BECOMING: Harry Potter
Have you ever asked yourself, what if Harry Potter used KOMPAS?
Our favourite bespeckled hero, Harry Potter has become so ingrained in the psyche of every British child and adult since he was first magicked into our lives over 20 years ago that it is not impossible to imagine him as a non-fictional character. Even Quidditch has made the crossover from fiction to reality (albeit played on gravity-laden brooms.)
So what if Harry was to walk amongst us mere Muggles? And more importantly, where would he go if he downloaded KOMPAS?
How could he resist? Outside the walls of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, where else would Harry get access to everything he needs to fight off attacks from those pesky Dementors?
Yes, Harry might be able to obtain invisibility under a cloak and open doors with the flick of a wand, but could he rip a £5 note in half and put it back together again? Well, you could get one up on the ol’Potter by visiting the International Magic Shop near Clerkenwell. Opened by magician Ron MacMillan over 50 years ago the shop is now run by his son and daughter, Martin and Georgia. Expect tumbling shelves heavy with instructional magic books, DVDs, accessories, and tricks. If you are fascinated by the history of magic the shop often hosts lectures, as well as the infamous annual International Magic Convention.
For the serious wizards among you, Davenports is the oldest continuously owned magic shop in the world, a Guinness World Record holder. Still run by family members of founding magician Lewis Davenport, the shop first opened its doors to the public in 1898. Stepping inside is like stepping back in history, the shop awash with an almost sombre atmosphere that some serious magic is about to go down. There is every accessory you could think of for novice to professional magicians, with staff more than happy to demonstrate each trick. They host numerous workshops and magic courses in their own magic studio, while also playing host to the London Society of Magicians. Abracadabra!
Clark Kent may have removed them to become Superman, but part of our Harry’s heroic charm was his choice in circular glasses. Often losing or breaking them, Harry’s glasses are to him what hair was to Sampson, and so only the best will do.
Every Cubitts Opticians and Glasses shop wouldn’t go amiss in Hogsmeade. Wooden clad, with shelves of glasses akin to the wands in Olivander’s, every pair of glasses are handmade by an expert team with great creative vision. Each pair have 50 crafted stages of production that takes place over a period of 6 weeks, with a final 4-stage polishing process. Definitely good enough for Potter. They even hold workshops where you can design and make your own. Begin by handcutting your design into acetate before filing, grooving, and polishing your finished frame. Named after Cubitt Road where founder Tom Broughton first lived in London, he has brought an old-skool industry up to date while still maintaining old-fashioned craftsmanship. But the real magic lies within the headscanner that uses cephalometrics, a project funded by the Government. Two smartphones take images of your face that a special piece of software then uses to mesh the images together into a 3D image, meaning that frames can automatically parametrically fit to your face. Magical.
As much as many have tried, flying on a broomstick just hasn’t been made possible…yet. And although flying cars aren’t far off, Harry of course has discovered the next best thing.
That rustic feeling of sitting on a wooden frame (sic: broom), especially one that you have built yourself, is a new brand of alchemy. Founded by former engineer James Marr, the Bamboo Bicycle Club sees cycling enthusiasts build their own bespoke frame – from bamboo – over their weekend bike building workshops. Sustainable and ethical, the use of bamboo is a somewhat interesting choice for a bicycle, but one that apparently won’t be in need of the Reparo spell any time soon. The material is actually great for dampening the effects of vibration leading to a smooth ride – perfect for chasing that golden snitch! The company spent around 7 years ploughing investment into R&D and prototype technology to perfect the process, which is now taught to punters in store, or sent out as DIY packs across the world.
After a near-disastrous relationship with Cho Chang in his early teens, Harry finally managed to find love with best mate Ron’s little sister Ginny (naughty.) With danger never far behind they had probably best find a nice relaxing – hidden – bar for date night.
Your date may raise a wry smile when you turn up at The Breakfast Club in London Bridge and announce to the staff, “I’m here to get lucky!” And you might well just after a successful date in the subterranean speakeasy, Call Me Mr. Lucky. Quirky and tongue-in-cheek, this tiny bar is entirely lit by fairy lights which gives a very romantic vibe. Cocktails are inventive and potent, while if you can’t decide, take a chance on the spinner behind the bar and allow fate to choose for you.
This is the last place Lord Voldemort would think to look; proclaim that you’re “here to see the Mayor”, and you’ll be taken to a rather unassuming looking old Smeg fridge. Upon opening the door you won’t be faced with the usual out of date milk and last night’s Chinese, instead, you’ll be greeted with a hidden entrance into The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, a name as quirky as the bar itself. Rustic and not unlike a Canadian winter lodge, this speakeasy packs a punch with its cocktail and food menu, albeit surrounded by some very strange wall art. Head there on the weekend and you can have two hours of unlimited, bottomless brunch.
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