What do you get when you corral Father Christmas in a secret underground hideaway, add a festive mustering of fir trees, a busyness of Cornish Piskies, a dazzle of glitter, and a charm of excited children?
The brilliant Bedruthan Sugar & Spice Christmas Grotto, that’s what.
My six-year-old twins were teetering on the brink of not believing until I took them along to the grotto at the weekend.
With so many great (and not so great) Christmas Grotto experiences to choose from, what makes Bedruthan’s version so good?
We got to spend a happy half hour exploring the grotto. We saw actual, live Cornish Piskies and got to observe them in their native habitat. They speak a strange but just comprehensible dialect and are very funny to watch. Once they spotted us, they roped us into helping them hunt up some magical ingredients that Santa had sent them out to get. Apparently, Piskies are quite lazy.
And very excitable…they absolutely insisted we accompany them to their snow-covered gingerbread house and that we help them to make magic popcorn to keep Santa’s reindeer flying.
Next, we (mummy included) wrote out our Christmas wishes on luggage tags and hung them on Mawgan, the magical wishing tree.
But the best thing about the Bedruthan grotto was that the hotel had somehow managed to wangle an appearance by Father Christmas Official, rather than one of those fake-bearded, polyester-costumed impersonators.
From this Santa, there were no cursory ‘how-do-you-dos’, ‘here’s a plastic toy’ and ‘next‘.
We got to pull up a toadstool each, sit down and make ourselves comfortable and really get to know him. And he got to know each child, from a babe in arms to my two tough nut tweens, and even a couple of hard-to-please 10-year-olds.
Spending quality time with the real man in red has tipped my two growing-up-way-too-fast children gently back into the realm of tooth fairies, teddy bears and flying reindeer, for which I’m grateful.
And the verdict from my twins?
Issy, aged six, said: “He was very nice. We met some real live Peskies. They were very naughty. They gave Father Christmas lots of trouble”
Arthur, also aged six, added: “Santa was really cool. He made me laugh. Can I have more popcorn now?”