It's generally accepted around these parts that I am actually the self proclaimed queen of Christmas and Looby of course being the magical unicorn that she is still holds Santa in extremely high esteem (it is as it should be) at the age of 12 so when the lovely people from Wyevale Garden centres said they would treat Looby and a friend (and me) to tea with Santa I couldn't really refuse!
I think it's lovely when other organisations embrace a 12 year olds love of the special big man in the red outfit and this is exactly what Gosforth, a Wyevale Garden Centre (we call it Peter Barratts of course) did for us, Santa spent lots of time talking to Looby and her best friend and I really felt like they were welcomed and accepted into the magic along with the other 20 or so children present, all of whom were at least 2 foot shorter than Looby!!
The afternoon started with afternoon tea for the adults and the children's teas cooked to order, there's a choice of menus you can choose from to try and cater for most children's tastes. Looby and her friend had chicken goujons with chips and peas and everything was made fresh.
My festive afternoon tea was a turkey sandwich, scone with jam and clotted cream, mince pie and a cup of tea or coffee.
Whilst we waited for the kids hot food to come out the girls got on with designing their special cookies, much fun was had -
I think you're never really too old to decorate cookies, especially if you get to eat them as part of your dinner!!
Soon, we'd eaten our food and it was time for all of the children to gather and shout for Santa who'd gotten lost, could the children all shout loud enough so that Santa could find us? Of course he could, have you ever heard a group of 25 children shouting loudly?!
Santa arrived along with his elf and the jingle of festive bells, he then went and spoke to the kids at each table telling them what was going to happen next, soon it would be time for the main event....
When we'd first arrived at tea we were all given special cards and now we would find out that when Santa's helper called your card it was time for you to make your way to a short queue to finally have that all important meeting where you could fill him in on your present requests, Looby and Elisha decided they would both speak to him at the same time and after some posing for photos I observed a lovely chat between the happy festive trio, we didn't feel rushed at all like you do at some festive events and he was as attentive to the girls as he was to all of the teeny weenies, some of whom we're overwhelmed in his presence, I'm hardly surprised, he is after all one of the most important people in the whole of the universe!
After speaking with Santa all of the kids proceeded to go to a present table where they could select the gift they most wanted, sadly there wasn't anything completely age appropriate for 12 year olds but Looby chose an art set and her friend chose a make your own alien set which she's going to give to her brother for Christmas.
If I had tiny niggles it would just be that they were given activity sheets at the tables but there were no crayons, it took me an age to actually get my cup of tea and although you have to fill in the age in advance they really didn't have any presents suitable for anyone who was over the age of about 8, small niggles though and if you have a child who's 4-8 you are going to love this event, it's going to make your Christmas sparkle and give you memories you'll be able to talk about for years to come.
To book your breakfast of supper with Santa just click here - http://www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk/breakfast-or-tea-with-father-christmas
Tea and breakfast is available right up until Christmas Eve and it's £9.99 for children and £7.99 for adults and when you consider everything you get I think it's amazing value and both girls said they had a brilliant time and they came away from it loving Santa even more than they did when they went in the garden centre.