Two magical ways to celebrate Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone turning 20

Carly-Ann Clements, OCTOBER 2017

London has been awash with ways to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Instead of dwelling on how old it’s making you feel, mark the momentous literary occasion with these magical events.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Museum
If you spent your school days wishing you were at Hogwarts learning Dark Arts and Herbology from a skillful witch rather than being taught algebra by a muggle troll, then an educational trip to the British Library could fulfill your dreams.
An array of manuscripts, rare books and magical objects from deep within the British Library’s collection will be on display depicting the folklore and traditions at the heart of Harry Potter’s world. Among the wizarding items available to explore will be the 16th–century Ripley Scroll which explains how to make a Philosopher’s Stone. You’ll be able to set your sights on Sirius in the night sky as imagined by medieval astronomers, and see an array of mythical beasts in hand coloured artworks.

For Potter purists, it won’t just be an exhibition on lore that inspired JK Rowling to conjured up her own incredible, magical universe. There will be original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay, both of which will be on display for the first time.
The exhibition runs from October 20 2017 – February 18 2018 and adult tickets cost £16. And for the serious Potterheads out there, there’s a quiz and other events taking place at the world-famous library, too.
Buy tickets here.

Harry Potter cocktails at Booking Office
Delving into the wizarding world can be thirsty work. And as if by magic, a Harry Potter drinking den is opening just next door to the British Library. From October 9, King’s Cross’ Booking Office will be serving concoctions from their Mystic Elixirs and Potions cocktail menu in celebration of the anniversary.

The rather fancy bar sits in the gothic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel which has featured in the films a number of times. So it feels fitting that you can sip an Elixir of Love (which will be served inside a cauldron, with amaretto, Chambord, vodka and lemon juice… yum!) while gazing out the window in the hopes of seeing a Ford Anglia to fly past. In addition to the creative cocktails will be mocktails like Butterscotch Brew (served in a tankard with salted caramel, butterscotch and bubbles) available for those off the Butterbeer.
Drinks range from £5 to £14 and you have to book ahead to get in — there aren’t enough alohomoras in the world to get you in if you don’t.
And of course, if you’re in the area, you might as well visit Platform 9 3/4 – it’d be rude not to.
Buy tickets here

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