New Year, Stronger You.


Oh hey there 2018, look at you girl! Storming your way in, both literally and metaphorically (come on Storm Eleanor). Almost a month in and the weather is topsy turvy. I’m just waiting for those leather jacket days to come back because I’ve got some fabulous new pins to add onto my somewhat already crowded lapels.

So it’s a new year. A new chapter. A new beginning, and we all know what that means. It’s time to reinvent ourselves and start the new year off with a new you… again. I mean, it’s always a work in progress in my books so let’s put up those construction signs and learn how to work them. I say, don’t bother trying to be a new you, instead be a stronger you and be it unapologetically. Find yourself, find your passions, find your people and live your life authentically and y’know, all that jazz. Just be yourself and don’t compromise your happiness so that light can shine on someone else. OK? OK.

I usually enter a new year, no not purse first, but following my gut. I usually have some sort of feelings, one way or another, about the year, however 2018 has got me feeling numb. I have no idea. New Year’s Eve I felt like a lost eyelash on the nightclub floor. Sometimes I have a feeling of exploration, like I am going to travel somewhere or be exposed to somewhere or something new. Sometimes I have sudden wave of patience, as if the universe is telling me to be calm and wait. To prep for something that is coming. Sometimes I get a wind of motivation that catapults me forwards and I become inspired by new ideas or different things, as if there’s something telling me to persevere, to carry on creating. This year, I have no idea. No inkling from my psychic colon. I’m going into it blind, but who knows.

So this year, I’m going to live. Just live and let live. Go on adventures, do new things, expand my horizons. A year to tie up loose ends, strengthen my weaknesses and become a better, more authentic version of myself, who I love dearly.

Let’s make 2018 a year of love and happiness. Fill it with smiles.



Aladdin Afternoon Tea| Treats in the Genie’s Cave!

Salaam and good evening to you, worthy friend!

Welcome to Agrabah London, city of mystery, of enchantment and the finest merchandise this side of the River Jordan Thames, on sale today, come on down!

Ahh London, you weird, beautiful, old city you. Around every cornerthere is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be discovered. This particular diamond is a very disneyfied afternoon tea. Hidden beneath the depths of the beautifully modern and insta-worthy cafe Cutter & Squidge, is a cave of wonders. At first glance it is a clean and cosy hive of cake and sweet treats, including their specialty Biskies, which are like little, sweet sandwiches. They look a bit like smores or macaroons from afar but, up close, they are more like two cookies/biscuits, maybe even cake, with a sweet filling.

Everything seems just as it should be. A popular bakery in Soho, not too far off of the beaten track, however this is no ordinary lamp bakery! It once changed the course of a young boy’s life girl’s afternoon. For in the corner are a concealed set of stairs, which may not look much on first appearance. Yet, as you venture down them, the gold dust meets magnolia half way up the walls, the purple floor seeps in, the stalagmites begin to drop down from the ceiling, as the tiles give way to rocky crevices. Before you sits crates of gold and jewels and a familiar looking, little lamp, guiding your way to the entrance of the Genie’s cave.

My gawd it is an Aladdin lovers dream. I was just so excited I could have puked on their finely furnished, golden tables, or their cute Abu-esque tea light holders, whichever was closest. This was all part of my birthday surprise, the first part of which was a cupcake crawl (you can read the post about that >>here<<.) As a kid, I loved Aladdin and as a sort-of adult, I still love Aladdin (exhibit A. the parade at Disneyland, where I was so overcome by Prince Ali’s presence, I was screaming at him and waving maniacally from the sideline, whilst getting stink eye from some child next to me and a bemused grin and wave back from the man himself. I call it a success story in the history of Kate). I wasn’t completed enamoured with Jasmine, but her pet tiger was bomb. Nah, the best characters were of course Aladdin and the Genie (😢 💙), well in my humble, four year old opinion. So this place, this place was magic.

