Look. We’re not in the business of convincing you that technology isn’t the best thing ever. This is not a proposal to *unplug*, but rather an ode to the art of immersive London experiences, one in which you are completely plugged in, but just without an iPhone in hand.
There’s a secret fandom in us all. Which is why we picked cult theatrical, artistic and culinary immersions with an element of secrecy and an in-the-know vibe.
Immersive London Experiences Worth Leaving The House For
West 12 Shopping Centre
Embark on a fantastical subterranean journey at Bompas & Parr’s new immersive theatrical production, Lost Lagoon, taking place in the depths of Shepherds Bush’ West 12 Shopping Centre. Navigate your way through different weather systems, lakes and challenges to reach a hidden island lair with a cocktail bar for a rum-based party fuelled by Captain Morgan punch, courtesy of London drinks bar Scout. Dress code is neo-tiki, with a high chance of getting wet…Until 7 April, from £26.49pp
Dinner Is Coming
To coincide with the launch of the final series of Game of Thrones, a new immersive dining experience is coming to The Vaults in Waterloo, inspired by the hit fantasy drama. Dinner Is Coming will recreate the world of The Several Kingdoms within the underground tunnels of The Vaults, for an experience full of dark twists and ominous celebrations. Expect an indulgent feast courtesy of chefs Chavdar Todorov and Steven Estevez, an in-house production from The Vaults’ creative team, and some surprise extras. Guests are encouraged to dress in accordance to their chosen house, whether an armoured warrior, a rich Lord or Lady or a rag-wearing peasant. And be warned, should there be murder in the air, you will be forced to choose a Kingdom…£35-55pp. 9 April-2 June 2019
Theatre In The Clouds
Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard
Back in Shakespearean times, actors would invite small audiences to their homes for private performances – a pastime particularly enjoyed by the aristocracy and royalty. Now are offering you a similar experience, where intimate plays by private theatre service ‘Revels In Hand’ will be performed within their highest suites, including a theatrical double bill by Noël Coward and a comedy by John Van Druten. The very small audience of just 25 will be seated a metre away from the stage, close enough to see the laughter lines on the actors’ faces, the expressions in their eyes. All this amid the luxurious surroundings of The Shard’s beautiful, spacious suites, with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing panoramic views of the city skyline. Fancy making a trip of it? Go for their theatre and overnight hotel package, which includes a stay in one of their suites, breakfast, Champagne, canapés and use of the infinity Sky Pool. Until 17 February. Theatre only tickets are £85pp, book , and overnight package tickets from £685 based on two people sharing, book
The War of the Worlds Immersive Experience
The Old London Metal Exchange
Travel back in time to HG Wells’ dark Victorian England in a new multi-sensory immersive experience, taking place at The Old London Metal Exchange. Using immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented realit holograms and other cutting-edge technology, visitors will be able to experience the fictional Martian invasion narrated in HG Wells’ War Of The Worlds, and later in Jeff Wayne’s musical interpretation of the story. This year is the 40th anniversary of Jeff Wayne’s musical interpretation of The War of The Worlds, a science fiction novel by HG Wells first published in 1898.
Audiences will be guided along in small groups of 12 by live and virtual actors, as they walk, crawl and slide through different scenes: from drinking tea in a Victoria household while Martians roam outside to witnessing an enormous Martian Fighting Machine rise above them in virtual reality. The experience stimulates all the senses – you’ll smell the grass and feel the chill of the story’s famous Horsell Common, and feel the ground shake as the first cylinder lands. The total run lasts for 110 minutes, including a 20 minute intermission in the Red Weed Bar. Finish by enjoying a bite to eat and a drink at the steampunk themed bar. From 31 May 2019
Sherlock: The Game Is Now
West 12, Shepherd’s Bush
Upon arrival at West 12 Shepherds Bush Shopping Centre, it won’t be obvious anything suspicious is going on – until you’re whisked away into a sketchy looking ‘opticians’ in the corner for an ‘eye test.’ Once inside, you’ll find yourself not at an opticians, but in a screening room, where you’ll be debriefed by Mycroft. What will follow is a fast-paced, hour-long immersive escape room experience, where you must solve a series of puzzles and riddles, collecting clues to earn your release from each room. Tickets cost £54 per person and can be bought for teams of 4, 5 or 6 players.
