Whichever side of the Brexit debate you’re on, the one thing I think we can all be united in is the fact that the whole process has been a complete unremitting disaster, which has not only divided the country, but also made us an international laughing stock. Merry Christmas!
With much of the debate just seeming to centre around people on both sides trying to shout or condescend their opinion into the brains of people with a differing view, a bit of a light-hearted escape from the whole thing sounded fun to me. An escape room, to be more precise.
Alternate Escapes, one of the residents at the new Pollard Yard, located on Pollard Street next to Wellington Mill – a hub for creative independent businesses housed in repurposed shipping containers, run by a company called Meanwhile Creative – offers themed escape room challenges. The current theme is The Battle of Brexit and there are new themes in the pipeline for 2020.
Ben Fowler, the man behind Alternate Escapes, explains: “The escape room is about giving people the chance to take a fairly exhausting, serious topic, and enjoy it in a far more light-hearted and satirical way”.
Before you start you have to pick a side: Remain or Leave. We picked Remain, and you have a quick introduction in a separate cabin to go over the rules.
The set up being that our host is our campaign manager, and he has surreptitiously gained access to our rivals HQ for a short time and in the true spirit of real life Brexit, our objective is to try and gather sensitive, confidential information to besmirch our rivals by seeding their grubby secrets out to the press.
It’s not really a case of escaping per se, but if you get all the secret documents, you succeed in destroying your rivals credibility, and ultimately win your chosen Brexit outcome. Or you fail, and they win.
It was at this moment I made a decision. When I was younger, if there was a big football game approaching, I’d often play the game virtually on Fifa beforehand, deciding that whatever the outcome on Fifa would be the outcome in real life in some sort of inexplicable cosmic quirk, with myself at the centre of the universe.
That’s what I decided would happen with Brexit, 100%, without question. Whatever happened in our Battle of Brexit escape room would manifest in real life.
Naturally, being an escape room, they haven’t made it easy. In order to get our hands on confidential documents we have to work out access to various cupboards, drawers, cabinets, lockers and rooms by following a series of cryptic clues dotted around, with our campaign manager watching over from our HQ and able to provide clues on a screen occasionally, for which you’re notified by a little gong sound.
One such gong during our session was to dissuade one of our team Danny from trying to hack into a tablet, which we weren’t quite ready to use at that stage as we hadn’t discovered the clue to do so yet.
While Danny didn’t quite manage to hack into the rival’s profile, he did somehow manage to log out of it completely and, impressively, hack in to the Alternate Escapes chap’s girlfriend’s personal profile, which we quickly were notified wasn’t part of our game, leaving us having to un-hack and re-hack back in when we were ready. It was some serious espionage.
I’ve done a couple of escape rooms before, with mixed success and experiences, and this one was well put together, good fun, and actually quite tough. It’s a simple-looking layout at first, but the complexity of it builds out as the game progresses.
We had waves of being pretty prolific, then hitting a roadblock, with each new discovery greeted with a collective cheer. With actual seconds to spare, we managed to get the last clue and succeed in getting all documents, meaning that we won.
Therefore, the cosmos has spoken, the outcome of Brexit will be Remain.
Then again, if the universe was as aligned around me as I like to think, England would have won every major football tournament since about 1998 based purely on my Fifa endeavours, so I won’t hold my breath.
To find out more info visit the website here.
You’ll soon be able to get married at Chester Zoo surrounded by the animals
Know anyone who’d love to get married here?
If you’ve ever dreamt of getting married while surrounded by animals, then we’ve got some very good news for you this morning.
Chester Zoo is opening a brand new wedding and events venue, and if the images are anything to go off it will be a stunning spot to tie the knot.
The luxury wedding and events venue is set to open next year, and the zoo has released an exclusive set of artist’s impressions to show what it will look like.
The wedding spot will be called ‘The Square’ and is currently scheduled to open in spring 2023 – while the main event room will have a capacity of 200, the reception and breakout rooms will bring total capacity to 380.
An extension of an existing Grade II-listed stable block that’s been there since 1931, The Square will feature an impressive gated entrance, private courtyard, vaulted rafters, exposed brickwork, and large windows which overlook the zoo’s botanical gardens.
The stable block once housed some of the zoo’s first animals, including lions, bears, and chimpanzees, and Chester Zoo say they plan to retain the ‘rich history and character’ of the building.