You begin with a tea list, of which I picked one of the Genie’s teas, a fragrant pineapple green tea. As the expert tea avoider (I know, an English chick who doesn’t like tea. Who knew?!) I picked the most fruity concoction on the list. Each was refillable and served in Arabian styled, individual gold teapots. Then comes the “Genie’s Welcome.” A beautiful dish, with a plethora of fresh scents and smells from raspberry and mint to pomegranate, all topped with Persian candy floss and a meringue lid.

Then arrives the food, fit for a Prince, or Princess… or magical Jinn, whomever you may be. A golden cake stand, adorned not with your traditional offerings, but goodies with an Arabian twist. Each stand serves two. Your savoury plates consist of a small platter of sandwiches; coronation chicken, cucumber & mint and cheese & homemade tomato jam. The second plate has a mixture of different things, from golden cheddar bites with chutney and sour cream dips, rose tarts hiding a selection of roasted vegetables and savoury tarts with peppers and feta cheese.

The second layer is where the sweetness begins. Magic Carpet biscuits, peanut butter and jelly biskies and tiny tarts with a raspberry & rose filling. Moving up a layer, it is adorned with pearls and jewels… well, jelly jewels that top a tower of vanilla sponge with a strawberry filling and orange glaze, and tangy chocolate pearls, encased in a chocolate biskie (with actual gold on it!) Then, at the end of the meal we were presented with our own little pouch of gold (chocolate gold, of course) to take home as a trinket from the Genie’s cave.

I would 100% recommend this for anyone who loves cake, new experiences, Disney and especially Aladdin. The atmosphere is magic, the food is wonderful (although not for those who are a little picky, as the food is most definitely an experience in itself and not what you would expect from a traditional “afternoon tea”… no fruits scones and Tiptree jam here), the staff are super friendly and helpful and it is definitely an experience not to be missed! I have included a link to the website >> here <<  if anyone fancies it! (p.s this isn’t a spon, I literally just loved it and wanted to share!)

Have a magical day everyone!

Cupcake Crawl Through London!

My pals know me all too well. I’m not a big drinker but I am big on the baked goods, so, as a birthday surprise, my friends planned a Cupcake crawl through a few of the most fabulous bakeries and confectioners in London.

Not only that, but each stop they planned had relevance to me as well as added time to have a wander and explore the area. This isn’t sponsored btw, I just love cake… and chocolate… and biscuits… and my friends… and this incredible birthday surprise! I’ve linked all the websites for the places we visited too, just in case anything tickles your fancy!


Now, just to explain, usually a pub crawl has several stops, and our cupcake crawl had several stops too. Unfortunately, due to my ill health on the day (I could barely walk and was dosed up to my eyeballs on pain killers, but I’m a stubborn little witch and was determined to a) go on this surprise day out and b) bloody well enjoy it), we whittled them down to the “big three.”

Honestly, get pals that can do both: plan a super elaborate day out fit for a GBBO winner (and in case anyone cares, I’m loving the new series and Noel Fielding is an absolute gem 👌) and change it over night to a super chilled day out without a seam on show or a timing out of place.


Our first stop: The Biscuiteers.

The Biscuiteers is a bakery, specialising in hand iced biscuits, from standard circle biscuits to illusion biscuits and biscuits that look like Beatrix Potter characters to biscuits for dogs.


Based in Notting Hill, the shop has it’s own little cafe inside, as well as an icing workshop, and sells not only a plethora of hand crafted biscuits, but also other sweet treats and baking supplies. Honestly it’s beautiful! It’s safe to say we all spent a pretty penny in here, with the individual biscuits we bought coming in at £3.50 each, the smaller biscuit boxes with four or five biscuits in were about £20.00 each (or the ones we chose) and the large biscuit boxes were around £45.00 each (or at least the ones we showed an interest in… but slapped each other’s hands away from as the day was young… and so are we. Young and relatively skint. Too skint for expensive biscuits anyway.) I am massively into baking, with my favourite part of the process being the decorating. Call me an arty farty pants if you will, so the intricacy of all the icing just amazed me.



