Sunday, 30 July 2017

Review: Escape from the Room, Sutton and Wildwood, Cheam

Room escape games are the latest craze – in fact I’m a bit late to the party as they have been around for a couple of years. You have 60 minutes to solve various puzzles inside a locked room, ultimately earning your way out before the timer runs out. The puzzle has an overarching story, usually a mystery of some kind, but the puzzles are a combination of hunting for items around the room and thinking laterally to figure out connections.
For my birthday this year some friends and I did Escape from the Room in Sutton. It was the first escape game for any of us so we didn’t know what to expect. This one was set up by an enthusiast who designed his own game and converted a couple of rooms in his house, so it’s in the middle of a residential street. The house setting works with the theme of the mystery about ‘Old maid Milly’; I won’t go into details about the puzzles as I don’t want to reveal any spoilers but it was great fun and we finished in 57 minutes, with just three minutes to spare!
I’d booked dinner afterwards in Cheam Village – even though I don’t live far away I had never been there before. I found a place online called Wildwood which looked really good – bright and colourful with a menu based around pizza, pasta and the grill. There’s a deli section at the front, they provide activity packs for children and the menu is extensive and reasonably priced – we had a group including meat eaters, a vegan and a child, and everyone was happy.
Unfortunately service was extremely slow – they weren’t particularly busy on the Sunday evening of the May bank holiday weekend but we had to wait a very long time for our drinks and even longer for our food. The food was worth the wait though – at least mine was. Two of our group had the sirloin steak (£15.95) and didn’t think it was particularly good.

I shared some meatballs in tomato sauce (£5.75) as a starter which were tasty, followed by a calzone pizza. Most restaurants that have calzone (folded) pizza have just one or two variations, but Wildwood has all its pizza toppings with an option of classic, calzone or ‘giganti’. I had smoked ham and rocket and it was delicious. There was a side of fries on my plate which I think was meant for someone else so I passed them over!
If Wildwood can sort out its service I think this would be a lovely place for diners of all kinds – perhaps not a romantic meal but a fun date night, or a family, or a group of friends celebrating a birthday.

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