A few months ago I blogged about the upcoming WB Studio Tour London - The Making Of Harry Potter, and we wrote about it in last month's magazine as well. You may remember that in both cases we discussed that this will not be an immersive experience like Florida's Wizarding World Of Harry Potter; this is more about the process of making the films. As a result, there won't be actors in costume hanging about and there won't be butterbeer on sale. But that was then. This week we got a slightly sheepish call to inform us that someone had changed their mind: there would be butterbeer after all. And would we like to go up and try some?
As you know, my devotion to you, the readers, knows no bounds, so I hopped on a train to Watford Junction and toddled over to Leavesden Studios to try it out. I wasn't quite sure what state the Tour would be in: last time we saw it, a little over a month ago, technicians were still adjusting the sets and many of the exhibits were still in boxes. Now, aside from a few missing items in the shop, it's up and running, with friends and family of the studio already visiting to try it all out.
I'm going to write more about the content of the Tour a little closer to its opening, but here's a quick word or two on butterbeer itself. You still won't find it in the (rather nice) cafe by the entrance; it's sold about halfway through the Tour at a special spot next to the Knight Bus. I'm told that the flavour is designed to be "butterscotch meets English shortbread" which is probably fair enough. It's rather cream soda-y, too, for my money, but there's definitely a buttery tinge as it foams up over a couple of minutes after it's poured. My guest for the day, Kat Brown (formerly of this parish) managed to down her entire tankard in a few gulps; I admitted defeat with half a glass still to go. Whichever way you look at it, it's now clear to me that wizarding dentists must be pretty gifted. But when it's tasty, who cares?
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as fictional food goes. While there have been attempts to bring to life lots of other Harry Potter sweets and a few Willy Wonka confections, our ability to create the sweets we imagine remains limited. I'm still waiting for the day that someone figures out how to make me a butter pie, a Diana Wynne Jones creation from A Tale Of Time City (cold on the outside, hot and melty and butterscotchy on the inside). And while James has had a bottle of Romulan ale on his desk for a while now, it doesn't have quite the advertised effects of the real thing.
So there you have it: butterbeer exists, and it's coming over here, but what other imaginary foodstuff are you holding out for?
Dalekbuster523 Posted on Friday March 9, 2012, 17:07
Why does this tour have to be in London? I wish it was happening closer to Scarborough,because then I'd be able to go. Jealous at anyone who gets there and drinks Butterbeer. I'd love to go,but London's too far away. DAMN YOU,WHOEVER DECIDED TO DO IT IN LONDON!
matthewb98 Posted on Friday March 9, 2012, 18:26
Sorry to hear that Dalekbuster523. I live near Watford (being picky its in Herts, just north of London) so the family count ourselves lucky that we're close by. I think they picked Leavesden studios because thats where they made the films.
mrs_rupert_grint Posted on Tuesday March 13, 2012, 11:19
Well why on earth would they put it near Scarborough?! I can give you 100 reasons why it's in London! But mainly: That's where they were filmed!! so it would be quite ridiculous to move all the sets!! Have you never been to London?! It's not the other side of the world! If you were a true fan you would find the time and money, I raided my savings to go to The Wizarding World in Florida, and that was over a grand, Leavesden studios would cost you £150 tops. Rant over about your dumb comment.
mrs_rupert_grint Posted on Tuesday March 13, 2012, 11:21
I really hope they sell the frozen butter beer too. I don't care how cold it is. mmmm
brent33 Posted on Thursday March 29, 2012, 14:58
I've been desperate to try Butterbeer since, roughly, 2001. Can't wait. However, I'm trying to be cautiously excited, as I was once just as desperate to try the Casper The Friendly Ghost ice lolly with a gooey blue centre. Disgusting.
beccy1606 Posted on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 15:32
Fictional food I'm waiting for include the 'limestone pie and hot melted silver' from Return To Oz (poisonous and disgusting in reality, but looked amazing in the movie lol!), pretty much everything in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but especially the cup shaped flowers that you drink and then eat the cup lol (would have also said the giant gummy bears, but you can actually get those, yay!) and the imaginary banquet in Hook!
I tried the butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, very sickly sweet but I loved it! I'd describe it as butterscotch flavoured fizzy pop, and they put cream on top to give it the froth, so it sounds slightly different to the one in London that I will be trying when I go on the tour in June :-D