Tag Archives: england

Exploring the House of Minalima in London

House of Minalima is a wonderful little building near the Palace Theatre, London, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play is on at the moment. It is the brainchild of Miraphora (Mina) and Eduardo (Lima) who were the graphic designers for the Harry Potter movies (and now Fantastic Beasts). The building is an exhibition as well as a shop, where you can buy pretty much anything that is on display. The artwork includes issues of Quibbler, wanted posters of Death Eaters, Marauder’s Map, and much much more! All the classic props that you saw in the movies are there to look at…for FREE!

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I guess I don’t need to tell you that I jumped at the chance to go see the House of Minalima when I visited London for the Cursed Child play with my friend. The building looks adorable already from the outside and the windows are filled with floating candles and different posters.

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The house is divided into the shop on the ground floor, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them on the first floor, and finally the Harry Potter exhibition on the second and third floor.

One of my favorite things was the fireplace that had tons of Hogwarts acceptance letters shooting out of it. I was really tempted to grab one but I guess McGonagall would notice right away that I was too old to attend Hogwarts and that I had stolen someone else’s letter…

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The Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes section is magnificent: the colors are popping and in your face, which just makes you feel like you’re right there in their joke shop. I also loved the floors of the building, which have the Marauders’ Map printed on them.

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I definitely recommend to anyone who might be going to London, that you also go see the House of Minalima! And get souvenirs too! ;) I bought two sets of cards (one set with Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes designs and one with school books and other classic designs), which I just love love love.

Have you been to House of Minalima? What are your favorite props from the movies?

London: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I will try to keep this spoiler free for those who haven’t read/seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet.

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As I said in my previous post, I went to see Harry Potter and Cursed Child in London with a longtime friend of mine who is also a huge Potterhead. I had read the play as soon as it came out so I knew the plot while my friend didn’t. I was really curious to see how the technical stuff would work on stage – I didn’t wanna see any fake-looking magic! – but I was equally curious to find out whether I would care for the characters the same way as in the original books.

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SURPRISE – the magic was incredible! We were both left wondering how on earth they managed to perform some of the tricks. Nothing looked out of place or lame, everything was expertly choreographed and made to look as real as possible. There were even two impressive dance scenes that looked fantabulous from the balcony!

The characters were often funny – surprisingly it was Draco who had me giggling more than once. Ron was perhaps the most similar to his predecessor from the new cast. I kept comparing the “new” Hermione, Ron, and Harry to the originals and wondering if the older characters were enough like their younger selves and, while all did a good job of it, Ron was most like himself.

The plot holes and problems one might have with the script itself are far easier to ignore when watching the story unravel on stage. The focus is on the characters, the movement, the visuals…and some of the awkward lines end up feeling less so.

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After the play ended, we quickly ran to the other side of the theater to wait for the actors to pour out and got our programs signed by most of them. In the pictures above you can see Noma Dumezweni (Hermione) and Anthony Boyle (Scorpius), who both were fabulous. Everyone was really lovely considering they had just finished a really long day!

All in all, I’d definitely recommend the play to any hardcore Harry Potter fan (as long as you’re not too nitpicky about time travel plot lines). However, if you’re not a massive fan, the length of the play can make it quite an intense experience. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the performance though and think that, as long as you recognize that this is separate entity from the original series, you can get a lot of kicks out of it!

Have you seen/read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? What did you think?

Jetting Off to London to Start the Year

This post (and a few drafts that I have waiting) has been a long time coming and I blame my very persistent flu. However, I couldn’t NOT show you guys how amazing the short trip to London I did in the beginning of the year was!

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This trip had been planned by me and a childhood friend of mine for a long long LONG time. Almost two years. And the reason was: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! While we got tickets to see the Cursed Child play, the date was a long way away. But at least that meant we had something to look forward to. It’s been the longest time I’ve waited for something but it was completely worth it.

I’ve been to London many times (as has my friend), so we agreed on not even trying to do all the tourist attractions. Instead, we focused on eating good food, enjoying the winter-y atmosphere, and walking about town without a care. It was perfection! These were my last days before my new job (yes, I will blog about that at some point!!) started so I made the most of my freedom.

