Side step: Detective Peel, help! I’ve lost my Nimbus 3000

6 Nov

Secret bars are all over London and have eclipsed standard watering holes. The problem is that everyone wants to be the trend-setter, the one to introduce the rest of the gang to ‘this really cool, like, secret bar,’ that it no longer remains a secret.

Well I’m no different and although their first rule is the value of secrecy, I’m not going to be hush-hush about this one. Because let’s face facts, they want business at the end of the day.

Evans and Peel Detective Agency is so plain from the outside you’d easily walk past it. When we arrived we rang the bell and were greeted by a bark through the intercom: ‘Sorry who is this? What do you want? Are you sure you’ve got the right place?’ My sister had booked the table as required, and after giving her name we were buzzed in and walked down some shady steps.

The setting was properly old-school, and a lady in a big fur coat and thick-rimmed glasses sat at an old wooden desk. We shuffled in and stood awkwardly in a line in front of her. She was great at keeping in character, very stern and Trunchbull-like, which I wasn’t expecting at all so was just utterly confused at her bizarre customer service.

Bearing in mind that none of us knew what was going on, the conversation went something like this:

Trunchbull: ‘So why are you here again? What exactly have you lost?’

Sister: ‘My Nimbus 3000.’

Trunchbull: ‘And when did you last see it?’

Sister: ‘Last weekend, I think?’

Heej: (keen to get in on the role-play) ‘No, no I saw it a few days ago.’

Trunchbull: ‘And what colour is it?’

Heej: (clearly doesn’t know what a Nimbus 3000 is) ‘It’s turquoise and stripey and really long.’

Trunchbull: (leaping up and point-shouting at Rory) ‘And how do you think your Nimbus 3000 FEEEELS?’

Rory: ‘Ummm, pretty sad and lonely I guess.’

Trunchbull: (sitting back down again) ‘Yes, I’d expect so. Well let’s see if Detective Peel can take your case. Which door do you think he’s behind?’

There were a couple of doors and a bookcase. Obviously he was behind the secret swivel bookcase! (And obviously he doesn’t exist). We were led through to the ‘secret’ bar, prohibition-style, to a crowd of normal people totally at ease enjoying their cocktails, although I was still a little bewildered at the whole charade.

Trunchbull: (handing us menus and showing us our table) ‘These are your case studies. Please read them carefully before seeing the Detective.’

The first page clearly states the rules: the value of secrecy, ordering food with your drinks and most importantly, wait to be escorted out and leave the premises quietly as it is a ‘secret’ establishment.

The cocktail list isn’t that extensive, but they are creative and very good. Average price is £9.50 although you can order wine and beer too. For this part of town it’s regular price but what makes this ‘secret’ bar different is you’re paying for the whole acting experience at the start, which is so odd but so funny. Hats off to the Trunchbull, she played her part well.

Location: Ssshhhh, it’s a secret! Find it easily on Google – I’m going to make you work a bit this time.

Reservation: Booking online in advance is mandatory. You’ll have to give your name and ‘case study’ i.e. something you’ve lost. Oh of course, my stripey, turquoise Nimbus 3000!


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