Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Santa and Christmas Day

We are now home after a magical week away at Ribby Hall in Lancashire.  I can honestly say we have had one of the best Christmases ever.  From my magical belated Flash Mob proposal to our Blackpool day out to spending time together as a family, everything has been perfect.  Ribby Hall has been a perfect location for our Christmas.

Everyone loved the Poppy Cottage accommodation we had called home for the week.  The tree made us feel really festive and Freddy loved looking at the baubles (and occasionally throwing them across the room).  The cottage was well equipped, clean, comfy and spacious.  There was plenty of room for all six of us.  My parents, my eldest son Joe and his girlfriend Jade lived next door.  It worked really nicely, getting together for meals and entertainment, but having space for Grandad to watch the horse racing on Boxing Day in peace!

The kids visited Santa on Christmas Eve following a wonderful breakfast and story time session in the Bar and Grill.  It was my parents' 56th wedding anniversary and to see them have such a magical time was a joy for us all.  The staff could not have been more friendly and welcoming.  Nothing was too much trouble for them.  The veggie fry-up option was impressive.  Usually vegetarian alternatives feel like they are second class versions of their meaty counterparts...but this breakfast was just as good.

My Family feeling festive!
Kizzy had written a beautiful letter for Santa which she hand delivered when she visited the magical treehouse at Ribby Hall.

Writing to Santa

It was a chilly morning but our spirits kept us warm as we sang Christmas songs waiting for our turn to visit the main man himself.  Freddy was getting a bit grumpy but his tears stopped when he climbed the stairs to the treehouse.  Santa was just amazing.  He chatted to the girls and Freddy.  He was up on popular culture and engaged in some TOWIE banter with my older two.  It was so wonderful when he read Kizzy's letter.  She had written such a lovely letter offering to help Santa and thinking of those less fortunate, that Santa actually was reduced to tears.  Whereas many kids want iPads and DS's, Kizzy had thought of her family and children in need around the world.  It was so touching and the most magical Santa experience we've ever had.  When Kizzy received a personal reply from Santa on Boxing Day, she was over the moon.  It made her year!

Kizzy and Santa
Christmas Eve continued with an arts and crafts session which was completely free.  Kizzy and Freddy decorated gingerbread men, made calendars, cards, Christmas decorations and snowflakes.  It was lovely.

I have never had Christmas Dinner in a restaurant before.  We made the decision to eat at the Bar And Grill which had become a favourite eatery during the course of the week, with its friendly staff, beautiful food presentation and imaginative vegetarian options.  We were not disappointed.  The five course meal consisted of a creamy garlic mushroom with black truffle starter, followed by a tomato soup.  The main was a delicious goat's cheese and caramelised onion parcel wrapped in filo pastry served with  seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and gravy.  Brian Turner's Butlin's restaurant could take a leaf out of Ribby Hall's book when it comes to feeding vegetarians a Christmas dinner!  Pudding was a homemade trifle which was light and a perfect choice to round off the meal, followed by coffee and chocolates.  The place was beautifully and tastefully decorated, the staff were efficient and remained friendly throughout.  The food was excellent and the service was slick.  I was worried beforehand that there may have been a 'school dinner' feel to the meal, but I was totally wrong.  It was worth every penny and the relaxing atmosphere with a singer crooning some nostalgic songs in the background made for a wonderful festive dinner.  It was lovely to have space for us all around a table together, something we can't do at home as we don't have the room for us all.

Me and My Five Babies
Ready for Dinner
A stroll back to our accommodation which included a quick play in the outdoor adventure playground really made for a wonderful Christmas Day.  There was entertainment in the evening at the resort, but we spent our evening in our cosy cottage playing family board games I had received from University Games.  Ella entertained us with sing along Christmas songs to round off an amazing day.

Nan and Grandad x
Christmas Fun for Freddy!

For details on the resort and booking information check out

*I have not received anything to post these reviews.  I am sharing my experience because I would highly recommend it to anyone!*


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