Christmas at Kew

I just love the British, come rain or shine we will always get outdoors. Tonight was no exception, as we arrived in Kew and was served our (lacklustre) salt beef sandwich the heavens opened and the rain lashed down upon us. Thunder roared as everyone took refuge in the shop and cafe area but undeterred we put Matilda in her pram wrapped in a blanket protected by her rain cover so we set off on the illuminated trail.

The walk takes about an hour and takes you through a magical journey, Matilda was convinced we were walking through the fairy forest. The lighting installation are beautifully atmospheric and together with the soundtrack make this a rather unique experience. It was a shame it was raining as I was the only one to get the benefit of the musical trees that lit up and played musical notes as you pushed a series of buttons. The idea behind this is to encourage participants that complete strangers to make music together.

For me the most stunning areas were the Lotus room and the Mandala, which was a large circular area covered with gas torches and large barrels of incense alighting the atmosphere (pictured below).

There is also a Santa's Grotto to visit (extra £3 per child) where you are welcomed by a couple of elves who accompany the party to meet the great man himself. This Father Christmas was very jolly and lovely with the children. He was extremely patient with Matilda who talked all over him...

The food was a let down, we ate from the Hot Dog and Salt beef stall, it has the smaller queue for a reason. Bland salt beef, rubber like baps it was tasteless. Probably best to eat at home or try the cafe inside by the shop. The Mulled wine on the other hand was delicious and very warming. There is a small Christmas Market  with some interesting goodies, sadly my Christmas shopping is now complete! A lovely experience despite the weather and one that we will definitely repeat next year. Apologies for some of quality of the photos, it would seem that we lost that battle against the elements.