Secret Cinema will present the film Casino Royale (2006) directed by Martin Campbell and starring Daniel Craig. Opening on 29 May 2019 and running into the summer, a secret London location will be transformed into the glamorous and action-packed world of the iconic British spy. Blurring the lines between fiction and reality, the experience will bring-to-life awe-inspiring scenes and locations. Additional tickets and show nights have been added for the experience from 5 June- 22 September, these will go on sale 25 January at 12pm
A Lollipop Project
We love a good surprise location, which is the case here, at Black Mirror themed bar The Grid. Promising 2 cocktails and 1.5 hours of a shocking experience with your ticket, the bar invites guests to go undercover as an operative to help defeat evil Al corp (Neosight) and low-key save the future of humanity. Make sure no one knows you’re undercover during your visit as you may meet members who are on the wrong side of The Grid revolution. £35 for entry.
The Murdér Express
All ye pleasure seeking passengers, wet your whistle at the Platform Bar and hop aboard this mysterious gastro-journey. Travelling by train for pleasure is in its infancy and Pedley Street Station has recently opened and launched its new luxury train ‘The Murdér Express’. The evening’s main event, full of characters and mischief, will unfold alongside the main course crafted by BBC One’s MasterChef 2016 finalists, Billy and Jack. From £53.
Leake Street Arches
If you already weren’t expecting to find Waterloo’s Leake Street Arches, eight revived railway arches near the famous graffiti tunnel, then you’ll be doubly surprised to find Aures London- a sensorium of sound among them, too. This venue is fully immersive with a vibrating dance floor, 3D projection, cutting-edge acoustics and visual projection. Those with a flair for the dramatic and interested in designing their own immersive experience can hire the space to be tailored for bespoke events or parties.
The Big London Bake
The Castle Tooting
Your key ingredients for the ultimate baking extravaganza… 0 x experience needed, 1 x awesome marquee, 10 x cooking stations, Mix in up to 10 teams of 2, Add a dash of competition, Set the timer to 90 minutes, Customise with our creation corner, Stir in a slice of creativity…And when the time’s up, the winning team is crowned
So close to The Great British Bake Off, you can taste it. All you need to bring from your cupboard is yourself and a friend. The Big London Bake provides all ingredients you’ll need to bake the monthly recipe. With instructions by your side, a professional baker on hand and a trove of customisable decorations in the ‘creation corner’, your team will have the keys to create a winning masterpiece, or a right old mess.
If you like your Old Fashioned of choice with a side helping of dice-throwing and with the sound of gunshots keeping you on your toes, this one is for you. Moonshine Saloon transports attendees back to the Old West, with an immersive drinking experience replicating the look, feel and lifestyle of streets and drinking establishments of America in the 19th-century. Guests will be welcomed by Clyde Cassidy – the self-styled King of the Moonshiners – and can smuggle in their own liquor to be granted entry into the shadiest spirit making business in town. In exchange, they’ll be treated to contemporary cocktails that pay homage to American legends. Visits to Moonshine Saloon typically last for around two hours and cost £33.99 per person (includes 4 cocktails from brought drink of choice). Wed-Sat until 27 April.
Pirates of the Hidden Spirit
The Golden Hinde
Climb aboard: on 22nd November the world’s first pirate ship cocktail bar is coming to London. Once settled on Sir Francis Drake’s The Golden Hinde, guests will be transported back to 1795 and recruited into Captain Jack Cassidy’s crew. You’ll be given an authentic pirate coat and a three cornered hat and served an array of cocktails, including the Golden Shimmer: a concoction made from pieces of gold taken from the finest treasure. From £34.99
19.20 at The Palm Court
For one magical hour each week, guests can travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties at The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane. At exactly 19.20pm, the atmosphere will change in the hotel’s lounge: the lights will dim and a jazz singer will appear illuminated in a spotlight. They will then sing a set of songs from the 20s, accompanied by a pair of dancers performing Charleston routines, transporting guests back to The Great Gatsby era. Meanwhile guests can sip on cocktails inspired by the Jazz Age and drink in the glamorous surroundings of the Art Deco bar, The Palm Court.
Café de Paris
Disco54 at Café de Paris has opened a new immersive dining and late-night party inspired by the iconic Studio 54, now available to revellers every Friday and Saturday night. Studio 54, which electrified New York’s nightlife in the 1970s and 1980s, was renowned for its debauchery and legendary parties, and boasted visits from the likes of Andy Warhol, Elton John and Cher – Disco54 promises to deliver the same memorability and unconventionality as the infamous New York hotspot. As true to its roots since opening in 1924, the venue has recruited London’s best creatives and performers to bring the disco concept to life.
MAMMA MIA! The Party
First came the musical, then came the films, now we have the party! Dancing Queens, prepare for the night of your life at Mamma Mia’s new immersive restaurant experience, coming to London in August this year following a sell-out stint in Stockholm. London’s O2 will open its doors to an exotic Greek taverna, where guests will be transported to a Greek island paradise where they can eat delicious Mediterranean food, drink, dance and sing to all of ABBA’s greatest hits. Opening August 2019, pre-book tickets via
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