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"We're Struggling" - An honest post from Nikki and Rob

an irrelevant yet cheery bunny snap

We sent out a mail early last summer asking for help (we were really quiet) and people responded with bookings, and encouragement. This morning Nikki put an honest post on facebook and we have again been touched by the response. Thank you.

So now I'm writing a blog, the truth is...

We’re struggling, and could do with your help

When Nikki and I set up the Steel Cauldron, we did it with two aims in mind.

“Make People Happy and in doing so make a living”

As things have got tough (regularly over the last 2 years), we have kept focussing our “reason why”, to “make people happy”. If we keep developing innovative, magical ideas, recruiting and training wonderful people, and loving our customers then eventually we will be able to make a living out of making people happy. In my book that is making a life!

As of today, things seem pretty bleak from a “making a living” perspective. The ups and downs of Covid have been tumultuous and the increasing costs have been constant. These combined with cyclical “busy periods” (holidays and most weekends) and the necessity to provide secure employment, has made the last 9 months financially very difficult.

We can’t continue as we are. We are at a crossroad.

We could reduce our opening hours significantly and focus on the “busy times”, or we can try and get the quiet times busier. We are determined to do the latter. Reducing opening will result in less innovation, less decent jobs and less happy people!

We are committed to finding affordable ways to bring you and your friends to The Steel Cauldron during the school term times and the evenings (and this Easter which is currently fairly quiet☹)

How can you help?

There are three things you might be able to do that would really help 😊


We want to know your ideas!

Our (brief) plans are:

The EveningsRelaunch as Potions and Street Food

We are re-launching our bar after Easter with a new brand, “Potions and Street Food” and will be looking for your ideas as to what you think would make a great evening environment – a few things are carved in runes:

- It makes people happy

- It is safe and inclusive

- It does not encourage excess drinking and offers excellent non-alcoholic options

- We welcome children 14+ until 10pm

Currently we have a quiz on Tuesdays and have previously had music nights, games nights, burger nights, magic nights, cocktail (potion) making, craft classes and food from our takeaway partner etc. We are open to doing the above again and more if we can get enough support. If you have any ideas then please click here and let us know. We would love to hear them.

The Day timespecial sessions in the morning and after school

We believe we can create wonderful reasons for you to visit during the day. We now open 6 days a week (not Mondays during term time) from 9.20am for breakfast, then lunch from 12 and street food from 5pm. The amazing Cauldron has 2 sides which means we can welcome everyone whilst making one side special for certain groups.

Every weekday, morning we have “Little Wizards” when we welcome pre-schoolers, get toys out, tell stories and have a decent brew and brekkie!

In the afternoon we do a much wider lunch menu, 3 types of afternoon tea, soups, paninis, cake, ice creams (and more when we make a few kitchen improvements).

After school we are launching “The Cauldron Club”, our after school hang out where you can feed the kids, do a craft, play with lego, have a milkshake, and gin etc. Use the code BOOKFREE to pay no booking fee to reserve your space. We want to offer more fun things after school and become your “treat” of choice for the whole family.

In the weekends and school holidays we now offer other special sessions such as our ever popular “Eat, Drink and Owl”, and “Wizard School” alongside the newly launched, “Wand Workshop”, and “Eat, Drink and Spells”.

We are really keen to work with schools and charities that can bring groups during the week. Over the last 2 years we have had about 6 school groups and 10 charities visit us and each time has been amazing. If you are part of such a group and would like to visit then please send us an email to

If you have any ideas then please click here to share them with us


Please come down. Pop in for a brew, some brekkie, of afterschool fun, watch the Owls, visit the bunnies, make a wand, play with toys, eat Wizards Tea, have a G&T, come on down.


Please tell people about us, share your photos and our posts, tag your friends, arrange to meet here for a drink. If you are able to give us a good word then we would be eternally grateful.


In these increasingly “weird” times, local businesses like us, desperately need your support. From our coffee to our tea, our cakes to our crafters we source local whenever we can. We give kids their first job, students a way to live and provide proper secure careers. We know it’s tough out there, people are short of money, and need to make choices. Where possible, please, choose local.

In return local business can provide happiness, innovation, employment and choice. We aim to deserve your support.

Help us keep making people smile, share your ideas, book to come down, and tell the world about your favourite wizardy tearoom and tavern.

Thanks for reading this far, and hopefully see you soon.

Rob & Nikki (written by Rob but the chief witch read it and gave me the nod)

and on behalf of

All the team at the Steel Cauldron including the magical creatures, visible and otherwise.

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