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The Bletchley

Restaurants, Contemporary European Chelsea
4 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)

Time Out says

A King's Road restaurant and bar taking inspiration from the wartime code-breaking site.

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Details

Address: 459 King's Rd
London
SW10 0LR
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Users say (21)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|21
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1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

I feel privileged and I went along to a soft launch night of Lollipops new bar called ‘Bletchley’. Upon entering the bar I was blown away as I really do feel like I had travelled back into time back to the war with it’s dark lit atmosphere and the noise of air raid sirens going off and everyone dressed in war time uniforms. You are all given a war jacket to wear to make you feel like you are in the war. Then you are asked to choose your favourite colour mine being Pink so I was called ‘Agent Pink’. Now onto the fun part of ordering my cocktail. For my first cocktail I had to solve a code mainly by using the initials of my name using a electronic enigma machine then you had to decide which smell out of the numbered test tubes that had liquid in them was your favourite then writing down that number. There was so many different smells and some I could not decode the smell but all smelt really nice. I chose a citrus smelling one as I just love citrus fruits. You then can call the operator to give over your unique code. The drink is then created based on your code and the chosen smell you chose. All drinks are unique and created upon your code and smell so will never be the same. My drink contained Rosemary, Cardamon pods, Ginger, Redcurrent and Rum which was so sweet and tangy it really did make my taste buds explode and tingle with sheer delight. It was so delicious and wish I could have ordered another however the good thing is that you get given a envelope with your Agent name on it and inside is listed the ingrediants of your unique cocktail so you could technically create it again at home plus inside the envelope was yet another code to solve to get your next cocktail. Again once you get through to the phone operator you read of your code and this time she asks what is your chosen country so I chose Malta as I am half Maltease. Alas though I will never know what my second created cocktail would of been as you only get 2 hours in the Bletchly bar and because this was a soft launch drinks did take too long to create and come and it was now time for the second group. I do highly recommend to anyone to go and check this bar out as you really will be blown away.

1 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

Code breaking and cocktails have never been considered the perfect evening out... however after one visit to this newly opened immersive bar your opinion will be changed for ever.

The Bletchley is the newest brain child from the ABQ team and like ABQ, it is whacky and 100% dedicated - no half measures here. For £35 (same as ABQ) you get 3 drinks and one ultimate experience. On entering through the back door you are greeted by a war time waitress and seated at your Enigma Machine, your army jacket ready and waiting (bewarned it gets hot in the jackets). Your first cocktail is brought over licketysplit for you to enjoy as you begin to crack your first code and order your bespoke cocktail. Cracking the codes, using the enigma machine and placing the order certainly is fun as well as the suspense to find out your personalised cocktail (including ingredients list). The cocktails do take quite a long time to come, however and although all beautifully presented my cocktail was not to my taste at all; tequila, carrot, spice and spring onion!!! Don't worry, not everyone's (anyone else's!) is like this - I got to sip a few friends cocktails which were all delicious. 

A fantastic, unique evening, resulting in your own bespoke cocktails and plenty of entertainment to occupy you and your friends. There are a few timing issues but once these are ironed out it would be 5* from me!
1 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

I am a sucker for anything immersive, especially if it includes food and drink, and on top of that, I love solving puzzles, codes and clues, so The Bletchley ticks every single box for my dream night out.


I popped along the evening before the official opening of this new Chelsea bar. My date and I arrived a little pickled after a few drinks at a different bar before which was ever so slightly detrimental as the whole point of this immersive experience is to crack codes in order to access your drinks!


You have two hours to crack two clues using your table’s own enigma machine. Input letters and answers and use the clues dotted around the room to send messages to the bar staff to allow them to create bespoke drinks for you. No two drinks are the same – there is no menu, only their intuition based upon the information you provide them about yourselves, which I LOVE! Making every person's experience unique is an inspired idea.


As you are agents for the evening it is important to have agent names. My date, Agent Cyan (because there’s always one that needs to be a smart arse!) and myself, Agent Emerald (because I’m such a gem!) were fitted with the appropriate uniforms before we got to work cracking our codes.


Once you've cracked the codes using your table's enigma machine, it’s time to ring through your information to the bar using the headset provided. 


These cocktails were completely unique to us, and came with an ingredient list. Mine first drink was clearly based on an Espresso Martini, however it was made with rhubarb and a few extra things, yet obviously after the drinks that followed I was in no fit state to remember to keep my ingredient list as a souvenir so the secret remains at the bar…


Another code and another drink later we were having the best evening and our hosts were incredibly patient with our poor code breaking skills (mostly due to our quick submission into inebriation!) We didn't realise that literally every nugget of information you ring through about yourself is thought about when it comes to your drink, including the style of glass your drink is served in. We found this out when talking to the owner of the bar and we suggested that perhaps at the end of everyone's evening it be explained exactly what it was that made the barman chose the drinks you are served... I think it would round off the experience nicely and highlight the intelligence behind it all!


