London, England: Day 2

Hannah and I went on the WB London Harry Potter Tour with her family. I definitely had my reservations on the bus ride over but once we were there and saw how well it was put together I was immediately won over.

The Warner Brothers London Backlot Tour is in Leavesden London. The trip was fairly quick and very easy to access using public transit. The tickets however have to be bought in advance. Having been on several Backlot tours in the past I really didn’t expect much as I had never really been that impressed. This Backlot Tour however showcases a completely different level of craftsmanship. The attention to detail in all of the props, visual effects, and sets were just spectacular. It’s also really cool that they have the sets and props all lit up to be camera ready so that the movie magic is part of the experience. The Hogwarts castle model has to be my favorite part of the tour. Pictures don’t do it justice. You HAVE to see it to believe it. It’s totally mind blowing how much detail the model contains. The Diagon Alley set was probably my second favorite part of the tour. I really liked how on both the castle and alley segments the studio lighting was programmed to go from day to night to be able to see the range of detail put into both sets. I’ll just let the pictures say the rest. This is a MUST do attraction if you are a Harry Potter fan and you’re going to be in London. The trip does require at least a day to make it worth it.
We got dinner at a bar called All Bar One on the way back. There are a few of them in the London area. It’s definitely a nice casual place to catch a bite if you find yourself tired and hungry but still want a hip atmosphere. My favorite find was Pilsner Urquell, arguably one of the best pilsner beers in the world, on tap. While it was better than the version of the beer found in the US, I am going to make it my mission to taste the real deal, unpasteurized and unfiltered. Pilsner Urquell is offered this way in what they call “tankovna” (tank) pubs. The beer is taken from their cellars in the Plzen, put into tanker trucks, and driven to the location to be pumped into temperature controlled copper tanks built and maintained by the brewery. Luckily there are two tankovna pubs in London and one of them is relatively close. I will also try to find a tankovna pub in Munich while we are there.

Places: Leavesden, WB Backlot Tour, Marylebone, All Bar One Regent St.
Beer: Pilsner Urquell