A Midsummer's Murder

October 15, 2020 5 min read

Throughout the North East we are lucky to have a vast array of fabulous small indie businesses and we thought as well as highlighting some of our favourite places in our wonderful region it would be good to shine the light on some of our favourite businesses and events.

Now, if there is one thing Lucy and I both love it’s a good Whodunit. Students of the work of Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle, we both love a good spot of deduction and exercising those ‘little grey cells’. Especially when the venue was a mere five minutes’ walk from our home.

The location for the most heinous of crimes to take place was the fabulous Olive’s at the Station right next to Whitley Bay Metro station. Olive’s is run by another husband and wife team, Julie and Martin Summers. Olive’s by day offers a brilliant menu and drinks selection so a great location for a hearty breakfast to start the day or a place to catch up with friends over a lovely lunch or snackette. By night Olive’s has earned itself quite a reputation of its themed evening events ranging from Peaky Binders to 90’s nights. So for our first Olive’s themed evenings this one was a must. The management at Olives has since been taken over by the Dill and the Bear team and, due to Lockdown, we've been unable to visit to see if they have continued their thrilling Whodunit Nights. 

Anyway, back to the blog...

Paul had enjoyed a busy Saturday in the Whitley Bay shop and Lucy had headed over to Gateshead's Saltwell Park to take part in a photo shoot supporting another fabulous North East business - Powder Butterfly. Catching up our day back home we ‘investigated’ the evening ahead where we would be transported back to the 1930’s so attire of the era was the order of the day. Lucy opted for one of her favourite floral dresses topped with a very eye catching piece of vintage headwear. Paul being Paul has an outfit for every occasion and within 20 minutes had transformed himself into a dapper 30’s Detective. Time to leave the house, the game was afoot.

Arriving at Olive’s which for the purposes of the evening was transformed into a stylish manor house we were met by some of the players for the evening’s mystery. Bill the Footman and the young, Lady Gail forth, daughter of our host, the distinguished Lord Jape and his new wife Lady Jape The characters were wonderfully brought to life by the actors from Tall Tales Mysteries who were in role from the start of evening until the very end. It was obvious from the moment we arrived that there seemed to be tensions afoot amongst our hosts, the Lord and Lady Jape, which would come to the fore as the evening progressed.

We were led to our table and it was fab to see how many of our other guests had gamely attired themselves in 30’s style. Being the quintessential English Country House Murder Mystery the evenings events would take place during dinner. Our hosts began mingling with the diners, welcoming everyone along and warning us to be on our guard against certain individuals at the manor. Lucy introduced herself to Lord and Lady Jape as ‘Dame Lucy’ and Paul, ‘Professor Paul’, now having removed his mac and trilby and now looking like a visiting academic. All tables had their own case file full of information to assist our deductions and under instruction from the mysterious Russian ballet dancer Nikolai Leapov we were instructed to open Clue No.1.

The pattern was set that before each of our three courses a small ‘scene’ was played out to us which would move the story along and reveal clues to the background and intentions of our hosts. Each character is wonderfully played by members of Tall Tales Mysteries and they were all clearly reviling in playing their parts. The first course arrived and one of our genuine favourites, baked Camembert with fresh bread. Polishing it off, it was now time for ‘the crime' to be committed and, on cue, a murder was announced. In no time at all the scene had played out and it was time open Clue No.2. We were in our element making deductions and questioning our hosts to piece together the motive and perpetrator of the murder. Each player visits the table and here is your chance to garner as much information as you can but who was telling the truth?

The main course of breast of chicken for Paul and breaded mushrooms for Lucy arrived and it is a wonderfully surreal experience discussing the motives for murder whilst enjoying one’s food. The Sauvignon Blanc was certainly assisting our theories and once the main course was over another scene was played out. Before our desert the fun continued and the little grey cells were put through their paces. Thankfully it did not spoil the Eton Mess and certain characters could not apologise enough for the macabre turn the evening had took.

Armed with another clue we headed towards the denouement and the reveal of our murderer or murderess. Thankfully a Police Detective arrived to take charge of the scene and we were offered one final chance to question our suspects. Lucy was in her absolute element placing all the clues together which was pointing towards just one suspect. Paul on the other hand, always one to have a prop with him was puffing on his empty pipe attempting to embody the spirit of Sherlock Holmes.

Each table handed in the name of their favoured suspect and it was time for the reveal...

Well, we are certainly not going to spoil that for you, but the icing on the evening’s cake was that the crime fighting duo of Dame Lucy and Professor Paul had successfully solved another case and took home their trophy of a bottle of prosecco. So if your appetite for dinner and deduction has been watered then look up Tall Tales Mysteries, who have recently been revealed as a finalist in the Rural Business Awards for North's Best Rural Creative or Media Business, and find their list of forthcoming events and indeed book yourself a book yourselves a place on Olive’s next Murder Mystery evening on 24th November 2018. It is so much fun to dress up once in a while and amazing how soon you become immersed in the proceedings. We genuinely could not recommend enough our fabulous evening and credit to Olive’s for having the timings of each dinner course perfectly in sync with each stage of the evenings events.

Please do let us know about some of your favourite North East small indie business and the wonderful things they are doing. We'd love to visit some of them and share the North East love.

Lucy Hull
Lucy Hull

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