My Experience at the Harry Potter-Themed Bar in Toronto!⚡️

Hi random burst of creative energy to write a blog post that’s not a book review for the first time in almost a year – how are ya? 💁🏻‍♀️

So it’s been a while since I’ve written something like this but I’ve been feeling very inspired to take my blogging back by the reins this year, so here goes!

In a previous post back in 2018, I wrote about 5 Literary Themed Restaurants Around the World – in that post, one of the places I wrote about was The Lockhart in Toronto, Canada which is a Harry Potter-themed bar. In it, I vowed, and I quote: “You better believe I am going here after I finish the series and I will have a blog post up about it when I do.” I did finish the series, but I didn’t go to the bar immediately after (I should have). However, I’ve done it now (twice!) and I am very excited to share my experience.

The Lockhart is a quaint little cocktail bar a little bit outside of the downtown core. They have mostly regularly-named food and drink, but some themed names as well, like the Better Beer – a play on Butter Beer which I still want to try in Harry Potter World – or Dementor’s Kiss which are two drink names that caught my eye. I opted for the Better Beer, which is tequila-based and it was delicious! They do a very good job of masking the taste of alcohol in this drink, but it’s definitely strong enough to feel the effect of. Below is a photo of what it looks like – I seem to have misplaced the photo I took at the time, but this is one from their website:

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Pitcher of Better Beer

Along with drink options, they also of course have food. I got chicken and waffles – the portion was huge and the chicken was very flavourful and crispy, which I liked:

Although I went there to eat and drink, I especially appreciated how they decorated the place. They have a neon sign by the bar that says ‘all was well’ which are the last words in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; and also a wall of framed photos of Dobby (my favourite 🥰).

I love that I got to experience this place after reading all of the books; I adore it and am already eager to go back again. The staff is very friendly, the food and drink are great, and I love the aesthetic.

Now, I’m on the hunt for more literary-themed places to visit and I can’t wait for what will be next… ✨

-Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


 

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FIFA World Cup Book Tag!

Thank you to Angelica @ The Book Cover Girls for tagging me in this!  This tag was created by Rendz @ Reading with Rendz and I think it is such a good idea considering all the excitement surrounding the World Cup right now. Go check out their blogs when you get a chance!!

Rules!

  • Link back to this post so I can read all your wonderful answers!
  • Answer the questions the best that you can!
  • Tag a few friends at the end to keep this tag going!
  •  Have fun!

Time for kick off!!!

Let the Flags Fly

Wave them high and proudly!!! Look at all the fun colours!!!
A Book from your World Cup Competing Country/ the Country that You Want to Win!

Unfortunately neither of my teams made it to the world cup this year (Canada & Italy) so I’m going to go for another team, Sweden, who are currently surprising me!

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A Man Called Ove by J.C. Cervantes

This book is on my TBR. It’s about a grumpy old man who basically the whole neighborhood dislikes, but he has a very sad past that made him turn cold that no one knows about. Then, he gets new neighbors, a family that welcomes him as their own into their lives and you see Ove’s walls begin to break down. I watched the movie, which is in Swedish, and it was absolutely beautiful. Usually I wouldn’t feel compelled to read a book after I know what happens from the movie (I like doing things the other way around) but I think this one is worth it.

It’s The Beautiful Game

Football! Soccer! Beautiful! Whatever you call it!
A book with a pretty cover / A book that features soccer

The Secret Garden Book Cover Picture

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This cover edition is so beautiful to me. It looks like it was embroidered directly onto the page, and the colour scheme is so simple but elegant.

Ferocious Fans

Face paint! Big signs! Lots of noise!
Name a fandom you love being a part of!

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I mean, this is self explanatory. It wouldn’t be a true post if I didn’t include Harry Potter somewhere, so here you go!

Teamwork! Teamwork! Teamwork!

There is no way one person can win the game!
Name your Favourite Bookish Crew / A Book that has Co-Authors!

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Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

I didn’t know until after I read this that Christina Lauren are actually two people! What an amazing duo, I really enjoy their writing style. It had the power to evoke so much emotion from me.

