spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Scorpion Vodka

Scorpion VodkaSeen at Selfridges’s Foodhall – Scorpion Vodka
I had to backtrack my steps when I chanced upon this unusual vodka  containing a farm raised yellow scorpion (buthus martensii) infused in pure grain English vodka at Selfridges’ Foodhall. Scorpion vodka was first consumed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty and was used as a natural medicine to treat different health problems such as back pain, rheumatism, lumbago and other health conditions. This liquor is also considered to be a potent natural aphrodisiac.

I think this makes a pretty unique gift during the upcoming festive season. You can even have a Fear Factor challenge out of this with friends, lol. The winner – or more like the loser – will also have to eat the scorpion after drinking the vodka (entirely safe as toxins have been removed)! Have a look here for more exotic gourmet offerings such as Oven Baked Tarantulas,  Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers or Fried Bug Snacks. Do you dare? I am still finding my guts.


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The GREAT London Routemaster Bus in Singapore

Great Global Bus Tour in Singapore

I loved London’s iconic Routemaster bus ever since I saw it on a Harry Potter movie. Fortunately, I didn’t need any magic to see a London bus in Singapore, thanks to the British High Commission who brought the bus in for a month-long tour.

Great Global Bus Tour in Singapore

I got a sneak peek of the bus when it popped by Gardens by the Bay

As part of the GREAT Campaign Global Bus Tour that was launched in September 2011 by HRH Prince Harry and UK Prime Minister David Cameron in New York, the bus is in Singapore to promote the UK as part of the GREAT Britain Campaign. The bus has since visited the US, Colombia, South Korea, Emerging Europe, Turkey, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Great Global Bus Tour in Singapore

Don’t I look matching with the bus – so red!

Great Global Bus Tour in Singapore

I even match the staircase colour lol

Great Global Bus Tour in Singapore

The original London Routemaster bus ceased on 9 December 2005, and this modern version began service in 2012 following calls from the public to bring it back.
Designed by Thomas Heatherwick (who was also responsible for the 2012 London Olympics cauldron) and manufactured in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus, the bus is wheelchair-friendly and uses the latest diesel-electric hybrid technology.

Great Global Bus Tour in Singapore

Great Global Bus Tour in Singapore

Do catch the bus as it makes it rounds in Singapore. The bus will be at One15 Marina Club, from 10:00AM — 12:00PM and Gardens by the Bay from 4:00PM — 6:00PM on Sunday 16 February. Check UKinSG’s Facebook page for the latest updates. They are running a “I-Spy the #GREATbusSG Photo Contest” as well, so it’s good reason to go armed with your cameras!


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Spell-bound at The Making of Harry Potter, London

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Wizard for A Day
It was a whole load of fun getting on a broomstick and uncovering the magic that went behind the wildly popular movie series Harry Potter at its Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. The hair’s real, by the way ;)

I can still remember my first Potter movie, mesmerized by the flying car, moving photos in the newspapers, Harry Potter’s big round eyes as well as all the magic & fantasy that went into the show. I was naturally excited to visit Warner Bros.’ Leavesden studio where the Harry Potter movie magic was made for over a decade. The walking tour features authentic sets, costumes and props from the Harry Potter film series and showcases the British artistry, special effects and animatronics that went into producing these iconic movies which grossed over US$7.7 billion worldwide. I wanna make some magic myself – “taller, boobier, prettier please!”

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Some of the wonders I saw included this magnificent 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Being the lazy bum and blur gal that I am, I took the tour offered by their appointed operator (details at the end of this post) so I had zero chance of getting lost. I departed Central London at 8:00AM to arrive for the first tour at 9:00AM. Best to catch the wizards while they are fresh!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I have almost the same palm size as Emma Watson!
If only I had her figure and bank account as well. Sigh.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Opened on 11th June 2012, each tour session typically lasts three hours, and has the capacity to handle 5,000 visitors daily. That said, tickets are limited and you will have to purchase them in advance online. They are not available on-site, and the last thing you want is to get there only to be told to come back another day. I would turn people into toads.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I remember this – Harry Potter’s room at his mean aunt’s house at Privet Drive!
It was nice to have movie trivia to read and this to photograph while we waited in line. A pity we couldn’t actually get to go inside the room.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling with lead actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint
How time flies! The 3 actors are all grown up now…it’s been 12 years since the first movie in 2001

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Behind these doors lie the magic & many mysteries of Harry Potter…
Oh quit talking and quick open up!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The Great Hall
What a magnificent sight we stepped into! This was one of the first sets built at Leavesden Studios and is a vast space that can seat 400 children. It was one of the only sets to be used in all 8 films. I closed my eyes and imagined dining in the midst of the students of Hogwarts, dishes flying and ghosts floating above.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

It was surreal coming this close to two of my fave characters in the movie – Dumbledore & Hagrid! Muaks!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Professors of Hogwarts – do you remember what they look like?

