Tag Archives: london

Geek Girl Guide to London

I love reading travel blogs, dreaming about all the places I would love to visit. What I love even more is reading tips from locals about their area. My favourites are tips for Disneyworld by Floridians (one day I will go back). I am a Londoner, I was born here and still stay in the same area. For all the wrong reasons London has been in the news a lot lately. I want to start writing about all the great things in this city.

Geek Girl Guide

Geek Girl Guide to London
London is an amazing place to be a  geek girl! I thought I would put together some tips and tricks from a local for other geek girls visiting the city. Everyone knows about the historic buildings, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and more modern attractions like the London Eye or Shard. I love to explore the geekier attractions!

Dozens of television shows and movies are filmed in London, from Jason Bourne to James Bond, even the recent Wonder Woman film featured a few scenes in the city. It is easy to find these locations on your own. However, you can take an organised tour (both bus and walking) around some of these locations. A quick search online can show you all the options from specialist tours for fans of Harry Potter to places include in British Rom Coms.

London isn’t just about film locations, the city has many museums and exhibits with a geeky twist. Currently, there are also several temporary exhibitions perfect for a fangirl. The Star Wars Identities at the O2, a journey into Sci-Fi at the Barbican. and at the end of the summer, the British Library will showcase their Harry Potter collection of manuscripts and props.

Westminister

London also hosts several conventions. In May over the same weekend, two of the convention centres in London held cons. MCM London in the east and Heroes and Villains in the west of the city. Last summer, Star Wars Celebration was held in the city. Still, to come this year are London Film Convention and the Vampire Ball.

Escape Games (or Escape the Room scenarios) are all the rage at the moment, with locations popping up all over the world. Whilst these, in general, are fun for a geek girl, there are several in London that have added to the geekiness by adding a pop culture theme. Including one set in a wizarding school or another based around the disappearance of Sherlock Holmes.

Even going to the cinema in London can be an adventure. Secret Cinema has taken to film going to a new level. They recreating the fantasy world from the movie, resulting in an interactive experience rather than just watching a film. Or how about a movie marathon? The Prince Charles Cinema regularly has all-nighters including Marvel Phase One and Harry Potter marathons.

What is your favourite fangirl thing to do in London? Do you have a London themed Bucket List? What would you like me to write about in the Fangirl Guide series? Let me know in the comments below.

Recommended Reading

Geek Guide to London (Reddit Guide)
Upcoming Cons in the UK (League of the Non- Aligned)
Shaan Haider’s Top 10 London Attractions for Geeks

2 Comments

WB Studio Tour

Harry Potter Studio TourIn attempt to share more of the photos I have taken and edited recently. I thought I would share my photos from W.B. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. We went on the tour last November, before the opening of the Forbidden Forest section. As it was during the winter months, it was during the Hogwarts in Snow celebrations. Many of the sets were decorated for Christmas and the model of Hogwarts Castle covered in a layer of snow.

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Hogwarts in Snow
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Christmas Feast
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Gryffindor Common Room

On the day I took over 400 photographs! I have slowly been editing them over the last few months, and these are some of my favourites. As you can imagine this is a very post is very photo heavy. But as it’s Harry Potter I’m sure no one will mind.

Harry Potter Studio Tour
4 Privet Drive
Harry Potter Studio Tour
The Burrow
Harry Potter Studio Tour
I really wanted to “fix” the dropped stitches!

As you can image from the moment you arrive at the Warner Bros Studio Tour, you are entering a magical place. As we drove up to the car park, you can see the giant chess pieces from The Philosopher’s Stone. Even the queuing area featured “the cupboard under the stairs.”
Harry Potter Studio Tour

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Cupboard Under The Stairs
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Wands
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Diagon Alley
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Diagon Alley

Inside you get to see all the sets from all eight movies, from the Great Hall to Dumbledore’s office. The costumes, covered everything from Hogwarts uniforms, Harry’s invisibility cloak and Heminione’s dress from the Yule Ball. The creature workshop contained Dobby, Buckbeak and Aragog. The props around the tour included a set of quidditch balls, wands and even Sirius prisoner number.

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Hidden Staircase
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Dumbledore’s Office
Harry Potter Studio Tour
I never noticed the details on the invisibility cloak
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Yule Ball
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Quidditch Set
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Props
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Easter Feast

For me the highlight was definitely the Hogwarts Express. The train itself is impressive, with the carriage compartment each depicting a different journey to school. From Harry and Ron’s first meeting with a collection of chocolate frogs to the chilled windows when the dememtors attacked.

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Hogwarts Express
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Luna’s Seat

The entrance hall, also contained a magnificent Christmas treat and costumes from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. I hope they eventually add more props and costumes from this movie. I’d love to see a niffler or “Pickett.”