Ref Blows the Whistle

You either love him or you hate him.
Name a book/character that you mixed feelings towards!

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is one of my favourite authors, but the main character in this book, Andie gave me mixed feelings. At the beginning she was really relatable, smart, and likable, but after she got a boyfriend she gained this weird attitude that I didn’t like.

GGGGOOOAAAALLLL!!!!

Everyone loses their heads and starts yelling at the top of their lungs!
Name your last 5 star read!

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I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

I was not expecting to like this one so much, but there is a reason it was a Goodreads Choice Nominee in 2017. You can see my review for it here.

The Gold Cup

It’s what we play for.
The Most Coveted/Loved Book On Your Shelf

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

I get a lot of my books from the library, but one that I own which I really love is this one. I ugly cried to this book; I even let 3 of my friends borrow it in the hopes that they would like it just as much as I did.


I tag: Catherine | Bibi | Jill | Lily | Mandy | Kay | Ashley |

& literally anyone who wants to do this!

Feel free to do the tag if you want, but if you don’t that’s cool too 🙂

-Catherine


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Review // The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

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Author: Jasmine Guillory
Series: Standalone 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: January 30, 2018 
Book Length: 310 pages 
Publisher: Berkley Books

Review: 1/5

Goodreads Synopsis:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

My Review:
My rating makes me really sad because I had very high hopes for this novel.

The synopsis sounds to me like a recipe for the perfect guilty pleasure romantic comedy—I would 101% get sucked into this plot if it were a movie (like I did with the book). Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way I expected.

Before I get into the problematic bits, I just want to acknowledge the really good parts of this book, because they existed too:

-An interracial couple as the main characters. I didn’t know this going into it, but I was really happy about the representation; I think that’s important! Why have I not read a book about an interracial couple before?! (Can someone recommend me more?)
-Luke and Brendan. They were minor characters, but they were the only gay couple in the book. Again, I felt the representation was great.
-The switching narratives between Alexa and Drew. I usually don’t like that, but this was executed well in my opinion. When Alexa’s POV switched to Drew’s, and vice versa, the story would continue where the other person’s left off and it flowed perfectly.
-Carlos, Drew’s best friend. The scenes with him were the best; he was awesome. Drew was an awful person to him for absolutely no reason though! If I learned one thing from this book, it’s that if your ‘friend’ yells obscenities at you (multiple times) and kicks you out of their house just because you try to get them to admit they like a girl, they’re a complete nutcase and you need to not be like Carlos and run as far away from them as possible, immediately. This review should just be a petition to get Carlos his own book, he deserved way better.
-The Pensive from Harry Potter was mentioned. Yes, that made it to my ‘good things about this book’ list. Not even going to explain why.

So, if I have a long list of good things then why did I give it such a low rating?

I went into this thinking that it would be cute. I mean, look at that cover; it’s adorable. The first quarter centered on their meeting in the elevator and the actual Wedding Date. Beyond that, all that happened was a long-distance romance with some mind games thrown in there. This book exists because both of these people made things SO COMPLICATED.

Every time they met, it would be the same routine: one of them flies out to the other, they pick up tacos or In N Out or pizza on their way home, they have sex a million times (it’s not even that I have a problem with it but it’s not advertised as that kind of book, so it got to be a bit excessive after a while; and I don’t think these people even knew each other because that’s all they were doing, they barely spoke), both of them think ‘I’m scared to ask what we are’, they fly back home and wonder what they are for the whole week but don’t bring it up, and they do this over again the following weekend. When it finally did get brought up, I felt like it was handled in the most childish way.

If you read this and loved it, I’m really happy you had a better experience than I did. Like I said, I did like some things about it but overall it kind of let me down.

If anyone has any good recommendations of other novels in this genre that they really like (or any genre really), please let me know!

Catherine


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Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows // Final Thoughts

I went into this year with the goal of reading one Harry Potter book per month in order to finish the series this year. Little did I know I would become so engrossed in it that I would end up reading not one, but three to four and finishing it in two months and I am so happy about it!

