It’s not often I wax lyrical about something, but we had SUCH a lovely time visiting Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centre in Ongar. We were invited to go along so I could blog about it, so I had my reviewing head on, but I was soon swept up in just enjoying it all.
We arrived and walked in past all the lovely real Christmas trees, which got me in a festive mood straight away. We have a fake tree, which is ridiculously large as I got over excited in the John Lewis online sale last year and accidentally bought one that brushes the ceiling. Whoops! If we move next year, and have our own house, then I’ll be very tempted to get a real one and I will remember the beauties I saw at Wyevale.
We walked into their cafe area to be greeted by Santa’s Elves and helpers, who were all very chirpy and on form I must say. We had a table with crackers, and Rian had a place name and a note from the Big Man himself telling him he’d made the good list (which must have been a relief for him as he knows perfectly well that his default mode is little-sod)
We had a lovely fry up and lots of coffee while Rian finished his breakfast and did some colouring at the table, then, when all the tables had finished their food, the Elves came over and said it was time to call for Father Christmas! So all the littles sat down on a mat, and were given sleigh bells to jingle and had to yell “FATHER CHRISTMAS!!!” Which they did, loudly.
Then there he was! A very jolly, well dressed up Santa. Rian is at the perfect age for Father Christmas now. He’s suspicious of shoddy efforts, and always checks their beards to see if they are falling off! I’m pleased to say that the Wyevale Santa had an excellent beard.
While we were waiting our turn, we went back to our table and were bought snowman cookies to decorate with icing and smarties, which kept Rian entertained brilliantly (mainly eating the decorations rather than doing any decorating apart from squeezing out all the icing in one massive blob) Clever move!
When it was our turn, we went into the little grotto (why does Santa always sit in a grotto? What even is a grotto? Is it like a manky little cave? Anyway) Rian sat next to Father Christmas, who, it turned out, was something of a comedian. He told Rian that he could tell when he was doing fake snoring, because his real snoring lifted off the roof of the house (which was how he gets in haha!) He also somehow knew that I squeeze the presents! How?! He really made us laugh, and then he made Mark sit on his knee ahahahahaha – it was very entertaining.
It ended up with Rian getting to pick a present from under the tree – they weren’t wrapped, so he got to pick something he really liked the look of, so we ended up with a geology set where you hammer lumps of rock to get ‘gems’. He loves it (Mark less so haha) We even picked up some crackers and a decoration for the tree (I get a new one every year – nice shiny owl this year!)
All in all, it really was a top morning and I couldn’t recommend it enough. We had a lovely time. You can still book I think if you want to try it, and although our trip was sponsored, it would have cost £25 for the three of us which I thought was really good value. They have breakfast or tea options too, if you can’t handle early starts! You can find their booking system on their website. Enjoy!