Going to visit Father Christmas is something of a rite of passage for all children. Most years we visit Father Christmas at the same place, the Ice Palace outside the Mall at Cribbs Causeway. This year however, Wyevale Garden Centres at Cadbury invited us to have breakfast or tea with Santa. As the garden centre is about 30 minute drive from us, I chose to go along for tea.
The garden centre itself was easy to find and the car park was nice and big. Although being the first weekend in December it was really busy.
We arrived at the restaurant at 2.45pm, 15 minutes before the 3pm start time as requested. However, I do wish we had arrived a little earlier which would have given us the chance to look around the garden centre properly. It was so festive it would be difficult even for Scrooge to not get into the Christmas spirit! It has never occurred to me to go to a garden centre for indoor decorations but there were plenty of beautiful pieces there to choose from.
On arrival at the restaurant, we were seated at our table by one of Father Christmas’s elves. As you would expect, the table was decorated with crackers and there was an activity page for Cheeky Chap. There was a throne style chair for Father Christmas to sit on, surrounded by beautifully decorated Christmas trees, complete with gifts under them.
Once we were settled we were offered drinks, squash for Cheeky Chap and a pot of tea or a filter coffee for myself. A short time later we were presented with our food. I had ordered a hot meal of chicken nuggets and chips for Cheeky Chip while I went for the afternoon tea.
Soon after we had eaten, we are asked to sing Jingle Bells. As we were singing the big man himself entered the restaurant. He stopped at each table to say hello to the children. Despite having looked forward to this, Cheeky Chap was rather shy, although he did give Father Christmas a high five.
Once Father Christmas had been by the table, Cheeky Chap was given a gingerbread man to decorate. I thought it rather sweet when he declared he wanted to give it to Father Christmas. Whilst decorating the biscuits, each table took a turn to go up to Father Christmas. When asked what he wants for Christmas, Cheeky Chap said that he wanted an i-Phone(!) or an X-Box. Father Christmas replied saying that the elves were very busy making iPhones and “xy boxeys” which caused Cheeky Chap to laugh at the mispronunciation.
A really lovely thing about the experience was that we were able to take our photos of children with Father Christmas. Places we’ve been to before do not allow you to do this and instead sell the photos at an additional cost, meaning the visit ends up costing quite a bit more than you originally budget for. The elves even offered to take one of both Cheeky Chap and I with Father Christmas.
At £10 for a hot child’s meal and £8 for adult’s afternoon tea, I thought it was very reasonably priced and definitely something we would consider again.
Wyevale Garden Centres have a variety of Christmas events running. Do make sure you check them out for a lovely, Christmassy morning or afternoon out.
Disclosure: We were invited to Tea with Santa in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.