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As I walked around Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland I must confess to getting a little flurry of that festive feeling. From themed bars and a Christmas market to traditional fairground fun and an array of Christmas themed rides; I must admit that as I walked around with the twinkle of lights and waft of mulled wine I suddenly realised that Christmas is most definitely on its way, especially as I felt a twinge in my bank balance.

20151213_135538 Yes, indeed with two children in tow Winter Wonderland can turn into money-wonderland as whilst the rides start from two tokens per child it can soon mount up.   Many of the rides were costed at four to six tokens each child, but when I had to accompany my youngest daughter my ticket then needed to be factored in and suddenly I was parting with eighteen vouchers and when a voucher equals one of our lovely British pounds, you start to wonder whether you are getting value for money.

20151130_155614If you just want to absorb a bit of Christmas atmosphere then it’s worth remembering that it is free to get into Winter Wonderland, meaning that you can wander around the event taking in the sights and smells without parting with any of your pennies. This event is not weather dependent either, as the evening I visited it was raining quite heavily, but everything was still operating and it didn’t spoil the visit. Indeed when enjoying the lights, market and rides we hardly noticed how wet we were getting.

20151130_165433The Giant Observation Wheel was well worth queuing for, not only did I get to take in the London skyline but I got a fantastic view of Winter Wonderland from above and it really was a pretty and quite exciting sight. Priced at £16 per adult and £12 per child and lasted around fifteen minutes, it was much better value than the hot chocolate drinks and shrink wrapped cake that I purchased whilst standing in the queue that totalled £22.

20151130_171658With my visit to Winter Wonderland complete I concluded that my skills on the coconut shy have not improved any and that my two little girls are both thrill seekers with no ride being too fast for them. I left feeling a little more festive and inspired to put up the Christmas decorations at home, but having been bit by the festive bug, when the opportunity to visit Santa’s Lapland came up I leapt at the chance. So this week my Welsh Wittering’s are written against the snowy backdrop of Finland.

The girls and I are having a wonderful time in Lapland and we have experienced everything from toboggan runs, snow shoeing to witnessing the Northern Lights. Today we are of on an expedition to find Santa in the forest, we will be going on a sleigh ride to see the Elf workshop before seeing Santa. It promises to be an authentically magically festive day, but I shall keep the rest of the details of my trip until next week’s Witterings.

20151213_140805Well until next time I bid you a fond farewell and festive cheer from Finland.

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About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com