Last year we experienced a lovely festive Breakfast with Santa at what was then a Wyevale garden centre, so we were curious to see if things would still be as impressive since the takeover by Dobbies. We arrived ten minutes before things kicked off meaning we could take in some of the festive displays before we ventured in to the cafe…
At the cafe we were met by the warm and welcoming staff, who have luckily been retained by Dobbies as they are absolutely fantastic. They showed us to our table and we got stuck into the Christmas crackers and activities.
The great thing is that they really make sure the kids are entertained! A chocolate brownie lollipop can be ‘painted’ with icing and sprinkled with toppings until it resembles a Christmas tree. This went down a treat with both our five year old and our toddler, one even managed to decorate it before demolishing it! They then had wooden Christmas tree ornaments to decorate and a picture to colour in. This gave staff enough time to fill their cups with squash, bring us pots of filter coffee and let us relax while they prepared our breakfasts.
Dining out with kids is always more relaxing when there’s plenty to keep them busy, and this place has really thought about that. I think these brownies are a great idea, they looked tastier than the cookies provided last year but I didn’t manage to sample one as the kids demolished them!
Speaking of demolishing, it was soon time for breakfast. Just a note on cost, for children it’s £13.99 which includes all the activities, breakfast and unlimited squash, storytime with Mrs Claus and a present from Santa. That’s £3 more than last year, obviously because Dobbies have a different pricing strategy but I’d say it’s still good value for what they get and the Christmas tree ornaments are an additional activity they didn’t have last year.
The adults breakfast is £8.99 and includes everything you’d expect in a full english plus a pot of tea or coffee (which they refilled for free). The addition of black pudding this year was greatly appreciated!
Once we’d all had our fill the children were asked to sit on the ground and listen to a story read by Mrs Claus. She has been coming round and talking to all the boys and girls to tell them what was going to happen while they ate which helped settle any nerves and got them excited for the arrival of Santa. She is an absolute asset to this garden centre, at these events it’s the staff that make it a success or failure and she always does a wonderful job of making it special for the children.
Then it was time to shout “Santa” at the top of our lungs so the big man would appear! After a few goes he heard us and walked into the room to big smiles from most (and terrified tears from Little Miss!)
He came over to everyone’s table with gift bags which contained a present suited to each child’s age. Last year children chose a toy themselves, so this was slightly different but our children were very happy with their presents. Little Dude got a Playmobil skier, snowboarder and sledger and LM a stacking wooden rainbow. She has a few already but who knows where all the rings have gone!
LD then took the opportunity to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas and they had a good old chat, no rushing around here! Last year he told Santa he didn’t like chocolate and sweets, not so much this year!
Then it was time for us to go, but not before we’d had a go in the softplay and a wander round to do some Christmas shopping. If you’d like to have Breakfast with Santa there are still some places left. We will definitely be back next year for Breakfast or Afternoon Tea with the Easter Bunny which is just as fab.
Many thanks to Dobbies for gifting us this breakfast in return for our honest feedback.