Cape Town has reached the point where there seems to be nothing new any bar or restaurant can bring to the table.
You could throw a stone in the city and hit five bars that offer a “unique” mixology experience, complete with barmen that have beards and sleeve tattoos.
Enter Timeless Escape at 6 Watson Street. This venue has a shiny new bar called the Prohibition Lounge, and a novelty feature that allows customers to “bring your own cocktail” (BYOC).
Here, the bartenders will make a speciality cocktail from a cherished bottle of spirits you bring them.
But the Escape Rooms are the main focus of the venue. Based on point-and-click puzzle computer games, players are locked in a room and have to find a way out by locating and deciphering hidden clues. Timeless Escape turns this computer-game concept into a real-life experience.
They have two Escape Rooms. In the Da Vinci’s Secret room, players go on a journey of discovery and have 90 minutes to solve complex puzzles, uncover hidden secrets and determine whether Da Vinci managed to unlock nature’s ultimate secret - the key to eternal life.
In the Spy Mission room, a bit of role playing is involved. One player is picked to play a mole who has stolen a list of agents’ names.
The mission is to find out who the traitor is and recover the list. Players have just an hour to finish the mission. There is also a third room under construction.
I had the opportunity, along with other invited media, to test drive the Da Vinci’s Secret room and it was quite an enjoyable experience.
Clues are hidden in the room and you have to figure how they work together and decipher hidden messages to escape the room.
As a group, we functioned pretty well and could quickly decode some of the clues. It really was funny seeing everyone wander around trying to figure out which clues unlocked the next hint.
I suggest that when you do this with friends or family, you try to partner up with people who possess various expertise since the clues rely on patterns, numbers and written hints.
The one thing that hurt us as a group was that we were all journalists, therefore words and investigation were our thing.
Numbers, sequences and patterns were another matter altogether. And this was our downfall.
While I had the right idea about how to unlock a secret doorway, I couldn’t figure out the code needed. That meant one of the hosts had to “rescue” us after the time had elapsed.
The overall experience was very pleasant. Staff were friendly and the BYOC idea is something new.
The live-action escape rooms offer an interactive experience you are unlikely to find at any other bar. So if you’re in the mood to dust off your problem-solving skills, put on your thinking cap and head for Timeless Escape.
Timeless Escape is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 am to 11 pm. To book an escape room e-mail [email protected] or call 0815873061.