—— 07.08.13 | travel ——

harrypottermania

Pottermania14 harrypottermaniaPottermania13 harrypottermaniaPottermania1 harrypottermaniaPottermania2 harrypottermaniaPottermania6 harrypottermaniaPottermania7 harrypottermaniaPottermania8 harrypottermaniaPottermania9 harrypottermaniaPottermania11 harrypottermaniaPottermania12 harrypottermaniaPottermania15 harrypottermaniaPottermania16 harrypottermaniaPottermania17 harrypottermaniaPottermania18 harrypottermaniapottermania5 harrypottermaniapottermania4 harrypottermaniaA lot of you seem to be Harry Potter fans and have been asking about a post about the Making of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour, so here it is :) Tom & I never planned to go on this tour but we had a free afternoon on the weekend and decided to take a joy trip out of London city to check it out. It looked quite far out on the map, however that’s nothing when you take into account how fast the tube is and how flawless the oyster (London’s Myki) card system is. The entire experience was like as if you had stepped into the Harry Potter world. It was so incredible to walk down Diagon Alley – Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Ollivanders and Gringotts Wizarding bank dotted the street and it was as if you were actually a part of the wizardry world. You also get the chance to step into Dumbeldore’s office, Professor Umbridges chillingly pink Ministry of Magic office, see the Potions room in action and so much more that you probably end up staying for a few hours like us! When you look at these sets, you can really see just how much time, effort and manpower went into translating a written description in a book into a real life art form covering every single detail from what colour the tiles are, how high the ceilings are, the little knicks and knacks on the shelves.. the set designers definitely had the most amazingly creative and imaginative brains. My favourite part of the self-guided walking tour was the last area where we saw the model of Hogwarts used in all the landscape panning shots. Everyone who walked into this room basically let out a huge gasp and then proceeded to stare at it for a good ten minutes. Whilst it was not exactly small model – it was much taller than you and I, it was so amazing to see such a large castle be scaled down to such a size with all the details so intricately etched into every surface of the model. When we stood there, it was as if we literally expected miniature owls to fly out from the top floors, someone to switch off a light or a dementor to suddenly fly across the skies. For those HP fans out there, the studio tour is definitely worth a visit :-)

—— 28.02.13 | travel ——

to london, with love

A post for all those photos that didn’t get their own post.. London has always been one of my favourite cities to visit. To me, it seems to be such a liveable place with endless places to shop, afternoon tea at every area in town and countless markets which you seem to stumble upon every time you turn a corner. London feels like a second home to me and I have gotten to know it so well that when I return, I instantly feel as if I could *almost* live like a local. Catching the tube is a breeze and as long as I don’t open my mouth I can almost pretend I’m a Londoner.. until that Australian accent escapes me when I try to order food. I want to share with you all to some of my favourite places to visit when in town & show you some of the quirks of the city. If stopping by Europe I would absolutely recommend taking a trip to London.

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Buckingham Palace and its surrounding gardens: To me, I find it so funny that you can walk down a busy street of cafes and suddenly there it stands, Buckingham Palace. It’s one of those places that you sort of feel obliged to visit just so I took Tom there to see the Changing of the Guards ceremony. He thought it was somewhat underwhelming as all you see is a marching band from a very distant view. However, the place itself is really quite something and the gardens with its bare branched trees is like a picture book sight.

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Natural History Museum London: On our way from the airport to hotel, our taxi driver pointed out the Natural History Museum for its beautiful architecture. There also happened to be a dinosaur exhibition inside at the time so we thought we would take a visit, given it wasn’t too far from our hotel. This museum was one of the prettiest buildings I saw in London and the glittering carousel bordered by overhanging trees made the entire scene somewhat romantic! The interiors were just as nice – the double staircase reminded me of the debutante ball scene in the early seasons of Gossip Girl!

PD1 26 to london, with lovePD1 28 to london, with lovePD1 29 to london, with loveThe cobblestone streets of Covent Garden: I just love the way London is. There seems to be a fresh feel to the old buildings which still stand til this very day. Whilst the upper storeys keep their brick outers, the ground levels are converted into brightly coloured shop fronts which just seem to add such a cute contrast to the overall look. Coupled with the cobblestone roads which lead you to all sorts of quirky little boutiques around Covent Garden, it makes for a very beautiful area of inner city London.

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The Undergound (or tube!): Not so much a location but rather a means to a location – the London Underground is quite possibly the fastest and most efficient transport system I’ve ever experienced. I can’t exactly vouch for the stale smell of it, however I can say that I’ve never waited for more than two minutes for a train (or tube!) in London. We took the tube pretty much everywhere we went – with its oyster card being so easy to use, it was all so simple to get around to wherever we wanted to see.

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Wearing: Bardot beanie, Sessun ‘Julie & Candy’ coat, Topshop green knit, ASOS leaf skirt, Leona Edmiston tights & Park Lane boots 

Tower Bridge: Such a pretty area with beautiful history and architecture. Last time I visited here it was raining so it was great to see the clouds hold off this time around. To see such old architecture still stands and exists in such perfect condition is quite crazy really! Coming from Melbourne where there aren’t so many old structures standing, it really does feel like you are walking into another kind of world!

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Food: There’s just so much of it! On our way to St Paul’s Cathedral, we accidentally got lost following the group crossing the road thinking they would lead us to St Paul’s Cathedral (we were pretty close to it). Instead, we ended up at Borough Markets where we saw the biggest pan of paella we had ever seen, had fresh oysters cracked open and served in front of us, taste tested all sorts of turkish delights, hams and cheeses, witnessed crazy meringue pyramid building skills and had for the first time, some sort of extremely strange but mouth-watering cheese which can only be eaten fried! Aside from that, street side stalls selling traditional English sweets, Bombay cafes and endless tubs of fruit salad were great pick-me-ups when on the go!

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Flowers: If you look closely, the city just seems to love little pots or rows of flowering plants. In front of pubs, restaurants, apartment buildings, on top of tall buildings (can’t find a photo of this but basically the rooftop of the building next to our hotel was filled with pot plants). I figure it’s because there aren’t really any front or back gardens in the city so those who want their plants just have to make do with whatever hook/balcony/ledge/footpath/rooftop they can find.

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 Out of all the places I’ve been in Europe, I think London is always going to be one of those cities I will go back to. But for now, I’m sending lots of love to my favourite place in the world!
—— 15.01.13 | outfit, travel ——

breakfast at bill’s

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Wearing: Tom’s koala beanie, vintage blouse, Lonely Hearts velvet pinafore & Sessun coat.

It’s funny how time flies. London was already a week ago and Tom and I have already landed in Paris (and are about to leave it for Switzerland very soon as well!). Between London and Paris, we were also going to spend half a day at Brussels trying out their waffles, chocolate and fries (apparently all very famous). However, on the morning we left London, we suddenly both felt really sick and ended up vomitting (well me, at least) our way to Paris, with none of the above on the menu! I thought I’d quickly play catch up with my London posts, then skip Paris so I can post from Lucerne in real time.

So there’s this beautiful and quirky brunch cafe in St Martins Place, London, that I thought I’d do a post on – since I took so many photos of it. Tom & I had both been craving a huge English breakfast since the day we got here. So it was a mighty moment when we finally decided to make it happen and did a quick Google search on nearby eateries that served bacon, eggs and more. We found Bill’s. And it was only a couple of streets from where we stayed, hidden in a little alleyway. The interior decor of the cafe really brought the place to life – with bottles and cans lining the walls, old mismatched furniture, chalkboards and tissue paper hanging from the ceiling. Tom & I both enjoyed the Bill’s breakfast special and we highly recommend you guys check it out :-)