients on a piece of paper with a red wax seal. V. Fancy.
Overall the experience was a lot of fun & you don’t need to be a history buff or mathematician to enjoy it. The only thing I will say about this bar is that I don’t think it would work for groups larger than 4, it’s perfect for an intimate night with a small group of friends or a date night.
Overall, it’s a super cool concept, and another amazing vision & creation from Seb! If you fancy visiting The Bletchley – be prepared for some unusual flavours. Some of the cocktail are incredibly creative, so you’ve got to be open minded. The creations we had included: coffee, rhubarb, garlic and cherry tomato (not all at once, mind you!), but they all tasted great! The staff are obviously incredibly knowledgeable of complimentary flavours and we left sufficiently tipsy having tried some new cocktails made especially for us.
(Worth noting: I understand they also cater fantastically to those not drinking, so if you’re after a non-alcoholic beverage just give them a heads up when you get there!)
To book tickets, head to the website – tickets cost £29.99 per person, and this gives you 2 hours in the bunker, where you’ll get a welcome drink and two personalised cryptic cocktails…
Still not convinced? Scroll down for some more pics from our evening.
Lots of fun @ The Bletchley: London’s Code-Cracking Cocktail Bar