When JK Rowling sat in an Edinburgh cafe and jotted down the first Harry Potter book more than two decades ago, she couldn't have guessed just how magical her life would become — or how she'd escape from her ordinary existence. We can't all follow in her literary footsteps, but we can now try to escape HP-style. No, not into the novels or movies. No, not via broomstick, portkey, apparating or the floo network. Rather, if you're in Melbourne, you can attempt to find your way out of a Harry Potter-inspired escape room.
Let's be honest: it sounds like the kind of place you don't want to escape from, doesn't it? While getting out is the aim of the game at Trapt's new Alchemy rooms, enjoying the experience is too. Here, you'll "practise spells and enchantments and test your magical skills," according to the website, aiming to "discover the mythical substance and Elixir of Life, the Philosopher's Stone, before time runs out."
Trapt is also quick to state that this isn't an official HP offering, but you can't bring up spells, wizarding and the title of the first Boy Who Lived book without nodding to the room's obvious inspiration. Make that rooms, with two identical spaces available — to meet demand, because you know there'll be more than a little.
In addition, the Lonsdale Street establishment is also serving up an appropriate array of beverages at the bar — both alcoholic and non-boozy, including Flying Cauldron butterscotch beer, the blueberry and cardamom-flavoured Exhibito Noctis, and Potion of Fire spiced rum. And if you're after a journey into more than one themed realm while you're there, there's also a spy room, a prohibition-set offering that's all about bootlegging and moonshine, and an Alice in Wonderland space as well.
It's not the first time an Australian escape room has tried to give muggles a magical experience, with Sydney's Break the Code announcing its own back in 2016. Alas, at present, it's still listed as coming soon on the site's website, although it does boast Indiana Jones, Avatar and Lost-themed rooms.
Find Alchemy at Trapt, The Basement, 377 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, or visit the venue's website for further details.