Agent Cyan and I left The Bletchley in awe of what the guys behind it have achieved. It is unique, fun, creative and I think an absolute must visit for anyone who enjoys immersing themselves into a different world, whilst imbibing ALL the drinks! I like that it doesn’t have a menu and I love that everyone will have a different experience. The attention to detail is spot on and the staff are superb and consistent.

tastemaker

If you're looking for a quirky bar/experience then this is the place to be! As soon as you head inside, you can see that the attention to detail is so high, the whole place looks like a bunker and you have to wear this jacket as uniform. You're able to choose the level of difficulty you want to play, they all require some brainpower and are super fun! The one we tried determined the ingredients of our cocktails, which tasted fab! Without giving too much away, I would say that this is a great experience and worth a try, brilliant as a date, with friends or even as a teambuilding night out!


Really good time. Lovely staff, even got two rounds for free! Game wasn’t too hard either so a lot of fun! I’d recommend it to any group of friends looking to get pleasantly merry with a twist

tastemaker

The setting of the cocktail bar down to the music, siren sounds and posters on the wall is fantastic. You do feel that you have been transported back in time and the soldier jacket you get to wear adds to that! 

I was a little disappointed with the staff's greeting on arrival as I expected them to be in character. given that this was supposed to be an 'immersive' experience... they most definitely was not!

We were shortly handed our first code to crack by another member of staff, who again simply handed us the instructions and told us we had 20 minutes to solve it but was in no way enthusiastic or set the scene. Admittedly the first one did involve some clue hunting and actually involved a little bit of brain power and you then had to phone your answer through to the operator, which was a great touch! 

We were then served our second cocktail and given our next 'code to crack' which really wasn't a code at all, you simply had to smell scent bottles and choose a colour to call yourself and phone through your choices. The code after this pretty much involved the same thing, not a code to crack, no clues to solve just your personal preference. In our final code stated that you would be told who was the spy from your group and SPOILER ALERT - this simply meant a small white sticker with the word 'Spy' on it was placed on one persons glass, nothing more than this.

I really feel that the staff could be in character, much like the Breaking Bad immersive experience, this really is where this company falls down there is no characterisation and the service really leaves a lot to be desired. To call yourself an immersive experience, having characters there that set the scene and really get involved can make or break it. I have been to many other immersive experiences where the staff has been great but this is not the case here and it's a real shame because it has the makings of a great experience. 

We got to our table a little early at 7:20pm and we were finished by 8:10pm - not even an hour to get through the so called 'codes' when the booking was for 2 hours but we were offered another challenge for an extra £10 each so I guess the booking is made longer in the hopes that you spend more money. 

£35 for 3 cocktails and the setting, especially give the bar was in Chelsea really isn't too bad but the experience itself was a bit of a disappointment, others in reviews have mentioned cracking codes in the booking of tickets and they have taken photos of letters they were given on the night addressed to their agent names, we received nothing of the sort! Their instagram page also has photos of much fancier cocktails with colours matching agent names, ours were nothing like this. 

It's a long way to go for not even an hour and I had such high hopes for it.... also the instructions had a lot of typos and grammatical errors on them which is a real pet hate of mine! 

tastemaker

The Bletchley...think coding and cocktails in uniform ;-) A very quirky evening out with the ABQ team. Solving clues is the theme from the start, from booking your tickets to getting your cocktails. Yes, you have to put some work into it! If you love quirky, immersive and cocktails then this is a must!


Hands down this is the hardest I've ever had to work for a cocktail, but it was absolutely worth it. We did find the bar a little bit hard to find which was part of the fun, upon arrival we were shown to our table where a soldiers coat was laid out for each guest. We all quickly got into our uniform and were greeted with a welcome drink and our first code to crack. It was such a brilliant evening, quirky and fun and delicious cocktails (if you chose wisely!). Highly recommend a visit. 

tastemaker

I have been wanting to come here since the bar opened, but it took a while to actually visit - it wasn't a disappointment and we had a great time.  The set-up is great and the attention to detail is fab.  The cocktails weren't brilliant but I guess you only have yourself to blame for that!  They weren't that strong, but you don't really come here for the cocktails and it is much more about the immersive experience.  A lot quieter than when it first opened, but still worth a visit.

tastemaker

Ready to go on a Mission! Become an agent at The Bletchley and crack codes to get amazing cocktails!

My friends and I had a great experience. As soon as we found the secret location and make our way down the war room, we were back in time to the 40's during WWII. The concept is fun and very clever. There is no menu and all the drinks are personalized but the only to get them is to enter personal data into a cipher machine, crack codes and transmit fun combination to a secret agent at the bar. 

We had 3 cocktails each: a welcome one, and then two personalized ones. They were all delicious and surprising as sometime we had no clue what we were ordering. 

Definitely recommend a visit as you're guaranteed to have a fun time and you don't need to be a history or a maths buff to enjoy the experience .