Second stop: The Hummingbird Bakery.


Hummingbird Bakery is an American style bakery with a massive array of layer cakes and cupcakes on London’s famous Portabello Road.


Oh my God! The cakes here were just drool worthy. I am big on odd and different flavours and I’m big on cupcakes, so this place was just…ugh. Of course, since it’s an American bakery, the portions are American too, meaning the cupcakes were huge! I mean, compared to what I would normally consider a cupcake, or fairy cake, in the UK, they were pretty big. I definitely got buttercream up my nose trying to bite into one of them! They did everything from Rainbow cake, to red velvet, to biscoff or black bottom cupcakes. I ended up limiting myself to two; a salted caramel one and a carrot cake one and it took all of my will power to do so. Trust me.



The third stop: Choccywoccydoodah.

You may have heard of this one, a shop dedicated to everything chocolate. What began in Brighton has grown to epic proportions, and after a successful TV show, they opened their flagship chocolate shop and cafe in Carnaby, London… yep, looping into the end that famous fashion hotspot, Carnaby Street.


I am a chocolate fiend. I am also obsessed with the TV show. I think my bank account thoroughly regretted that tip toe through the coco nibs.  I could have spent hours just gawking at the window displays, let alone through the dozens and dozens of different products on offer. From exquisite, hand crafted chocolate sculptures and luxurious, chocolate topped cakes to hot chocolate and chocolate covered brazil nuts, the place has everything you could wish for. Not to mention the smell… oh god the smell. It’s honestly addictive and the staff are super friendly there too! I ended up actually not buying anything for myself, but buying things for my family… all of which I sampled ALL. Naughty, I know. Plus, as a bonus, all your purchases are beautifully wrapped up and for an added £1, you can get a branded, re-useable tote bag. Umm, yes please! I’m a sucker for a tote.



So, there you have it.  A cupcake crawl, the most wonderful idea for someone who loves cake and treasure hunts, because honestly it was like a treasure hunt. There were no clues, but I had absolutely no idea where I was going. I was being led by my gal pals on this sugary adventure and had to try and spot where we were headed before we got there, which added a lot of fun to it too!

A wonderful idea if anyone is looking for something to do with a sugar loving pal.

Happy birthday to me!


Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

POOHCKCI am entirely cliché and basic to quote Disney films as inspirational messages, E.G. “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere.” – Belle. It’s true though. I don’t quote it to be relatable, I quote it because… well… same, girl. I want to be adventurous and independent. No really, I do. I want to travel and explore and have great stories and amazing memories. I tell myself that I should venture outside of my comfort zone. The rewards are worth it. My only problem is, I really struggle to do it alone. It’s not so much a fear, but a need of moral support. It’s kinda like Winnie the Pooh says: “being brave is easier when you’re not alone.”

For example, I’m not great with travelling long haul by me onesies, savvy? The other week I went to meet up with a friend I have not seen in around a year. It was a bit of a trek but was straight forward, I just had to tackle the train journey solo. I found a nice window seat, brought a portable battery so I could sit and play games on my phone to pass the time, the carriage wasn’t crowded, it wasn’t loud. Perf.

Once I got there, everything went to plan. We found each other and did that dramatic run and hug thing like at the beginning of Love Actually and went about our mini adventure. I was having the most wonderful, snort-laugh filled day until home time, when I had my first run in with rail replacement. I had been doing so well keeping my fears and anxieties under control but this, this sent me screeching backwards.

I had, what can only be described as, a panic attack on the train.

I was alone, doing something new, heading in a direction I wasn’t supposed to be heading in, to a place I had never been to with no idea what was going to happen when I got there. I rationalised with myself, told myself I was an adult and could handle this. That it’ll turn out all right in the end, you’ll see. There would be people around in the same position, people I could ask. I had money for a cab if all else failed… but no, nothing could curb the fear rising up inside me.