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Fantastic Beasts Costumes

Fangirls Guide to the Harry Potter Studio Tour

4 Comments

100cupsofcoffee 71-75

100 Cups of Coffee

100 Cups of Coffee
Confession time. I hate shopping in supermarkets. We do a big shop online and buy fresh ingredients locally.  Several times a year I have to go to the supermarket, one of those is the pre-Christmas food shop. One of the few joys when shopping is the free coffee from Waitrose (this time in a seasonal cup).

Coffee
I took a break from the #100 cups of coffee project, and had planned to start again in March. But seeing as coffee is one of my loves, it seemed ideal to start again on Valentine’s Day.

The Ivy
Jason and I were both busy over during Valentine’s week, so on the Friday had a belated Valentine’s meal. We started with pre-dinner cocktails at the The Ivy Market Grill. I plan on working my way though the best martini bars in London list this year. So I thought I would start with the Salted Caramel Espresso here.

Brunch
At the start of this year, I was constantly busy and as a result, not doing anything fun. Normally, I like to plan a catch up brunch with friends at least once a month. For the first brunch of the year, at the end of February we headed to an old favourite The Outsider Tart for one of their Munch & Brunch specials.

Hidden Figures
This year, many great films had cinematic released around the same time. It’s hard to find the time to actually get to the cinema to see them all. Whereas some films I will wait until they released on Netflix or Sky Movies. Others its important to see in the cinema. I try to support female filmmakers and those films with from female casts. So even, though it was weeks after it’s initial released. I wanted to see Hidden Figures, in the cinema to support this film.

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

Leave a comment

Ducks and a Skygarden

Duck
I’d like to say I’m a beginner photographer – but honestly I’m a trainee beginner photographer. I love taking photos, but do nothing with them. A few photos will get printed, some I will share on social media. But most of them just sit on my hard drive, or in the cloud. Since starting my photographer course, I have taken more photos, as the course also included some Photoshop units, I have even been editing the photos. However, they are still sitting on my hard drive taking up gigabytes. It struck me this blog is the ideal platform for me to show case some of the photos.

Duckling

Heron

Last month, I got a telephoto lens. In all the photographer blogs or books, they suggest using a telephoto lens when capturing wildlife or landscapes. Living in London, I knew I wouldn’t see any interesting wildlife. But figured I could head the my duck pond in a nearby park and take some photos on the ducklings. Unfortunately, the ducklings were in hiding, but I did see a heron.

The Skygarden
The Skygarden

As for capturing landscapes, Jason suggested we had another visit to the Skygarden. The Skygarden is a public space with a café and restaurant on the  top of the Walkie Talkie building in the London. Being the heart of the financial district in London, the building offers excellent views of the River Thames, Docklands to the east and Westminster to the west.

HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast
St Paul's
St Paul’s
City Hall
City Hall

Tickets to the Skygarden are complimentary, but you have to book in advance. Being free, the tickets go quickly, especially for the weekend. The trick is to book your tickets three weeks before you want to go on the Monday morning. Alternatively, you can have a meal in the restaurant, Darwin’s Brassiere.

View from the Skygarden
The Shard (Focal Point 70mm)
The Shard
The Shard (Focal Point 30mm)

The day we booked coincided with the London Marathon, as a result some of the streets around the Walkie Talkie had been blocked off, so I couldn’t get many photos from street level. There was chance to get some fun photographs of the runners from London Bridge.

The London Marathon
The London Marathon 2017
Tower Bridge & HMS Belfast
Tower Bridge & HMS Belfast
Leave a comment

Currently… August Edition

Currently August

Currently Knitting…  It’s was too hot to knit in August, so instead I have been planning which patterns I want to knit during the my autumn/winter seasons. (This really translations to me spending time on Ravelry looking at new patterns or buying yarn online).

Currently Watching… During most of August, I watched the Olympics. I stayed up early to watch the Opening Ceremony and continued setting my alarms to catch-all the “big” moments during the fortnight. For the rest of the month we have played catch up and trying to clear all the shows we DVRed during the Olympics.

Currently Listening to… We became obsessed with Stranger Things this summer (didn’t everyone). I discovered this playlist on Spotify which included all the songs featured in the TV show.

Currently Playing… I am still playing Pokémon Go, trying desperately to “catch ’em all” and fill my Pokédex. I still don’t have a Pikachu but I did catch this little guy last week.

Currently Loving… This warmer weather has been amazing. It has encouraged us to get out and walk (normally Pokemon Hunting). So far we have been walking along the Thames or exploring one of the amazing parks in the city. It has also given me an excuse to bring along my camera and take some photos of my favourite places.

Richmond Bridge

1 Comment

100cupsofcoffee 41-45

100 Cups of Coffee

Once again, I am behind at writing my coffee drinking adventures, as part of my 100 cups of coffee project. Most of these coffees are from the spring.

