Gates Garden Centre cancels breakfast and afternoon with Santa

by Khrista Davis

Breakfasts and afternoon teas with Santa at the Gates Garden Centre have been cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown tiering system.

The ‘Breakfast with Santa’ was due to start on Saturday (NOV07) and then occur every day in December.

The garden centre in Oakham has had to close its Courtyard Coffee Shop where the event would have run from, to comply with the Tier 3 restriction that Leicestershire was placed under in November.

Tickets were £14.99 per person (adults and children) but unfortunately tickets have had to be refunded to those who had booked even though the event was almost sold out!

Marketing manager of Gates Garden Centre, Ali Bailey said: “Seeing Santa at Gates is a family tradition for many. We usually offer a Santa’s Grotto experience which involves seeing the live reindeer before an enclosed Winter Wonderland Walk and then each family sees Santa individually in his Grotto and then move into the Elves toyshop to select a gift.

“However, with Covid measures we did not feel we could operate this safely this year and so chose to offer a far reduced capacity group Breakfast with Santa instead in our Courtyard Coffee Shop. Either are great for families of all types.”

They were offering a Standard, Vegetarian or Vegan Breakfast and were accommodating for other food allergies too.

The adult breakfast consisted of: 1 sausage, 2 bacon, black pudding, scrambled eggs, 1 hash brown, ½ tomato, sauteed mushrooms, baked beans, roll and butter, unlimited tea coffee or orange juice.

The child breakfast consisted of: 1 sausage, scrambled eggs, 1 hash brown, baked beans, roll and butter, unlimited orange juice; alongside a gift from Santa.

With traditional afternoon tea from finger sandwiches to cakes and clotted cream!

She added: “Though we have offered a Santa Experience at Gates for 20 years, it’s the first time we have offered it in this Breakfast with Santa format.

“Customers were very excited about it and looking forward to the event. They, and we, were devastated when we had to cancel, as many families come annually to see Santa at Gates and many have been coming for generations.”

The garden centre looks forward to welcoming the public back to visit Santa at Gates in 2021.

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