 After that it was back to square one confidence wise. I was so sure I would be fine and I felt like I had let myself down. I needed to get myself back in the right headspace, then I could start doing all the stuff I love again, like writing. Alas, after that I dived headfirst into a plethora of health problems, some that I’m not quite over yet. It’s difficult trying to act like nothing is wrong when in fact there are a few things quite wrong. Nothing life threatening, but wrong none the less. However, there was a beacon of light heading towards me, but that’s a story for another time.

For now, back to normality.



P.S. Well done if you spotted the 3 hidden Disney quotes in there (aside from the ones in speech marks)! If you didn’t, here’s a hint: Tangled☀️, Pirates of the Caribbean⚓️ and Beauty and the Beast🌹!

Being Spoon Fed by a Clown?!

Yes. Yes, the title of this post actually happened.

It’s another Disneyland storytime, so buckle yourselves in kids, but if you’re not into the Disney magic, don’t worry. This story isn’t about Disney magic. It’s about my own personal mortification. I try to avoid audience participation at all costs, but this time… it didn’t work. Here’s how it went down.


Bufflo Bills. It’s dinner and a show, cowboys and indians style. I was super excited. You get to sing at the saloon, are gifted a cowboy hat with a coloured band that indicates the team you are on, then off you go into the arena. You sit down at long, wooden benches with plates that look like mess tins and skillets, reminiscent of the cowboys cookouts of the John Ford era. Before you is a great cloth, an ode to the famous sights of the spaghetti westerns, such as Monument Valley and Ghost ranch.


Chowing down on chilli and corn bread, gunshots are fired and out gallop the cowboys on horse back, dressed to the nines, carrying the flags for each team. After performing an impressive dressage routine they set up camp, the stage coaches following on. There’s some lassoing, slap stick fighting and gun slinging before sheriff Mickey and friends make an appearance for a sing song.

After a main course of a true cowboy BBQ, the Indians arrive, dancing with fire, crowing and rounding up a heard of buffalo. The story continues, with appearances from Buffalo Bill himself and Annie Oakley, the sharpest shooter in the west, putting out candles with a gun shot whilst on horse back.


But where are the clowns you ask? Well they’re coming. Once dessert is served, apple crumble and ice cream, the teams get their mascots and you’re now part of the game… the mascots being a clown type, hype man, dressed in the colours of each “ranch”. Each team, or ranch, have two cowboys and two indians, who all compete in several events in order to score points. Lassoing, saving their partner by helping them onto a moving horse and delivering the post through an assault course, starting on foot, riding half way through and then back on foot. Whilst all this is happening, the clowns are running around in the stands generally crack jokes, being silly and interacting with you. My friend and I had the misfortune of laughing at the wrong joke… we were now the targets. He made it his mission to drag me down with him.


Let me tell you two facts that will make this tale either more horrifying or more entertaining. A) I suffer incredible feats of social awkwardness around new people, causing bouts of word vomit, sweaty palms and clamming up completely. I have been known to hide on occasion. B) I really, really don’t like clowns. I actively avoid them. Once there was a clown where I worked. He came within five feet of me and I ran away. They found me cowering behind a trolley of dirty crockery.

Now, at first, he was just coming up to me, cracking jokes, teasing, as these kind of characters do. He followed this by crawling along the floor behind my table and jumping up on me, screaming in my face. I nearly shat myself but ha-ha-ha very funny clown man. Then he stole my dessert and walked off with it. Alright, I can deal. I was kinda miffed because I was enjoying my vanilla ice cream shaped like a star. I tried playing along to ease how awkward I felt. He didn’t get it. He decided to spoon feed it to me, including aeroplane noises. He then proceeded to wipe my face with a sock. I’m guessing it probs wasn’t a clean sock. Not that it had been worn, but I work with costumes, I know that a sock tied onto his belt probably wasn’t changed out every show and I’m hoping guessing I wasn’t the first person he had done this too. Buffalo Bills is two shows a day, seven days a week jobby.