Monmouth Coffee
On a rare occasion in early May, Jason and I had a weekend meeting in near London Bridge. This was the perfect chance to visit Borough Market and do a little shopping. No trip to the market is complete without a visit to Monmouth Coffee!

Another attempt of Spring
I have mentioned before that I love the @breakfastlondon instagram account, and use it for recommendations for new brunch spots. As Ling and I hadn’t met up of a while we thought we would try one of these places and have a fabulous spring brunch on the terrace of Urban Pantry.

Coffee & Cake
May (along with November) is Birthday month in our family. As much as I love buying presents for my family, I also find it stressful, so I tend to treat myself during a successful shop, to a break and cake!

Rebellious Coffee

When I was reading Rebel in the Sands, I was looking at photos of the book on Instagram, and I noticed a lot to mentions of Artisan Coffee Shop. This is one of my favourite coffee spots, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover the book was part written in the shop.
Coffee & Champagne

Finally, at the end of May to celebrate my sister’s birthday (and my successful present buying skills). We went for lunch at Valentina’s. Our favourite Italian restaurant have a bottomless lunch on Sundays, after drinking several glasses of prosecco I needed a coffee!

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

Leave a comment

6 on 6 -Blue

6 on 6 Blue
Dory


For this months 6 on 6 as always I had to include a Tsum Tsum. Originally, I only planned to collect the Star Wars or Marvel versions. However when I saw the “Dory” version Disney released to conjunction with the release of Finding Dory, I had to change my mind.

6 on 6 Blue
R2D2

When I posted my 6 on 6 photos for March, I mentioned I acquired a collection of Star Wars tins. This R2D2 version has moved around over the years. First it was in my bedroom for a while, holding odd buttons, then ear-rings and odd ear-ring backs. Now it is on my desk holding paperclips.

6 on 6 Blue
Batgirl Funko Pop! & Dorbz

As you may know Batgirl is my favourite character. So I adore buying anything Batgirl themed (yes I own Batgirl knickers and pyjamas), the very first Pop Vinyl figure I brought was Batgirl. It is also my favourite Pop Vinyl. Shortly, after buying her I also brought the Dorbz and Mopeez versions.

6 on 6 Blue
Pez Dispenser

Another blue cowl. I love Pez dispensers, but don’t really like the sweets. This year, I have found several stores are selling geeky Pez dispensers. So far I have brought a Darth Vader, Minion and several Marvel comic characters including this Captain America one.

6 on 6 Blue
Oyster Card

As I Londoner I always carry around my trusty Oyster Card. (The contact-less payment system used on public transport in London). I know I could use Apple Pay or credit card, but I love my Oyster Card. Maybe one day they will offer Oyster Card Nails.

6 on 6 Blue
Team GB

Finally, my beloved Team GB t-shirt (and scarf), which I had to include as the Rio 2016 Olympics started this weekend. I become obsessed with the Olympics in 2012. We were lucky enough to attend several sporting events and spend a lot of time in our fabulous city enjoying the extra events laid on. (You can read about my adventures during the London 2012 Olympics here.)

6 on 66 on 6 is a monthly photography challenge started by the Scruffy Little Nerd Herder #6on6

6 Comments

Star Wars Celebration 2016: Day 3

Star Wars Celebration

For our last day at Star Wars Celebration, we headed to the Excel Centre early, to collect our wristbands for the Closing Ceremony. Rather than waiting in the long morning queue, Jason and I had breakfast in the local pub, where we were joined by our friend Matt. As Matt was getting inked at the Tattoo Pavilion, he too had to be at Celebrations bright and early.

Once inside the Convention, Matt had a quick chat with Adam Guy Hays (the tattooist). Jason and I chatted to a journalist from The Verge, who would be live-streaming the tattooing on their Facebook page. (You can see the highlights and finished tattoo here).

Star Wars Celebration
Peter Mayhew

Whilst Matt was being tattooed, Jason and I meet up with his family. It was nice to experience Celebration with children, like me they adored the Lego play area. They also had a lot of fun looking at all the Star Wars themed art (they are both budding artists).

Star Wars Celebration
Dave Filoni

We ended the day, and our Celebration experience by watching the Closing Ceremony. I am obviously excited for the release of Episode VIII next year. It was also fun to finally get official confirmation that Alden Ehrenreich will be playing the young Han Solo.

When I began talking about my Star Wars Celebration experience I mentioned how I had Con-Envy at the when I see social media posts about other people’s convention adventures. The truth is I still had some Con-Envy even though I attended Celebration. There was so much going on we missed out on so much. Whilst we queued for the official store, our friends got to watch Mark Hamill take-over the Star Wars Livestream. We had to watch the record version of the Rogue One panel, when we got home. We even learned on social media Ash (one of my favourite bands) had played a Star Wars themed gig, as a pre-Celebration party. Whilst it was a wonderful experience and one I look forward to doing again, I guess I will always Con-Envy, as everyone experiences will be very different.

