You know Christmas is just around the corner when you pull up outside a pub on a frosty, bitterly cold Saturday morning with two small people bouncing around the car in utter excitement ready to have breakfast with Santa. Or is that just me?
We were recently invited along by Brewers Fayre to try out their new 'Breakfast with Santa' experience and we headed to the Coach House at the intu Trafford Centre to give it a whirl. The Coach House has a soft play area for families which is separated from the rest of the restaurant and this is where we headed first (if only to allow the kids to burn off some energy!)
Whilst we waited for the other guests to arrive and for Santa to be ready, the kids ran around and made the most of the play area and we enjoyed a hot drink from the safety of the seating area. Then it was time to head back into the main restaurant and meet Santa!
I have to say, that of all the Santa's we have met in the last 8 years, this was probably the best one. He never stopped being in character, even when the kids were sitting down to eat their breakfast, even when he was talking to the adults, even when no-one was around to see him. He was funny and engaging, he took the time to speak to each child individually and to try and put them at ease...in short, I was very impressed.
He even allowed myself and James to sit on his knee and tell him what we'd like for Christmas. Is that a good Father Christmas or what?!
The breakfast was a hot buffet for adults and a small selection of cooked items already plated for the kids. I loved the detail which had been put into the experience, such as the chair covers; it just made it that bit more festive. After a few minutes, once the children had all settled down to eat, Santa again took the time to walk amongst the tables and chairs, chatting to each of the children and really building their excitement for Christmas.
The actual area for Santa was well done as well, and when he gathered all the children to sit around and listen to a story it looked very atmospheric. Again, Santa was really captivating and the staff who were helping were really good at getting all the children to sit down and engage with the story being told.
After the story it was back to the soft play area where the children we given free rein to run around and enjoy themselves. There was also face painting available and an Elf Workshop for any children who wanted to have a go at colouring and quiz sheets. The staff were on hand at all times, encouraging and chatting with the kids and even Father Christmas made a quick appearance before he headed off back to the North Pole.
Overall we were very impressed with the level of thought and detail which had been put into the event. The kids were generally awed by Santa and didn't stop talking about him the whole time. I loved that it wasn't just a quick 'meet Santa, get your gift and then be on your way' type experience but that they got to chat with Santa and listen to a story before being given the opportunity to play and engage with other activities. It felt like you would really get your money's worth if you decided to book.
It costs £8.99 per person for the Breakfast with Santa experience and this includes a meet and greet with Santa, Christmas activities, all you can eat breakfast and access to the soft play. When you consider how much you are getting for the price then it really is worth it. The experience is available at selected Brewers Fayre restaurants from 5th December.
Thank you to Brewers Fayre and the team for making it such an enjoyable visit and thank you for inviting us along!
We were invited to Breakfast with Santa free of charge in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.