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-Proceed with caution if you don’t want to be spoiled-

So, I’ve been putting off writing this because I can’t believe it’s actually over. Reading these has been an absolute adventure from start to finish—I can’t see any other series giving me the same emotions that this one has. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was, again, a really good one!

Okay I need to address this because I feel like it’s overlooked, but I really want to know how Aunt Petunia felt when she was saying goodbye to Harry… I was so looking forward to that loving embrace he lacked all those years! I’m also happy that Dudley was at least a little bit concerned for Harry when he realized he would probably never see him again. It doesn’t excuse how awful he was to him, but at least he had a heart.

Admittedly, for the first three-quarters I was (for lack of a better word) bored? Experiencing Harry, Ron, and Hermione venture off to find the Horcruxes was fun but I really missed the Hogwarts setting and I was becoming quite restless with none of the questions I had being answered yet. Then, after they visited the Malfoy Manor with about 200 pages to go, I really got more into it and read that last bit in a day. Dobby’s death I knew about already or else I think that would have shocked me but Fred’s death I didn’t know about and that had me so sad that I cried! Literally a good seven pages before that, Ron and Hermione kissed and I was so happy, but then Fred happened at the end of that chapter and I was so upset! I think by that time, it actually set in that this was ending and I was really scared to see who else would die.

Now, for the whole Snape storyline: knowing the truth about Snape, I am really sad that he died. And that whole white doe thing?! Yeah, my mouth actually dropped because I was sure that was Dumbledore’s patronus. However, I don’t think that makes up for everything he did to Harry throughout the years at Hogwarts. I almost can’t believe he was loyal to Dumbledore the whole time because of all the negative things he did in the other books. Nonetheless, I think one of my favourite parts was when Harry looked into the pensive at Snape’s memories and found everything out; it had me at the edge of my seat.

Moving forward, I’m not sure if I would read Harry Potter & the Cursed Child because a) I’m not sure if the whole “read like a play” thing is for me; and b) I have heard mixed reviews, most of them not being good ones. Also, I felt like this was a good way to end it off and the epilogue was enough for me. If you have read it and have any opinion of it, I would love to know!

This was the first series I have ever read in full, and I couldn’t have picked a better one.


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Birthday Book Tag!

Today is my birthday, so I thought I would do the birthday book tag to celebrate! I found this tag over on The Irrelevant Bookworm Blog and was inspired to do it too. Go check out her answers as well and wish her a happy belated birthday 🙂

Count your birth day along your bookshelf and then subtract your birth month. What book does it land on?

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. I mean, technically it isn’t my copy but it’s with me right now sooo I had to include it! I love how there are so many different cover renditions to this series.

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If You Could Spend Your Birthday With Any Fictional Character Who Would It Be and Why?

Simon Spier from Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda. He’s so precious and I feel like we would get along; I would love to be a part of his friend group. Seriously, how could you not want to hang out with that face??

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Find A Book That Takes Place In The Season You Were Born In

A Room With a View by E.M. Forster. This book follows Lucy Honeychurch through Italy and England while on holiday with her chaperone and cousin, Charlotte Bartlett. I read this book a really long time ago, but would love to give it a reread soon.

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“He only stopped once, to pick her some great blue violets. She thanked him with real pleasure. In the company of this common man the world was beautiful and direct. For the first time she felt the influence of spring”

Find A Book That Is The Color of Your Birthstone

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum. It’s not exactly the right shade of emerald, but it’ll do!

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Is there a series with the same number of books as your age? If so what is it?

I’m not sure, but I don’t think there is! I’ve never heard of one anyway.

Pick a Book Set in a Time Period, World or Country You’d Like to Have Been Born In

Sorry not sorry but it’s in the Harry Potter/ Hogwarts world. I’m sure so many people have said this but I can’t get over how well that world was created.

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Thanks for reading if you got this far, feel free to do this tag if it’s your birthday soon as it was quite fun. Have a great day!

Catherine

Happy Birthday GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

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