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

That’s Harry Potter’s first Gryffindor uniform!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

After the Great Hall (in yellow on the map), we went to the Interior Sets. There was much to see, but try to limit yourself to 1 hour – cos’ there’s more magic to come at the Exterior Sets, Diagon Alley and Creature Shops! Meanwhile I went into snappy-happy heaven…

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Isn’t it amazing to be able to bring your imagination to life? I would have teared buckets if it was my movie.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The tour explained a lot about the extensive use of CGI (computer-generated imagery), green screens and forced perspective (to make things bigger than they look, so you can build miniatures and film it to look life-size).
What we see here is the ceiling of The Great Hall, which was added into the film as a special effect (remember there’s no ceiling in the photo of The Great Hall above). They also showed us how the floating candles effect was created.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The Yule Ball set seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Gryffindor Boys’ Dormitory

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The beds were kept throughout the movies, so as the boys grew, their feet stuck out more and more out of the beds

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I had fun stamping my Harry Potter passbook
Actually, it’s meant for children to keep them occupied, but I took one anyway since it was a terrific momento of my adventure, and it helped me to orientate myself what I should see.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

There’s no Spunktitud3 without a costume
This section naturally got me excited!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Crazy wigs which accentuated the movie characters, especially the eccentric and evil ones

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I really liked the Beauxbatons uniform. Too bad it wasn’t for sale – I would have bought the hat and shoes!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

No Harry Potter movie would be complete without the amazing props

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Where There’s a Wand, There’s a Way
Did you know every Potter character has his/her own wand design? Wow. Mine would probably be rainbow crystal-encrusted, and I would blind enemies with its glare. On good days, it can double up as disco lights.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The Triwizard cup & the golden egg from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I wanna open the egg!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

More props and gadgets. Which is your favourite?

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

These are my faves. I still remember Dumbledore drinking from the Crystal Goblet and the naughty Golden Snitch

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The Horcruxes!
Tom Riddle’s diary and Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

An intricately made Secrets Door seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I was pretty amazed by the intricacy behind Gringotts Vault Door

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The iconic set for Dumbledore’s office was first built and created for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2001. The office is surrounded by a large library of books which mostly contain either copies of telephone directories or the Yellow Pages!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Miniature models such as this were built to conceptualize the sets as well as the scenes before the crew started building or filming

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Each of these sleeping portraits were commissioned and painted after a movie crew – what a fun way to be acknowledged!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Amazing props I would want in my own house

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Remus Lupin’s self-packing trunk
Now this can come in VERY handy for my trips

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

This is one of my fave gadgets – the stairs with a mind of its own, somehow it resembles life – cos’ you never really know where you will end up at

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The Flying Machines!
Notice the green screen behind where background was added to make them look like they are flying

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The Famous Nimbus 2000

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Fancy a ride yourself? Now you can.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The very lovable Hagrid’s hut. He is what I term as ‘organised chaos’. So my style LOL

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Severus Snapes
Did you know J.K. Rowling based this cold, emotionless character on her old chemistry teacher, John Nettleship? Poor guy.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The very-pink Dolores Umbridge’s office
The vintage plates with the moving kittens were sourced from flea markets, and the 40 kittens filmed to go on the moving plates went on to be domestic pets with their new owners unaware of their famous origins.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I am always fascinated by the tell-all Marauder’s Map – it would put all CCTVs and private detectives outta business

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Not forgetting the Animal Actors
Did you know Harry Potter’s pet owl Hedwig was played by 4 owls with very different characters?

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

My turn to go on Hagrid’s motorcycle!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

4 Privet Drive
The house of Harry Potter’s mean family

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I can fly!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

My favourite part of Hogwarts – the wooden bridge
It’s just a short section, and CGI made it look so spectacular. Duh, I feel cheated heh

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The-one-who-shall-not-be-mentioned…scary

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Peace!
I wondered if that expression on the chesspiece was made in jest.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Awesome models
If you were wondering how they made Hagrid look like a giant, one of the tricks included a mechanical head fitted on a giant frame. Other times, a forced perspective technique was used. Can anybody remember the irritating screaming mandrake?

