This Christmas we were hosting both our parents and we wanted to plan something magical for their stay with us.
2018 has been a bit of a Potter-fest year for us. Following our visit to the West End to experience the magical Cursed Child play in May, I was propelled to re-listen to the Harry Potter audio books read by the fabulous Stephen Fry and visited some well known Potter sights in the city Including the temporary Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands installation outside St. Paul’s Cathedral supporting Lumos (thanks Craig and Leroy for taking us there!) and also visited the MinaLima design house (the incredibly talented team who created the unique and mesmerising wizarding world’s graphic art). We have also attended a wedding with Harry Potter accents as well as a Harry Potter themed Halloween party and have regularly frequented a local Harry Potter themed coffee garden (Cafe 46).
With Christmas playing such an important part of the Harry Potter novels, it seemed like an appropriate theme for our Christmas celebrations. I can’t really take credit for the ideas in this post, as I was heavily inspired by my long-standing Harry Potter Pinterest board, but I was pleased with how it all came together.
It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables… It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn’t simply open on to the heaven.
Recreating the Great Hall of Hogwarts appeared to be the biggest challenge, but a chance purchase from Amazon made this far less difficult than I expected. The floating candles are perfectly proportioned for the room and being remote controlled, were easy to switch on & off and even had different flicker settings. We attached them to the ceiling beams using fishing wire which was barely visible which meant they really did look like they were floating. Much better than making my own versions using toilet rolls and battery lights for sure!!
We decided not to replicate the table decor (mainly due to lack of time and resources), and instead opted for a simpler design with some nods to key parts of the books/movies. The runner was created using a piece of wrapping paper from Primark featuring the Marauders Map, with a sequin overlay. Platform 9 3/4 place names were customised from Etsy and the golden snitch furnished from a classically festive Ferrero Rocher with printed wings from Party Delights.
I was particularly pleased with my new crystal wine glasses that I bought at a local charity shop the week before Christmas. They looked gorgeous next to the gold glasses and the water glasses that James’ godparents bought for him back when he was a child.
Bottle labels were printed from Over the Big Moon online, and attached to old prosecco and gin bottles. The crackers (M&S) were sadly not quite wizard worthy with no rear-admiral hats or love white mice, but I thought the unusual design would be perfect!
The Christmas Feast
We sourced our bronze turkey from a local farm (Old Castle Farm, Neath) and had a selection of sides and my favourite Ina Garten cornbread stuffing. To finish we had a butterbeer semi-freddo adorned with a 70% finest croakoa chocolate frog.
We also filled a jar full of chocolate galleons for snacking.
Yer a wizard Harry!
It was fun to create the memorable acceptance letter fireplace scene using fishing wire and Harry Potter envelopes from a writing set. I was also very lucky to receive a set of MinaLima Hogwarts journals for Christmas and these will look stunning alongside my exercise book and train ticket wallet. Elf was in full dress robes for the occasion and we arranged for a direct route to the Ministry of Magic to be installed in the bathroom.
Finally, I made james a Weasley’s wizard wheezes themed advent calendar filled with sweets, chocolate and MTG trading cards. He was thrilled. The design was created by MySweetPaperCard on Etsy.
Merry Christmas everyone!
The Cursed Child https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/uk/
Floating candles Raycare 12 PCS Led Flameless Taper Candles, Flickering Battery Operated Waterproof Electric Window Candle Lights, Warm White