Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday

July 31st

July 31st marks the birthday of the fictional character Harry Potter. Along with events that take place in the movie on this date, it also happens to be the birthday of author J. K. Rowling.

Four ways to party in Potter style:

The Making of Harry Potter
Opened in 2012, Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden located 20 miles outside of London is a behind the scenes permanent exhibit complete with authentic costumes, sets and props.  A shuttle bus runs between Watford Junction station and the Studio Tour.
From £49.95
www.wbstudiotour.co.uk ✆ +44 2034 277777
Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR

Platform 9-3/4 Located at Kings Cross Station as featured in the movie, the site also features the first Harry Potter Shop in the world.  Take a photo with Hogwarts scarf or purchase a professional one they take.
www.kingscross.co.uk/harry-potters-platform-9-34 ✆ +44 2078 331137
Kings Cross Station, London N1 9AP

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildWhile North American productions have been reduced to a single play, London will maintain the original two-part format of the most awarded play in history.
From £15 / part
www.uk.harrypottertheplay.com ✆ +44 3303 334410
Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5AY
Tip : Friday Forty  Every Friday 40 tickets are released for every performance the following week for £40 (£20 per part).  The TodayTix lottery closes at 1 pm on Friday and winners are notified by 5 pm. www.todaytix.com

Inamo - SohoTo create a bit of your own magic, book a 5 pm afternoon tea at Inamo - Soho (a 7 min walk from the theatre) between the two parts.  Considered London's only interactive restaurant guests control their dining experience, the digital projections on your table surface can be changed with a swipe of a finger, including selecting a tablecloth, ordering, watching the chefs and playing retro games.
From £22.95 / person
www.inamo-restaurant.com/promos/afternoontea+44 2078 517051
134-136 Wardour St, London W1F 8ZP

Garden, Glamour & Buckingham

Day out for £35

Chelsea and Belgravia are among the most exclusive neighborhoods in London. Itinerary for an affordable day out, including afternoon tea close to Buckingham Palace:

11 am — Chelsea
Chelsea Physic Garden — Originally established in 1673 to grow plants as medicine, this garden is one of the oldest in Britain. Its rock garden is the oldest in Europe and also boasts one of the largest fruiting olive trees in Britain. It was open to the general public for the first time in 1983.
Tickets start at £12, students and under 15’s £10

www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk ✆ +44 2073 52564
66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS

Walk to Saatchi Gallery (13 minutes)

12:30 pm — Belgravia
Saatchi Gallery — This year marks Tiffany’s 150th anniversary in London. The new Tiffany & Co. exhibition ‘Vision & Virtuosity’ covers 185 years of craftsmanship, heritage and innovation and features 400 objects. The rooms include their famous window displays, an opportunity to try on a classic Tiffany ring, pose with a cab on NY’s 5th Avenue and sit in a signature Tiffany blue box.
Complimentary tickets can be reserved through the Tiffany & Co. App until August 19th

www.saatchigallery.com+44 2078 113070
Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London SW34RY
Walk to The English Rose Café & Tea Shop (19 minutes)

3:30 pm — Buckingham
The English Rose Café & Tea Shop — This independent family run café on Lower Grosvenor Place and Trip Advisor Hall of Fame honoree serves Afternoon Tea for 2 £38 (£19 for each additional person). The tea consists of finger sandwiches, cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam, and a pot of tea.
Afternoon Tea for 2 £38

www.theenglishrosecafe.co.uk+44 2079 766280
4 Lower Grosvenor Place, London SW1W 0EJ

Who says a posh has to come at a high price?

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Kids go free in August

Tickets on sale June 14th

Kids Week promotion returns where kids 17 and under go free to shows in August with a full price paid adult ticket (plus half-price tickets for two additional children). There are 45+ musicals, plays, comedies and children's shows, including:

  • Come from Away
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Frozen
  • Jersey Boys
  • Kinky Boots
  • The Lion King
  • The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Les Misérables
  • Matilda
  • The Mousetrap
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • The Play That Goes Wrong
  • Six
  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea
  • Wicked

  • For the best selection, pre-pick your show dates and be online Tuesday, June 14th at 10 am when the tickets are released.

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    Surrey Artists Open Studios

    For over 20 years, Surrey artists open their studios for 16 days in June as part of Surrey Artists Open Studios (SAOS). This year there are over 270 artists in 170 studios participating. Some of the unique taster workshops, include:

    Make your own mini mushroom

    (June 11, 12, 17-19, 24-26) — FREE
    www.theottershawpotter.wixsite.com/ioanna +44 7709 949819
    The Ottershaw Potter, 21a Brox Road, Ottershaw KT16HG

    Make a mosaic pot stand or wall hanging

    (June 11, 16, 1:30 am – 12:30 pm) — £30
    www.heartandhomestudios.com +44 7947 011822
    Reigate Heath, Reigate RH2 8AB
    Heat press a wine cooler

    Soapstone Miniatures

    (June 17, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm) — FREE
    www.artmatters-richmondfellowship.org.uk +44 1737 766212
    Art Matters Earlswood Road, Redhill RH16HE

    Photos: SAOS — www.surreyopenstudios.org.uk

    It is never too late to unleash your inner artist!

