I have an admission to make…
Over the past few years, I’ve started to enjoy a trip to the garden centre.
There, I said it. It’s out.
With the combination of pretty flowers, unusual gifts, novelty food, and usually a cafe with some kind of kids play area, how could any parent resist?
At Christmas, they become even more of a favourite of mine too.
Back in the day, garden centres were places my Dad went to, or where we’d visit Father Christmas.
Nowadays, it’s me leading the visit to take advantage of the decorations, gifts, outdoor lights, and of course cup of tea all under one roof.
Even with a husband and small child in tow, there’s something for everyone.
So when we got invited to afternoon tea with Santa at Melbicks Wyevale Garden Centre in Birmingham, how could I refuse?
Afternoon tea at Melbicks Wyevale
We arrived to what I can only describe as the biggest garden centre I’ve ever been to. It was like walking into Narnia.
I eventually managed to distract my eyes from the twinkly lights to direct us to the restaurant but not without a quick face paint on the way (a free event on that day).
Once we made it past the toy shop, we had a short wait before being seated in the tea room.
Greeting us at our table were crackers, cute table decorations, and a menu for Lady P to pick from.
Soon enough, the goodies started to arrive.
For us big ones, an afternoon tea of sandwiches, scones, cakes and of course tea or coffee.
For the kids, a choice of hot or cold food. Penelope picked a cold tea snack box of sandwiches, gingerbread men, an apple, jelly and crisps with squash to drink.
Once we had full tummies, it was time gingerbread man decorating.I can’t underestimate how pleased I was that these sprinkles weren’t being scattered around my kitchen table for once!
And then the moment we’d all been waiting for, arrival of the big man himself.With a cheer from the children to welcome him, Father Christmas appeared to read the children a festive story.
If there’s one thing guaranteed to make memories, it’s a visit to Santa.
From comments like “Santa, I’ve met you before” (my child) to “but we haven’t got a chimney”, littles just have a magical way to surprise and delight.
So what was the verdict?
Although I always love a trip to a grotto, sometimes this kind of thing can be a bit ropey.
The Wyevale experience though, was faultless.
For £10 per child and between £4.50-£8 per adult, families are provided with a flexible choice of food, hot and cold drinks, colouring activities, festive decorations, gingerbread making and of course a chat with Santa and present on exit.
We left 2 hours later with an extremely happy little girl, pleasantly surprised at the good value, and really feeling like the Christmas spirit had kicked in.
Bravo, Wyevale; I’d thoroughly recommend this event.
Disclaimer: We were invited to this event by Wyevale, but not in return for positive endorsement. The opinions expressed are my own.