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Tuesday 18 June 2013

Soho Food Feast - Hint Hunt

Saturday 8th June - I booked two tickets a long time ago for Soho Food Feast - a 2 day festival of food and drink from Soho's finest restaurants and bars in aid of Soho Parish Primary School.  It is sadly an annual event so you will have to wait for next year now.  I dragged List regular Sam along as he has a healthy appetite and we arrived at St. Anne's Garden nice and early to beat the crowds.  With the ticket price at £15, and food tokens at £2 we knew we had to eat a fair amount to get our money's worth - so that's what we did.

BRGR.CO, Cabana, Ceviche, Chipotle, Cinnamon Kitchen, The Fresh Olive Company, Gelupo, Hix, Lina Stores, Mestizo, Polpo, The Ivy and a few more I didn't catch the name of all made it into our tummies.  The portions were extremely generous for £2 (with the exception of Gelupo who bizarrely charged £4 for one scoop, which would normally get you two scoops in their gelateria).  The Ivy stood out for me - they offered four fantastic taster dishes, with the duck and watermelon particularly delicious.  On the drinks front, Chipotle were making good looking £4 Margaritas, Ceviche were making cute £2 baby Pisco Sours and Milk and Honey were serving up £10 giant cocktails.  There were a couple more standard bars serving up pints and Pimms, and an affordable wine tasting area in one corner.  Food demonstrations were held regularly throughout the day, events were put on for kids, and an awesome selection of funk music was pumped out by an excellent DJ.  

Lina Stores fresh ravioli
Duck and Watermelon from The Ivy

I have hung out with foodies (and drinkies - is that a word?) for the last few months, so it was interesting to go to a foodie feast mostly full of posh people out of their comfort zone.  We encountered several pushy people who didn't quite know how to handle queuing or collecting their own food, bless them.  One old bean pushed me aside as I was talking to a Lucha Libre wrestler handing out tortilla chips.  I assumed he was in a rush to get somewhere, but then he said "Excuse me, I need to get to the chips".  Really?  Anyway, they provided us with endless amusement, and the event wouldn't have the same feel without them.  Bring on next year!

Soho Food Feast kept us going for several hours, and we also popped into the new Loading Café/Bar for a spot of Fifa before going our separate ways.  I was very excited to be heading to King's Cross to take on the Hint Hunt challenge.  It was pretty much sold out for the rest of its current run, and I put myself on the waiting list for availability, though they have since created another room and released more tickets - get them fast.  Hint Hunt is an escape game, similar to an online point and click puzzle adventure, that you try to solve with a team of 3-5 people - you are put in a room together, and given 45 minutes to escape.  I assembled a crack team of Mary, Luke, Simon and Cassie to take on the challenge.  A couple of us met for a quick drink in the Euston Tap to discuss tactics before heading over to the Hint Hunt offices on Eversholt Street.  Make sure you have cash on you as they don't currently take card payments.

I obviously can't go in to much detail as I don't want to spoil the experience, so don't worry about any massive spoilers. We were greeted by our Hint Hunt guide who would be helping us throughout our ordeal - she was humorous, talking about locking us away in a dungeon, and telling tales of previous clients who had found it all too frustrating and had ripped radiators of the walls to find clues.  She also warned us that only 40% of teams manage to escape the room in time (we were doing the supposedly harder Zen Room, as opposed to John Munroe's Office).  What can I say?  We nailed it.  5.10 minutes left on the clock, 40 seconds off the record so far.  We worked well as a team (Mary and I also recently won the Dead Man's Hand trophy together) and stayed relatively calm, and are now desperate to go and do the other room.  It left us all buzzing and most of us went back to the Euston Tap afterwards to talk about how clever we all were.  I can't recommend it highly enough - it is such an innovative, well-crafted way to spend an hour, and should appeal to most people.  It is unlike everything else on in London, and you need to catch it in case it disappears!  It is currently above Book of Mormon on Trip Advisor as the #1 Thing to Do in London so it would seem I'm not alone. These games are apparently huge in Hungary - fingers crossed, many more will turn up soon that match the quality of Hint Hunt.  

Team List escaped with 5.10 minutes to spare


  1. Do you want a drinkie? I'll get you a drinkie... Dya like Bailey's?

  2. Gift Voucher scheme is the best thing in hint hunt and surprise your beloved ones.


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