I’m dreaming of a Brighton Christmas…

Who doesn’t like to treat themselves a little at Christmas? Especially when you’ve spent so long shopping for others and you need a little TLC!

I went off to see family in Brighton this weekend and grabbed the opportunity to visit the new Oliver’s Brighton – a Harry Potter gift shop that’s just opened this winter!

Driving Home for Christmas… Visiting Harry Potter Studios for a Magical Christmas Evening!

Harry Potter Studios is one of the most magical places on earth. I REALLY don’t want to spoil anything for you and I’d encourage everyone who likes HP to go, so please look away now if you don’t want to see the details…

Are you still here? Okay, good.

It’s the most Magical Time of the Year!

I revisited the Harry Potter Studios this week, for an exclusive evening tour which included a meal, Butterbeer and a Guidebook (plus entry til midnight!) The drive there was great as I brought along Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit and absolutely smashed the competition – as any Ravenclaw would.

On the 1st Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me… A bag of Ravenclaw Goodies!

By now I probably don’t need to tell you guys, I am a Ravenclaw… I’ve said it so many times before (but I am just so proud of it!) I try to represent wherever I can – hosting Harry Potter events, attending afternoon teas and even starting a Harry Potter discussion group (SOON).

When I realised that Primark was having a Harry Potter relaunch I got super excited and headed off in search of some Ravenclaw goodies. Alas, although there were so many Hogwarts, HP and Quidditch related things, all I could find was this measly tea-towel that was Ravenclaw themed… (Although of course I bought it anyway).

A Harry Potter Halloween: Afternoon Tea at Colwick Hall Hotel

Three words: HARRY POTTER HALLOWEEN. I love a Harry Potter party – any opportunity to go to an HP themed event, I’m there. This year for a Halloween treat, my friends organised a visit to Colwick Hall in Nottingham, for a Harry Potter themed afternoon tea. I was very disappointed with dismal Ravenclaw representation – where are you all at? The place was buzzing with Gryffindors!

The food, on the other hand, was spectacular! Everything from the cakes to the cocktails was themed and there was so much food we couldn’t finish it! We started off with a butterbeer which rivalled Warner Bros Studios for the taste – you had to mix it up to get the right effect of the creamy butteriness – mmmm.

Harry Potter Party Food Cauldron Cakes

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Part 2 – Harry Potter Party Food and Drinking Game

26th June marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! This is Part 2 of my two-part series of Harry Potter party inspiration from my birthday party! Below is all my Harry Potter Party food; to find out what I did for my invitations and decor click here! For more… read below!

Food labels

I had a lot of ideas for Harry Potter party food and wanted to make sure that people knew what they were called! As with all aspects of my themed parties, everything was going to be a reference: from the food to the wall decor, the drinks to the games. First off I got some mini-metal keys, black ribbon and printed out some labels onto parchment style paper

Homemade Hogwarts Letters Harry Potter Party Invites Hogwarts Quill Harry Potter Party Inspiration

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Part 1 – Harry Potter Party Invites and Decor!

For most of my twenties, I’ve been hosting themed parties (Disney, Video Game Characters etc…) and so this year for my birthday I hosted a Harry Potter themed party!

Harry Potter is one of my favourite things ever and next week is the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first book! So in conjunction with this and my birthday party, I thought I’d do two posts about my Harry Potter Party Inspiration! Part one below is my Harry Potter Party Decorations and Invitations, followed by part 2 next week (June 24th) for food/drinks and games!

Hogwarts Invites

 Homemade Hogwarts Letters Harry Potter Party Inspiration Invites
 Homemade Hogwarts Letters Harry Potter Party Inspiration Invites Hogwarts Wax Seal
Fizzing Whizzbees, Peppermint Toads, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, U-No-Poo and a Chocolate Frog

A Geek’s Guide: 5 Splendiferous Harry Potter Sweets

I know a lot of people won’t be in the habit of buying one of each of the Harry Potter Sweets available at the HP Studio tour, so I thought I’d do a little review to help you pick the best if and when you go (or to get from their online store.) I purchased 5 items that were featured in the books, rather than the Harry Potter brand name stuff as it seemed a bit more authentic.

This is the second of what I hope won’t be an overwhelming amount of Harry Potter related posts (!) As you may tell from my previous post, I am a huge fan. I have the privilege of the first Harry Potter book being released while I was of an optimum age: when I thought it was an actual possibility that I may get a Hogwarts letter in the post that year. As such, it is a major influence in my childhood and teenage life and it means a great deal to me so… I can’t promise it will be the last!

As always, totally just my own opinion, unsponsored and completely biased. All of these items came with plastic packaging for safety but I removed them for the images.

