“It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in mid-air over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets.”
The description of Hogwarts’ Great Hall is one that will stay with any Potterhead long after they’ve finished reading the books. And for good reason too; the Great Hall is the setting of some of the most important events that happen in the Harry Potter series, from Harry’s momentous house sorting to the epic defeat of Voldemort in the final battle.
So can you imagine the sheer, overwhelming excitement that any Harry Potter fan would experience upon being offered not just the chance to enter the hall, but being able to dine there and live out the Yule Ball?
Well, it seems that literary dreams really do come true – so grab your broomsticks muggles, we’re off to Hogwarts.
You can already get a taste of what it’s like to be a student thanks to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, which allows you to wander through the hall. But this year, specially for the festive season, the studio is bringing the Yule Ball to life.
For three days only, on the 11, 12 and 13 December, Potterheads are invited to attend the Great Hall, which will be returned to its Yule Ball glory and decorated exactly as it was for the film.
For the young witches and wizards of Hogwarts, the Yule Ball opens the Triwizard Tornament, acting as an opportunity to celebrate Christmas and as Professor McGonagall says, “let our hair down a bit”.
Upon arrival, those lucky enough to snag a ticket will walk a red carpet and be greeted with drinks and canapés, seeing snow-covered Christmas trees, icicles and an orchestra of magical instruments decorate the Great Hall stage for the first time ever outside of filming.
After taking up a pew in the actual seats that the cast used, you will enjoy two courses of an indulgent Christmas dinner, which the studio promises comes with “all the trimmings”.
Before dessert, you’ll be let loose on The Making of Harry Potter Studio tour, free to explore sets such as the Gryffindor common room and the Weasley’s kitchen from The Burrow – all of which have been given a sprinkle of Christmas magic, of course.
After that, it’s time to visit Platform 9¾, where you’ll be treated to a selection of festive sweets and a glass of Butterbeer to quench your thirst. This should get you in the mood to shake a tail feather, as it’s back to the Great Hall for the delights of music and dancing before choosing your very own wand to take home with you.
If you’re hoping to bag yourself a place, pop 24 October in your diary as tickets go on sale at 10am and we bet they’ll sell out quicker than the sweet trolley on the Hogwarts Express.
For Harry Potter fans, it surely gets no better. You may have to take a trip to Gringotts to afford the extravagant evening, as a single ticket will set you back £240 – but we still think it’s worth it.
Images: Rex / Warner Brothers