    Limited Edition Jubilee-Inspired Treats

    Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with keepsakes and consumables for every taste (and budget):

    • PG Tips — Inspired by Her Majesty's beloved dogs, PG Tips has released packs of its 240 pyramid tea bags in boxes covered Corgis. £3.99
    • Cadbury — Cadbury has released a version of its Dairy Milk Bar in specially designed Platinum Jubilee packaging. £4.23
    • Walkers — Walkers Platinum Jubilee Shortbread Tin featuring images of the Queen Elizabeth on the outside includes Union Jack shortbread inside. £12
    • Krispe Kreme — Krispy Kreme’s Platinum Jubilee Dozen includes three of four different doughnuts (Celebration Crown, Jubilee Joy, Platinum Sprinkles, Original Glazed) until June 5. £15.95 (double the fun with a second box for £8.95)
    • Dunoon — Unlike most English tea cups, the Dunoon’s Platinum Jubilee Skye Shape Mug  doesn’t need refilling for a cuppa of tea (or coffee). £29.56
    • Snowdina — The Platinum Jubilee Celebration Hamper includes three of their best cheddars, a fig and apple chutney a box of biscuits and crackers along with a full-sized bottle of champagne. £70
    • Daylesford — Daylesford’s Jubilee Picnic Hamper 12 savory and sweet treats are packed in a practical soft-sided cooler that can be used time and time again. £90
    • Liberty — The Windsor Ribbon Jubilee Suitcase Hamper is filled with biscuits, cake, tea and a commemorative mug all packaged in a classic Liberty Windsor Ribbon print keepsake suitcase. £110
    • Fortnum & Mason — The Jubilee Tea Party Hamper comes complete with favorite and new creations of preserves, biscuits, teas and even a tea towel. £150
      TIP : Always pick a hamper (the price of a Fortnum’s hamper is always less than purchasing the items individually)

    Get them while you can!

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    Teas fit for a Queen

    Celebrate 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign with a Platinum Jubilee Tea

    . . . For the fashionable
    The Berkeley : Prêt-à-Portea Platinum Jubilee Edition  Their traditional Prêt-à-Portea will feature three additional creations, the Queen’s summer hat, a favorite Launer London handbag made from a cake and a crown iced biscuit.
    Starts at £79 per person; Until June 12

    www.the-berkeley.co.uk+44 2071 078866
    Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL

    . . . For the traditional
    Fortnum & Mason : Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea  Afternoon tea in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon includes a swan shaped pastry (since Queen Elizabeth II is owner of all the swans in England), eggs Drumkilbo (a favorite dish of the late Queen Mother) and a crown jewel-inspired mousse.
    £70 per person, Until August 31

    www.fortnumandmason.com+44 2077 348040
    181 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1A 1ER

    . . . For the historian
    JW Marriott Grosvenor House : Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea — The limited edition pastries include a Valrhona Chocolate Biscuit Cake (the Queen’s tea cake favorite), Platinum Lemon Possett (a Buckingham Palace menu staple) and Great Room Ice Sphere that commemorates the Great Room at Grosvenor House where then Princess Elizabeth learned to to ice skate in 1933.
    £62.50 per person, Until August 31

    www.parkroom.co.uk+44 2074 996363
    86-90 Park Lane, London W1K 7TN

    . . . For the non-acrophobe
    Searcys at The Gherkin : Jubilee Afternoon Tea
    — The coronation chicken rillettes was originally created in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and fruity Dundee Cake (Scottish fruit cake made with sultanas, currants, fruit peels and almonds) – two of Queen’s favorites are served 39 floors up.
    £55 per person, until June 25
    TIP : Request a table on the left hand side for views of Tower Bridge
    www.searcysatthegherkin.co.uk+44 3301 070816
    30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP

    . . . For the kids (and kids at heart)
    The Biscuiteers : Jubilee Afternoon Tea (Multiple)  The Jubilee-themed (corgi and crown) signature hand-iced biscuits were designed in collaboration with Buckingham Palace.
    £45 per person

    So many teas — so little time!

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    London Loop

    One of the best things about London is just how walkable the city is. This loop begins and ends at Waterloo Station with food stops, free views and countless photo ops along the way. It takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes or 15,000 steps (if you are counting).

    1 — London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, SE1 7PB
    2 — Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
    3 — Southbank Skate Space, 337-338 Belvedere Road, SE1 8XT
    4 — Wahaca, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
    (Mexican street food)

    5 — National Theatre, Upper Ground, SE1 9PX
    6 — Gabriel's Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, SE1 9 (Food and shopping)

    7 — Sweet Spot, 62 Upper Ground, SE1 9EY (Fresh hot dinky donuts)
    8/9 — OXO Tower Restaurant, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH (9 - View from OXO Tower)
    10/11 — Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG (11 - View from Tate Modern)
    12 — Millennium Bridge, One Paul's Walk, EC4V 3QH

    13 — Shakespeare's Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT
    14/15 — Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL (15 - Furness Food Hut paella)
    16 — The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG
    17 — London Bridge, SE1 9BG
    18 — The Monument, Fish St Hill, EC3R 8AH

    19/20 — Sky Garden, 1, Sky Garden Walk, EC3M 8AF (20 - View from Sky Garden)
    21 — One New Change, New Change, EC4M 9AF (Rooftop view of St. Paul's Cathedral)
    22/23 — St. Paul's Cathedral, St. Paul's Churchyard, EC4M 8AD (23 - Front entrance of St. Paul's Cathedral)
    24 — Twinings, 216 Strand, Temple, WC2R 1AP (First tea room in London)

    25 — Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL
    26 — Covent Garden, London, 54 Neal Street, WC2H 9PA
    27/28 — The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
    29 — Westminster Bridge, SE1 7GL
    30 — The Graffiti Tunnel, Leake Street, SE1 7NN

    Meet you under the clock!

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