Mischief Managed

A quick blog update at the end of a magical weekend. If you’ve not yet visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour, it’s an incredible day out.

We’re huge Harry Potter fans in Casa Burr. It may well be because, as someone on Twitter pointed out, as a family we look like we could be the Weasleys‘ long lost cousins. My wife Sarah and I were those people who used to queue up outside WH Smiths at midnight to get a copy each of the new Harry Potter book and then stay up all night reading them in one sitting. And all this time, we’ve lived twenty minutes away from the Making of Harry Potter experience at the Warner Bros Studio Tour and in the six years it’s been open, had never been.

It’s been lovely to share the enjoyment of the Harry Potter series with our kids. Our eldest daughter particularly is a huge fan, and last year we threw a pretty epic Hogwarts-themed birthday party for her. The blog I wrote here is full of ideas to throw your own. Sarah and I have both done the Sorting Hat quiz on the Pottermore website – I’m a Ravenclaw and Sarah’s a Slytherin. The kids aren’t old enough to do their Pottermore ones yet but we found other online quizzes for them and our eldest is a Hufflepuff and our middle daughter is a Gryffindor, so we have all the Hogwarts houses represented within our family. It’s a bit early to guess with our youngest, but her fearlessness might point towards Gryffindor too.

The visit to the Warner Bros Studio is genuinely one of the best days out I’ve ever had – better than Disneyland Paris or any UK theme park I’ve visited before. We can’t wait to go again, maybe in the lead-up to Christmas and perhaps without the kids so we get a chance to read every exhibit and take our time. The shop alone deserves a good hour of browsing. We went yesterday with another family of five, The Boyles, who we’ve been friends with a few years now. We met them on holiday when I was trying to get a poolside internet connection to watch the Bake Off so I could blog about the new series for the Radio Times. Thankfully as our kids are similar ages and hit it off, Andy entertained the children while his wife Louise got stuck into the Bake Off with Sarah and me. As a kid I always remembered my parents making friends with other families on holiday, many of who they’re still friends with over 30 years later. This weekend was one of those examples where even if your kids haven’t seen each other for a year, after five minutes it was like they were the best of friends.

I don’t want to give too much away about a day out at the studio tour as one of the best things for me was that not having read-up on it, I had no idea what to expect and was overwhelmed. But we all felt that it was worth every penny as a family day out – especially for the broomstick riding!

The snow has hit London again this weekend, which has put the kibosh on marathon training outside. Instead, I ran 25km on the gym treadmill this afternoon, which was tough going. It’s now only five weeks today until The Baker’s Dozen run the Virgin Money London Marathon and I really do need to start begging people for more sponsorship (link here). I’m running to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH), to put towards family facilities and research into childhood diseases. Our good friends have spent most of the past year at GOSH, while both their sons (aged four and two) have received chemotherapy treatment for different and unrelated cancers. In addition to running the London Marathon, Sarah bought me a new racing bike for my birthday (pictured above) as I also want to cycle the Ride London 100 mile race in July for GOSH. What our friends have been going through as a family is so often at the forefront of our minds and I really want to do whatever possible to raise money for such a worthwhile cause.

Anyway, it’s been a long old week and now I’ve had a taste of authentic Butterbeer at last, I’m going to spend the rest of the week trying to recreate it, as I’m sure it will make an excellent recovery drink for the next five weeks of marathon training. So until next week – good health and Happy Baking!




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