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

The Monster Book of Monsters – chomp chomp chomp!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Making a werewolf

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Hagrid’s Buckbeak
I want her as a pet too! Hagrid has such great pets in the movie…

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Dobby the faithful house-elf

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I think the thestrals are really cool

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Diagon Alley
Did you know Diagon Alley was modelled after Leadenhall Market?

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Fancy buying a wand or a spell?

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

In awe of the huge model of Hogwarts

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

A wand for everyone

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Go search for the main actors’ names on the wand boxes – it’s quite fun!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

After touring the studio, it’s time for some retail therapy

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Souvenirs which caught my eye. Note the interesting flavours of the jellybeans (earthworm, rotten egg!) :)

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

I’m Potter-fied! :)

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden
Website: http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/
Ticket Prices: £29 (adult); £21.50 (child); £85 (Family of 4)
Note: Buy your tickets in advance online; tickets are not available on-site.

Getting There
By Tour Bus
Book a tour with the appointed tour operator Golden Tours (9 daily departures from 7:30AM to 4:00PM. Take the 7:30AM bus and you can be back in Central London by 3:00PM for some shopping/sightseeing (alight at Baker Street stop).
Cost: £57.00 (Adult); £52 (Child) includes transport + ticket
Duration of whole tour: About 7 hours

By Rail
Nearest railway station: Watford Junction (20min from London Euston). Take the shuttle bus operated by Mullany’s Coaches from Watford Junction to the Studio Tour (about 15 min). Plan to arrive at Watford Junction 45 minutes before the time stated on your ticket.


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Look of the Day – Leadenhall Market

Look of the Day - Leadenhall Market

At London’s beautiful Leadenhall Market
Hat: Spitalsfield Market
Fur Coat: H&M
Red PU top: From Hong Kong
Blue leather skirt: From Hong Kong
Stockings: Uniqlo Heattech
Sneakers: Isabel Marant
Brown furry tote: Tata Baby

Yummy breakfast at St John…more about this place soon :)

Love my pretty hat with a Swarovski-embellished veil from Spitalsfield Market, matches my hair colour perfectly!

Necklace: Topshop

Sneakers: Isabel Marant

Look of the Day - Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market is a beautiful covered market in the City of London. Located to the south of Leadenhall Street between Gracechurch Street and Lime Street, it is one of the oldest markets in London dating back to the 14th century. Originally a meat, game and poultry market, it stands on what was the centre of Roman London.

Look of the Day - Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market was used to represent the area of London near The Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I was really excited to visit Harry Potter’s filming studio (upcoming blog post) and also see the original location!

Look of the Day - Leadenhall Market

There are stalls selling flowers, cheese, meat as well as retail shops, pubs and restaurants in the market building. Its ornate roof structure, maroon and cream Victorian facade and cobbled floors make it a tourist attraction and ideal filming location.

Look of the Day - Leadenhall Market

The blue shop is where The Leaky Cauldron was based on…guess what shop it is in reality?

Look of the Day - Leadenhall Market

An aesthetics clinic! LOL

Leadenhall Market
Whittington Avenue
EC3V 1LR City of London, United Kingdom
Core trading hours 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday
Nearest underground stations: Bank and Monument


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Have an angelic Christmas!

VIctoria's Secret Christmas
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
I couldn’t think of anyone else who would bring us more Yuletide joy (especially the men) than angels – Victoria’s Secret Angels, to be exact. I passed by the London flagship store along Bond Street and was treated to a visual eye candy display from their 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Here’s wishing the men’s spouses and girlfriends be as sexy as a Victoria’s Secret angel and bring you lots of joy to last the whole year, and ladies be as curvaceous and voluptuous to fit into a Victoria’s Secret model’s costume (even the mannequin couldn’t quite fill the cups up, glurp)! Ho Ho Ho, what a great Christmas! :)

Grrrowwwl….

Tickle me happy

Floral bloom

I love a Brazilian!

Fly to me baby

Can I unwrap my present? Now?

This I want…but I need more feathers; this is the size of a malnourished chick, I’m more the size of a succulent hen LOL!

Flower fairy
All inset angel photos from CBS website

Merry Christmas with our beloved Rudolf at Covent Garden Market and a cute humping couple (with clothes on) beneath! That’s what Christmas is about – love & joy :)