Thursday, 8 October 2015

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Musical - Drury Lane Theatre London

My daughter Libby loves The Charlie and The Chocolate Factory films both the original and the updated version with Johnny Depp so for her 7th birthday treat we surprised her with a visit to London to watch the musical version on stage. As you can imagine she was very excited.  Apart from pantomine this was her first visit to the theatre and definitely her first visit to a big theatre production.

We had really good seats in the stalls so could see everything. The show started on time and was fab. The songs were entertaining, the story kept to the original as much as possible but obviously has to be a little different. The child stars were really good, very confident and engaging and the adults were super. Willy Wonka was brilliant and very amusing as was one of the Grandparents. Charlie's parents were really likeable characters but Charlie shone head and shoulders above everyone and put on a really fabulous performance. It always surprises me how someone as young could do such an accomplished job. 

Libby daughter was completely enthralled and her face lit up when they revealed the gates to the factory and I have to say the finale was very emotional!

Only negatives would be the missing Oompa Lumpa song which we were very disappointed not to be able to sing along to and be careful when ordering a slush puppie and getting caught out by the themed cup which is very expensive.

Definitely go and see if you like the story.

Libby very excited to watch one of her favourite Roald Dahl production
 Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Monday, 7 September 2015

Harry Potter Studio Tour

This was our fourth visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and the first time we took our 7 year old daughter (Libby) along.  She’s a massive Harry Potter fan who is obsessed with both the films and the books. We previously worried it might be a little much for her but she asked to go so we thought it would be a good time to show her.

From the start to the end she was absolutely enthralled and loved every minute of it. Even the queue to enter the tour was entertaining.  The staff are very chatty and knowledgeable and seem very passionate about all things Potter - a bit like us really.

I won’t spoil the start for anyone that hasn’t been but once again my husband and I were very emotional at the entrance and Libby was mesmerized.  
Magic Flying Car above the Hogwarts Express

We all enjoyed all the exhibits and props but Libby's face was a picture when she turned the corner into Diagon Alley and she loved the enormous model of Hogwarts.

As usual we had lots of fun flying the broomsticks and the Weasley car. The only bit that we had to run through was the make up and creature/animatronics department which she found a little scary especially the giant spider.

The new Hogwarts Express and Platfordm 9 3/4 display was a super addition and made the extra visit different and special for us.

Overall as massive Harry Potter fans we love visiting and I'm sure it won't be our last visit. All the staff were enthusiastic and really good with children. The facilities have improved and the cafe is now a lot bigger and inside rather than being on the outside lot. And as usual everything was very clean.

Oh and the gift shop is great fun.  Make sure you’re prepared for the amount of souveniers you’ll leave with.  We always end up with bags full of goodies.
Can’t wait for our inevitable next visit and Libby is probably more excited to return than we are - if that's possible.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Fairlawns Overnight Spa Break - West Midlands

This is the third time I've visited Fairlawns Spa but the first time I've stayed in the hotel.
Our stay was superb, the room was lovely with the added touch of a nice Kit Kat for us on arrival! A lovely touch.
Every member of staff we came across were friendly, helpful and made us feel welcome.
The Maitre d in the restaurant was superb, he went above and beyond to make sure my husband's vegetarian main course was delicious even making something completely bespoke for him. All the waitresses were excellent and the food was lovely and so well presented. Some beautiful touches with the presentation of the food.
Husband enjoying the facilities at Fairlawns Spa

Our spa experience was, as usual, great. Both treatments were done well and professionally. A facial for myself and a couples mud treatment which was a new experience for my husband.
The relaxation room was so good we both fell asleep. 
Only thing missing was a hot tub - could possibly fit a nice outdoor hot tub in the garden/patio area.
The buffet lunch for myself was delicious and the salmon was so fresh.  Lots of healthy choices and plenty of different refreshments.  The afternoon treats were delicious – warm brownies with cream yum yum yum (not so healthy but oh well!). 

My only negative was the vegetarian option with the spa lunch. It was a bit of a let down and not the standard we would expect. A stuffed pepper that was filled with the rice from the salad bar and nothing else seemed basic.
Overall a fabulous relaxing stay and we will definitely be back.