Belfast Telegraph

The Cursed Goblet: Spellbinding pop-up opens in Belfast

By Paula Gracey

How are your potion making skills? In case you haven’t heard, potions are the new cocktails!

Now I think I’m a bit of a wiz at rustling up all manner of cocktails, from the sublime to the ridiculous - whether I’m following a recipe or just winging it in experimental mode, I just love it.

So, when I heard about a new pop up bar opening in the Queen’s Quarter of Belfast (upstairs in The Parlour) called The Cursed Goblet, promising a potion/cocktail making experience, I was on my broomstick before you could say Abracadabra!

The theme of the bar is set around the story of an old Wizard called Professor Phileas Fisherwick who travelled the country by train to gather up all the magical ingredients for his potions.

The experience is laced with lots of Northern Irish references including the Professor’s love for the “Queen’s School of Magic”. However, the Professor fell foul of a curse from an old wizard and has called on an army of potion prodigies to help him break the spell – enter me!

I was in my element – Harry Potter fans will find more than a few similarities to the wizarding world such as train carriages and broomsticks and, as a mega Hogwarts fan, I found myself completely in my happy place.

Behind the bar, jars of coloured liquids emit plumes of smoke, gargoyles spew alcoholic beverages, a huge black cauldron glows green with the Cursed Goblet itself standing tall and taking pride of place in the middle of the floor with colour changing back lighting.

After a short video in a side room telling the tale of Professor Fisherwick and the curse, we form an orderly queue to the back of the room where we are each given a black cloak (with a hood) and a wand in a box.

Excited didn’t even cover it for me as we were then shown to our tables, laid out with a small black caldron, a mysterious looking locked wooden box and tray of potion jars, droppers, everything required to concoct our potions.

The recipes were set in front of us with names such as The Metamorphosis with step by step instructions, including how many times to stir your potion and the correct spell to intone.

You have three potions to make over the space of one hour and 45 minutes, so you can take your time and enjoy the whole experience and there is plenty of help on hand if required.

The wands are not just for show either, as they release some magic during the experience and every potion has a magical trait or effect surrounding it.  There are also a few riddles to solve, so pay attention to the video!

You can take pictures to your heart’s content and if you don’t want the alcoholic potions, there are mocktail versions available so everyone can be included.

Open now for Halloween and through to next March, at least, it is a different party night out and, as word spreads, bookings are filling up with tickets, £30.00, available online at www.thecursedgoblet.com.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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