On an ordinary Wednesday morning we made our way to an extraordinary world. A little bit of magic right inside the hustling and bustling Knightsbridge, otherwise known as the Harrods Christmas Grotto.
I loved the Winter Wonderland theme, with the birch trees, frosty maple leaves, and snow. Every so often you could spot a little mouse hiding amongst the trees, and every so often you came across a little scene with the mice. They made me think of The Nutcracker, but really, I think they were a reference to the little book Santa gave our little one in the Grotto later on.
Sometimes when you go to a Christmas Grotto and wait for the Santa, it feels like an eternity. Standing in a queue, slowly inching forward. Here you had so many things to do and try out, it didn't feel like we had to wait at all, as there was something to do all the time. Whether is was a log through which you can crawl (or walk if you are small enough), whether it was snowmen and throwing snowballs, or whether it was admiring the mice in their little soldier costumes, there was something to look at every corner. The staff was kind and helpful, and best of all, offering to take pictures of us, and pose for our pictures too.
We knocked on Santa's door, peeked in and greeted Santa. Our little one, still too little to understand who Santa is, was not too fussed with him. Sitting on my lap, attentively looking at Santa, but not really wanting to get too close to him. We parents had a good chat with him, and when I told him I was from Finland, and we would be there for Christmas, he went through the route he'll have to take to my hometown (Tampere) from the North Pole, and told me he knows how to say Merry Christmas in Swedish. We taught him how to say it in Finnish too.
Ailis little friend wasn't to keen on Santa, and poor thing bawled her eyes out as soon as Santa came anywhere close to her. While Santa tried his very best to quietly and non-conspicuously sneak into the picture with them, she seemed to have a Santa-Sense akin to Spider-Sense, and well, you can guess the rest. A classic response to Santa at this age and they've got the pictures to prove it!
There was supposed to be three little friends meeting Santa that day. Sadly, one was so ill she couldn't make it, but after I let Santa know this, we got a little gift to take to her as well. In the bag there was a lovely Merry Christmas -gold coin, and a little storybook.
I did love the little details of the Santa's Grotto, with the snowmen, and the snow, and the little figurines on the way. Additionally, before getting to Santa's dwelling there was a clock detailing how many days it was still to Christmas, and once we got out there was a feeding station for reindeer. How cute!
There was one thing I was annoyed about even before getting there... You aren't allowed to have your camera with you in Santa's Grotto. As the mum that wants to photograph every little detail, I was annoyed, and just thought that typical, they want to sell some overpriced pictures. But to be honest, thinking about it, it was a good thing we weren't allowed to take our own pictures inside. Sometimes you can get so swept up with taking pictures you forget to live in the moment and truly experience what you are doing. And the picture we bought was beautiful, and shall be put out in Christmases come.