Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Winter Wonderland & The Jolly Hog

Winter Wonderland is carnage there is no other way to put it. If you are in London or the surrounding areas you won't have escaped the hype around the Capital's biggest festive destination. There is an ice rink, a 5D Ice Age cinema, a magical ice kingdom, a circus, a giant observation wheel, christmas markets, Santa land, live music, Oktoberfest, German markets, roller coasters, zip wires to carry you from one end to the other and hundreds of thousands of people. Literally.
At first glance it seems like one huge Christmas theme park full of burger vans, chips and waltzers accompanied by blaring music, which it is. However, if you take time to look and don't get too annoyed with the crowds (I got serious buggy rage, yes I will ram your legs with the buggy if you walk in front of me then stop), there are gorgeous artisan products such as German cider flavoured with cinnamon, flamed salmon cooked in front of you over a wood fire, homemade British sausages and roast hog (more of that later) and live bands. The ice rink is gorgeous if you can get on, canopied by thousands of twinkling fairy lights, and the Oktoberfest tent has an awesome apres ski feel to it. The attention to detail for such a temporary attraction is great, everywhere you look there are giant snowmen, polar bears and Christmassy decor.

I must also mention our family business the Jolly Hog who are trading this year, situated on the Serpentine corner of Hyde park, near the talking tree. They serve up the best homemade British sausages and hog roasts with crispy crackling and apple sauce, all made by the Hogfather himself. Run by my husband and his two brothers, make sure to say hi if you go down.

We decided to visit the park on a Sunday and the crowds were huge, apparently it gets even bigger in December and nearer to Christmas, so be prepared if you are taking small children. We took the Dude in a Baby Bjorn sling and Honey bug went in the Maclaren. Due to the immense crowds you have to walk very slowly, people constantly walk into the buggy which drives me mad and you wouldn't want a toddler to walk unaided in case they got lost or knocked over. The facilities and baby change are good though and there are lots of nooks and crannies to take cover in. Honey is a two and loved it, she was speechless the whole time (which is a first) gazing at the lights and goings on. Dude slept the whole time. I would highly recommend a trip to Winter Wonderland to get you in the Christmas Spirit, a mid week trip would probably be calmer and quieter than a weekend, either way it is definitely worth a trip. It is free too, so you can just walk in.