Wizarding Speakeasy at The Blind Phoenix
Do you guys remember all the way back in November, when I went to the most magical cocktail experience ever, The Cauldron? I was blown away by this fantastical night of immersion, theatrics and (of course) mind-blowing drinks.
So when I got word that there was a brand new bar opening by the founding company of The Cauldron, The Magic of Things, I have to say I was pretty darn stoked.
The cozy and magical interior of The Blind Phoenix. We were sat right by that glorious fireplace!
The Blind Phoenix still carries over the wizarding theme that the company is known for, but aesthetic wise it’s an amazing contrast. Taking inspiration from a twenties New York speakeasy, this venue feels like a vintage prohibition bar with that same magical twist as seen at The Cauldron.
This bar is also not an immersive experience like its counterpart. Instead it takes the form of a underground, fantasy-themed molecular cocktail bar and art gallery. It’s a much more laid-back feel. Somewhere you might swing by after a long week at work to unwind as opposed to a full on event.
Housed in Stoke Newington, East London (also just down the road from the new home of The Cauldron), the bar takes on the classic speakeasy ‘incognito’ feel. When my flatmates and I arrived at the address, we were frantically searching around, trying to see where exactly the bar was located. Suddenly, a man piped up behind me, “Are you looking for 5B?”.
I have a weakness for alcohol served in cute teacups. Can you get anymore British?
Sure enough, there was a blank door, with a vintage rotary telephone hooked on the back. We had to input the secret code (as provided to us in our booking email) before we could enter. Once we did, the stairs led down to a cavern of wonder, mystery and sultry jazz. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again; these guys just know how to design a real artistic bar.
Once we were directed to our cozy area by the fireplace, we were gifted with a magic wand that served multiple purposes. We used it to pour our own drinks from the 'Time Machine', a steampunk wall of alcoholic wonderment that siphoned classic drinks from all periods of history. However, the wand also worked as a tab, which guests could open up to keep track of all the drinks that they consumed. Nifty, right?
After sipping on a cocktail or two, I managed to nab a quick reunion with the CEO and Co-founder, Matthew Cortland. He discussed what made the venue a new and exciting venture for them; “We believe that there is a market for a more expanded universe within what we do. We opened up in New York City last August, and expanded the ground floor into a molecular cocktail bar later on. The menu that we had there wasn't yet available in London, so when this space came up it seemed perfect, especially because it was just a few shops down from our other experience.”
The Time Machine which serves some of the classic cocktails. It's literally like something out of a movie!
But what's the core element that makes up this new venue? Matt says, “I think people can expect some spectacular cocktails, first and foremost. Our mission as a company is to make magic real through science, technology and design. And one of the best ways to do that is through drinks and chemistry - also known as molecular mixology. As this isn’t a semi self-guided experience like The Cauldron, the bartender can make some incredibly cool drinks.”
And he's not kidding about that, folks. There’s some amazing things on the menu, including The Wizard of Menlo Park—a Thomas Edison-inspired ginger cocktail that shoots plumes of smoke into the air, The Ode to Mullica-- a bourbon and maple cocktail served in a smoking bell jar, The Blob-- an aloe and tequila cocktail with an expanding head, and Serum of Loose Lips, a clear truth potion made from clarified milk, Aperol, and Peach, just to name a few.
Matt’s particular standout was a concoction that actually has effects on the drinker. “Damiana’s Charm is our love potion at The Blind Phoenix. The name is taken from the ingredients - as Damiana is a natural aphrodisiac, which is actually a garnish sprinkled on top of the drink.” Can you believe it? You could actually be like Ron Weasley with Romilda Vane!
'It's no joke! I'm in LOVE with her.'
We shared this delicious drink. I can attest first-hand that it's absolutely yummy
I also took notice of the intricate details and design that had gone into the place. The Cauldron had extremely finite touches, and The Blind Phoenix continues this tradition, as Matt relays: “One of the featured things you can do at The Blind Phoenix is open a tab on your wand and taste and try different things, it's really user-led. The goal is to create a more wand-interactive venue, so people can have as much as possible.”
With this latest expansion, the excitement keeps growing for The Magic of Things, and Matt still has big plans to keep on conquering the world of magical cocktails. “We’re going to be opening up in two new cities in the next four months or so, and I’m working on a permanent location for us in Central London. This city is our spiritual home, as it’s where we began, and it’s so important in fantasy and literature. So when that happens, we’ll be the first to let you know!”
I for one can’t wait to see a permanent venue in London! So if you’re looking for a dash of twenties jazzy NYC, a splash of wizardry and a whole heap of bloody delicious cocktails, then get your booty on down to The Blind Phoenix now! But remember, you can’t enter without that code for the rotary phone. So grab yourself that all-important password (or make a reservation for later) over on the website.
Bubble bubble, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble!