Monopoly, Mercato and guerilla gardening

Published on February 7, 2022 by Alex Eade

Christmas festivities were extended by a month for the Footprint Digital team, as we got together on 26th January to finally celebrate a year well done! We decided to postpone our party in December (safety first!) but it was absolutely worth the wait! 

We met up at the Rising Sun pub on Tottenham Court Road, grabbed a drink and sat down for the first challenge of the day – Tom B’s pub quiz. The first letter of each answer gave us a clue about our activity for the day. 


The first quiz spelt out T.I.M.E W.A.S.T.E. – thanks, Tom!!


The second was much more useful! He’d given us a What Three Words location – which turned out to be Lifesized Monopoly! 


This was where things got serious. Our three Apprentice Challenge teams had to split into four. Baker’s Dozen, Shaak to the Future, and Scan the Team who Can (who changed their name to Mike’s Ducks), were joined by a one time only team, Top Dog. 

Before we saw the giant gaming board, Mr Monopoly himself introduced us to the rules of the game, and to our playing pieces. There were no tiny metal irons, top hats, or old boots here. Instead we had a real, life sized Dinosaur, Rubber Duck, Scottie Dog, and Racing Car (all played by fantastic actors) who would lead our teams around the board. Each team picked a ‘lucky’ team member who would have the terrible pressure of rolling the giant dice for each go, and then we were off! 

In this version of Monopoly, you can’t simply buy houses or hotels. You have to earn them! On each throw we could enter a secret room and do a challenge in order to win that property – or we could pick a chance card and do a different activity to win bonus money. It was a frantic, frenetic and incredibly exciting game where the main aim is to have the most money and assets at the end. If you’re looking for something fun and active to do in London – we highly recommend it! 


The final scores were:


Roaring in at number one – Baker’s Dozen with £3,944,991

Diving into second place – Mike’s Ducks with £3,394,000

Not quite top, Top Dog secured third place with £947,499

And bringing up the rear – Shaak to the Future with -£172,500 (after just landing on a hotel that had triple rent attached!) 


After that we regrouped for a walk across town to Mayfair, where we would be having dinner and drinks at Mercato. But this wasn’t to be any leisurely walk, this was a guerilla gardening walk! Tom B gave each team a pack of bulbs, and an instruction to plant them in the most outrageous places – the winner would receive an extra Apprentice Challenge point. Charlotte planted some in the pots outside the Queen Charlotte on Charlotte Street, Reuben planted some by the ill-fated Marble Arch Mound, the planters outside Selfridges received a fair few, as did Cavendish Square Gardens. 


We were ready for dinner after all that activity, and Mercato Mayfair didn’t disappoint! It’s a street food set up inside an old church, so the team could all pick whatever they wanted (and our vegans and vegetarians had plenty of choice!) Mark, who has just moved back to the UK after 10 years in Singapore, was very happy to find a Malaysian stall, and even took some food back for his wife! We finally got to swap our Secret Santa presents, and Tom named Baker’s Dozen the overall winner of the Apprentice Challenge for that day. 

It turns out that Tom and Charlotte must have an on The Apprentice production team – not only did they also visit Mercato Mayfair as part of their non-alcoholic drinks challenge, they also went to Monopoly Lifesized as a reward! We’re looking forward to a trip to Cornwall’s food markets for our next challenge…