“Kill me now” was the precise thoughts running through my mind. You know there’s always that one person that gets picked on at events like this… that one person was now me. The people I was with were cry-laughing. Never, in three years of going to this dinner/show, had they ever had someone be picked on in their group. Why me too? WHY ME? WHY NOT MY FRIEND? She laughed too! I’m so awkward, I just didn’t know what to do or where to look. I know it was all in good fun, so I played along, but inside I wanted a black hole to open up and swallow me. God. Plus, if I wasn’t mortified enough, he gave me a little wink and a wave during the bows. Please, punch me in the face. Knock me out for a few hours so I can forget.


Well, at least it was a good laugh for everyone around me and it’s a story to tell. Nobody died, just a tiny piece of my soul.


Being a Mug in Disney.

Alright alright, so I wasn’t actually being a mug, I just felt like a mug.

 I mean, are we surprised that I get myself into these awkward situations? Aside from waving at Aladdin so over enthusiastically that he actually looked a little confused at first and screaming at a parade louder than the group of toddlers standing in front of me, I got a bit clammy and needed a nervous wee whenever I met a character.

Of course I wanted to meet the Goddamn characters. Of course I did! It’s not all about spinning tea cups and rollercoasters that flip upside down so fast they make you do a little sick in your mouth.


Out of the fair few character interactions we had whilst in the park, some were fab (Minnie & Mickey) and some were really odd (being spoon fed by a clown… long story.) However, my favourite by far was Peter Pan and Wendy… well, Peter Pan. I was in it for the flying, ginger. Peter does a meet and greet in Adventureland between 11am and 2pm every day. When we first stumbled upon it, the queue was about 40 minutes long. Safe to say I was given a stern look by my pals, that said, “mate, come on. No.” BUT, on our way back from exploring Davy Jones’ Locker and the rope bridges, the queue was only about 15 minutes. JACKPOT. So we queued.

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At first I was all like, “nah, I’m going up there on my own. Gonna have a chat, have a pic, I’m just gonna do this by myself.” As we got halfway through the queue, my attitude had turned to, “you’re coming up there with me right? I don’t want to go on my own.” By the time I was about three people away I had gone into nervous sweats and “you go first” mode. When we were up next I had gone completely silent and refused to speak. I don’t know why. It’s kinda like when I try to phone the pizza man (FYI I don’t, I get nervous.) It’s like the best friend who you call upon to comfort you and deliver some sort of magic into your life… whether that’s Neverland or a large margarita. Then you see them in real life and its like, ‘umm, hi. So kinda there in front of me and real. I have nothing to say to you.’


So up we went, me subtly shoving my elbow into my friend’s kidney to get her to lead the way, mainly so I could hide behind her. I had no idea what to say and that made me even more nervous. That was until half way through the encounter, that’s when I came down with a case of word vomit. I suddenly decided to announce, very loudly, about two inches from his face, that “today we fought a pirate!”

Why?! Why did I say that? I had no other conversation planned. So obviously when both Peter and Wendy jumped on that because my chat was totes in context and the weirdo at the back had finally spoken up, yeah, I had no answers. Nothing. Nada. None.


Luckily, they took pity and Wendy trotted off with my friend and I stood there with the Pan having a chat about how to defeat Captain Hook and he taught me how to snap like a crocodile to scare off the pirates… until he asked if I was also pirate because there was an “anchor on [my] shirt.”

Umm, soz. Did I just get accused of being the enemy? Of course, I stared at him with abject horror on my face. Only yesterday had I had my red feather in my hair and my thimble and acorn around my neck. A pirate?! That’s absurd! Then my friend straight up told him I was, most DEFINITELY, a pirate. Rude. Obviously, I became a “smelly pirate” and a was quizzed to see if I was truly a codfish. I played along, but was incredibly put out, as one can probably imagine. Being told you’re a pirate by Peter Pan, is up there with being told your baby is ugly 😑


Alls well that ends well though, as it was decided by NeverVote that I, “seem like a nice pirate” and was allowed to be on team Lost Boy anyway. It was, however, my friends husband that was dubbed the real smelly pirate… and he accepted that title graciously, and then trotted off to find Jack Sparrow… sorry… CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow.

