The Cauldron, London: Review & News of a Permanent Location & Hotel for 2019.

Since the day she found out about The Cauldron, the fantasy themed pop-up with bars in London and New York, my daughter has been wishing her life away, waiting to turn 18 so she could don robes, pick up a wand and mix (and drink!) magical cocktails.

The Cauldron, London

 Sadly for her (but not so much for me) none of her friends are 18 yet so I gamely volunteered to go with her, as did some of my friends. I know, what a sacrifice, but someone had to offer to drink with her. I know she doesn't look thrilled but trust me, she was so excited! However she's autistic so it's sometimes tricky to read her expression.

madmumof7 and friends at The Cauldron, London

Initially The Cauldron was fully booked and we were unable to book a long way ahead, but they release tickets in batches and as soon as it was possible to book for November she was online, debit card in hand. We paid £35 each which includes wand and robe hire, an 1 hour 45 minute experience and three alcoholic drinks - two cocktails and some mead.

mead and wand at The Cauldron cocktail bar, London

It was with much excitement and anticipation we boarded a train to London this weekend, then a tube out to Elephant and Castle to finally see what all the fuss is about.

We had booked an 8pm sitting and arrived a little early so found a nearby bar to relax in until a few minutes before our time slot when we joined other keen potion-makers gathering round the door. A friendly doorman chatted until it was time to go in and we entered a narrow corridor filled with interesting artefacts - brooms, cauldrons, potion bottles and drinking horns.

broomsticks at The Cauldron entrance, London

Our charismatic host handed out robes and explained about the wand deposit. You need a debit or credit card per wand and the deposit against theft, loss or damage is currently £30 per wand but no money is taken from your account unless you lose, steal or break the wand.

For our party of five we were issued a robe each and two wands. I'm not gonna lie, I was slightly disappointed to not have a wand each but actually it was fine and there was plenty of opportunity for everyone to have a go with them.

madmumof7 mixing potions with her magic wand at The Cauldron, London

Wearing robes was an awesome touch - I felt like a mature student at Hogwarts, aided by the atmosphere in the bar which with everyone in robes busy waving, raising and tapping wands and occasional bursts of flames, bubbling liquids and smoking glasses felt just like a potions class.

potion mixing at The Cauldron pop up, London

View of the interior of The Cauldron, London, November 2018

Now I don't want to give too much away as half of the fun is the unexpectedness of it all. Basically though during your experience you choose two "potions" to make, receive a crate of miscellaneous potion bottles and are guided through mixing them with laminated menus and instruction sheets and your potion master who comes and goes with extra ingredients and some magical chat.

potion bottles at The Cauldron, London 2018

We laughed and shrieked and cheered through the whole thing and the time flew faster than a speeding Hippogriff. We were given updates on how much time we had left towards the end and we did have time to squeeze in an extra flaming cocktail before reluctantly relinquishing our robes and heading out back out into the Muggle lands.

fiery cocktails and girl posting wand at The Cauldron, London

We were not wand-less though as although we dutifully handed back our magical wands, my daughter did buy herself a wand and heavy metal cauldron as a package for £45 from the gift shop. It's not a hard sell, there's simply a list on your table and we asked to buy items from it when we left.

Quotes from my friends and daughter about the evening

"I have been waiting my whole life for a night like this."

"Now my life is totally worth it."


"Just about the best experience I have ever had! What a brilliant way to enjoy a night out with fab friends whilst making and drinking cocktails. I would recommend this to everyone, especially if you are a Harry Potter Fan."

So did it live up to the hype?

Totally! It helps that most of our party are massive Potterheads although the website is careful to state  that although the bar is designed to particularly appeal to anyone with a love of magic and fantasy it's not officially affiliated with the Harry Potter, Game of Thrones or any other franchise.

We felt it was really good value for money especially taking into account that you get three drinks included. Special mentions must go to Hannah our lovely Potion master and Bobby who was just all kinds of awesome. The decor of The Cauldron is great but it's the people there who make it what it is- simply magical!

Check out my YouTube video for a tour. Viewers on mobile devices might need to click this link.

Would you enjoy this if you are not a fan of a specific magical or fantasy franchise? 

I think you would. Just the fun of mixing your own cocktails in a bar with a great atmosphere makes for a good night out so it would work for anyone who enjoys a hands on experience. There are non-alcoholic options available too but the rule on no under 18's is strictly adhered to so your younger friends and family will just have to wait for that magical 18th birthday to join in the fun.

Any negatives?

Location. It is only a short 15 minute tube ride from Euston but if I'm honest I was a little nervous about heading out to south London after dark but we encountered no issues, even leaving late on a Saturday night. We even walked straight through one large group of young men who were not remotely interesting in mugging, shanking or kidnapping any of us and simply politely parted to let us past.

Shhhh! Big News! Don't tell anyone!

I met up with co-founder Matthew Cortland during our visit and he shared the exciting news that there may well be a permanent home for The Cauldron in Central London as early as spring 2019. Even more exciting is the fact that there may be the opportunity to stay overnight at the venue in wand-enabled magical/fantasy themed rooms. Clear your diaries now!

In the meantime if you want to visit the fabulous pop-up, here's a heads up - there are still a few spaces in January and the website is offering gift wrapped gift packages including physical tickets, bookmark, letter and a cypher to solve for a free gift at the venue. That's a cool Christmas gift for your fave fantasy fan sorted. Or just treat yourself for some post Christmas fun.

If you are quick and book today there's a Cyber Monday discount with 15% off TODAY ONLY.

Bottom line: I cannot recommend this enough for anyone who loves cocktails and Potter-esque fun.

A video may follow if I can get the pixies in my laptop to work together for once. Wish me luck and check back later.

madmumof7 and daughter with bubbling shots  at The cauldron, London

Disclaimer: We paid for our own tickets to visit The Cauldron but Matthew did kindly buy us a round to help us celebrate my daughter's birthday. This review remains honest and impartial.

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