Say Ava Cadavra to boring meals spent discussing Brexit or lamenting your lack of love life (hint, maybe it’s because you’re spending your meals discussing Brxit?). No, like ketchup, what most meals really need is a magician… So here’s a list we just magic-ed up, in case you were wand-ering.
Named after Victorian magical duo John Nevil Maskelyne and George Alfred Cooke (think Penn and Teller but wearing bowler hats and lots more tweed), Maskelyne & Cooke at Le Méridien Piccadilly is a bar like no other. Sitting a stone’s throw (or levitation) from the old Egyptian Hall on Piccadilly, the new bar harks back to that Victorian venue, recreating the feel of the old hall with low lighting, mystery and, most importantly, magic. Maskelyne & Cooke hosts some of the best names in magic who entertain guests while mixologists cast their own spells on some spectacular (and magnificent (read ‘Instagrammable’) cocktails. Rotating through acts including Brendan Rodrigues, the winner of the prestigious Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year 2016, Laura London, who’s a member of the Inner Magic Circle, Dr. Will Houstoun, who holds a PhD in Victorian conjuring (we checked and yes, really a thing) and Tony Middleton, star of The Magic Hour, London’s premier magic show, this is quickly transmogrifying into London’s leading magic venue.
Catch magic performances on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings
Sleight Of Hand In The Strand is better even than the snappy name. The regular event at Simpsons In The Strand, that grand Victorian palace of meat, takes place in their private room upstairs and the regular slot invites guests to be bowled over by an hour and a quarter of entertainment and close-up magic. The 1920s style cabaret performance is wow-worthy, as are the surroundings. Start with a cocktail in Knight’s Bar, or go the whole hog, quite literally, in the restaurant downstairs as Simpsons In The Strand are responsible for some of the best dishes in the capital.
Check site for dates, generally held on Saturday evenings
There’s something magic going on at The Abandoned Room, something apart from the fact that it’s anything but abandoned. Set within The Mandake Hotel, this is a theatre specially designed for magic. Designed, developed and curated by world famous magician Dynamo, the venue aims to be the home of magic in London. Grab dinner, or stay the night, the space kicked off with 20 intimate performances from Dynamo himself in November 2018, to be replaced by renowned magicians, Dynamo’s friends, going forward.
Normally, when your wallet disappears in Kennington it’s because you got mugged in the Elephant and Castle underpass, but sometimes it’s part of an elaborate magic trick at at Simon Drake’s House of Magic. Set ‘sarf’ of the river, albeit only in Kennington, the house is an extraordinary venue where magic and entertainment run in abundance. Generally running a chokka schedule of corporate events and private parties, there’s a public night pretty much each month consisting of outlandish entertainment as well as a slap-up dinner to boot.
The illustrious surroundings of the Sheraton Grand Park Lane, make a suitable backdrop for a traditional magic show. Taking over a wood-panelled room prepare to be taken to the ‘Golden Age of Magic’ with master magician ‘Sonic’, AKA’d as Tony Middleton. The Art Deco hotel’s Smith & Whistle makes a perfect post-show eating and drinking, or head to the hotel’s upmarket Italian Mercante for more magic, this time on the plate thanks to executive chef James Dugan.
Where: Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Green Park (0.4 miles)