It felt like we spent an age with them, far longer than the few in front of us, nothing was forced or out of character on their part and, props to them, they a) dealt with my incredible feats of awkwardness with ease and b) spent ages standing about in 30 degree heat, covered head to toe in multiple layers of velour and didn’t show any visible signs of heat exhaustion.



It’s a Blue and Silver Affair.

Honestly, right now, everything is Disney. Since it was my first holiday in five years, and I’m a sucker for glitter and fairytales, Disney was where I set my sights. I just wanted to revel in the magic and forget the real world exists, and when forgetting about the real world the best place to go is somewhere that does it darnedest to create it’s very own world. Where traces of outside misery stop at the front gates.

Disneyland Paris are so ready for this special occasion. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the entire place is draped in silver and blue and a whole lot of pixie dust.

25TINK1CKCOnce you’ve adventured through the main entrance, beneath the Disneyland Hotel, you are greeted by backdrops of blue sequins, sporting silver, line drawn faces of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Pluto, fluttering in the breeze. In the centre sits this magical screen, made to replicate the others around the park that adorn the signs and lampposts. As Tinkerbell flicks her wand, the 25 turns into a sparkling sketch of Aurora’s castle, the same as the one that sits centre stage at the Paris resort. 25DLPCKCStepping out onto Main Street, the anniversary bandstand greets you, another blue and silver “25” disc adorning the front of it and Tinkerbell perched on the very top.  In every flower bed, a whole array of succulents, coloured metallic blue and silver, draw out patterns of stars and swirls. It’s a little mesmerising actually. There are so, SO many. Not only do they line the flower beds and fill the gaps in between barriers and in corners, they also make a nice base for the new, anniversary statues of Mickey and friends. FLOWERSCKCAs you make your way through to the castle huge flower beds, with the succulents positioned in giant contrasting stars surround mirrored stands, on top of which sit brand new, blue and silver (with a few accents of course) statues of a few of Disney’s most famous creations. Each also had an element that lit up; Mickey is presenting Minnie with a glowing diamond, Donald is giving Daisy a shining necklace, Goofy is throwing a luminous frisbee for Pluto and Tinkerbell (who seems to be championing the celebrations) is flaunting wings alight with pixie dust. M&amp;MCASTLECKC

There is definitely a feeling of grandeur and celebration about the place, with blue swags, banners, bunting and stars coating every edge. New, special edition ears, pins and even princess dresses in the fabulous silver and blue. Even the deserts have 25th Anniversary wafers to go with them. There are certainly more things I could rant on and on about, but I think that will just have to wait for a future post otherwise this is definitely is in danger of turning into a full on essay, a magical essay, but an essay none the less!


A Mouse in Trousers 🌟

So, I went MIA. Yeah, I know, but I lost the knack, I didn’t know what to write. I was struggling, trying to get to grips with new things that left me a little confused. I was getting caught up in the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘buts’. The glass was always half empty at best. I had to summon all the self confidence, all the sass and all the guts I could and just jump in. I’m usually very cautious. It can make me seriously awkward and shy, I’m so scared I’ll be a disappointment or do something wrong, that, at times, I don’t try.

But, to paraphrase my favourite character to ever be created, to fly you need a happy thought and it’s easy if you try.

So, I went and found some happiness in what many call the happiest place on earth… or at least one of them.

Yes, I upped sticks and went to visit the mouse in trousers: Mickey. I hopped on the Eurostar and headed straight for Disneyland Paris and honestly, I really needed the time away. I was with one of my closest friends, no internet, limited phone signal, days in the sun, in the world of Disney, where the scary, adulting things couldn’t touch me.

