A Weekend with Harry Potter and Dad

A visit to the Warner Brothers London Studio Tour and a weekend in London.

Now that classes are over, it’s time to crank out everything else I’ve done abroad! To make things easier, this post will be more of a photodump.

Friday August 6

My dad visited! Not much went on except he arrived at about noon, and wandered around town while I went to class from 11AM — 6PM at CUS. Met up after classes and ate at Côte Brasserie — a french restaurant down the street from CUS. The food was okay; I had a set 3 course meal which included steak. The steak in the UK is iffy though. First course/appetizer was delicious salmon tartine; I don’t recall at the moment what dessert was but it was their most well known dish and delicious. While we waited for our food, I taught my dad how to edit photos and post on Instagram!

Walked around the town, slept early!

Saturday August 7

Slept in before picking up croissants at King’s Cafe. Met up with Katie and Jennifer at Pembroke back gate, before walking to the train station! We arrived just in time for a train to London. 50 minutes later, arrived and grabbed lunch at Old Spitalfield Market (aka one of my top 3 places in London). I had a delicious turkish wrap and smoothie. Parted with my ad who went to go check into our hotel in Shoreditch (my favourite London neighbourhood yay), and we grabbed dessert at Pizza East. After dessert, we walked back to the station to head to the studio!

Rode the underground to Euston Street; when we arrived there was no Harry Potter shuttle in sigh! Turns out we had to actually travel to Euston JUNCTION….so we walked 20/30 minutes there and also caught the shuttle just in time! With our tour beginning at 6:30pm, we got there at about 6 — perfect timing even though we had begun our journey from London since 3pm. Anyway, entering the lobby of the studio, I was mindblown. The place was HUGE! Can’t find any pictures right now, but I’ll update them on here when I do. While waiting in line I noticed some kinds had “Harry Potter Passports.” Naturally, I needed to get one B-) So ran to information desks and ask for three for Katie, Jennifer and I.

Walking inside we were so excited. They start off the tour with a video movie theatre, and then the screen pulls up to reveal the doors!! People with birthdays push open the huge doors to reveal the big hall.

After you walk through the great hall, which has the costumes of many characters, the dining tables, and fake food everywhere, you enter a hallway that outlines the history/makers of Harry Potter. Past the hallway, you walk through this huge ware-house like room, where there are different set up sof props, rooms, and more! For some reason i’m missing a lot of pictures of the set ups but I’l add them later!

Post the giant warehouse, you visit the train-related area — set up of the Hogwarts Express and Platform 9 3/4. We asked the lady to take a picture for us at the moment the demontor pops up on the screen…didn’t turn out the way I had hoped but still funny!

Moving on, you enter the cafe where they have butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream! Of course, we got both, then explored the area outside where they featured the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the Bridge, Chess men from the first movie, and the blue car (as well as Hagrid’s motorcycle)

After the open area, you enter the room where they describe how to do special effects. It’s so astounding to see the detail they use — they hand painted every single feather on Phoenix (and used real feathers!!) and insert every single goat hair one-by-one on the werewolf. Somehow I also don’t have pictures :( Moving on, you see Diagon alley, studio art, giant Hogwarts Castle and wand rooms!

We took a train to King’s Cross on the way back, but I parted to leave for Old Street! On the way back there were some people who took group photos for us and were talking in Chinese about us. Unknown to them, Jennifer could understand what they were saying and she anticipated that they would ask where we were from — it was funny to see them try to start the conversation in a round-a-bout way. But yay for meeting new people from around the world!

Overall the Harry Potter experience was amazing! I can’t wait for the release of J.K. Rowling’s play next year.

After I reached back to the apartment, I charged my phone and explored the Shoreditch area with Dad!

Sunday August 7

Walked Chinatown and had Dim Sum for lunch, walked London Tower Bridge area, Went up the Shard (10/10 would recommend), and walked Brick Lane. At Brick lane we tried to find an Indian place to eat at for dinner, but they were all rated ooOOoOkay. They have serviers wait outside to try to convince you to coe in with discounts and free d rinks. We ended up walking 12 minutes to another Indian restaurant. SO WORTH. SO BOMB. SO GOOD.

For lunch we tried to got to Duck & Waffle but they were fully booked. :( Dim sum was good anyway!

Post dinner, we walked back through Shoreditch and saw the sunset reflect off the buildings. It was beautiful!

Monday August 8

Monday I woke up early to say ‘Bye’ to Dad; then fell back asleep. Woke up again to check out and run to Borough market (another one of my top 3 places in London!!), before heading to King’s Cross for the trainride back to Cambridge.

Before this weekend, I didn’t feel homesick at all; I was enjoying Cambridge and just occasionally missing good Asian food. However after seeing my dad and having delicious dim sum and roti, I definitely felt sad about leaving it all to go back to Cambridge.

All in all, a great weekend!