After a quiet week staying in to keep warm and out of the -8 wind it was time to venture out engulfed in moon boots, scarves and gloves. We were off for a bit of excitement, namely into the Great Wine Cellar…..

We were invited to a banquet being held by ‘Thomas Cooke’. No, he’s no relation to Thomas Cook, as in holidays, before you start criticising the spelling (as we first thought we might add!), but the local Peterborough magistrate who’s Georgian house is down Priestgate… from the 1800s of course! Location: Peterborough Museum. Okay, so I know I might have lost a few of you by now, but don’t despair, all will become clear.

‘The Vaults’ have only been open since October 2017 and are already proving extremely popular. It started with just one small room which has now developed into three with very different themes. So, as I was saying, we’d been invited to a banquet…..the wine has been flowing, but we’re not interested in that. We’ve found out that Thomas has some rare treasures and he accidentally let slip the location of where those treasures are kept. We’ve just spiked his drink with a sedative, knocking him out cold for 60 minutes – funnily enough. So now to enter the Wine Cellar, crack the puzzles to gain access and steal the treasures before he wakes!

We crept outside and down some steps (hold onto the handrail, they’re rather steep) and into the Wine Cellar. We were expecting dark, cold, damp and eerie and were pleasantly surprised by the actual warmth of the place, thank goodness, so now all we had to contend with was the dark and the eerie! With our magic lanterns in hand (I’m getting one of these off Amazon they are brilliant) we opened the wine cellar door. Bottles of wine from all over the world covering every wall with little space for anything else, what a rare collection he has. However, my trusty aides and I still had plenty of room to search through every nook and cranny, to find our loot.

Through alcoves and wine barrels, the treasures were hidden well. We had to solve riddles to unlock caskets, find hidden clues, test our brains with mathematical skills, even work with lbs and ounces! It was a test of skill, logical thinking and problem solving…some of which were very illuminating, I might add. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Blue Nun (no kidding!) to Frascati and Chardonnay there wasn’t a bottle of Prosecco in sight (sign)!  Some of our problems had a crystal-maze-like feel leaving us to tackle things individually whereas other problems needed the team working together. We sailed through some at top speed and others were definitely more challenging. After code entering, digit twiddling, name-dropping, hours, years,  boxes, barrels, crates and spiders… did someone say spiders! (well I didn’t see it…actually I’m glad I didn’t see it) we solved the last riddle, shakingly keyed in the code and our gem twinkled beautifully in the lamplight. Our quest was done with just under ten minutes to spare. We stole quietly back upstairs with our pocketed prize and joined some of the remaining guests for a coffee in the parlour (they call it Squire’s Coffee room now) before anyone became suspicious or our disappearance.

All-in-all the game was brilliant and the setting unique to say the least. To be honest, for all you scaredy-cats, there really is nothing to be frightened of. It’s a little eerie down there, I won’t lie, but not overly so, and you’ll be too involved in your game to notice anyway. In our team of 4 it was an ideal amount of different brain power to see us reach our goal and run away with the prize. You can’t leave any paper unturned or any door unopened or you could miss out on a vital clue!

Why not give this room a go and see if you can beat our escape time. 51 minutes and 50 seconds.

Thanks to the team at Escape Peterborough (Tom, Jonathon & Ryan) for letting us play today and taking the boredom out of another snowy day.

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