A puzzling Suffolk story

POSTED ON: 17/10/2016

A puzzling Suffolk story

By Oliver Paul
Suffolk Food Hall

Every great story depends on an intriguing plot.  Whether it’s a film, book, soap-opera, adventure trail or, as in this case, a ‘room escape’.  The latest venture at the Suffolk Food Hall is blessed with the perfect story to throw down a gauntlet in its Puzzle Room.  This entertainment is the first of its kind in Suffolk and is ahead of a craze that has spread from Japan and is sweeping across North America and Europe.

Puzzle rooms, escape challenges or locked chambers revolve around a theme and involve teamwork to solve conundrums, both physical and mental.  Typically taking an hour, they are great fun for a group of friends or a work colleagues, alike.  Suffolk Food Hall has been working with grand puzzlemaster, Steve Blake to devise the new Puzzle Room.  The challenge combines authentic props and a truly unique Suffolk theme that actually occurred in the 1850’s.  Based in old farm buildings at the Food Hall, underneath the Orwell Bridge, the adventure encapsulates the heritage and farming background of the site and the area just south of Ipswich.  It has been carefully scripted to call upon a variety of skills and is suitable for ages 9* to 90.

The story is set in the Victorian era and draws directly from the chronicles of the Rev. F. Barham Zincke, Chaplain to Queen Victoria and author of Wherstead: Some Materials for its History.  The scene is set; Sir Reginald Rackham, owner of the Wherstead estate and whose rabbits you have been poaching, is renowned for his ruthlessness far beyond the boundaries of his land.  His gamekeeper has detained your group in a locked estate workers' bothy while the police are summoned from Ipswich.  It will take them an hour to arrive so use that time to make good your escape... Be sure to remember the punishments for poaching could be a heavy fine, months of hard labour or even transportation to the colonies!

The intrigue the Puzzle Room is creating is not surprising, and is clearly evident in the competition being run on Facebook.  Will you escape the rough justice, or will you be incarcerated in a Victorian gaol, when it opens on Saturday 29th October.  Bookings can be made via www.suffolkfoodhall.co.uk/puzzle-room 

* smalls (children under 14) need to be accompanied by at least one person over 18

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