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Archive for November 25th, 2012

“Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?”
– Lewis Carroll-

Although it’s still only November, things are hotting up for Christmas and that’s an understatement at the local Wyevale Garden Centre in Andover – it’s well and truly Christmas there already. So today I wandered through the Santas Grotto – and it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. (Gallery at the bottom of the page includes all images – there were so many to take!)

Attention to detail has definitely played a huge part here, where walk through the grotto (which is only £1.50!) takes you through an Alice in Wonderland world. There is the option of seeing Santa, but if you’re 23 years old like me – then there’s the option of not as well!

Luckily though, the garden centre manager allowed us in to the grotto to have a sneak preview at where the famous man sits to greet the children. It is completely perfect, a wonderful Santa’s Grotto again with every attention to detail noted. The manager said that they are expecting over 3,000 children to visit…

The fact that it’s all set in a garden centre helps tremendously. Everything is on hand from fairy lights to decorative ornaments and statues, as you’re browsing you can see they’ve used their own products, but they definitely aren’t going for the hard sell approach.

Instead subtly, everything is within reach but not in your face. You can buy the cute lawn hedgehogs and cake stands if you want – but it doesn’t shout at you that you must.

If you’re looking for somewhere magical to take the children, your parents, your grandparents, or even just visit with your partner (like I did!) or friends – then it’s the place to go. With the Yankee Candle shop, Pavers Shoes, Cotton Traders and many more outlets there as well as the huge garden centre and cafe it’s the perfect Christmas outing. Or just a photographers heaven..

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