Star Wars Celebration
Some of my favourite Cosplay from Celebration
1 Comment

Star Wars Celebration 2016: Day 2

Star Wars Celebration

Before I start talking about our experiences on Day 2 to Star Wars Celebration. I want to talk about my outfit, I don’t normally do “what I wore today” type posts. But I felt this outfit warranted an Outfit of the Day post on Instagram.

Jacket || Skirt || Converse || Camera Bag

The jacket was actually a last minute purchase from Her Universe, but when it arrived I fell in love. This outfit was meant to be wore at Celebration, it is definitely something I that will translate into my everyday wardrobe.  

Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Propel TIE Fighter

Now on to the actual day. Jason and I spent the majority of the day just “walking” the convention floor. The previous day we had missed out an entire section of Celebration, so our aim in the morning was to see as much as possible. We stopped by the R2 Builders Club, to see the fan built robots – including an amazing Lego BB-8. Then was watched the High-Performance RC demonstrations, where they re-enacted the destruction of the Death Star with amazing remote control ships. I would love an X-Wing model for Christmas.

Star Wars Celebration
Lego “Robot” BB-8

Of course, one of the main things to do at Star Wars Celebration is to shop. There were hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of Star Wars merchandise. Everything from teapots to duvets, books to computer games and lots of wonderful figures. You maybe tempted into thinking shopping is a fun away to avoid queuing but you would be wrong, the average queuing time for the official Celebration store was 90 minute!

Star Wars Celebration
Waxwork Model on Rey

Rather than pause of lunch, we grabbed a snack and ate in the back of the Madame Tussaud’s panel. I had been to Madame Tussaud last summer, but it was interesting to hear all about the process of making the figures and sets. This also gave us the chance to preview the new Rey figure, which will be released later this year.

Star Wars Celebration
Model of the ANA Star Wars Jet

The big news on Day Two come from the Star Wars: Rebel panel. The re-introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn to the Star Wars Canon. Whilst at university I used to read the Expanded Universe books, this was pre-Episode One, reading these books was my only link to the Star Wars Universe. In these books Thrawn was the perfect post-Emperor villain, so I am pleased to see him back.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Leave a comment

Star Wars Celebration 2016: Day 1

Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Celebration

Over the years, I have had awful envy (or Con-Envy), when it comes to conventions. Whether it is San Diego Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration or D23. I sit at home and watch all the live streaming. (Which often ends up being late at night because of the time difference). I dream I could be there. I get jealous of all the exclusive clips fans there get to see, I admiring all the cosplay and I flick through the photo people share on social media, thinking one day.

Now, turn back the clock to last April. I was watching the live stream of the Closing Ceremony of Star Wars Celebration. They announced Celebration 2016 would be in London, in my home town! No longer would I have Con-Envy, I could now be one of those people posting photos online! Within 24 hours I had ordered three-day passes for Jason and I, exchanged several messages with friends about all the plans we were going to have to make and started a SWCE merchandise fund.

Then finally, last week it arrived! I picked up our tickets from the event before the big day, so we could have a later start of the first day. The downside to this was that we missing out on getting wristbands for the Rogue One panel.  On the plus side we avoided a lot of the queues. Although we still had to queue for over 30 minutes to get our bags searched but then we walked straight in.

Star Wars Celebration
Ahsoka: Untold Tales Panel

Once inside we headed straight for the “Ahsoka: Untold Tales” panel. Jason and I both love The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. Snips, is definitely our favourite character, so the idea of hearing more about her from the creators excited us.

Star Wars Celebration
Concept Art of Baby Ahsoka

This panel did not disappoint, they discussed the early planning stages of creating her character, where they saw the character going if The Clones Wars had future seasons and hinted at a possible return of Ahsoka. They also announced a book based on her time between, Clone Wars and Rebels (including what how she survived Order 66) and probably the most exciting thing a Ahsoka Pop Vinyl figure!

Star Wars Celebration
Concept Art of an unreleased scene when Anakin is reunited with “Snips”

This years, Celebrations was all about Rogue One, It was the largest panel on the first day. There was also an amazing exhibition showing off all the costumes, and some props from the film (including the new TIE Stikers ships). We spend the remained of our morning looking at the exhibit and then paused for lunch.

Star Wars Celebration
Director Orson Krennic Costume

For lunch we meet up with some friends in the bar area. There we once again had to queue, this time for over 45 minutes to get served. Then rushed eating and drinking to watch the streaming of the panel.

It wouldn’t seem right to talk about Day One without mentioning the amazing footage of Rogue One. I loved all of it especially, the clip of Canary Wharf tube station being transferred into the set overnight for filming.

7 Comments