The next day we headed to breakfast along the river for a traditional full english breakfast before meeting up with fellow American, R and her French boyfriend A. We strolled around the British Museum, and through a few small parks, enjoying the sunshine before heading to one of our favorite pubs, The Queen's Head, near King's Cross Station. This old victorian pub has a great selection of ales, ciders, whiskies, and a great selection of tasty sharing platters. We sat in the sunshine, enjoying our brews until it was time for us to board our train to Hogwarts (sort of)!
We left the pub and walked to Euston Station where we boarded our train to the Harry Potter Studio Tour! We got off at the Watford Junction train station, waited for the Harry Potter Bus to pick us up and within 10 minutes you are in front the the enormous Leavesden Studio! We stored our coats and bags at the free coat check and took our place in the line to enter the studio. While in line we passed the original set for Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs. Seeing that only heightened our excitement of what was next to come!
We don't want to spoil too much for you, but it is SO worth going if you love Harry Potter. Eve actually shed tears when the tour began (the beginning of the tour is truly magical). The great thing about the tour is you can take as long as you want to walk through it, people have spent all day there before.
While touring the studio, you see original sets, props, and costumes from all 8 HP movies. It was amazing to see them all together. It reminded us of the Room of Requirement! Some of our favorite things we saw on the tour was: The Headmaster's Office, Gryffindor Common Room, Potions Classroom, Hogwarts Express, and of course the Great Hall!
They also have a bunch of activities you can participate in such as learning wand work and spell choreography, take photos riding a broomstick, and photos inside a train compartment. Halfway through the tour, you can take a break in the Backlot Cafe where they serve some surprisingly tasty food and of course BUTTERBEER!!!!!!!!
We both bought ourselves a nice cold glass of Butterbeer and pretended we were at the Three Broomsticks. We loved the taste as it reminded us of a salted caramel cream soda with a marshmallow whipped creamy froth on top.
Since you aren't allowed to stay forever (they do close at night after all) we eventually headed home, souvenirs in tow, and bellies full of Butterbeer.
On our last morning in London we gathered the gang and headed to one of the greatest bottomless brunch spots in London, Bourne & Hollingsworth. B&H is a restaurant and bar in the stylish area of Clerkenwell. The space looks like a mix between a greenhouse, ultra modern bar, and a grandmother's living room. There are plants everywhere, modern hardware and lighting, and overstuffed floral covered furnishings to sit on.
As we sat down we all ordered either bottomless bellinis or bloody marys (£18/£17 for unlimited glasses). The flavor of bellini changes weekly (that day they were featuring a fresh pear juice) and they make each bloody mary to your specification. Once we all had our first glass, we picked out almost every dish from the menu to sample (one great reason for dining in groups).
After our 20th bellini (slight exaggeration), we exchanged tearful goodbyes and headed to Manchester with P-man. One consolation in leaving our friends behind was the prospect of exploring Manchester and surrounding areas, and the fact that we sat First Class on our favorite train company, Virgin Trains. Ta-ta for now!
xxx Ivy & Eve