Bookings now open for magical tipsy underground tea
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Something wicked this way comes...in the form of a whimsical, truly magical afternoon tea experience.
Baskerville’s (formerly Moriaty’s) on Whiting Street in Bury St Edmunds has just opened bookings for its Tipsy Tea on Sundays between 11am and 3pm.
Enter through the café and wait to be led deep down underground into the hidden subterranean bar – where lots of treats await you.
“It’s for two or more people,” bar owner Max Baskerville says. “They’ll get to choose a wrap, bowl of nourishment or burrito and a selection of four sweet treats. Then they choose one of our cocktails which comes in a teapot with tea cups and a dry ice surprise! They can also have a Topsy Tea – that's a non-alcoholic version.”
Bookings are already being snapped up for the occasion, which may eventually be brought to other days of the week. A day’s notice is needed for bookings, and it’s priced at £35 per person – or can be ‘bottomless’ for 90 minutes for an extra £20.
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“There are so many nice elements to it,” says Max. “The drink choice includes The Temptress – that's a gin-based drink we find is very popular, a highball called The Whangdoodle, The Moriarty (our take on an espresso martini), The Ritzy Spritz, which is apple based, and The Whimsy-Pimmsy – funnily enough that’s Pimms-based. It’s got prosecco in it too.”
The cake selection changes daily, but could include anything from the super dark brownie, to blueberry Bakewell, carrot cake, apple crumble traybake, and chocolate banana loaf.
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Tipsy Teas are part of a new era for the business which, like others, has had an incredibly tough year. “It was horrendous,” admits Max, saying, “it felt like we needed to start afresh when we reopened again – that's why we changed the name.”
During the day, Baskerville’s serves vegan pastries and sausage rolls in the mornings, wraps, nourish bowls and other savouries at lunch and, now, a lavish new dessert menu in the evenings –to be enjoyed alongside their truly spectacular cocktail list.
“All our desserts are made on site here. We’ve got a lovely Abbey Gardens Oreo-based cheesecake that’s served in a little flower pot. It looks amazing. Like a garden! Then we’ve got a lemon mousse, a panna cotta with raspberry sorbet and more.”
The underground bar, Max says, is one of the hidden secrets of Bury. “It’s quite exclusive. So when people walk past they look in and think it’s not very busy – but that’s because everyone’s downstairs! It’s a 1920s speakeasy vibe. It’s a relaxing, chilled place to come and it’s seating only. It will never be shoulder to shoulder heaving. We do seat people upstairs, and that’s wonderful too, but we have a queuing system, so if people want to go downstairs we will let them know when a table’s available. It’s a big space, but it’s quite cosy too. We have curtains that section it off a bit. When customers first see it they always think it’s amazing.”
Max is full of praise for her bar manager, who has made, from scratch, a drinks list the likes of which you’ll usually only see in a big city.
“I like drinking cocktails and there wasn’t anywhere in Bury I knew that did anything like this with bells and whistles. We can do all the classics, but we want people to come and try our weird and wonderful specials. We’ve gone all-out with them – especially when it comes to garnishes. One comes with a smoked bubble – so the customer has to pop it at the table. That’s gone down a storm.
“The Bootlegger is very exciting too. It’s tequila-based. We put the bottle inside a book and the book inside a doctor’s bag with a glass and sneakily hand it to the customer with a wink and a nod. They have to work out how to open it and pour it. And our signature is The Moriarty which has dry ice theatrics.)
There are 17 speciality cocktails to choose from, as well as mojitos, martinis and other well-known favourites. There are also mocktails alongside a Lunchtime Libations menu of lower ABV cocktails.
“We’re just really looking to spark people’s curiosity,” adds Max.