The Cauldron Unleashed

This is not just afternoon tea, this is a Cauldron Afternoon Tea…

It’s time to unbox the magic wand and dust off the witch’s hat! Edinburgh’s wizard-themed bar and restaurant, The Cauldron, is offering a Halloween take on its potions and Wizard Afternoon Teas.

With a Halloween-obsessed 12-year-old, there seemed no better place to spend a wizarding afternoon. Together, we crept our way into the dark and (deliberately) cobwebby basement venue on Frederick Street – and there the performance started.

Greeted by our very own Potions Master (Helen, in a non-magical world), we were given our magic wands – that certainly summoned all we asked for! – and an explanation as to how the 1 hour 45 minute session would run.

The first tea is an interactive ‘design your own’ blend, using seasonal spices, and you can experiment with as many cups as you wish – as long as you can work the magic to open the tea chest, of course. The second drink is an iced ‘Spooked Tea’: that requires mixing delicacies such as witches’ toenails and slug juice (surprisingly tasty) and brewing them up to foam and froth and savour.

If all that potion-making has built up an appetite, then you won’t be disappointed. The food, staple afternoon tea fare, was very high quality – definitely some of the best I’ve sampled over the years. Sandwiches of brie, spinach and cranberry; smoked salmon and cream cheese (or a very welcome jammy one in the children’s version); and cheese and ham, were fresh and not too dainty to be filling. Scones with jam and cream bridged the transition to dessert: rocky road, macaroons, almond slices, lemon cake, chocolate tarts…each one as good as the last.

Oh, and each item is placed on a magic wand-activated tea stand that’s topped with a glowing Dragon Egg. Obviously.

Whilst ours was The Cauldron standard, during October you can book a Halloween-themed menu, described as Bloody Chocolate Cupcake, Pumpkin Cheesecake Verrine (topped with an edible Witch’s Finger), Halloween Macaron and Carrot Cake.

With prices starting at £35 per person, this is not a cheap experience, but then again it does compare well with other less theatrical, less spectacular, Afternoon Tea offerings throughout the capital! As well as excellent quality, the food is very generously portioned – we ate well and still brought home half of the desserts. And this really isn’t just afternoon tea, it’s an interactive experience in very atmospheric surroundings. An ideal special treat for a child or adult who loves all things magic – or spooky.

Halloween Wizard Afternoon Tea runs 12 – 31 October and Potions Making Experience from 25 – 31 October. Pumpkin Carving is throughout October.

For more information and to book tickets: / 0131 466 1973

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