Today’s blog post comes to you in two parts for a double whammy of pinup Hermione goodness. This post focuses on the trip I took to the WB Harry Potter Studio Tour in London with 3 of my nerdiest and loveliest pinup friends.
After meeting Kayla and Laura at The Pinup Picnic In The Park in June I fell in friend-love with them. Two wonderful, witty and sweet ladies, Sophie (my British Belles wifey) and I were both thrilled to discover the girls are big Potter fans just like we are. ‘Why don’t we do a Potter meet up then? We could go to the tour,’ it was suggested after we had all recovered from the Picnic. ‘OMG! Potter Pinups tour!’ was the response. It was almost immediately suggested that we go as pinup wizards. There was talk of representing all Hogwarts houses, or specific characters. In the end I opted for being Pinup Hermione, something I had been wanting to do for a year or so, and Soph, Kayla and Laura all chose to be vintagey Hogwarts students.
On the train up to London I couldn’t tell whether people were staring because they’d spotted my time turner and understood I was vaguely in character, or whether it as the usual that-girl-seems-to-be-from-a-whole-other-era stares. Once we got to the studio the states intensified–but that might be because Kayla and Laura were so excited they were spinning in their circle skirts and shrieking as we approached the entrance. We calmed it down a bit once we were indoors, but the staff immediately shared their appreciation of our outfits by handing us each a Potter Passport–a little booklet you get stamped as you walk round be studio, usually reserved for handing out to children. Clearly the Studio staff understood the calibre of the grown-women-children they were dealing with. Ha!
It was all a bit of a whirlwind of Sophie excitedly rushing off from exhibit to exhibit as I called her back to make sure she didn’t miss one she had rushed by. We trotted about making jokes about muggles, laughing probably too loudly, and being perhaps too enthusiastic about getting the stamps on our Passports.
For those who haven’t been to the tour–it’s kind of amazing. I’ve been before, so I had already experienced seeing the Gryffindor boys dormitory, the potions classroom, the Ministry of Magic, Dumbledore’s office, the Burrow, the box of Pettigrew’s spare chest wigs, Voldemort’s surprisingly green-grey costume robes…Almost all of the wonderful exhibits. Everything is incredibly detailed and beautiful, and you could easily spend hours and hours in there pouring over every detail. In fact, the record for longest stay, we were told, was 13 hours. Ri. donk.
A new addition to the exhibits I hadn’t seen before was the creepy scene of Charity Burbage floating over the Malfoy’s long dining table as Nagini slithered up the table and all the faceless dummies of the Death Eaters and Voldemort sat around below. ‘I don’t like this. No. Let’s move on’ I urged. Fuck you, Voldemort, you’re such a douchebag.
The other new addition was Platform 9 3/4 where not only could you take your picture running at the wall between the platforms, but also in front of the Hogwarts Express, which additionally you could board. Every compartment was set up to reflect the most famous scene from each movie, and there was a photo opportunity set of multiple compartments set opposite the train where you could also take a picture and watch the scenes change outside the train windows as the rolling countryside and escaping Chocolate Frog gave way to something more sinister…
The midway point in the tour is where you can buy food, and more importantly Butterbeer and, hold up, Butterbeer Ice cream. Y’all. That ice cream is something godly. As someone who isn’t that bothered by butterbeer itself–which tastes like a cross between cream soda and butterscotch–I didn’t expect to enjoy the ice cream much either. I was wrong. They need to stock that in local supermarkets for sure. It was amazing.
We probably scared several people–including the little Italian family that was almost always 5 steps behind us–exploring the outdoor lot with the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the Ford Anglia, Sirius’s flying motorbike, the Potter’s house and the Hogwarts bridge. By this point we had been stopped by several members of staff who wanted to tell us how much they loved our outfits, and it was goddamn adorable when we heard the staff member who had taken our picture on the bridge tell her staff friend ‘The two on the outside both held out their skirts when I took it! It looked so good.’ Sophie and Kayla did it automatically for that picture. Pinup synchronisation powers, what can I say?
The remainder of the tour consists of the magical creatures studio, Diagon Alley (shout out to the staff babe who spotted us for the second time and showered us with my compliments before having a little discussion about pinup style in general,) the architectural design of Hogwarts, and, finally, Hogwarts itself. Sophie said several times during the tour that she was getting goosebumps on her legs from all the feels, and I think the girls felt that again seeing the Hogwarts model.
If you can go to the tour and haven’t yet gone, go for it. And if you’re not sure if you want to go in costume because you worry you’ll feel silly, then don’t! Everyone loved seeing our little Hogwarts takes on our usual style and it made it extra fun to experience the tour.
It was a great day, finished off with Mexican food for dinner. It could only have been improved by us being able to stay out later together, but alas the train timetables got the final say there.
Soph, Kayla, Laura, I love you girls. I can’t wait to see you for Christmas. Until then, feel free to gaze upon the hundreds of pictures we took together and reminisce. For the rest of you, I’ve included just a few of those pictures in a gallery below.