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Covent Garden (pictured above) was still covered in Christmas lights and even boasted a huge Christmas tree. The area is very picturesque but Christmas decorations just enhance that feeling. I wholeheartedly recommend visiting Covent Garden around Christmas time! Also, be sure to check out the adorable Moomin shop there!

Our hostel YHA St. Pancras (student budget travel so no hotel) was right next to King’s Cross and St. Pancras stations, which was perfect for several reasons: very easy access to the underground and, thus, to basically every other area in town; almost in the center of London; food places and cafes nearby; AND the Harry Potter store at Platform 9 3/4.

During the trip we also checked out the House of Minalima, which will be its own post soon. And the play will naturally get its own magnificent post as well<3 Have you been to London? Or seen the Harry Potter play? If you have I’d love to hear your thoughts :)

London: Long Weekend Vacation

I was lucky enough to get a trip to London just a little while ago when my mom wanted to celebrate her birthday there. It was my third time there and I still love the city as much as ever!

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We had already seen most of the traditional sights so we decided to have a pretty chill vacation. We did, however, visit the Westminster Abbey for the first time so that we got to see the inside of the church. Tip: you can go for an evening service, which lasts for an hour, and you won’t have to pay the admittance fee (which I feel is quite pricey).

We went to Bella Italia for my mom’s birthday dinner and we had the chicken stew, which was absolutely delicious! I can’t even express how good that meal was!

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We also just walked around a lot – mainly around Oxford Street where our hotel was and along the river Thames. The weather was extremely sunny and mild so it was nice just to walk around and check out sights like the London Eye and Big Ben.

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British Museum was a must-see on our list: I had been there before but you could spend a week in the museum and there would still be more to see. Tip: GO THERE – IT’S FREE! Enough said.

One of the splurges we made was the visit to Kensington Palace, which is right now having a fashion exhibition, which personally I found the most fascinating. The outfits were breathtaking.

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We also checked out The Who Shop (a Doctor Who store and museum) as well as the Harry Potter shop at Kings Cross, but I’ll tell you more about those in my London haul post :)

Trip to England Part 2

After the London part of my study trip we headed to Stratford where we ended up seeing four different plays (all of them amazing). There I also got to see the fabulous David Tennant – drooool – I think I got way over excited but really — can you blame me?

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It was strange to be in a town where the stores close already around 4 pm. After the first few days we had explored the whole town and didn’t have much else to do except to eat dinner at a pub (which was closer to our student budget than any proper restaurant) and wait for the theater performance to start. It was a lovely trip nonetheless, and we even managed to snap pictures with a few actors on our last evening there.

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Our last day in England was spent at the Warwick castle – and getting scared in a tower (or more specifically, getting scared while walking the stairs inside one of the towers)…This was because of a fire alarm and an announcement to empty the premises immediately. Luckily we were allowed back inside soon enough and the trip wasn’t a total bust.

And now I can start saving up for my next trip!

Trip to England Part 1

I recently went to England for a study trip with a group from my university and I thought I’d share some memories from the first part of the trip which took place in London. After the three days that we spent in London we took a bus to Stratford and did a Shakespeare and theater -course while living in a cute little b&b. I’ll make a post about that later as well.

In London we had a relatively free schedule, which enabled me to meet my friend and hit the Harry Potter studios…and it was brilliant! I loved every bit of it – all the props, sets, and costumes looked fabulous. I think my favorite part was seeing Luna’s costumes and Umbridge’s office.
In addition to Harry Potter studios I managed to do some shopping, a trip to a museum, and see three Shakespeare plays. The plays were amazing, especially Macbeth and Midsummer night’s dream, which we saw at the Globe theater. I don’t think I’ve ever understood or appreciated Shakespeare so well.

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I realized during these days how much I had missed the busy streets, the friendly people and, of course, the drool-worthy accent since my last trip to London.

All in all, the first part of the trip was —-

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AWESOME!!!