Our second game last weekend saw us travel to Kegworth’s Yew Lodge Hotel, home to the new Kegworth branch of Houdini’s, who also have a popular venue in Southampton. It’s definitely one of the more unusual starts to an escape room experience, as we went in through the rear entrance (oo-er), getting lost in a maze of corridors and almost getting caught up in a horde of wedding guests.
Eventually we found reception, and queued up behind people checking into rooms to tell them we were here for Houdini’s, then being directed to go and wait in the lounge area. At this point, we were sat amongst mostly wedding guests, facing a lovely photo of Marco Pierre White who had a restaurant there.
Finally, our “usher” found us and escorted us upstairs to the game.
“You and your friends have been personally invited to the last ever performance of the great escapologist and illusionist, Harry Houdini. Taking your place in the audience of the Grand Theater you wait patiently for the performance to begin.”
The game begins with an entertaining briefing, before your briefing room becomes a part of the game in a creative way. The room you play in isn’t a large one, but there’s plenty of space for full teams to move around without getting in each other’s’ way.
The room is well decorated, mixing together the feel of a theatre with a bit of a Houdini museum vibe. They’ve made some great stage magic props a part of the game, that really look the part and fit the scenario, while the walls are adorned with vintage Harry Houdini posters.
The game has been opened in a busy hotel near the East Midlands Airport with the aim of targeting corporate bookings, but it very much shouldn’t put off escape room enthusiasts. It’s definitely a little bit easier than most games we’ve played, we were out in just over 40 minutes, but it didn’t feel like a lighter experience. The puzzles provided a bit of a challenge at times, and the ideas for the puzzles were mostly unique and on-theme.
Overall, a lot better than we expected from a hotel game, and whilst it’s not an incredible must-play experience, it’s one you wouldn’t have any regrets from visiting. A well-polished, very enjoyable classic escape room experience.
Host: Our host/usher was Bradley who was the absolute perfect host. Enthusiastic, in-character hosting that really added to the experience.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via a voiceover.
Success? Yes, we escaped with around 17 minutes remaining.