When J.K.Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter novel, the now billionaire was relatively penniless. So it’s little surprise that the Potter books themselves celebrate three main characters from pretty humble backgrounds. The series pit ‘ordinary’ Ron, Harry and Hermione against the Malfoy, Black and Lestrange families, all 1%-ers, even by wizarding standards. If the Harry Potter books are a social commentary (and they’re probably not) then the books promote the little guys against ‘the man’, pin-pointing the corruption of wealth and, well, just that’s it’s good be be normal.
But we’re not sure that Warner Brothers’ sale today of tickets for their Harry Potter Christmas dinner is quite in tune with this. And that’s because they cost an avada kedavrarous £240 per person (and if you’ve been spending too much time in Defence Against the Dark Arts classes and not enough in mathematics, then that’s £480 per couple).
We eat out for a living, and I can tell you that £240 is a serious sum of money even in a top Michelin star restaurant. There are only two Michelin star restaurants in the entire country where an average three course meal costs more than this (The Fat Duck and The Araki). You could eat three courses at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc’s Oxfordshire pad, a restaurant that I, on a reasonable salary, simply can’t justify visiting under my own steam, and then still have enough cash left over to get a taxi all the way back to London for the £240 they’re charging at Harry Potter World.
So what exactly do you get? And is it Raymond Blanc level good?
The answer – not much, and no, probably not. On arrival at Watford’s Harry Potter world, guests enjoy a Prosecco reception before heading on a tour of the studio where the Harry Potter moves were made. Following this, potential wizards head into Hogwarts’ Great Hall (which, to be fair, is pretty darn cool) and eat their way through a two course meal of dill-cured salmon to start followed by a traditional turkey dinner for mains, with both courses accompanied by a glass of £16-a-bottle wine with each.
Then it’s back on your feet to do a little more touring round the studio before finally eating pudding standing (yes, standing) on Platform 3/4. If you’re not in the Christmas spirit after dropping enough for a flight to New York on a pretty bog-standard Christmas dinner then fear not, there’s a CASH BAR (you read that right!) where you can continue to line Warner Brothers’ pockets as the disco continues into the night.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Harry Potter and I have no doubt that this will be an awesome event, but it just feels like the studio taking advantage of real Potter fans who probably can’t really afford to spend a week’s wages on one expensive meal, but may well feel the pressure or FOMO to. Of course, if you’ve just inherited Gringotts bank, if you’re such a die-hard fan that you’d pawn your own Nimbus 2000 or if you’re simply Draco Malfoy, then great, you can purchase tickets here for Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th December!
But act quickly, they go on sale today and they will disapperate!