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I’m dressed in black and white. I’ve received a mysterious message telling me nothing but to be ready to hop on the Overground at 5.45pm sharp. No, I’m not going on a date with Derren Brown – in an event organised by pop-up dining aficionados Gingerline, Nokia and Windows Phone, I’m about to embark on a secret dining assignment known only as MI1020. After receiving instructions to head to Haggerston, I arrive in east London with trepidation – will it be a ‘Mission: Impossible’? The evening that lies ahead is under wraps – part of the fun of Gingerline’s famous undercover supper club experience – but all I know is there’s a four-course meal waiting if I complete a challenge with the aid of my Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone, issued to me for this very task. With my ingenious code name in place, Agent FL-Zero is ready to join the Superintendence in the pursuit of the Syndicate: stand by for a full mission debrief...
Following instructions to look for ‘something fishy’, I’m soon walking into an aquarium. Giving a password to some mysterious-looking people dressed in black (pet shops have moved on!) I come face to face with all manner of sea life – which I snap away at overexcitedly with my Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41-megapixel camera. Then there’s a commotion, and I join a group crowded round a video playing on a phone’s brightly coloured display. The head of spy agency Superintendence reveals herself to us, saying ‘The question isn’t who are we – the question is, who are you?’ Her organisation is, she explains, a group of secret agents enlisted to help defeat a foe called The Syndicate. Following a series of clues, we’re to find our way to the ‘tasting lab’ – and with that tempting idea in mind, we’re released onto the streets of London. Meeting some shady characters along the way (including a secret agent who jumps out of a wheelie bin), we enlist the Nokia Lumia 1020’s easy-to-use features (including the maps, the supersharp camera and, yes, the phone bit) to help us complete our tasty task. Clues are everywhere. Zooming in on a photograph taken by one of us, we discover a secret message picked out in clear detail – which points us to a mysterious toilet cubicle, whose hidden door swings open to reveal… the tasting lab. Phew!
Feeding time at the agency
Four courses of creative fine dining await in a space decked out like a spy bunker from the 1940s, but we can’t rest on our laurels just yet. Between each course (and some delicious cocktails of the shaken, not stirred variety) there’s a challenge to complete – including using the Nokia Lumia 1020’s powerful zoom to locate and photograph ‘bugs’ planted around the room, for a champagne reward. The night ends in a dramatic finale, with The Syndicate revealing themselves to be – gasp – among us! But by the power of sheer London resolve, the dastardly bunch are quickly defeated. Fun, intrigue and polishing off four courses of delicious Gingerline grub – my mission, thanks to my secret weapon the Nokia Lumia 1020, is well and truly complete. Agent FL-Zero signing out (and looking for a deed poll form to change my name). Missed out on MI1020? There’s still a chance for you to get closer to the action and win a secret mission to Los Angeles – where the competition winner and a guest will enjoy seven different meals at seven unique restaurants in that creative Californian culinary hot spot. Enter now for your chance to win.
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