A Visit to Harry Potter World Studio Tour Part I

We received tickets to Harry Potter World Studio Tour from one of G’s cousins as our wedding gift. I was thrilled as I read all seven books and watched every single movie that was adapted from the books. We had intended to visit during the holidays in December but alas, they were fully booked/sold out! I tried calling again in January and was told that all weekends until March were booked. However, while I was on the phone with the agent, someone else canceled and we were lucky enough to take their spot for the same weekend! Needless to say, if you plan on visiting, please book in advance!

The Harry Potter World Studio Tour is located in Watford Junction, just outside of London. We took a 20-minute train from Euston in London to Watford Junction for £10.20 per person. Once at the station, there were plenty of signs to guide us to the shuttle bus that runs from Watford Junction to Harry Potter World Studio Tour. It was £2 for a return ticket on the shuttle bus and it took about 15 minutes to get to the Harry Potter World Studio Tour from the train station. (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Mullany coach bus to Harry Potter World Studio TourThe shuttle bus that runs from Watford Junction to the Harry Potter World Studio Tour

Upon arrival, we were to redeem our tickets at the Ticket counter near the entrance. We were told to redeem our tickets no later than 30 minutes before the starting time of our tour.

Harry Potter World Studio TourEntrance to Harry Potter World Studio Tour

Once we redeemed our tickets, we went into the Studio and wandered around the gift shop since we have a bit of time. There was a lot of memorabilia from the movies sold in the gift shop ranging from jewelry, clothing, toys, books, to food.

Harry Potter World Studio Tour Gift Shop StoreFloating candles in the gift shop store Harry Potter World Studio TourCandies, sweets, chocolate at Harry Potter World Studio Tour

As expected, the gift shop was busy given it was a weekend and we just browsed the store without purchasing anything. We then left to get a quick bite at the cafeteria before the start of our tour. The food was decent and overpriced as most tourist places are. There was also a Starbucks on site inside the Studio. After our refreshing ourselves with some food, we stood in line for the start of our tour.

Professor McGonagall, Weasleys, Moody Mad EyeFlying Car Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Ford AngliaHarry Potter Closet Bedroom Studio TourCloset Staircase Harry Potter Bedroom Studio Tour

The tour then officially begins past a set of tours with a short film about Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Once the film ends, the screen is lifted to reveal the great doors to the Great Hall.

Doors to the Great Hall Harry Potter World Studio TourGreat Hall Harry Potter World Studio Tour

Once inside the Great Hall, one will find sets, costumes, and props lined along the walls with occasional screens of interviews with directors and producers.

Hufflepuff Great HallRavenclaw in the Great HallSlytherin in the Great HallGryffindor in Great HallRuben Hagrid Harry Potter Studio TourDumbledore in the Great HallSeverus Snape in the Great HallMinerva McGonagall in the Great HallMad Eye MoodyStart of term chocolate feastStart of term chocolate feast from Goblet of FireYule Ball Harry PotterYule Ball from Goblet of FireHair costumes Harry Potter WorldMake up and hairGryffindor Boys DormitoryGryffindor Boy’s DormitoryPortraits in HogwartsPortraits in Hogwarts that were painted after crew staff membersChamber of Secrets Snake DoorSnake door from Chamber of SecretsWizarding Money GoldGalleon (gold), sickle (silver) and knuts (bronze)Harry Potter letters The letters from Philosopher’s Stone

After going through all the elaborate and impressive sets in Studio J (the first of the two studios), I was eager to get some refreshments. Well, what else would be served other than Butterbeer at the refreshments corner?

Butterbeer Harry Potter Studio Tour

G and I both bought a small cup of Butterbeer for £2.95 each. I have been really eager to try it since I have heard good things about it. I wasn’t disappointed! It’s frothy, creamy and just delicious. If you like rootbeer floats, you’ll love Butterbeer. Sadly for G, he took a sip and disliked it, so I was left with two cups of Butterbeer to enjoy in all its glory! Woohoo! ;)

Butterbeer at Harry Potter World Studio TourCheers! (For details of outfit, click here)

There are more pictures to share but I’ll end the post here for now and will resume the second part in an upcoming post! Hope you enjoyed the pictures by far! :)

Fauxionable Outfit – Peter Pilotto for Target

I finally received my Peter Pilotto for Target wrap skirt when G picked it up from his cousin on his recent business trip to the US. I couldn’t wait to wear it and paired it with tights this past weekend. As I couldn’t try the item since it was sold out on Net-a-Porter, I was worried about poor quality and fit. (Read my review here.) Neither were of concern once I held the item in my hand, as the skirt is fairly well-made and lined. It also fit me well and the length was just nice. (Length is one of my main concern aside from quality!) I look forward to wearing it with many more outfits to come! :)

Peter Pilotto for Target Asymmetric Wrap Skirt, ZARA biker leather jacket, Ecco Saunter GTX bootsPeter Pilotto for Target Asymmetric Wrap Skirt, ZARA biker leather jacket, Joe Fresh silk shirtCeline Blade in Python, Michael Kors MK5384, Peter Pilotto for Target Asymmetric Wrap SkirtCeline Blade in Python, ZARA biker leather jacket, Peter Pilotto for Target Asymmetric Wrap SkirtZARA Biker Leather Jacket with Padded Shoulders, Peter Pilotto for Target Wrap Skirt, Hermes Micro Rivale, Michael Kors, MK5384, Cartier Trinity Ring, Chaumet Bee My Love rose gold bandEcco Saunter GTX Goretex Ankle Boots

 

