Murder Mystery Meal at Thurrock Hotel

Yesterday I was treated to a birthday treat – some “Whodun’it Crime & Dine Entertainment” in the form of a muder mystery meal. This was a nice surpise, thanks Natasha! The murder mystery was enacted by Moneypenny Productions and took place at the Thurrock Hotel in Essex.

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Thurrock Hotel, Aveley, Essex. Scene of last night’s murder!
We arrived at the hotel and grabbed a drink in the bar while waiting for the mysterious meal to begin… ‎We were called into the Belmont Suite where we had assigned tables. Natasha and I joined some friendly folks on Table 6. We were given some background info through flyers on the table, and we were introduced to the evening with spooky music and a delightfully over-the-top actor – “Victor Frunkelfurter”, the victim-to-be.
Moneypenny Productions present: The Case of the Invisible Corpse

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The evening unfolded with food and fun as the victim and three suspects interacted, drip-fed us clues and gave us the chance to cross-examine them with our own questions. The mystery took place in 1835 in Edinburgh with a cast of eccentric individuals: Victor Frunkelfurter, fleeing debt; Gr’igor, a lady of many parts (work in progress); Berk, supplier of bodies to Edinburgh University‎’s medical students: Rabbit, cousin to Berk and owner of the Firkin Firkers inn.

 

I laughed over my tomato soup at the actors’ antics, deliberated through dinner over the clues and motives, and by dessert thought I’d detected the dastardly culprit. We scored well on points for questioning the suspects; enthusiastic Table 6 cheered themselves loudly at this point. All tables submitted their answers / best stab in the dark as to who, how and why the murder was committed. Sadly Table 6 was mistaken – and our table was ridiculed mercilessly for our earlier smugness! It was all extremely good fun though: good food, good entertainment and good company. I would definitely do something similar in the future!
Moneypenny Productions produce live interactive murder mystery dinner theatre with hilarious consequences. We have been trading in the United Kingdom since 1996 and run on average 250 interactive murder mystery events each year.
– moneypennyproductions.co.uk
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Bee-keeping Experience with Porch Honey

I was looking for something interesting to do with my younger sisters. I had invited them to come to stay with me and Natasha, and I wanted to make sure it would be a bit different – memorable even. With my interest in wildlife, I came up with some unusual ideas to keep two teenagers occupied… bees, anyone?

Through my work as a Ranger I happen to know a beekeeper, so experience #1 was planned as a bee-keeping experience for all of us!

Saturday morning rolled around, and the four of us headed up into the Langdon Hills on the southern edge of Basildon. Sam from Porch Honey met us and walked us up a steep hill to one of the meadows that make up Langdon Hills Country Park. Porch Honey operates holistic bee-farming on a number of sites, with hives on SSSI land (Site of Special Scientific Interest) at both Langdon Hills Country Park and Wat Tyler Country Park. As Kim later told me, “I think of this as my office”.

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“I think of this as my office” – Kim at Porch Honey

As we walked into the field, the views opened up to the Thames and even the hills beyond. The sun drenched us, and there were wildflowers and pollinators to spot here even after the annual haycut had taken place. Kim met us there, and together with Sam explained a bit about honeybees, bee farming and their own ethical methods. This includes limiting their hives and honey extraction to maintain wild pollinators – great news for wild bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

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