If you head down to Helens Road in Ormskirk, you will find a coffee shop. However, it isn’t an ordinary shop and instead promises to deliver a “magical” experience filled with witches, wizards and spells.
Mandrakes A Magical Experience is owned by two friends, Gail Usher and Aileen Piper.
During its creation, the duo have taken inspiration from the wizarding world of Harry Potter and created this unique experience
After enjoying a coffee or a bite to eat visitors are free to explore the magically themed and decorated rooms, take part in a group quiz and even snap pictures with wands and robes.
Mandrakes only opened in 2019 and was open for seven short months before Covid hit.
Gail said: “Visually, it’s completely magical. The whole place has been decorate by myself and Aileen- we’ve done it all ourselves.
“When you come here, take the time and have a good look through the rooms- as there is so much to see.”
Gail added that she is yet to find another experience like it in the UK- adding that both adults and children alike love to visit.
She explained: “It’s such a varied group of people which visit us- and they come from far and wide.
“We have also had so many international visitors who had heard of us.
“Our aim is to bring a bit of magic, happiness and something a little bit different to someone’s live.”
Upon arrival, you will be met with the sound of mystical music and be greeted by some witches and wizards.
Gail explained: “Team members are dressed as witches and wizards- all of them have unique names and backstories to share.
“They’re all a little bit quirky and will do wand quizzes.
“They will even sort you into your ‘mandrake house’ while at the table.”
If time allows it, the coffee shop also host group quizzes where visitors will have the chance to win vouchers at the gift shop which stocks genuine Harry Potter merchandise.
Afterwards, visitors can also make their way through the Mandrake experience rooms.
At the Mandrakes Express room you can take a photo in front of a train- and you might even bump into the ghost of the delightful Mrs Winterbottom.
Next, step into the herbology room which is home to mandrakes and seedlings.
Finally, take a step through the Potions Room where you can put on robes, hold wands and snap a picture- the Mandrakes team can even set up visitors in a ‘battle scene’.
Gail also urges future visitors to “expect the unexpected” while visiting.
She added: “We have magicians and performers come in on occasion. We don’t advertise this- it’s always a surprise”.
You can’t cast spells on an empty stomach which is why Mandrakes sell a host of sweet-treats and coffees too.
Gail said: “Magical afternoon teas are the most popular things we sell- most people come for these and they are absolutely phenomenal.”
For adults, or ‘big witches and wizards’ these are £18.50 and for little witches and wizards in training, they’re £12.50.
They truly do look delicious too; finger sandwiches, fresh scones and Mandrakes mini trifle are just some of the items you will find in the teas.
However, they also have a regular lunch menu and have a dessert bar at weekends.
Gail explained that it could be a great place to take the kids this holiday- especially if they need to escape from the stress of Covid and lockdown.
She said: “You can come in and have your food and get all of this extra magic while you’re here.
“It’s been a really tough time for everyone- it’s lovely for adults and children to come in and escape while relaxing in a really magical atmosphere.”
If you want to pay a visit to Mandrakes they are open Thursday-Saturday from 10am-4:30pm and Sunday 11am-4pm.
To find out more about Mandrakes A Magical Experience, visit their Facebook page or their website. Alternatively, you can keep up with the business over on Tik Tok.