Our Harrods Christmas Grotto experience
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.
Have you been to Harrods Christmas Grotto? Have you been to any Christmas Grotto yet?
You might also like: Our catastrophic visit to Harrods Grotto in 2015, and Strolling through Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
I really wanted to go this year but by the time we looked to book every date we were available was sold out. I will definitely be going next year! xReplyDelete
What a shame! They were sold out really quickly and there was loads of demand - a friend that booked these tickets had to wait on the phone for hours... If we get tickets next year we will surely go too (and buy the Christmas Bear too - we got one for a friend but then our little one went absolutely crazy for it and I feel a bit bad about not getting her one too...)Delete
Wow I am definitely going to try and get tickets next year then!! It looks amazing!! And you are right about the camera, I do sometimes get carried away and miss the moment! When do tickets get released?Delete
Tickets get released in September and sold out in a few days... Crazy! We were lucky in the sense that a friend of ours booked us all tickets but she had to be on the phone for ages, maybe even hours... Hopefully the ticket booking process is improved for next year. Worth also getting a Harrods reward card, I think you get first dibs if you have one.Delete
Ooh ok will do that thanks! xxDelete
This looks fab, might have to try and get tickets next year! xxReplyDelete
Definitely worth trying, we really enjoyed our experience :)Delete
Oh wow, looks so much fun. My little boy (18 months) would love this. I didn't know Harrods had a grotto though. Perhaps we'll save it for next year :)ReplyDelete
My little one is 18m too and to be honest, they don't understand much. But next ear I think it'll be so much better as they understand who Santa is and can have a little chat with him too :) so next year :)Delete
sounds brilliant and alot better than the grotto we went to last week! xReplyDelete
As far as grottos go, this was pretty well thought out and designed :)Delete
The trip looks amazing and that photo is so worth it. So true about you having the chance to enjoy the moment and not to worry about taking photos =) #binkylinkyReplyDelete
I do get a bit excited sometimes taking photos, and just do that instead of engaging in the moment.... I guess that is quite common with people into photography. This "Harrods rule" was quite good in hindsight :)Delete
In a lot of our family trip photos I am not there cuz I am so keen in capturing the moment for the blog. But now I have mellowed down and would just take photos if I really have time.Delete
Me too - always behind the camera, very rarely in front of it :) Mummy (blogger) duty I guess :)Delete
Looks amazing! Taking our girls to see Santa soon and can't wait! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinkyReplyDelete
That's great - I hope you have a smashing time meeting Santa and blog about it too :) Thanks for hosting :)Delete
It looks like such a nice experience. I love the buckets for the reindeer: how cute is that? The photos of the three of you are great. Memories to cherish for a very long time. #MagixMomentsReplyDelete
It really was quite an experience - probably the best or the second best grotto I've ever been to :) A close contender is the one in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Santa's real home :)Delete
looks so fab and your little girl is super cute. Hope you have a fab christmasReplyDelete
Aww thank you, and a very merry Christmas to you too!Delete
This has brought memories flooding back of taking our two to Harrods grotto when they were super little! #magicmomentsReplyDelete
Aww brilliant, it must have been so much fun going with two kids! They must have had a ball! Lovely memories :)Delete
I'm not going to pretend my Coombe Mill Grotto can match this one. It must be THE grotto to visit. Super pictures and a lovely experience for your daughter. Popping by from Magic MomentsReplyDelete
Hah ha, I am Coombe Mill Grotto would be a very very close second :D It must be pretty magical spending Christmas in a farm, and getting to enjoy the outdoors, hope to hear more of that on your blog!Delete
Wow!! What an amazing grotto. Fantastic pictures and sounds like a lovely experience #magicmomentsReplyDelete
Thank you - it really was a lovely experience and I am glad I got to take these pictures to remember the day from.Delete
This looks really amazing! Such a fab grotto x #MagicMomentsReplyDelete
It was very good - definitely worth going to if you ever get the chance!Delete
This looks SO fab! I am going to my first Santa's Grotto that I am aware of this week at Centerparcs. I've been before, but was very little. It won't be like the Harrods one, but it will be lovely! #MagicMomentsReplyDelete
It was fabulous, most definitely. I've hears Centerparcs has a great Grotto too - I hope you and you mum ;) will enjoy it!Delete
This looks wonderful, and full Santa experience. It sounds like you had a really special time x #MagicMomentsReplyDelete
Oh yes, a full-out Santa experience, and it was fun chatting to the Santa who was very much in character the whole time :) Even if the little ones didn't understand it, it was fun for the adults :)Delete
It looks utterly magical! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogpostsReplyDelete
It was - hopefully Harrods will host you at the Grotto next year when you'll be working with them ;)Delete
Oh how lovely looking at your wonderful photos. I didn't take as many but you definitely captured the magic. I, too, was annoyed by the fact you couldn't use your own camera! Love how you taught Santa some Swedish and Finnish :)ReplyDelete
Thank you :) I was really into taking pictures here, I just thought it would be lovely for us to revisit the pictures when she is a bit older. We did buy the Santa picture as well, one of those things I suppose. It was a nice one, and not ridiculously priced, so OK I suppose :)Delete