Immersive theatrical experiences are still all the rage these days: Gingerline, The Art of Dining and A Place in Time; so when we got an invitation to the trial run of A Place in Time’s latest project, Maman Le Mot, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Their latest venture is inspired by classics such as ‘Allo ‘Allo and Dads Army, where you are immersed into the world of secret agents in 1943 as you work with Colonel Gubbins in rescuing France from those dastard Nazis.
Appropriately the immersive experience is situated under the disused arches of London Bridge railway station to give you the perfect World War 2 bunker feel. Much like secret cinema, dressing up is all part of the experience: the dress code here being breton stripes, berets and baguettes.
Although you do need to fight off those hunger pangs first though, as you need to attend a briefing, learn to speak “Fronch”, defuse a bomb and play a giant retro version of battleship. The rooms are painstakingly decorated with authentic detail to evoke that era down to every last detail. This includes fascinating bathroom reading of war-time posters whilst you relieve yourself. Once you have washed your hands, they do serve suitably retro, yet delectable canapés like sun-dried tomatoes with cream cheese and pork terrine.
When it is time for your main course and desserts, you are led upstairs to a refined French-styled bistro complete with a beautifully decorated Moulin Rouge backdrop. You really get a sense that their attention to era-specific detail is impeccably observed whether it is the decor, the cuisine or even the characters you are immersed with.
They previously had a 5-course tasting menu at their last pop-up, but even though this version is more bistro style and has a main course of “Cat au Van”, the chicken is beautifully tender and along with creamy mash and indulgent gravy, you do wonder if 1943 France is the worst place to be.
Dessert is a classically constructed with the texture just on the right side of firm and the base gently crusty. They also have some expertly chosen cocktails which are all era-specific to France 1943, so expect ingredients like calvados in your cocktails. With limited ticket availability and fervent fans, book your places soon to avoid disappointment.