Hello my lovelies,
*This post has not been sponsored by Chiddingstone Castle. I bought tickets to this even and all opinions and comments are my own.*
We had the most awesome day! A month ago, I managed to book tickets to Chiddingstone Castle’s school of witchcraft and wizardry day in Kent and we could hardly wait! It was so well organised and so much fun that I was blown away.
I ordered Missy a robe (which looked nothing like the pictures on ebay which led to me opening a case – but that’s another story), made her a tie, dug out her wand (see my wand making post here) and for a wand box tutorial check out my post here. I also decorated her a witches hat. We were all set!
I must admit, Chiddingstone wasn’t the easiest castle to find as the castle itself has a little concealed entrance and I landed up driving past it and having to double back. But I found it in the end. The parking was ample even though they said the parking lot was quite small and there was a port-a-loo in the parking lot which I found quite random but it came in handy since we arrived early. There was also a little honesty box to pay for parking with the proceeds going to charity.
The castle itself is beautiful and we were surprised to find it had a red postbox just outside!
Since we arrived early, we had some time to take pictures while everyone arrived. We were the only ones not in Gryffindor robes!
About 10 minutes before the doors opened we could hear a Harry Potter soundtrack playing which just heightened the anticipation. The kids couldn’t wait!
Upon entering, some very organised admin witches crossed our names from their lists and checked out etickets. We were given a map and from there, we followed the directions round into the Great Hall.
The entire place was decorated so well and it really added to the ambiance and theme.
In the Great Hall we were met by the High Wizard Merlin Hopkirken who sorted the kids into their houses. Our entire group was sorted into Wormtail (which was kind of a crappy name since Wormtail was the name of that traitorous Peter Pettigrew!) the yellow house. We were then given our class schedule.
Our first class was Flying Lessons in the Marquee. Captain Karkus Prospero was brilliantly entertaining and got the kids ‘flying’ their brooms round a marked out course and doing races.
Each child borrowed a broomstick for the lesson and it was fantastic to hear them shrieking with laughter.
In between each lesson was a 15 minute break and the children were invited to the craft rooms to make wands or colour pictures.
Our next class was Spells and Incantations with Ms Septima Warbeck.
The Spells teacher instructed the children on basic spells and wand movements as well as defense against the dark arts spells.
Swish and flick!
There weren’t enough kids to give each child a partner so Missy practiced with Ms Warbeck.
After each class the kids got a stamp on their certificates. Once they had a stamp from each of the classes they could graduate.
We had a fun tour of the Headmaster Merlin Hopkirk’s office while we waited for our next class to start.
Our third class was choir practice with Madame Mourge. Not sore how the ‘ou’ is pronounced ‘or’ but it was pronounced Morgue.
Each professor was so well dressed and made up. They kept in character beautifully and the kids really believed they were at a school for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Choir practice was very noisy but the kids loved every moment of it.
While the kids were in choir practice I got an opportunity to speak to the event organizers who were such lovely ladies. This is the first time Chiddingstone has done this kind of event and if all goes well they hope to repeat it next year. Also, if all goes well, Christmas may be something just as special. Perhaps not this year but it’s exciting all the same.
We made wands in our break before the long awaited potions class. Dr Elphias Thicknesse was waiting for us in the potions classroom which was a treasure trove of potion ingredients bottles and other curiosities. The massive cauldron was of particular interest to the children.
The children helped Dr Thicknesse to prepare a love potion to help her woo Captain Prospero and got to help chucking various ghastly looking ingredients into the cauldron. I must admit, Dr Thicknesse was my favourite by far as she was completely zany and had the kids enthralled.
The magic ingredient (hot ice) was added by Dr Thicknesse and the cauldron exploded in smoke much to the children’s delight.
The only negative feedback I have is that upon booking people had the option of attending with their kids or dropping them off and fetching them later. I found this to be a bad idea. These kids got quite rowdy and rude at one stage which was uncomfortable for everyone. One such 11 year old boy kept following me around and shoving his broomstick in my face shouting aaaaavraaaa kaaaadaaaavraaaaa! He didn’t take kindly to me pointing out that it was in fact Avada Kedavra. He also didn’t like the fact that I told him in a very firm voice that I didn’t appreciate the broomstick being shoved in my face. And that if he did it again, I would make sure his parents were made aware that he was being rude to an adult. But other than that one small blot on the day, I couldn’t have asked for a better event.
Prize giving was held back in the Great Hall where the Headmaster announced the prize for the best dressed child who was dressed like Seamus Finnigan after his spell backfired. Well deserved I thought.
Then he announced the day’s star pupil who turned out to be my very own little Missy!
She won a t-shirt named after the event and a voucher for a free family visit during the 2018 season! A fab prize!
After our classes were done, we went to the cafe where I had a cream tea and coffee. I had packed a dairy, soya and apple free lunch for Missy as it’s been my experience that most places struggle to provide food that is allergen free.
The staff were very happy for Missy to enjoy her lunch which me while I ate my cream tea. It was delicious however, there was no way I could finish two large scones! I’m a bit of a coffee snob and the coffee at the cafe was heavenly! I only drank one cup because I was concerned I would be desperate to pee on the drive home but I could easily have drank the entire cafetiere.
All in all, we had a fantastic day and it was well worth the money. I would definitely attend the event next year and look forward to attending other events planned by Chiddingstone and especially to exploring the grounds.