Murder mystery; it is a genre of book, party and dinner that is so utterly ingrained in the British character…and I am a total sucker for it! So, when I read about Murder Express, I jumped at the chance to get dressed up and join in the fun!
This post has been updated for the 2021 show
What is Murdér Express?
Murder Express is a fine example of what we call an “immersive dining experience”. Part theatre show, part fine dining and part interactive game, these are my favourite kind of night out. During the evening you will get to watch a show unfolding around your dining table, as you are served course after course of super tasty food.
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The creators of Murder Express and other fun-filled dining experiences The Greatest Snowman and Journey to the Underworld, Funicular Productions was created in 2018 by a group of talented and entrepreneurial friends. Their debut show Murder Express is the one that we attended in March 2019. The whole show has been revived for 2021, with new a whole new menu.
Claim Your Murder Express Discount
To save 10% on your ticket, visit the Murder Express website and use code EXPRESS10 at check out.
The Murdér Express Experience
Walking up the darkened street, we worried that we wouldn’t find the venue. However, just a few steps up Pedley Street, “Pedley Street Station” heaves into view. The facade fits perfectly into the railway arches it is housed in.
A chap outside the door pointed us through the doors, sporting a ‘To The Trains’ sign and my tummy began to flutter with elation. As I said, I am a total sucker for this kind of thing so I was far too excited.
We were welcomed in, our names checked and gave our test and trace details. A ticket was given to us stating that we were to be sitting at table 8 for the evening. As we turned the corner we were surprised and delighted to see the train right in front of us! We were shown to our waiting area with a quick squirt of sanitiser.
Travel trunks and other station bric-a-brac lined the walls and the train steamed in preparation for departure. We were on platform 7 and ready for the evening’s entertainment…but first, a drink.
The 7 Sins
Service, usually at the bar, was table service, ordered through an online system. We are SO enjoying ordering drinks straight away rather than waiting for our turn behind taller people!
I ordered the Champagne Mojito. It was far too tasty and went down in a flash. Topped up with proper champagne, it the dry wine, balanced out the sugar in the drink beautifully. Mr Fluskey opted for a property punchy Planter’s Punch. It was both strong and wonderfully juicy.
On our previous visit, he had thoroughly enjoyed the Dark ‘n’ Stormy so we know that their rum cocktail game is on point!
Throughout the evening, I also tried the Kir Royale and super tasty Grand Mimosa and a surprisingly excellent dry cider.
The cocktails aren’t cheap at just over £10 a pop, but we think that the strength and size meant they were worth the money. If I was looking to save some pennies, I’d have ordered a bottle of wine or a few of the excellent Hallett’s Cider.
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The conductor poked their head out from the train and gave us a ten-minute warning. I dashed off to the toilets to try and avoid leaving midway through the performance. Even the toilets had a great level of detail with cool old posters dotted around to look at.
As I emerged from the bathroom, I noticed someone had really gone all out on their costume. He was carrying a suitcase and looked around shiftily. Oh, he was in the show. As we walked away, another character entered and we got our first taste of the show to come. We even got a chance to talk to some of the characters and learn a little about them and their back story. This is why I thought a drink was a good plan.
All Aboard the Murdér Express
Ticket in hand, we climbed the stairs into the carriage. It was much larger than expected which was a pleasant surprise. I was worried we would be elbowing each other all night. We were shown to our table and took in the surroundings. The carpet was suitably loud and every table had a little lamp on it. It really was like a bygone era of rail travel. It might be the closest we ever get to the Orient Express.
Whilst we’re talking about trains, why not read all about our travels riding the rails around the world!
The tables are designed to fit six diners and so you may be sharing with some new friends, but it is all part of the fun. We were sharing our table with another couple but there were plastic protective screens between us and also between the booths. At each table, the ‘window’ is actually a large screen, onto which the passing landscape is projected. As the venue is in a railway arch, the real passing trains overhead will make the floor wobble a tiny bit from time to time, adding to the effect.
The Murdér Express Dinner
On our previous visit, the menu was designed by BBC MasterChef winner in 2016, Jane Devonshire. For 2021 Louise Ellis (BBC MasterChef The Professionals finalist 2017) has curated the menu. I wonder which MasterChef they have lined up to take on the task for the next incarnation?! We thought we would leave some pictures of our first visit here too so you can see the excellent quality that Funicular Productions are always coveting for their shows.
But back to the food that we had during the show:
The meal started with two cute little dishes of celeriac and truffle soup. Now you could put truffle on anything and I will eat it. I could smell it before it came out of the kitchen, it was so hard to be polite once it was down on the table. Despite not loving celeriac, the creamy, truffle soup went down extremely well.
The next dish was pretty in pink. The beetroot tartare could almost have been a dessert. The beetroot was chopped into small chunks and on top were thin discs of sweet apple, stripy beetroot and sorrel leaves. The cultured cream mellowed it all out (with a tang). It was demolished!
The main event on the main plate was a small tower of melt in the mouth beef. Served alongside was a small braised lettuce. It is the most I’ve ever enjoyed lettuce! There was also a perfect little rectangle of potato rosti, a welcome bit of carbs to soak up our third round of cocktails. Underneath the beef was a carrot puree whose sweetness blended splendidly with the rich red wine gravy. Mr Fluskey often claims he doesn’t love beef but even he cleaned his plate, so tender was this blade of beef.
Finally, we tucked into a plate that at first glance, looked ie a fancy Eton mess. It was actually classically wobbly, buttermilk panna cotta scattered with fun pops of flavour. Each spoonful had a different blend of the creamy dessert, zingy raspberry, oddly comforting puffed rice pieces and zesty sherbert.
The Murdér Express Performance
Now, this is a tricky one. I don’t want to give too much away so I am going to use some wild generalisations.
There are certain rules that a good murder mystery must adhere to and Murder Express sticks faithfully and charmingly to these rules;
- A backdrop that is cut off from the public, leaving only a set number of suspects
- Give everyone a motive for the murder
- Indulge in a little red-herring
- Come to a conclusion
Well, that is pretty much all I can say. You are on a train, anyone could have done it and throughout the dinner, all will be revealed with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
We enjoyed the performance immensely. Each of the actors performed with gusto. They come and sit with you for a minute or two between the scenes and it’s an opportunity for you to do some sleuthing, asking questions. It is always slightly terrifying when you are spoken to by a character but they were generous with their time and friendly if we didn’t know what to ask.
If you are thinking of booking a night on the Murder Express, here is some information you might like to know:
- You can see the trailer HERE
- You can book tickets through Design My Night HERE
- Pedley Street is in East London. The closest stations are Bethnal Green Underground (Central & District Lines), Bethnal Green overground, Shoreditch High Street overground and Whitechapel Underground (Hammersmith & City Line).
- If you are coming from Bethnal Green, bear in mind that any Google Maps route that goes through a park might not be open at night.
- Dietary requirements can be catered for.
- To save 10% on your ticket, visit the Murder Express website and use code EXPRESS10 at check out.
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We had a lovely evening at Murder Express and would happily see every one of Funicular’s shows (well, I guess going twice proves that one). Their energy and wit entertained us whilst their yummy food filled and satisfied us. What an exciting way to travel to Murder(!)
This post was written in collaboration with Funicular Productions but all opinions are our own and the plates, almost licked clean, speak for themselves!