I hadn’t been away for five years and hadn’t been able to properly relax and enjoy myself in that time. I didn’t realise just how important this trip would be for me or my mental health. I just needed a break, a break from everything and Disney gave me that respite I was so desperately craving. It sounds silly but some of the things we did on that holiday, just meeting characters or wandering around the castle grounds, meant a lot more to me than some may give credit for. I actually managed to let go and feel the magic, something I haven’t been able to do in a long time.  Now, I feel more refreshed, like I can restart and try my best again. Sometimes we all need a little break.

Guys, be prepared for an onslaught of castles, characters, accessories and magic… because this is all I can talk about right now!

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London Calling| Super Slides & Smashed Tea Cups.

Oh London, as much malice as you can carry, you’re a bloody little charmer.


We, we being me and my pals, had a fun day full of curiosity.

We stopped for lunch in a crammed Costa because they do cheese and Marmite toasties. They didn’t do cheese and Marmite toasties, they’d run out. Who even discovered the cheese and Marmite toastie? I mean, who had the brain wave to put those two things together and toast it? I can see the connections though. Y’know visualise the train of thought that lead to this strange sandwich. There’s weirder things in the world than cheese and Marmite I guess.

We started with a little bit of light edutainment. A little frolicking towards the end of Exhibition road, and for free may I add. Yes, we hit up the Science Museum. I used to be a boss at science. When I was about 12/13 years old, my school had me down at Ford Dunton building robots as part of a nationwide event, getting girls into engineering. There was only about ten of us from my school too. True story bro. I’ve still got the certificate.


Anyway, we had a little gander. I got swept up in all the different exhibits. Ones about the body, about transportation and medicine through the years. However, there was no time for such frivolity. No, no, we don’t have time to look at old cars and Edward Jenner’s yeast water. No, we were on a mission to get to the “good bit”.

What do we want? Interactive exhibits! When do we want them? As soon as we find them because the building is so big and no one can stand still long enough to read a map.

We found it eventually. We found the “Wonderlab”. However, this, this is not free – it was £8. Yet, with our handy 2for1 vouchers we picked up at the station and what with one of us being a student, we paid just over £4 each. Honestly, a travel tip when using most overground train lines in the UK is that they often a) offer a discount on train tickets when 3 or more of you are traveling together and b) tend to have 2for1 brochures with a load of vouchers in them that you can just pick up.


There was stuff. There were people doing stuff. There were people showing you how to do stuff. I was cornered by a person science-ing at me. I’m not very good at sudden social interaction. I wasn’t prepared for such an onslaught of cleverness. I kind of stood there like a potato and went “yeah”, “mhm”, “oh right”, “I dunno.” I did know. I knew most of it anyway, I just couldn’t get the words to travel from my brain to my mouth. Well done Kate, you absolute tit box. Then my pal wandered over and came out with all this delightful small talk and there I was, just derping next to her like the gherkins picked out of a Bigmac and left on the side waiting to be loved by a pickle enthusiast.

Highlights of this exhibit include: the ferrofluid, making paper aeroplanes, the photobooth the experimentation with shutter speed, a show about fire and blowing s**t up and the slides. I enjoyed the slides the most. I also enjoyed face planting the padded wall at the end of the polished, wooden slide. I felt like the most beautiful, little bowling ball. YAY SCIENCE!


Then it was time for din-dins and a show. Pizza happened and too much dough was consumed to be legal. I was then rolled to The Vaults like Violet Beauregarde to see, or more so participate in, Alice’s Adventures Underground. Yes, that old chestnut (check out my previous trip down the rabbit hole with Les Enfants Terrible >> here <<)

With a team of 10 and a new and improved experience ahead, off we all went, gallivanting around Wonderland as part of the resistance. Re living the old and revelling in the new. A a run in with a jam tart, a tea party with a mad tart and a tonne of smashed up china cups (we had to cover one of my friends eyes when we saw the scene. She has crockery attachment issues.)

Once we had all enjoyed our fun and games it was off into the bar for a very aesthetically in keeping kilner-esque jar full of water, as I was sweating garlic butter from the cheesy bites at dinner, and a boogey to the Labyrinth soundtrack. You heard me. Labyrinth. Yes, they played Magic Dance and my God was it the best song of the night. They were playing absolute bangers and we danced amongst the dodo birds and drag queens. It was all so fabulous and I didn’t want to leave!