Travel – Amsterdam, Netherlands Part III

I’m finally on the last installment of my trip to Amsterdam! (Read Part I and Part II.) On our last day, we started the day by heading to the Van Gogh Museum. I had previously gone one afternoon while G was at work but the long lines deterred me from entering. There are separate entrances for those who have a pass or have purchased a ticket in advance but even those lines barely moved. I stood in line for 10 minutes before deciding to come back on another day. So on our final day, we were at the Van Gogh Museum by 9.30am and we were in the museum in a jiffy. We bought G an advanced ticket and I redeemed my Tulip ticket for the entrance. (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

The line to Van Gogh MuseumPart of the long line on a weekday afternoon in Fall

I’ll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing when it comes to art and visiting the Van Gogh Museum was a good insight into the famous artist’s life and work. Unlike most talented individuals, Van Gogh was not a gifted artist. He studied and experimented a lot in order to create the level of art that he did. He’s truly inspirational to those of us who dream or aspire to pursue a different path in life. Perseverance and determination, anyone? Okay, I digress… Well, if you are hoping to spot the Starry Night in the museum, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. The famous painting is housed in MoMa in New York. That however, doesn’t make a visit to the Van Gogh Museum any less valuable and I highly recommend it to those visiting Amsterdam.

After the Van Gogh Museum, G and I took a canal cruise as friends of ours highly recommended that as a great way to tour Amsterdam. Without researching in advance, we purchased tickets at one of the many tour operators near Central Station. Our cruise was operated by the Lovers Company and we had bought tickets for a Museum Line Hop On-Hop Off tour without realizing it (the only choice for canal cruise was one hour or two)! Our two hour tour had one too many stops for people to alight and the tour was nothing but a recording as our captain/guide barely added anything. While I think it was a canal cruise is great suggestion, I would highly advise picking a different company or tour.

Lovers Company Canal CruiseBoat Houses along Amsterdam CanalAmstelhotel AmsterdamReplica of the VOC vessel NEMO Science MuseumThe EYE Film InstituteMovenpick hotel Muziekgebouw Music CentreCantilever Buildings in AmsterdamCruise Ship AmsterdamFrankBeekwilder

During our trip, we ate at two restaurants that I would highly recommend. One is an Italian restaurant that serves great pizzas. (G has a travel rule where he has to eat pizza in every country he visits!) The food was inexpensive (entrees ranged from €6- €20) and according to G the pizza connoisseur, it was quite good. The pesto pasta that I had was decent and filling.

Pizzeria Toscana B.V.
Haarlemmerstraat 130,
1013 EX Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 622 0353

The other restaurant that I recommend is one that we stumbled upon, a Malaysian restaurant. As a Malaysian, I can vouch for the authenticity of the curry laksa. It was quite good and talking about it now makes me hungry! G had General Tso’s chicken and he enjoyed it. (Granted, take this with a grain of salt as they likely may not obtain all the actual ingredients but it was still quite good.)

Nyonya Malaysia Express
Kloveniersburgwal 38,
1012 CW Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 422 2447

All in all, we had a great time in Amsterdam and I most definitely look forward to visiting again soon!

Feature Friday: Uniqlo and Ines de la Fresange Collaboration

Unlike H&M and Target collaborations, Uniqlo‘s are a little more low-key. That’s great because there wouldn’t be mad crowds and the unnecessary hype to go with it. From a business standpoint, one would rather generate the marketing frenzy for the collaboration. However, if the quality of the item ends up being mediocre or sub-par it’s equally bad business.

One of the latest collaborations by Uniqlo – with Ines de la Fresange – piqued my interest. The popular French/Parisian style favoring sartorial simplicity over the ostentatious is one that I adore. Ines de la Fresange, the author of Parisian Chic is often seen with her daughter in magazines or social media (e.g., Tumblr, Pinterest) as a style inspiration. Thus, I’m eager to check out the collection in person which will be available in select US stores come March 17 and UK stores on March 20.

Uniqlo and Ines de la Fressange collaboration

Ines has worked with Uniqlo to create 4 lines for the collection. The first, Petite Parisienne are garments in classic silhouettes with fun details while the second Bleu, Blanc Parisienne are basic garments in the popular red, white, and blue palette. Souffle Parisienne will be launched later in April and will consists of garments made from soft fabrics suitable for loungewear or working out. Last but not least, Note Parisienne completes the collection with garments in black. Little Black Dresses, anyone? ;)

Here are some of my favorite picks although some are already sold out online (in the UK)!

Uniqlo x Ines de la Fresange collaboration Cotton Lawn DressINDF Cotton Lawn Dress £39.90

Ines de la Fresange x Uniqlo Shirts Petite ParisienneIDLF Shirts ranging from £19.90 to £29.90

Ines de la Fresange Uniqlo Silk ScarfIDLF Silk Scarfs £9.90

Last but not least, I love the outfits that Ines paired for this video. Enjoy!

Happy Friday and have a good weekend!

Fauxionable Outfit – Almost Spring!

The weather has slowly been getting warmer and flowers are blooming, which means it’s almost Spring! I couldn’t resist wearing this tulip print dress that always reminds me of Spring, layered underneath a cashmere turtleneck. I wore this outfit a few weekends ago but the past few days I’ve only been wearing my trench coat and sans scarf. Spring weather is upon us!

Fauxionable Outfit - Almost Spring, Anthropologie Anna Sui Tulip Dress, Chanel 226 Reissue 2.55 in Anniversary Gray, Catherine Malandrino cashmere sweater

Catherine Malandrino Zips Cashmere Sweater, Anna Sui for Anthropologie Tulip Dress

Hermes Micro Rivale, Cartier Trinity Ring, Chaumet Bee My Love rose gold band

Is it almost Spring weather yet where you are? :)