Type and press Enter.

Codebreakers date day

Sorry we’ve been quiet on here the last week, we’ve had what can only be described as a manic week for both of us at work, with our projects and just live in general. However we did manage to spend a lovely day and evening together on Saturday.

We’ve become that couple. We got a 2Together railcard and it’s brilliant. So Saturday came and in advance of the day we booked tickets to Cambridge (£12 return, 50 minutes each way and no traffic stress, a dream!).

A quick early breakfast in bed, and a short train journey, and we ended up in Cambridge…we did hope that the weather forecast that predicted slightly better weather than it was in London would be right, alas the bitter cold and horizontal rain stuck the whole day.

We walked from the station straight to the Fitzwilliam Museum. A museum that is free to everyone and full of strange little pieces, and in fact big pieces, of art, archaeology and sculpture. We headed through the museum, shocked at the size of it, I imagine it’s like Mary Poppins’ bag or walking through to Narnia with how big it was compared to how big it looks! Upstairs, until Feb 4th, is their awesome exhibition about codebreakers, called “Codebreakers and Groundbreakers”. Focusing on two different codebreakers, Turing and Michael Ventris it explores their equipment, methods and achievements. An ACTUAL enigma machine from GCHQ, and some more current inventions, and some amazing artefacts and documents from Ventris and his partners from their deciphering of Linear B from Knossos.

We went for a wander, as much as  we could manage in the rain and stumbled upon the Cambridge archaeology and anthropology museum. What an awesome place! Again totally free, and stuffed to the brim full of exciting things, we had time to explore a little, in the new way that we look at museums (more about that in another post). We were both obsessed with the totem poles they have there and spent quite some time looking into them, as well as taking in some of the other exciting objects around.

After more of a walk including into and around some of the colleges, we stopped for some gelato. Of course. Even in 1 degree and rain we can continue our gelato world tour! We then walked up to Jesus College, where we went for Pizza Express in a very inconspicuous yet highly intriguing building.

From there we very slowly meandered back to the station, via bookshops and craft shops and whisky shops.

Ok, so we were both pretty cold and exhausted by the train back, but thankfully we both had a nap on the train. Landing back in Kings Cross just after sunset in the middle of London Lumiere festival we decided that we wouldn’t miss out on the free spectacle but we would only see the bunch of lights around Kings Cross.

The lights were awesome! Really engaging and all of them completely different, and it was so lovely seeing London so busy and people out exploring things for free, even in the rain!

After the lights we headed south to finish out codebreakers day. We went to a bar called the Bletchley. Yes, you got it, after Bletchley Park no less. Once you find where  you’re headed you’re greeted at the door (you have to book in advance) by a woman in uniform. World war two uniform no less. Into the basement you’re led where there’s a huge bar flanked by more soldiers. Although there’s a mixture of uniforms from across the armed forces, when you’re seated in your area with your enigma machine you are both given army jackets to don.

Our first cocktails were free of clues, and fully rationed, and so delicious. Whilst we supped from our milk bottles we were given a box, and our first clues to crack. Using the whole space around us we had to work out clues, and a little bit of trial and error later we had our own codenames, and specially made cocktails.

Agent Magenta and Agent Teal successfully continued to crack codes, on the enigma machine and using all of our senses, and ended up with more cocktails and an in depth briefing about them from the mixologist. We won’t go into too much detail about the codebreaking, but it was so much fun, almost like an escape room but with the bonus of cocktails.

You get your place for 2 hours, so even if you’re quick at cracking codes and drinking spirits, however unpatriotic that is during war time, you can always order more. It is definitely somewhere we will go again, with a bigger group for a different experience.

Over and out. Teal and Magenta.