In October I spent the most wonderful weekend with Sam in London. We ate so much food, explored and I wish we could do it again tomorrow. It was one of my favourite trips. It began with me booking tickets for the Harry Potter Studio Tours in Watford as Sam had never been and turned into a full weekend. In the end we decided to go with an Airbnb apartment near Earl's Court. It was a five minute walk to the tube station and it was perfect.
We started out with wander over to Peggy Porschen once we'd dropped the bags off. It's a place I've always wanted to go and have seen on Instagram all the time. It's adorable as you can see, even the inside is just as pretty. They decorate in acordance with the seasons so there were mushrooms and toadstools in pastel colours everywhere. We treated ourselves to a cupcake and drink. It's expensive but the cakes are good and I do think it's worth just having a look in.
After a full day of walking and hours spent perusing in Harrods, we were desperate for something to eat before heading back to the flat. We managed to do most of our Christmas shopping this trip. Sam picked up a bottle of gin for me that I've still yet to open! I've got quite the backlog now...
I'd heard about Sexy Fish but hadn't yet looked at the menu. From the photos I'd seen, it looked lovely and frankly at this point we were going for proximity for something to eat. We stumbled across the restaurant and tried our luck without a reservation.
It worked out and honestly although we were hidden away in a corner on the bar it was perfect. Watching the chefs prepare the dishes was so interesting. It's a Japanese inspired restaurant serving sushi, sashimi, seafood, fish and meat cooked on a robata grill.
It was absolutely fantastic.
Harry Potter Day. We weren't due at the tour until three so we had the entire morning and some of the afternoon to spend exploring.
Breakfast was had in Covent Garden, within the complex listening to a group of violinists play. The food was lovely and was a great start to the day.
Next on our whistle-stop tour was the House of Mina Lima, the graphic design team behind all of the Harry Potter paper products/props. Their store was out of this world and must-visit on a trip to London. There are four floors all decorated to reflect the Harry Potter films. So many gorgeous prints to purchase! I was very lucky to receive two from Sam for Christmas that I can't wait to put up.
For a snack, we stopped off at the Seven Dials market in hopes of getting to try the first cheese conveyor belt restaurant, Pick & Cheese but unfortunately, the wait was just too long. Instead, we went down a floor to Truffle to fulfil our need for cheese. These deep-fried brie croquettes were unreal.
It's time. The studio tour.
I went with my family a few years ago for my 21st birthday but in a few short years, there have been so many changes. The entrance for one is now massive! It used to be that you'd walk straight in, hand your coats and then off you went with the gift shop to the right. Now there's a new cafe, a small Starbucks and this hugeeee model of the Ukranian Ironbelly from Gringotts.
My favourite part was watching Sam see it all for the first time. It's amazing the amount of work that went into turning the books into a believable world.
During the year the tour goes through themes, around the start of November 'Hogwarts in the Snow' begins which highlights the Christmas themed props etc and in October, which is when we went it was 'Hogwarts After Dark'. Their Halloween event. Pumpkins rather than candles decorated the cieling of the Great Hall, the costumes of the House Ghosts were on display, real and fake death eaters were dotted about and we were taught how a lot of the death eater masks were created by one of the people who worked on the films. It was brilliant.
Another addition to the tour since my last visit was the Gringotts Exhibition. It features a full-sized version of the interior that you can walk through, the Lestrange vault during the Flagrante curse and life-size video of the Gringotts dragon breathing fire. I can't explain how real it felt, I jumped a little the first time.
I know Sam will agree with me when I saw we both loved the tour. It was as fun as I remembered last time and the little touches of Halloween everywhere was wonderful. We drank butterbeer, saw the night bus and Sam got jump scared by a death eater. What more could you ask for?
For our final evening meal, we went to a pub around the corner from our apartment. The King's Head was beautiful inside and out. The drinks were great and the food was good. We spent a while there chatting away and then walked all of five minutes back and carried on with the wine. I'd highly suggest nipping in for a drink and to learn about the history behind the pub. It was one of the first places to serve cold beer to meet the demand of its Australian clientele. Very odd, but very cool!
We had a wonderful trip down and got to do so much in such a short time. It doesn't matter where we go, we always have a blast, laugh a lot and come back with wonderful memories.
Have you been to London?
What did you think?
Thank you for reading,