[Slytherin Pride, London]
Heading back to London after everything that had happened since was a bit strange feeling, almost like coming home after a big change. Still, I loved it! The only part of the experience I wouldn’t recommend was the hotel.
[The home of at least one Boggart, Europa House Hotel, London, England]
Europa House is definitely far from the best place to stay in London; if any hotel is haunted, it’s this one. When we first went to find our room, we trudged up staircase after creaky staircase, sorting through mixed up numbers and hallways out of The Shining. The relief I felt when Amy and I opened the door to our room was short lived when I glanced in. The room might have been plush in the 1800’s, but its time has definitely passed. Dingy maroon carpets disguised dips and ridges of the creaking wooden floors; the worn velvet chair by the fireplace was permanently sat in by a quite large, heavy ghost in a top hat with a cane; the wardrobe was undoubtedly teeming with Boggarts; and worst of all, sprawling, Doctor Who-esque cracks tickled the expanse of faded cream paint along all of the walls.
Of course, the hotel didn’t stop me from enjoying my last few days in London.
One of the main attractions this time around was the Tower of London. Going in, I didn’t know what to expect, only having learned about its bloody history. I had envisioned a tall, spindly stone building with dried blood dripping down the sides, but that definitely wasn’t what I got. For a place that had been the home of so many atrocities, the Tower of London was beautiful, and the birds that occupied it even more so. The ravens were gigantic and gorgeous and they definitely knew it.
[The Holey-est wall, Tower of London, England]
[I swear he posed, Tower of London, England]
[Small moments of beauty outside the exhibit on torture, Tower of London, England]
[First looks of the Tower of London, England][Lions!!, Tower of London, England]
The next stop was House of MinaLima, home to the graphic designers of the Harry Potter film series. The building was small, but quirky in ways that I expected from any company involved in Harry Potter. Other than the first floor gift shop, the other floors featured framed posters and designs relating back to the films.
[We look like a mess, but we had fun!, Unknown, London, England]
After the House of MinaLima, it was time for all of my dreams to come true….
[A face of pure joy, Sam, London, England]
The three story Lush was even better than I could have ever imagined! I wish I would have taken more pictures, but it was one of those places that pictures can’t really reflect. Everywhere around me, there were people smiling and having fun trying out new products, some of which can’t be found anywhere else. I wanted to experience everything, but since we only had a short time to explore, I settled for the personalized guided tour given to us by a wonderful staff member. Much like my Lush birthday party, the employees at Lush are unbeatable when it comes to genuine friendliness and knowledge of the brand.
[Is this heaven?, Oxford Street Lush, London]
[The tea bag bubble bars seemed fitting, so I couldn’t resist, Oxford Street Lush, London]
[Yes, they even had plants!!!!, Oxford Street Lush, London]
While I desperately wanted the full flower crown experience that was being offered (for free!!!), we unfortunately had to leave for dinner before any appointments were available.
Dinner was exciting at Masala Zone, where I got to try Butter chicken for the first time. Let’s just say, I’m hooked! The blend of spices was unlike anything I had ever tried, and the chicken was perfectly tender and flavored. Even the Basmati rice was incredible!
[My mouth is still watering!, London]
After dinner, we went on a quest to find Gelato that took us through many parts of the city, including the Tube stations. All of it was worth it: The lavender-berry gelato was some of the best I’d ever had!
[*Drools*, London, England]
In the morning, we found it fit to have our farewell breakfast at, you guessed it, Patisserie Valerie! After a last hurrah of scones and clotted cream, it was time to say goodbye to the UK.
[Fruit tarts!!!, London, England]
[English tea really is better, London, England]
Unfortunately, London’s weather finally caught up with us, delaying our flight by over an hour while we were still on the plane. Luckily, I was able to occupy myself with Wonder Woman for much of the ride home, and it didn’t bother me much.
It was strange to be back in the land of cell phone service and I missed our adventures already, but I was glad to be home safe. That being said, this trip was amazing and I truly couldn’t wait to share the magic with all of you!