Then I had to go home and didn’t have time for a wee. Luckily, Fenchurch street have free toilets. Free wees are the best wees.

Moral of the story: always read the map, don’t eat too many carbs before adventuring and if the opportunity for a free wee arises, take it.


Fantastic Beasts of the Forbidden Forest.


If you said Caput Draconis, we can be friends.


I did it again. I went back. I might as well have a direct debit and reserved parking at the damn place. Ugh, just take my money. What can I say, once a die hard Potterhead, always a die hard Potterhead.

Yes, I went back to the Warner Bros Studio Tour London: the Making of Harry Potter. I had to, you see. They opened the Forbidden Forest exhibition AND they had some of the Fantastic Beasts bits there too and I just had to fangirl, ok?! I’m not even the tiniest bit embarrassed or apologetic for my actions.

What was that? Visiting four times is starting to get a little excessive? You think it’s a bit sad? Well says you good sir, SAYS YOU. Muggles back off.


Now before we follow the spiders, please be aware that ahead lies SPOILERS for the studio tour. So if you’re planning on heading there any time soon, AVERT YOUR EYES! Unless you don’t care. Then read on my fellow magical folk.

For anyone who hasn’t been, the Harry Potter Studio Tour resides at Leavesden film studios in Watford, a working film studio where the Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts were filmed. Yep, if your maths is pretty good, you’ll realise that they were filming Fantastic Beasts as thousands of magical folk like me were wandering the cobbles of Diagon Alley, in the same place!

The tour is mainly comprised of three areas, or “lots” (I guess could also be described as retired studios/filming spaces.) The first ‘lot’ houses the majority of the sets including The Hogwarts Express, the Gryffindor Common Room, the Malfoy’s dining room and the Great Hall, amongst other things. The second ‘lot’ or the ‘Backlot’, which comes with it’s own cafe and Butterbeer stand, houses a few of the exterior sets and set pieces, such as Hagrid’s Motorbike and Number 4 Privet Drive. The final ‘lot’ showcases the props and special effects, focusing on the art and design work. Don’t worry, if you have been before, most of the pieces you know and love are still there and centre stage (the last room 😍.)


The forbidden forest exhibit comes just before platform 9 3/4 and seems to take up a chunk of what was the green screen experience, which has also changed (goodbye Ford Anglia, hello wanted posters.) In this change up they have also added a few more interactive pieces in the first and last lot, such as the chance to control you’re broom like our favourite first years do in their first flying lesson and the opportunity to operate Dobby and see the stages of motion capture animation.


Back to business; the Forbidden Forest. It’s short but sweet and they pack a lot of punch into a little bit of space and time. It’s an interactive experience for the most part, where you find yourself plunged into the surroundings of the creepy woods that line the edges of the castle. You might meet a few friendly creatures, be sure to keep an eye on the Hippogriff, and a few not so friendly ones. However, if you’re afraid of spiders, don’t follow the path into the woods (there is the option to skip the exhibit, don’t worry) or at least keep your eyes to the floor!

Honestly, if you’re a HP fan and able to go, take the Potterhead pilgrimage. It’s so worth it. Even if you’re just interested in any aspect of film making, they cover it all. Stunts, special effects, editing, set building, costume, make up, art and design, lighting, screenwriting, directing, adaptations, and so much more. I have an MUA friend who went, having never seen the films or read the books. She walked out with a box set of both. It is absolutely magical and so well done, there’s something packed into every corner and there’s no time limit. Once you’re past the first part, it’s entirely up to you how long you spend wandering through the halls of Hogwarts.

If you fancy a gander at a few more photos from the tour, the link to my last, incredibly picture heavy (because I was so overexcited) post is linked >>here<<. If you want to have a sneaky peek at the Christmas exhibit ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’, you can check out that post >>here<<.

Have a magical day!