14 April 2022

Head down the rabbit hole for cocktails at new Alice in Wonderland bar

| James Coleman
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Cheshire cat

The creepy smile of the Cheshire cat is there to beam over your drinks. Photo: Hidden Media.

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do, so she went to a cocktail bar and bought a cake marked ‘Eat Me’.”

So begins the famous English children’s novel, Alice in Wonderland. Or not. Either way, that’s the experience coming to Canberra from 2 June, when ‘The Alice’ takes over a floor at the Zoo Bar in Civic.

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Presented by global event company Viral Ventures, ‘The Alice’ promises a “topsy-turvy journey into the magical realm of Wonderland”.

For $45, attendees can brew their own teapot cocktails, solve riddles and challenges, enjoy ‘Eat Me’ cake and biscuits, and more, all through the eyes of Alice.

Alice in Wonderland bar

Colour and chaos, much like the book. Photo: Hidden Media.

It’s described as a “tea party to end all tea parties”.

For those who know the story well, Viral Ventures assure us “no flamingos will be hurt during the course of this adventure”.

The Alice has several permanent homes across the world, including Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. The Zoo Bar on London Circuit currently accommodates a bar, pool hall, gaming arcade, cocktail bar, and nightclub, but has opened up another level for the new immersive theatre experience. It will be in place until December 2022.

Tea and cocktails at The Alice

Serving tea and cocktails at The Alice. Photo: Hidden Media.

Zoo Bar managing director Rulla Bakri said they were “exceptionally proud and euphoric” about this collaboration.

“There will be some amazing promotions where dinner and show can be obtained among other things. We are hoping that Canberrans get behind The Alice and enjoy this amazing adventure so that Zoo Bar and Viral Ventures are able to bring more excitement to our city.”

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The cost of the 90-minute experience is $45. Tickets can be bought online.

It isn’t the only Wonderland-themed cocktail bar in Canberra. White Rabbit on Northbourne Avenues sits on the same site as its predecessor, Kremlin Bar, but pursues a subtle nod to the fictional white rabbit with the pink eyes. There are cosy corners, plush surfaces, theatrical treats, and no shortage of drinks and desserts.

White Rabbit

Down the hole at White Rabbit. Photo: Supplied.

If that still wasn’t enough local mention of Alice in Wonderland, an independent games studio called CluedUpp are bringing an equally topsy-turvy experience to Canberra on 24 September.

CluedUpp has made a name for itself in over 80 countries worldwide by creating immersive outdoor experiences and team-building events, and promise to transform the streets of Canberra into a giant, Alice-themed escape room.

Participants are asked to dress up, solve clues and complete challenges over two to three hours. There will be prizes for the fastest team, best fancy dress, best team picture, best team name, and best young detective. Dogs are welcome too, and will compete for their own ‘best dog photo’ prize.

It costs $110 for a team of 10 players to participate. Tickets can be bought online.

It’s about finding pleasure in simple joys, as Alice herself says.

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