Meeting Santa has moved on a little from 5 minutes in a tacky grotto. Now, thanks to Wyevale Garden Centres, you can actually enjoy an afternoon tea and some quality time with the man in the red suit. We were invited along to the Wolseley Bridge branch to enjoy the festivities and to have a chat with Santa ahead of his upcoming busy night.
Wolseley Bridge garden centre looked like a wonderful winter wonderland on arrival, with pretty lit up trees, Christmas music and a rather adorable magical unicorn on the route to the restaurant. Inside the restaurant, a special area had been roped off that caused much excitement for Joe and my niece Renee, with Santa’s special chair and presents all on display.
The tables were all carefully laid out, with crackers for all, and colouring sheets, name tags and chocolate coins for the children. I was impressed at how well thought out the whole layout was, and also how efficient the staff were – we were actually a little early, but our drinks order was taken within minutes of being seated, with juice for the children already on hand.
Meals had been pre-ordered. We had opted for the hot option for the children – chicken goujons, chips and garden peas. The meal was plentiful and pipping hot, and Joe and Renee were soon tucking in. Joe cleared his plate, which is the best indication I can give of how much he had enjoyed it. While the children were tucking in, Santa arrived and made his way around the tables, to the clear delight of all the kids in the area. He was high-fiving a clearly impressed Joe, and Renee was literally squealing with delight, it was a lovely moment, and with Santa proving to be so friendly and lovely with the children, it was the first of many.
It was not just the children who were having fun. Myself and Pete were treated to a delicious Christmas take on afternoon tea, with turkey, stuffing and Cranberry sandwiches, the most scrumptious warm sultana and cinnamon scones that are possibly the best I have ever tasted, and divine strawberries and cream meringues. There was also a mince pie or two, although this is still a taste I have yet to acquire. While we were eating, the children were presented with a gingerbread Christmas tree with a decorating kit. They both had great fun messing with the icing and mini smarties, making a masterpiece ready to take home.
Once the food was finished the children had the opportunity to spend some time with Santa, chatting about whether they were on the ‘good children list’ and what they would like for Christmas. This was an ample photo opportunity as the children were not rushed off, they could literally spend as long as they wanted with Santa before being given the opportunity to choose from a lovely selection of presents.
The whole afternoon tea with Santa experience was wonderful, with both adults and children enjoying it. You can find out more here.
*With thanks to Wyevale for the invitation.