Growing weary of the usual pop up bars and looking for more than just a cocktail on a sunny evening? What about somewhere that offers you cocktails, a campfire, a beautiful garden setting, a minor celebrity, some engineering history and as many complimentary toasted marshmallows as you can stomach.
Every Friday and Saturday from May until the end of September, the Midnight Apothecary opens its doors and welcomes you to enjoy a night like no other.
In the garden surroundings, you almost get a 241 deal. In the early evening you can really appreciate the flowers and country garden setting, but as the daylight fades and the hurricane lamps and campfire come in to their own, you start to feel an almost festival-like vibe.
To get the best of both worlds, I’d suggest sampling one (or two) of the botanically inspired cocktails, before taking the plunge (literally and metaphorically) into the Grand Entrance Hall.
Guided tours of the Grand Entrance Hall are offered hourly by the one and only Tim Thomas (as seen in Four Weddings and a Funeral). These obviously aren’t compulsory, but I can’t recommend them highly enough. I can’t pretend I have the broadest knowledge of Brunel, but this tour left me seriously impressed with not only his feats of engineering, but also by tales of its impact of Victorian society and even the Queen herself.
Once you’ve had your fill of culture for the evening, head back to the garden and try your hand at toasting marshmallows over the open fire or sample some of the delicious food on offer.
And if all that wasn’t enough to sell you on a visit, the £5 ticket fee goes towards developing the museum, so you can also call yourself a philanthropist for the evening.
When: 5.30pm – 10.30pm (last orders at 10pm)
Cost: £5 per ticket, inc. entry to the garden, Engine House, a guided tour of Brunel’s underground Grand Entrance Hall and complimentary toasted marshmallows