Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Published May 15th 2019
Magical supplies for all wizards, witches and Muggles too
In the world of that famous boy wizard who lived, Harry Potter, there's a very special alleyway (seen only by magic folk) behind a London pub called the Leaky Cauldron (also seen only through the eyes of magic folk). It's called Diagon Alley, and it's very much a busy, bustling shopping area for witches, wizards and every other magical being. The shops along Diagon Alley sell everything from cauldrons and wizard's robes, dragon's blood and racing broomsticks, to wands, creatures such as owls and rats, eels' eyes, bats' spleens, parchment, and even ice cream. The wizards' bank, Gringotts, is also located at Diagon Alley.
Now, if you have always dreamt of visiting a place like Diagon Alley ever since you first explored it with Harry in the first book, Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone, then you're going to have to fly on your Nimbus 2001 broomstick to Orlando, Florida, USA and visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios where they have recreated the experience of Diagon Alley. Or use a portkey (an object that's been enchanted to instantly bring anyone to a specific location) to go to London, England and book yourself on a Warner Brothers' Studio Harry Potter tour, where you'll get to walk along the Diagon Alley used in the Harry Potter films.
But why go all the way to Florida or London when you can just go down the road to Fyshwick? Yes, that's right. You heard me. Fyshwick. Because that's where you'll find, hidden amongst all the warehouses and factories and car repair shops owned by Muggles (that is, non-magic folk), the closest thing you'll ever get to Diagon Alley in Canberra.
Welcome to Quizzic Alley, purveyor extraordinaire of all things Harry Potter!
Whether you're a 'siriusly' hardcore Harry Potter fan or just a casual/mildly interested one, or even if you're not a fan at all and wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a Slytherin and a Gryffindor, Quizzic Alley will have you spellbound. With its impressive collection of official Harry Potter merchandise (and the largest in all of NSW and the ACT), Quizzic Alley will, like Professor Snape's potions, bewitch your mind and ensnare your senses!
The Quizzic Alley story Quizzic Alley is owned and operated by a local Canberra family. There's dad, Nearly Legless Mick; mum Professor Penelope (Penni) Presto (who was lucky enough to actually chat on the phone with Harry Potter author JK Rowling way back in 1997 when the first book came out!); and their two kids, Violet Crumble and Rophney Redhead.
Quizzic Alley only opened its doors in late 2018, but Penni tells me that the idea of starting a new business that would make use of Mick's retail background had been brewing for some time."We had explored a lot of great ideas," Penni tells me. "Our daughter, who was 10 at the time, had just read 'Harry Potter and The Cursed Child' and Mick and our two children started talking Harry Potter again and quizzing each other. This lasted for days and it was then I came up with the idea of Quizzic Alley."
There's no doubt whatsoever that Penni, Mick and their children are all Potterheads. "The wizarding world that JK Rowling created is just incredible!" Penni says." The characters and stories are so engaging and appeal to all generations. We see this every day in our store. Fans from 6 through to 80 are drawn to Quizzic Alley and it's because they love the books so much. There are so many themes in the book series that appeal to young readers - orphan boy finds his family, makes awesome friends and together they fight evil and are celebrated for their wit and courage. And then there's quite a bit if magic and fantastic creatures thrown in. What's not to love?"
Let's go shopping.
Quizzic Alley has absolutely everything that a witch or wizard bound for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry needs. Such as these gorgeous cauldron mugs for Professor Snape's potions lessons:
And their shelves are stocked with plenty of treats to keep you well fed during those excruciatingly long and deadly dull History of Magic lessons. Such as Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans (alas! they do include earwax flavoured ones!), chocolate wands, jelly slugs, and chocolate frogs:
Quizzic Alley also stocks ties, cushions, bags, purses, slippers, plush toys, Hogwarts House banners, beanies, pens, tote bags, diaries, pencil cases, wands, jewellery, and so much more! "We have so much cool stuff and we get new stock all the time," Penni tells me. "I love the Marauder's Map, any of the soft and cuddly bathrobes and, as a writer, I particularly love the house pens. They are really solid and feel like they will last forever and they have a standard, replaceable nib which is so practical. Mick's favourites are our QBrew drink (on tap), the giant Hagrid mug (he drinks a lot of tea), and all the board games."
But wait, there's even more!
Quizzic Alley is so much more than just a store. If the gigantic range of wizarding regalia and accoutrements isn't enough for you, then you'll absolutely love the real, live, light blue Ford Anglia-the very car that Harry's best friend, Ron Weasley, magicked to fly them to Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Unfortunately, the car won't be able to fly out of Quizzic Alley even if you magicked it to do so. But you can still sit inside it and pretend it's flying.
Then there's the very important but very patched and frayed Sorting Hat which you can plonk on the top of your head. Which Hogwarts House will the Hat sort you into? Hardworking Hufflepuff, brave Gryffindor, cunning Slytherin or clever Ravenclaw?
And if you start to get thirsty after all that shopping and flying about in the Ford Anglia, then why not enjoy a mug of delicious butterscotch-y, creamy, frothy Qbrew? Only $5 a mug. And in my opinion, it tastes a thousand times better than Madam Rosmerta's butterbeer!
Finally, Quizzic Alley hosts magical birthday parties. The birthday witch or wizard and all of their guests will get to experience a bewitching potions and science class, hosted by a Professor. It'll really be like learning at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
Other important stuff you need to know.
Quizzic Alley is located at 5 Pirie St, Fyshwick. Open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am – 5.30pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm; and closed on Monday and Tuesday.
For more information, visit the Quizzic Alley website here or their facebook page.
"No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."