Last night I headed into London to check out an awesome restaurant event (blog post soon to follow) and to try my hands at one of Handmade Mysteries’ Escape Rooms. We chose to visit Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop at The Depot in Islington, although there’s also Lady Chastity’s Reserve in Battersea.
I’ve only ever been in one ‘sort of’ escape room (which was quite recently) and The Crystal Maze, so I definitely don’t have much experience, nor did I know what to expect. My friend and I arrived at The Depot (really lovely place – I thought it was a random place for an escape room but when I discovered there’s also a theatre nearby it made sense) and met the lovely Tanya (who I’ve known for years through the blogging circle!) and her plus one. We were met by Wynn, who ushered us through to outside the room once we discovered the final two guests weren’t able to make it.
The lovely (and slightly eccentric) Wynne explained to us that she was a creation of toymaker Poppy Plock, who has mysteriously disappeared. Once inside the creepy toy workshop, we were given the task of putting resident dummy Roy back together – a lifesize creepy doll hanging on the wall with all his limbs missing. The general idea was to partake in puzzles to gain access to his limbs (to return them)…but of course, it wasn’t that simple.
As well as tough clues and puzzles to decipher, we were also taunted (and sometimes helped) by a ventriloquist dummy who teased us and made many funny innuendoes. For a group of slightly tipsy beginners, this amused us to no end.
Without wanting to give away any spoilers, the entire time spent in the room was so much fun. At times (okay, most times) it was very challenging and I definitely felt an adrenaline rush as I rushed around the room trying this and that. It didn’t take us too long to understand what exactly we had to do for our end result, but decrypting the clues to get there was a whole other bag of fish.
Luckily the room was filled with things to try; toyboxes to open, games to play and things to pull, twist and push. There was never a boring moment and Wynne was absolutely fab, whether it was giving us one of the three clues we were allowed or just popping her head in to drop a dirty joke and check on us.
Because it was for Halloween, there were a few scares too of course, but nothing too bad. I just jumped very easily when the ventriloquist dummy suddenly burst into life/sound.
The hour seemed to stretch while we were in there, but as it got closer to our allocated end time, hearts were definitely beating fast with the tension rising. As it goes, Team Area 51 (terrible name, I know, but the table we sat at before we went in was 15 and it’s the first thing that sprung to mind!) beat the Escape Room with a mere 37 SECONDS TO SPARE. Talk about cutting it fine.
The last few minutes were an absolute adrenaline rush, we knew how we were going to get out but of course, there were some more twists! But we were on a roll and well into what we were doing by this point so luckily we managed to escape.
Handmade Mysteries’ Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop escape room was SO MUCH FUN and considering it was one of my first ever proper escape rooms, it was a lot more immersive and exciting than I expected. I thought maybe we’d be in one small room and have to do a few tough tasks to escape..but it was so much more than that. With so many escape rooms popping up now, it makes me wonder how companies manage to make them all different and unique.
It was obvious to me that Handmade Mysteries had really put so much thought into these puzzles. They were challenging, yes, but not impossible. It helped to have a real mix of people in the group, for example, I got overly into it and spent most of the time screaming for the team to find something or cheering loudly, whereas Tanya was really thoughtful and managed to crack the tougher puzzles. Becky really paid attention to all the little things, finding things we needed and discovering new clues, and Tanya’s plus one wasted absolutely no time in working out what clue was where. We came together to make a really strong team!
Two other things I particularly enjoyed about Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop was a) we were able to take our drinks in with us (haha) and b) we were given a scorecard at the end which had scored us on a manner of random things like how many times we screamed, drunk irresponsibly (lol) and tidying up after ourselves.
I just wish I’d thought to ask if I could take my phone in so I could have had a selfie with creepy Roy! But at the same time, I wouldn’t have wanted to take photos and give anything away…
Overall I had so much fun. Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop really exceeded my expectations and I think the creep factor this escape room absolutely perfect for groups of friends or dates this Halloween!
I’ll have to try Handmade Mysteries other escape room, Lady Chastity’s Reserve next! I’d also like to point out that although I thought the location was surprising for an escape room (then again what is the perfect location for an escape room?) the lovely pub we met in (with beautiful fairy lights outside and a relaxing atmosphere) was a great after (or before) location. Unfortunately, I had to rush off home, but I wish I’d been able to stay for a few celebratory drinks or even had food and drinks beforehand. It was just the right type of place to spend an entire evening with your friends; having a couple of drinks and then doing something really quirky and different.
If you’re looking for something hands-on, amusing and not too scary this Halloween, I’d without a doubt recommend Handmade Mysteries’ Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop – although I’d happily visit any time of year.
Would you try and escape the wrath of creepy dummies at Poppa Plock’s Wonkey Workshop? Let me know!