It’s that time of year again, Grotto season! They’re everywhere, shopping centres, garden centres, farm shops, supermarkets, trains, boats and even schools. There really is nothing more exciting for children than Christmas and meeting Santa so with all the options available for entertaining our little ones, it can be difficult to make the best choice for your family and also, more importantly to not throw our hard-earned cash at festive blunders.
So with this year’s festive season amongst us, I have been thinking about what makes a good Father Christmas meeting experience. Of course, the atmosphere, ambience, quality of Santa and also the present are all relevant but for me, the facet of value for money and other facilities on offer also matter. It’s the experience of the entire deal, and actually I am pleasantly surprised to report that Brewers Fayre have considered all these points and, managed to cover them pretty well.
This weekend we were very lucky to be invited to the launch of ‘Breakfast with Santa’ at Coach House, Brewers Fayre at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. Bookable now, you and your family can join Santa and his elves for some festive fun over breakfast. As part of the deal, which begins next weekend, each child also receives a Beano inspired gift from Santa and is served with a scrumptious breakfast to get their ‘gnashers’ around!
Coach House in Manchester was built in 1998 and is actually one of the biggest Brewers Fayres restaurants in the country. It’s the ideal family friendly restaurant, with portions of freshly cooked food, an all you can eat Chef’s Counter & a large Fun Factory (which also offers children’s parties every day). The pub is SUPER close to Legoland & Old Trafford & less than a five minute walk from the Trafford Centre so it’s perfect for calling in for breakfast, lunch or dinner in and amongst Christmas shopping!
Brewers Fayre offered us Breakfast with Santa with lots of fun and a hearty breakfast. They did not let us down. We arrived at the fun factory a little early so the kids headed off to play whilst I took advantage of the (unlimited coffee) Costa machine! Soon though it was time for us to meet Santa, and receive some presents and festive cheer too! Here are Gabriel and Willow enjoying their visits!
The kids LOVED waiting for and seeing Santa in his ‘grotto’ the excitement on all the little one’s faces was lovely to see and actually, made me come over all festive too! Each child was given a beard prop and each also had their own five minutes or so discussion with Santa, then posed for photographs. I’m very happy with the photograph below, it’s by far the best grotto photograph I’ve managed so far!
Breakfast with Santa gives your little ones some Christmas memories to cherish. Both Gabriel and Willow enjoyed joining Santa for the fun and games, presents and of course, their tasty breakfast! Meeting Santa over breakfast gives the children time to meet, chat and complete some play activities with Santa, rather than just a few minutes in a grotto. What’s also great is that the whole family can get involved, Santa is more than happy to pose for a festive family photo at the grotto!
Whilst the children ate their breakfast and enjoyed a story from Santa, I headed to the breakfast buffet to grab some food. As a vegetarian, I usually avoid full English breakfast, but actually I was pleasantly surprised; there was an array of eggs (cooked scrambled or fried) vegetarian sausages and also meat items, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns, and lots of different types of bread, including other toasting items and pastries (as shown below) along with preserves for those who prefer a more Continental approach! Santa joined us whilst we tucked into our breakfast, chatting to everyone equally, securing festive cheer throughout.
As part of the launch, we were able to have our faces painted** as a special treat. Belinda’s Face Art achieved wonderful results as you can see below! I even decided to have my own face painted and proudly displayed it around the Trafford Centre afterwards! Well, I was feeling all convivial!
Brewers Fayre also as part of the Breakfast with Santa event provide an Elf Workshop which includes colouring and puzzles for the children whilst Santa chats to them about their wishes for Christmas. It was relaxed, fun and lovely to see the children enjoying their time with the big man!
Overall, we had a great few hours at the Coach House for Breakfast with Santa. The staff were lovely and friendly and we felt welcomed. None of the experience felt rushed which for me is a bit issue with paid Christmas attractions and grottos. The breakfast food was good, there was plenty of choice and coffee aplenty, an added bonus for tired grown ups! I also think the experience is good value for what you receive, sure the present isn’t amazing in terms of value, but it contained enough to keep the kids entertained for a few hours upon our return home. Which lets face it, is what it’s all about!
Santa was cheerful, friendly and chatty. In fact, probably the best Santa we have come across to date. It was good to see a good outfit, quality props and also most importantly, a realistic character and personality. The kids loved him and they especially enjoyed the story telling. It just felt, traditional, which makes me happy.
Are you feeling all festive now? For us this was the start of the celebrations. Whilst I am not planning on getting a tree for a few weeks yet, it doesn’t stop us having Christmas fun in the meantime! What ever treats you chose for your kids this year, we hope you have as much fun as we had at Brewers Fayre.
The Breakfast with Santa experience costs £8.99 per child and this includes all activities and a gift. Pretty reasonable, yes? I thought so too. so for less than £10 your child will be fed and watered, had a visit from Santa and also partaken in some festive activities too.
Santa will be visiting Coach House on the: 10th & 11th December, 17th & 18th December, 22nd, 23rd & 24th December all timed 10-1130am, so book now to avoid any disappointment. Alternatively, contact your local Brewers Fayre for listings, Santa is doing the rounds!
*Disclosure: We were invited to the launch of ‘Breakfast with Santa’ at Coach House, Trafford Centre, Manchester in exchange for a review, all words and opinions are my own. For further details please see my Disclosure Policy*
**Please note the face painting experience is not normally available as part of the Breakfast with Santa package