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Retro Love: Home Alone

Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York are two of my must-see films around Christmas time. In fact, Home Alone 2 was the first film I ever saw at the cinema, and quite possibly responsible for planting the initial seed in my head that New York is amazing. (Definitely encouraged on further by The Babysitters Club books and Stacey McGill.)

OK, so the plots when watching as an adult are absolutely ludicrous - Harry and Marv would have been dead in the first film with some of the things Kevin does to them - but I still love these films.


What are your must-see Christmas movies, and what was the first film you ever saw at the cinema? x

The Killers, Battle Born World Tour

This weekend I was lucky enough to see The Killers perform at The O2 on their Battle Born World Tour from the comfort of a corporate box. Sweet! Now, The Killers are one of my favourite bands EVER, and I saw them earlier this year as well at V Fest. I'm a BIG fan.


They didn't disappoint. Brandon Flowers had only sung four songs in Manchester earlier in the week before he had to stop because of a sore throat, but he recovered in time for the London shows and they were incredible.

The jam-packed crowd at The O2 thought so as well. Mr Brightside. Human. Smile Like You Mean It. Miss Atomic Bomb. Somebody Told Me. For Reason's Unknown (my absolute favourite). I could go on.


My only gripe is that they never play enough from Sam's Town, which is possibly my favourite album of theirs - it's pretty much neck and neck with Hot Fuss, anyway - which means we miss out on some belting songs of theirs. Still, I did like their nod to Oasis as they covered Don't Look Back in Anger - Oasis influenced Flowers to be in a rock band after he saw them play in Las Vegas, don't you know. 


A-mazing! They've just announced that they are playing Wembley next June, too - I'll have to go, won't I? Are you a fan of The Killers? x


Thank you to Olly for taking the photos! xxxx

Latest Loves: 11.11.12

MEATliquor celebrated its first birthday today - we went for the first time last week, probably because the horror stories of the queue has always dissuaded us in the past. (Twenty minutes for us, on a Monday evening at 7pm, if you want to know.) Now we're wondering what took us so long to visit, and I know we'll definitely be returning. Definitely not a place for a first date though as you're going to make a mess with the overloaded burgers and hotdogs. I had the epic Chili dog but make mine a Dirty chicken burger next time.

Intrigued by the trailer for the second season of Homeland when it started airing on Channel 4, I quickly caught up with season one and promptly fell in love with the series. Claire Danes is absolutely brilliant mental as Carrie and her relationship with Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Brit Damian Lewis) is gripping stuff.

Another TV series - it's the return of MasterChef: The Professionals. Such a treat to see Michel Roux Jr. cook beautiful food whilst others try to replicate it and impress him, even more so after eating at Le Gavroche earlier this year. When he puts his Epigrams De Sole back on the menu, we will be going - it looked AWESOME.

I'm currently working about a five minute walk from the King's Road, which means whereas I'm not having a cheap lunch - you try finding somewhere in Chelsea to have lunch for less than a fiver - I am getting to try out some pretty sweet places. Last week's find was Buona Sera at The Jam, a "treetop" type Italian restaurant which has beautiful flavours and a quirky set-up. With wooden booths on the ground, in-between them are little ladders leading up to booths stacked on top. I'm going to have to take Olly there!

What are your latest loves? x

The Making of Harry Potter, Part II

Once you've completed the first studio on the Harry Potter studio tour, you head outside to the back lot where you get to see Privet Drive, the Hogwarts' bridge, the Potters' cottage and the Knight Bus. You can also get yourself a Butterbeer out there, or a non-magical refreshment if you're feeling Muggle!

Priced at £2.95, Butterbeer is worth trying, though it's the cold version and not the piping hot version, à la The Three Broomsticks. It was grim and raining outside so a hot Butterbeer would have gone down a treat!

The next part of the tour is more behind-the-scenes, such as finding out how they put together all of the magical creatures:

You then enter, Diagon Alley. (Amazing!) This is not the Diagon Alley of the first book though; it's how it is towards the end of the series when Voldemort is back and the Death Eaters are in control. Eek!


Original artwork and building models come next, before the seriously impressive model of Hogwarts Castle. It took sixteen weeks to build, only six minutes to burn down!



Finally, through Ollivanders you go - the names on the wand boxes are of all the people who have been involved in the films over the years - and then you're into the (over-priced) gift shop. Tour done!

Regarding ticket types, we had various ones between us. I didn't get to see the souvenir guidebook which came with one ticket but my nephew promptly handed over to me his digital guide (costs £4.95) as he didn't want to use it (carry it). I had a little listen whilst the children were intently deliberating in the gift shop, and I don't think you need to get one.

Your best bet is to buy a regular ticket but remember that you do need a ticket before you go as you can't buy one when you get there!

Would you go on the Harry Potter studio tour or not? x

Harry Potter studio tour, Leavesden

Last week we headed just outside of London to Leavesden to celebrate my nephew's 7th birthday at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, aka the The Making of Harry Potter. Now, as some of you may know, I'm not so keen on the Harry Potter movies but I had a bit of a thing about the books and had an award-winning, and now very retro-looking, Harry Potter website.

I am definitely no stranger to the series so got to act as a bit of a tour guide to my family and Olly, answering all their Harry Potter questions. Despite not been a massive fan of the movies, it was still wonderful to go on the tour. I think as passive consumers of films none of us really realise just what goes into making a movie, especially movies nowadays with CGI, and what not. To get that insight, well, it's a real eye-opener.

One thing that I noticed, probably because I was with my seven year old nephew, four year old niece and three month old nephew - who all have short, child-like, boredom thresholds, funnily enough - was the wait to get into the actual tour.

We had a time slot of 14.30 and were told that we needed to get there twenty minutes before this slot. If we weren't, and we missed our slot, we might not be allowed in. The reality was we got there twenty minutes early but it took us about an hour to actually get started on the tour. Granted, it may have been half term, but it's worth bearing in mind if you're there with little people and need to plan some queue entertainment for them. 

In total, we were there about three hours, but you could definitely stay longer. We went at the children's pace, rather than our own - they just wanted to see exciting, magical things, rather than read about the ins and outs. There is a lot to take in and you even get a go at flying - both a Ford Anglia and broomstick - which is oh-so-cool.

Once you've finished the first studio, it's out to the back lot - I'll post more about that bit next time! x

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