Lonely Planet Writer

Code-break for cocktails at a London bar inspired by Alan Turing and Sherlock Holmes

If a morning Sudoku is no longer enough to challenge your puzzle-loving brain, it’s time to consider a trip to a new London pop-up bar where you break codes for cocktails.

A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink.
A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink. Image by The Bletchley

The Bletchley – named after Bletchley Park where WWII codebreakers worked, is inspired by British code-breaker and computer pioneer Alan Turing. It also takes cues from famed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, so the bar may also appeal to fans of Benedict Cumberbatch – the actor played both Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series and Alan Turing in the 2014 film The Imitation Game. 

A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink.
A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink. Image by The Bletchley

The pop-up cocktail bar is from Lollipop, the same group that launches London’s first naked restaurant and ABQ, a Breaking Bad-inspired cocktail bar. Naturally, there’s a waiting list of thousands of people wanting to go.

A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink.
A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink. Image by The Bletchley

The bar opened on 17 March, and allows guests to operate an Enigma machine “decrypt their personality, taste, desires and odour preferences into ingredients of a cocktail”. From there, a radio system will transmit a code to the mixologist, who will create a personalised cocktail – so unique that the recipe will never be used again.

A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink.
A code-breaking cocktail bar will let you solve puzzle and drink. Image by The Bletchley

The Bletchley is open in central London for a few months only. The intimate bar will only accommodate 22 people at a time, and customers pay £30 to enter the “cryptic world of cocktails” with three drinks designed just for them. 

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