One of my best cocktail experiences in London! Great place to go with a couple of friends who also enjoy a little bit of gimmick. The WWII themed bunker is very nicely done, unlike many of the escape rooms where you felt like all the props would fall apart at any minute. The staff were all very friendly and "in character". Cocktails were a bit of a hit and miss, because they were crafted for you based on the codes you cracked. One tip is to tell the staff what type of base (e.g. whisky, rum, vodka) you like and ask them to stick with that. Overall, great fun!

tastemaker

Code breaking before you get your drink, how cool is this! I absolutely love this place, it's slightly hard to find as the entrance is hidden behind the restaurant. However once you managed to get in, it's a completely different world. Staff were friendly, everyone got a uniform and definitely felt like you were in a movie scene. The puzzles were fairly easy so yes you do get your cocktails pretty fast. Cocktails were special and unique and all my friends love what they got. The only downside is probably because the bar can get a little noisy so not a place for date night if you are looking for somewhere quiet and chilled out.


Absolutely loved it! Great welcome gets you in role straight away, they take you through an unforgettable experience made of enigmas, unique cocktails and the atmosphere is impeccable... Is like taking a back-to-the-future Delorean straight to a WW2 bunker :)


Tots amazing! Daddy of immersive experiences in London!

Chelsea needed a cocktail bar and this is probably the best cocktail in Chelsea. 

Late night too - 2am. 

Over and out x


This place was awesome! Straight away it looks absolutely amazing, then we were greeted by a waitress in character, seated and got some war time jackets to put on as well as our first drinks within minutes of arrival. Cracking the codes was great fun and when we received our personalised cocktails they looked almost as amazing as they tasted! Didn't know you could put some of those ingredients into a drink but clearly the bartenders were working their magic!
Playing with the enigma machines and radios was very cool to do and the service was slick and very entertaining

All in all an extremely cool immersive experience and a great night out - would definitely book again!

tastemaker

My cousins are mad escape room junkies and got me rather hooked in Barcelona (great wet weather activity) so when this popped up, I couldn’t resist having a go. You quickly realise where your money goes - the bunker is well designed and everyone gets their own uniform to put on. You get your first cocktail when you’re seated and instructions for your first code - the theme is well thought out; however don’t expect anything on the level of an escape room difficulty as the tasks are quite basic - I think, to ensure that you receive your cocktails; which really isn’t so bad. It would be interesting to see whether they can take this idea up a notch and scale it into a full on escape room experience. Overall, the cocktails were flavoursome and the atmosphere buzzing - definitely a great conversation starter for an interesting date night.


Tip: make sure you have some nibbles or dinner before hand - The Worlds End Market upstairs is a good shout for pre-drinks, nibbles, or dinner.


Good For: date night, catch up with friends, small groups, something different.


Combinations of cocktails and code breaking remain disappointingly rare, hence how excited I was when I read about the Bletchley. We arrived in the first sitting and were whisked downstairs where the staff quickly showed us to to our seats. Presented with an army coat, a welcome cocktails, an envelope and a code machine we were then more or less left up to our own devices. 

A quick code later we had phoned through our first drink, and a completely customised creation was served up shortly after, alongside a new envelope. The second code was slightly more difficult and required a little thinking - but hey presto not long after sending through we received our third and final cocktails.


The cocktails were good if not great, and don't go expecting some sort of escape room style puzzle (very much beginners, which I was grateful for!) but this is a fun evening, with friendly staff and makes a nice change from the usual. 

Tastemaker

I was very scared when I saw such mixed reviews of this place, but I was pleasantly surprised how much fun we had! We had the first booking of the evening so maybe that played into it. The bar above (in case you get there early like we did) has some lovely cocktails in their own right, try the Old Fashioned!


Anyways, we thought the puzzles were simple enough that people would not feel stressed but hard enough that you felt like you were earning your drink. The drinks did take a little time to get to our table, but we just sipped our first one whilst cracking so there was never a large gap we were without a libation. The staff were very good and were offering hints if needed. 


All in all-- really enjoyed the experience and thought it was a great value for the money.


No photos I am afraid... loose lips sink ships and all that :D


Amazing immersive experience. Must do. Clever and personalised cocktails. If you just want a pint or a drink then go to a pub. This place is fun and booze.


No challenge in the 'cryptography'. Terrible service - expect an hour wait for a drink! Cocktails utterly lacking in personalisation, taste, quality - and quantity!! You only receive two cocktails and one welcome drink which apparently qualifies as a cocktail as it contains the mysterious mountain flower..... Even if the drinks technically qualified as cocktails none of them contained enough alcohol to actually taste like one. Overall utterly disappointed with the whole experience

0 of 1 found helpful

disappointing in all areas. barely a themed cocktail bar and most certainly not an immersive experience. almost everything they promise is not delivered. don't waste your time or money...

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