#FanDayFriday – A trip to Cadbury World

This week I had the pleasure of spending a fabulous family day at Cadbury World. One of the foremost family attractions in Birmingham, Cadbury World is a unique mix of history, heritage and fun attractions, all with the added attraction of chocolate, lots of chocolate. There really could only be one choice of topic for this week’s #FanDayFriday.

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Cadbury World is great value for money in comparison to other theme parks and attractions, with a family ticket costing just under £60 for 2 adults and 3 children. On a beautiful day you are able to enjoy the rather wonderful adventure playground, which caters for all ages, with slides and rope bridges at different sizes and levels. You can also save your pennies by taking a picnic, with lots of picnic benches also outside. However, the food is also reasonable, with a child’s chicken nuggets meal coming in at less than £5 for decent sized, freshly cooked portions.

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We started our day with the inside museum and trip around the factory. Cadbury World is gloriously interactive, with narrators on route who set the scene for Georgian London and Victorian Birmingham in turn, showing how the story of the Cadbury family unfolded. You are taken into different rooms, where the story of the Cadbury family and Bournville is told through holograms, and then continue through a fun, 4d experience that shows how chocolate is produced, complete with blasts of steam and moving benches.

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Moving on through the factory, there are homages to advertising and packaging, as well as the chance to watch master chocolatiers decorating chocolate teapots and shoes. The chance to try some melted chocolate, complete with added ingredients like jelly babies and white chocolate buttons, is definitely not one to miss, and there were also some fabulous examples of chocolate masterpieces, including a model of Buckingham Palace created for the Queen’s 90th birthday.

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The Cadabra was a real favourite with Joe and Renee, a trip in a special car through the world of the Cadbury’s chocolate beans. This is really magical, with the lovely scenes including a Christmas and hot air balloons really delighting children of every age (and by every age I of course mean adults!).

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The 4D experience is brilliant, but the queues can be rather large, especially during the school holidays. We didn’t queue up this time, choosing instead to watch the very funny magician and ventriloquist Kimmo, who had the audience roaring with laughter. He was so good Joe decided we had to watch both shows, which is a definite seal of approval from a little boy who can be a tough audience.

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Cadbury World is great fun for all ages and is an attraction that my family just love to visit.

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This week for #FanDayFriday I am linking up with two great blogs, Capturing Sunshine and Beauty By Natasha.  Why don’t you pay their blogs and visit and read some of their inspiring posts.

A day of pampering and fun featuring cake, frocks and Tilbury Taxis

Before I became a mother it is true to say that I took having time to relax or be pampered for granted. There was never any reason not to book a hair appointment, or take a trip to a spa, or just enjoy a day shopping and having a spot of lunch. But once Joe came along it was different. Time really does become the most precious of commodities when you have children, to put it in simple terms, your time is never your own.  And even now, as Joe is getting older, this is still the case. I work during the day when Joe is at work, and then spend most nights at his extra curricular activities, (football 2 nights per week, Karate one night, and then Saturday and Sunday mornings for more football.) So when the opportunity arises for a little bit of me time, I don’t mind admitting that I grab it with both hands.

Ocean Loans recently offered me the fantastic opportunity to have a relaxing day on them. Ocean’s ethos is all about making people’s lives easier, and I was more than happy to enjoy a day where I forgot all about real work, housework and being a soccer mom – if only for a few blissful hours.

Here is how I spent MY day (yes the capitals are totally deliberate!)

Stage 1 – Pampering and Beauty

I took a trip into Birmingham to enjoy a little bit of pampering and retail therapy in the 2nd City. After a quick stop in Selfridges to check out the Jimmy Choo Cinderella shoe, I made my way to the Tilbury Taxis, where I was booked in for a makeover. I’m a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury and her amazing beauty range, so this was a real treat. I was treated to the ‘uptown girl’ which was soft and dewy for daytime, I was also given a pot of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, a product that legendary in beauty circles.  I loved the experience of the Tilbury taxi, which is part of a fleet that Charlotte keeps for pop up (or drive in) events.

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Stage 2 – food

My next step was food. I met up with Emily Jayne to take a trip to Cadbury World for Afternoon tea. You can read all about the tea here,  but suffice to say it was delicious, particularly the Rocky Road cakes that were just full of marshmallows and Cadbury’s milk chocolate.  It was also lovely to have a girly catch-up and chat without having to rush back for the school run.

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Stage 3 – Shopping

Any mom with a young child will understand how fabulous it is to actually have time to shop and even get to try things on! I was on the lookout for a new dress so headed to Debenhams, and particularly the Oasis department, where I had seen two amazing dresses. I tried them both on, and bought one and left one behind. Later regretted not getting them both…

I didn’t get this one…

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But I did get this one…

20151002_153951A little bit of time for yourself can sometimes be the perfect pick me up, and I can say that I had the most wonderful day and felt really refreshed and invigorated after. Ready to go back to being on footie mom on the touchline on Saturday morning.

*With thanks to Ocean Finance for sponsoring some ‘me’ time.

Chocolate Laden Afternoon Tea at Cadbury World

What in the world could be better than afternoon tea? Afternoon tea featuring chocolate products from Cadbury World, that’s what. Last week I went to experience this absolute treat with the lovely Emily Jayne, and we were treated to an afternoon tea with a definite point of difference, the sites and tastes of the Cadbury World Experience.

Cadbury World is a real family experience, one which combines the history of the Cadbury family and Bournville, the village they founded, with the chance to see a real working factory producing the chocolate it is famous for, and the opportunity to taste it in it’s liquid stage. Cadbury World is, in its own words ‘a treat and a half’.

A few views of Cadbury World

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Afternoon tea at Cadbury World is enjoyed in the Pavilion, a cordoned off part of the main cafe/restaurant area.  You can take afternoon tea on Mondays to Fridays with tickets valid from 12.40 to 1.30pm with your afternoon tea to follow. The price for a combined tour and tea ticket is just £19.95 per person, which I think is tremendous value.  The attraction does tend to be quieter then, although you may find school parties there.

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The view from The Pavilion

The table was already laid out for our tea, and we could opt for a pot of tea or cafetiere of coffee, we chose one of each, and also had iced water as it was an inseasonably hot day (for October – unbelievable that Summer makes an appearance once Autumn has set in!). We were then presented with our afternoon tea, all beautifully arranged on a large, traditional cake stand.

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We started with the sandwiches. They were small, bite size pieces with crusts removed, and they were plentiful. The choices were traditional, ham and English mustard, salmon and cream cheese with cucumber, and cheese and pickle. All were tasty, generously filled and surprisingly filling, with the ham and mustard being the pick for me.

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An afternoon tea is not an afternoon tea without scones, and this was no exception. These were huge, and super soft and tasty. The pots of jam and cream were plentiful, and the cream was traditional clotted, which also ticked another box for me. The top tier also featured Macarons, Pistachio and Cappuccino. I tried the Cappucino which was absolutely delicious, with a lovely creamy filling – not too overpowering of coffee, but delicate and sweet.

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The final part of this afternoon tea, and the bit that makes it so special, was the petit fours section. This comprised of a Rocky Road, a chocolate brownie and a macaroon. These are made to special Cadbury recipes and contain that World Famous chocolate. It is hard to explain just how lovely the Rocky Road was – like a melted bar of Dairy Milk smothering mini marshmallows with  – unbelievable. The trip is worth taking just for this.

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You can find out more about the Cadbury World Afternoon tea by visiting their website here or by calling 0844 880 7667. Please note Afternoon Tea is not available during school holidays.

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*With thanks to Cadbury World and Rewired PR for the invitation to review afternoon tea.