1. Fizzing Whizzbees

First Impressions: Super cute little bee shaped chocolates. Such a big box for the price and beautifully designed.
Positives: Really cute, the chocolate tastes great (not cheap Advent Calendar type chocolate). The packaging is really cool and I’ll be keeping it for my Harry Potter themed birthday party (in June!)
Negatives: After tasting previous popping candy from Cadbury’s and the Willy Wonka brands, these barely seemed to fizz! Not sure if it was the batch I had but none of them seemed to tingle very much.


2. Chocolate Frog

First impressions: Super true to the movies! Beautiful interesting packaging and really heavy! Contained a phantasmagorical 3D Famous Witches and Wizards card of Helga Hufflepuff.
Positives: There is SO much chocolate inside. The frog is huge and not hollow like you might expect. The 3D card was great quality.
Negatives: Now I want to buy more so I can collect the Famous Witches and Wizards cards until I get a Rowena Ravenclaw and Dumbledore.


3. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans

First impressions: Love the packaging – reminiscent of a circus or carnival with the little clown and the colours of the beans make me both scared and excited to try them!
Positives: So colourful and really iconic. I’d definitely recommend this one, you could keep the package alone on display (and it will jazz up any jellybeans you buy in the future.)

Don’t let the colours fool you

4. U-No-Poo

First impressions: The packaging is very plain in comparison to the other boxes but the sweets make up for it with the brightness!
Positives: They are an awesome colour and they taste great, as you’d expect!
Negatives: I hate to say this, but they’re just bright green Smarties. It’s not such good value for the money as others as the plastic jar isn’t the best quality, but it’s good to have it in my collection!


5. Peppermint Toads

First impressions: Wow these are minty! I could smell them really strongly as soon as I opened the packet. As before, the packaging is great and I’ll definitely be keeping it.
Positives: As expected they are super minty and great quality chocolate.
Negatives: The frogs themselves look a bit bashed about (probably sometime during the production) but at the end of the day, they’re going to be eaten!


Overall, I think I’d say Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans are the best value from all of these Harry Potter sweets. They’re so much fun, the packaging is so iconic and instantly recognised. Most of them taste amazing and it’s loads of fun finding out if you have a bad one!

Have you tried the Harry Potter sweets? If so, what did you think?

Until next time,

Mina Lima Exhibition

The Hidden Secrets of the Wizarding World: The Mina Lima Exhibition

This weekend I visited the House of Mina Lima Exhibition in Soho. I went with a group of friends / fans of the books. I decided not to go too over the top and wear a costume or anything so I just went for a witchy dress, my Ravenclaw hoody and Head Girl badge… So not that much at all…

Head girl Ravenclaw badge

The Mina Lima Exhibition

For those not familiar, Mina Lima is the graphic arts company responsible for the graphics within the Wizarding World. So that’s the book covers, the potion bottles, the icon signage… all the little details that helped to make the Harry Potter movies a true reflection of the world created by JK Rowling.

You, like me, may not realise the amount that these affect the overall tone of the movies and realise just how many graphics there were! The Harry Potter saga is full of amazing props over the course of the 8 films. The Mina Lima Exhibition filled two floors and with the release of the Fantastic Beasts movie, I also got to experience an entire 3rd floor of related print artwork.

 Grindelwald Harry Potter Newspaper
Newt Scamander Poster from Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

Newt and I had a moment



The house itself

The place looked as if the whole thing had been created separately and then mortared together. There were creaky floorboards, slanted stairs and ceilings; the whole thing was reminiscent of a creaky abandoned house, filled with iconic imagery and props.

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes

The Daily Prophet. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. HoneyDukes Sweets.
Hogwarts Acceptance Letters. Ministry Propaganda Posters.
Howlers. House Crests. The Quibbler! All these magical quirks that make Harry Potter completely different from all the other fandoms and have brought the world to life were inside.

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes Indoor Fireworks
Harry Potter Potion Vials, Mina Lima Exhibition
Harry Potter Acceptance Letters Fireplace

Quibbler Harry Potter Mina Lima Exhibition

Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (whose names sound like they’re straight out of a Hogwarts alumni directory!) have been honoured as eponymous characters in the Harry Potter World.
And that’s for good reason! Their attention to detail is astonishing and although I wouldn’t consider myself a graphic arts enthusiast I can definitely appreciate the amount of effort that goes into creating things like this.

The shop was absolutely wonderful. In the end, I just had to buy some badges and postcards. Later, I regretted not buying myself a print so I splashed out on a Ravenclaw one.

Ravenclaw House Crest Print


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

We also passed the entrance to this… One day…

Mina Lima Exhibition Goodies

It was wonderful to be encapsulated by this world that I’ve grown up in once more.

Have you ever visited the Mina Lima Exhibition? What makes the Harry Potter movies magical for you?

Until next time