Over the years we have tried to mix it up when it comes to visiting Santa – last year we topped it with seeing the big man himself in Lapland. This year we knew it was going to be impossible to top that – but that doesn’t stop you trying so we looked around and decided to take a visit to a new luxury hotel – Oddfellows on the Park – close to where we live offering a Grotto followed by Afternoon Tea.
Oddfellows on the Park is a new hotel nestled in the grounds of Bruntwood Park in Cheadle, Cheshire. It is the newest member of the Oddfellows chain and like the sister hotel in Chester it rates design, playfulness and service highly. It has 22 bedrooms, a gourmet restaurant, cocktail bar, flexible event space and a beauty salon (called the Pigsty).
This was our first trip to the hotel and after seeing the beautiful décor and the brilliant, attentive service, as well as delicious food, it certainly wont be our last although I may make it a grown up visit with Mr TWB.
On arrival at the venue we were greeted by an Elf in the reception which has a stunning staircase as it’s centrepiece. Whilst we waited for Daddy to park the car and arrive we admired the quirky photo/paintings adorning the walls.
We could hear the excited chatter coming from one of the function rooms and Ella was raring to get in so once we were all there the host (Elf) took us through and asked our preference to Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate which was served pretty quickly. I treated myself to a glass of Prosecco too which felt only fitting as we are celebrating Christmas.
The venue had some craft bags put together to keep the children entertained (and small donation for their chosen charity was offered) which was a lovely touch and stopped the little ones getting restless.
Then it was time for the main event (well for Ella anyway – me personally I was looking forward to the cake). We headed through to the Grotto which was just a small area and whilst not the most flash Grotto I have ever seen the Santa was just lovely. Ella was not rushed at all, Santa chatted away to her about all sorts – from her love of Strictly to school and everything in between. After promising to leave a carrot for Rudolph and a little something for Santa she was given her gift.
What was a lovely touch from the venue was that each present was labelled for the specific child and not just pulled out of a random sack. The gift itself was brilliant and as if they already had intel into what she loves. It was a make your own Bath Bombs set and she loves it. What we noticed is that each child appeared to have a different gift too which felt really special.
Then it was time for the food. Our savoury and sweet delights were waiting for us back in the function room and we loved the fact that they provided a kiddie version with their very own little plate. The food was fabulous and we left the hotel feeling satisfied and totally in the festive mood.
I thought it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours and would recommend it but that was not all. After returning home I received a call from the hotel asking for our address as they would like to respond to Ella’s letter to Santa.
I should probably tell you at this point that my little girl is pretty obsessed with the film The Descendants, and in particular the girl that plays the lead character Mal – Dove Cameron. She popped on her Christmas list that amongst other things she would love to meet Dove. Now, of course, Santa couldn’t help her out with this one but they did the next best thing and sent her a “signed autograph”. Now to say that she is thrilled is the understatement of the year – she has taken it in to school and just couldn’t be happier.
Our couple of hours at the hotel with Santa and then enjoying some lovely food was enough – but this hotel has gone above and really made a little girl remember this experience, no doubt for years to come. A truly class act in my eyes.
They obviously know who to truly look after their customers and put them first and due to this we cannot wait to return.