Jamie Christon, CEO at Chester Zoo, said of the launch: “Work is underway to bring to life this incredible building that has stood at the heart of the zoo for more than 91 years.
“The Square will be a special, one-of-a-kind space that preserves the zoo’s rich history and character, while also adding a modern twist to its interior that showcases our plans for a more sustainable future.
“While the zoo has, for some time, offered an intimate wedding and events space at The Oakfield gastropub, which can hold around 50 guests, we’re frequently asked if we can accommodate larger scale events.
“That’s why we’re really excited to begin welcoming guests to this incredible new venue from early next year.”
He continued: “But what’s particularly special is that income generated by each and every occasion that takes place at The Square will contribute to our charitable mission and help us to secure a brighter future for wildlife on our planet.
“When The Square opens in spring 2023, there will be nothing else quite like it in the UK.”
The Square is planned to open in spring 2023 – you can find out more here.
A Kate Bush club night is coming to Manchester
The singer was catapulted back to stardom after her song featured in the fourth season of Stranger Things
Manchester will soon welcome a club night dedicated to Kate Bush following her explosive return to the UK charts.
The singer recently gained a whole new fan base after her 1985 track ‘Running Up That Hill’ featured in the fourth season of Netflix’s smash hit series Stranger Things.
Shortly after the release of the series last month, the song was catapulted to number one in the UK charts, thirty-seven-years after its original release – when it only reached number three.
Over a month on from the Stranger Things hysteria, Kate Bush continues to dominate the charts, with the likes of Harry Styles, Drake and Lizzo being unable to knock her from the number one spot.
So to continue the hype appropriately, a club night dedicated to all things Kate Bush will be taking over a venue in Manchester later this year.
The Wuthering Nights club night – named appropriately after the 1978 track – describes itself as a ‘Kate Bush disco’, and hosts events around the country for fans of the singer to come together and experience her music in a whole new way.
The club night has confirmed it will be taking over Manchester’s Gorilla in October, as well as another venue in London.
The organisers say of their upcoming events: “Get ready to exchange the experience with hundreds of Kate Bush fans in the magical surroundings of Gorilla as we romp through Kate’s back catalogue with an overuse of smoke machines, visuals and camp re-enactments of Kate’s expressive dancing.
“Dressing up in your best Bush get-up is encouraged, slip on your red shoes, stick some ivy in your hair, raid the charity shop for that billowy dress and come and live out your inner Kate fantasy for us.”
Throughout the event, there will be prizes handed out to the best-dressed party-goers, as well as free souvenirs (including a pair of Kate Bush-themed knickers, apparently).
DJs Christopher Dresden Styles (Pop Curious) and Beardre Barlow (Bollox) will also be on duty to play the singer’s best hits across the evening.
Wuthering Nights: Kate Bush After Dark is coming to Gorilla on Saturday October 8th from 11pm until late. Get tickets here.
You can watch Love Island with bottomless pornstar martinis at this Manchester bar
I’ve got a text!
In case you’ve been living under a rock these last few weeks, Love Island is once again back on our screens.
Love it or hate you can’t avoid it, and if you are one of the people who’s into the ITV2 dating series then we’ve got some very good news for you.
One bar in the city centre has launched a new deal where you can get bottomless booze while you watch Love Island live.
Shack in the Northern Quarter has decided to start screening the show live alongside bottomless cocktails and fizz every Wednesday evening.
Located on High Street, the bar will be hosting weekly Love Island screenings – and you can order yourself and your pals some food from their selection of massive sharing platters.
These come stuffed with sliders, wraps and fries, and are the perfect way to soak up all that bottomless booze.
There’s two drinks options for you to choose from:
Bottomless Drinks for £20pp
This options includes Prosecco, Mimosas, Bellinis, Coors, Corona, Red Stripe, Aspall Cider, Shack Fruit Cider.
Bottomless Drinks for £25pp
This one includes all of the above plus: Pornstar Martinis, Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris, House Spirit & Mixer (Gin, Vodka, Spiced & Dark Rum, Excludes Red Bull).
So don’t bother watching Love Island all on your own at home, make a proper event out of it and enjoy it alongside bottomless drinks and some seriously good sharers.
Get yourself booked in here.