We went to Dublin's Harry Potter bar and it was, well, magical!
If we had magical powers, this is exactly what we'd use them for.
It can be tough being a grown-up Harry Potter fan. Yes, you can deck yourself out in Penneys' Hogwarts range, but the chance to don full robes and brandish a wand only comes about at Halloween (well, outside the house at least). However, that's all changed with the arrival of a magical new attraction to Dublin.
Located at The Liquor Rooms in Temple Bar, The Cauldron is a pub experience dedicated to the noble arts of witchcraft, wizardry and mixology.
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Arriving at the venue, marked by a black cauldron on a red door, we were already as giddy as kids with candy apples. At our table we were presented with our robes (full length black with a purple silk lining and a pointed hood) and an ornate wand, which are handmade in Ireland by Kennedy's wand makers. We were invited to try them out by casting a spell on a unicorn, lion or hydra to produce a cocktail, mocktail or beer.
Having established that we weren't Muggles, it was time for potion making. Careful not to spill a drop, we measured the mysterious contents of small bottles and jars into a glass container and stirred clockwise and anticlockwise as the spell book dictated. With a little help from a potions master much nicer than Snape, the result was a colour-changing cocktail that was both a taste and Instagram sensation.
The concept for The Cauldron - which also has outlets in New York, London and Edinburgh - draws on a mix of magical traditions, including our mystical Celtic heritage, to create an enchanted forest feel in the room. There's no official affiliation with JK Rowling's Harry Potter - which might explain why repeatedly saying "reparo" to the glass we broke didn't fix it - but, as a fan of the Boy Who Lived, it's impossible not to imagine you're in his wizarding world when you're at The Cauldron.
Next, it was time to unlock the ingredients from a magical cabinet (restricted section?) and conjure up some trouble. We ground up spices in a pestle and mortar, then added them with drops and dashes of various liquids to our allotted cauldron. With the addition of some fairy dust it began to bubble and steam, leaving us both squealing with delight and scrambling to get photos. The resulting drink was equally as enchanting.
The session lasted for 1 hour 45 minutes, giving us plenty of time to make our enchanted draughts and to enjoy them. It includes three drinks, and there are additional drinks available to order - including a flaming cocktail that will blow your mind on several levels.
Overall verdict? An experience that is quite simply magical.
The Cauldron is a three-month pop-up experience. Tickets cost €29.99 per person off peak, and €34.99 per person at peak times.