The Alice – An Immersive Cocktail Experience at Leeds Wonderland Bar

The Alice, just a few minutes’ walk from the train station and Trinity shopping, offers a 90 minute, full-on, Alice in Wonderland style journey, taking everyone in the room into the world of the Cheshire cat, Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit – along with cocktails and cupcakes.

Whilst neither one of us is big into immersive experiences, we couldn’t resist the pull of an Alice ‘tea party to end all tea parties’ and curiosity got the better of us. So it was that on Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves being welcomed by a small, highly exuberant team.

The decor was impressive, particularly the chessboard on the ceiling, although I wasn’t so much a fan of the flashing lights on the walls or the very dim lighting. I need to concentrate when I’m reading a menu! The seating was very low level, so I lifted myself with cushions. Otherwise, the space was inviting and enticing.

After a few minutes, we were asked if we wanted to order some drinks ahead of the experience. I thought this was a bit weird as the tickets were almost £25 each, and the experience was marketed as an afternoon tea. However, it appeared that many of the other people at the event were keen to order lots of drinks to keep them hydrated throughout the session.

At about 3:15, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit took to ‘the stage’. The two very energetic actresses were fab. They helped to get everyone ready for the experience – setting riddles and making jokes. Soon after, we were told that we would need to answer several riddles and questions of our own in order to win the ingredients for our teapot cocktails. My friend and I enjoyed the challenge of the riddles and were grateful when we were given ‘Eat Me’ cupcakes to fuel our brains.

Throughout the rest of the 90 minutes, we completed more riddles and challenges, including a game of croquet, in order to win all of the ingredients needed for the teapot cocktail. When we had collected them all, we got to try out the cocktail, which was served in a smoking teapot, thanks to the addition of liquid nitrogen sticks. We tried to capture a photo of this, but it proved harder than expected.

After finishing the teapot cocktail, and being given a few minutes to enjoy the space, we were given another, very creamy, cocktail and were asked to draw on the top of it in caramel. I enjoyed this challenge, but the cocktail itself was too sweet for me. My friend, and the others on the table, seemed to really enjoy it.

As we left, we exchanged thoughts. We had both found the experience unexpectedly bizarre. We could see how the Alice would be great for groups of friends celebrating an event, or for those who love Alice in Wonderland, but it was probably too far outside the box for us. However, whilst I may not be going back to the experience again in a hurry, I think those who enjoy unusual activities and are willing to let themselves be immersed, should give it a try.

Wonderland Bar, 14 – 16 Swinegate, Leeds, England, United Kingdom, LS1 4AG  The Alice – Until 31-Dec-2022.

Photography by Gemma Bridge.

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