Along with the racks, shackles, dripping sounds and agonised wailing, few things are as important in a well-appointed dungeon as rats. Loads of rats. In this spirit (and capitalising on the success of Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, the east London café dedicated to playing with moggies), London Dungeon is launching a ‘pop-up rat café’ this evening. Enjoy tea and cake while sitting next to the tanks that hold the catacombs’ 18-strong rodent population. Then, once you’ve chowed down, wash your hands (you don’t want sharp-toothed rodents mistaking your hands for food, after all) and the resident rat carers will bring the little critters over for you to play with.
The hour-long experience is set in a gloomy tunnel while spooky music menaces you, so it’s perhaps not the heartwarming experience you get at Lady Dinah’s. But it isn’t the creepy surroundings that’ll have you groaning. Oh no. That’ll be the menu. To drink, there are cups of ‘rattaccino’ or ‘ratte’. To eat: ‘black forest rateaux’, plus there’s also the chance to indulge in (wait for it) ‘car-rat cake’ No matter how scared you are of rodents, handling one is going to be a piece of cake after this veritable bubonic plague of puns.
Think you can stomach the rat café? Book your seat here.
Pop-up rat café at London Dungeon, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. 6.30pm and 7.30pm, Tue Jun 24. £5.
By Alexi Duggins