Our weekend in London was a while a go now (over 2 months ago to be more exact) but I still wanted to share it with you guys nevertheless. Over 18 months ago Anthony booked tickets for us to go and watch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre. I'm a massive Harry Potter fan in case you didn't know (fun fact: Anthony actually proposed in the Great Hall at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour!) and when the tickets came out Anthony spent 2 hours in the queue to book tickets for us. I wasn't in too much of a rush to see it so we decided to book it well in advance and make a weekend of it. We go to London quite a lot on day trips but had never stayed before and now was the perfect opportunity. Grab a cuppa cause this is gonna be a long one!
We got the train down on Friday morning, after rush hour and arrived early afternoon at Euston. Our hotel was the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel in Leicester Square and it was the perfect location for the weekend. We
had some time before we could check in so we grabbed a quick McDonalds and went for a wander around the shops in the square - we had our weekend bags with us so couldn't wander too far!
Our fist stop was the Lego store. I didn't realise this was in Leicester Square and did a little squeal of excitement when I saw it! The shop has several huge models made up that you can take pictures with of famous English landmarks and people. Big Ben was so huge I struggled to fit in a photo!
They sold all sorts of Lego in there and Anthony and I spent a particularly long time looking around the Lego Star Wars sets - I really want a Lego BB8 and Rey.
After the Lego Store we popped into the M&M store. I'm not a huge fan of M&Ms but Anthony is and the store is amazing. There's all sorts of merchandise you can imagine, along with every possible combination of M&Ms you could think of. There's also an M&M wall filled with every variation of M&M possible!
It was then time to check in to our hotel, so we had a quick freshen up and look around the room. We had a King Superior room (I think!) and the bed was the biggest bed I've ever seen. It was so big we had to put 3 pillows side by side across the top to stop our heads falling off when we rolled over. Everything was extremely clean and the bathroom had a double sink - bathroom goals!
We caught a movie on the Friday night and saw Fifty Shades Darker at the Odeon. We didn't know that the Odeon was an old theatre so we were pleasantly surprised when we were given the option to sit in the circle - of course we had to, as it's not everyday we get to do that! The film itself was really good. I'm not a huge fan of the first film but the second one got me hooked straight away and I'm so excited to see the third one now. In fact I may attempt to read the books again so I can find out what happens sooner.
After the film we got changed and walked across the square to TGI Fridays. We never go there as there isn't one near to where we live, so we took the opportunity and it was definitely the right decision. We ordered a couple of drinks and the food was lovely, as well as the service. The atmosphere was really lively and everyone was so friendly. That's one thing I love about London - everyone is really nice and welcoming.
(Excuse the awful quality of this but I wanted to include it!)
Saturday was THE day. The day I'd been waiting 18 months for, the day that seemed to take forever to come around and then was more amazing than I ever thought it could be. We had a lay in on the Saturday (in our king sized bed!) and got to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Part 1 the recommended 30 minutes before start time. The queue weaved itself around the theatre and the air buzzed with everone's excitement. While waiting we heard snippets of conversations all discussing what might happen and what people hoped was going to happen in the story. It only fuelled our excitement.
Once inside the theatre there was a merchandise stall, which I bought a keyring and magnet from - I collect them from all the places we've been. We made our way up the stairs (we were in the dress circle) marvelling at the architecture of the building and how it was the perfect setting for the play - it looks just like the inside of Hogwarts.
I won't say too much about the story itself, as I don't want to ruin it for anyone but it was wonderful! I can assure you that if you're a Harry Potter fan you won't be disappointed. The characters were really great and so believable that it was easy to slip back into that magical world. I loved the stories that each character had been given in the years after Hogwarts and they all intertwined wonderfully. It was nice to see how they had all developed and grown up, without losing their individuality. Ron is still the joker, Hermione smart and Harry brave, along with all their other traits of course. The best characters of all though, in my opinion, were the new characters. Harry's son Albus is just like him and Draco's son Scorpius surprisingly turned out to be my favourite character of the whole play - Anthony Boyle did a fantastic job!
The actual play was incredible. The sets were so well thought out with 'moving staircases', polyjuice potions and actual magic spells being cast. You could tell that everything had been perfectly produced with great attention to detail, to really capture your attention and make you believe that you're actually a part of the play. I'd definitely recommend sitting in the dress circle if you go as we had a great view of the stage and the surrounding activities.
There's a break in-between the two showings of around an hour and a half, so we headed for Pizza Express and grabbed some dinner while discussing the first part and what might happen in the second. There are so many different food options around the area, that you could easily find somewhere to eat before heading back for Part 2.
The theatre was smaller than I anticipated and created a wonderful atmosphere for the play. You could tell how excited everyone was and there was a feeling of unity that reminded me how great it is to be part of a fandom. I was mesmerised the whole way through, as was Anthony and we were left in awe when the final curtain dropped. We grabbed some fish and chips on the way back to the hotel and sat up late discussing the play. It was the most amazing day!
We had to check out of our lovely hotel on Sunday so after a rush to get ready after realising we had to be out an hour earlier than we originally thought, we checked out and left our bags with the hotel while we ventured out. We decided to take a stroll around Covent Garden and do a bit of shopping, as we've been to London a few times and have done most of the tourist spots. We wandered in and out of shops and although I didn't buy anything, Anthony picked up some shirts and a jumper from Element's sale. We did grab a snack from Lola's Cupcakes though, as we couldn't resist. We shared a Cookies & Cream cupcake, I had a Salted Caramel coffee and Anthony had a Cookies & Cream milkshake. The cupcake was probably the best I've ever tasted and the coffee was amazing.
After that we grabbed our bags from the hotel and made our way to the train station. I had such an awesome weekend, that I'll never forget. I love London so any time spent there is always great, but this was by far our best adventure yet. The play was amazing and I'd recommend everyone to go and see it whether you're a Harry Potter fan or not, as it's a really magical play. Thanks to Anthony for treating me to tickets and arranging the weekend for us - it really was amazing.
Have you seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? What did you think?
Labels: Lifestyle, Travel