It’s been years since we last went to Sherwood for a Christmastime (late November, early December) break, but as the school holidays fell in our favour this year, we booked to go the week before Christmas, we actually got back on 23rd December. This meant a lot of organization on my part, however it all got done and off we went.
When we went there for a summer holiday, we arrived on a Bank Holiday when to everyone’s surprise the weather was lovely. None of the weekends holiday makers had wanted to go home and there was nowhere to park the car. We were eventually instructed to park outside our villa and move the car later. As we arrived this time, I sent a silent prayer to The Car Park Gods that it wouldn’t be like that again. They didn’t listen…
We drove around for an HOUR, during which the tension in the car rocketed. In the end I suggested parking in an Executive Villa spot, they are allocated to that particular villa not for general use, so thank you villa 920. Then we went to Guest Services to tell them what we had done and why. The staff member was very nice, and got onto security straight away, people were then told to park by their villas. Which is all very well but it shouldn’t have been up to me to tell them, they should keep an eye on the parking situation and be ready to step in if necessary. I don’t blame the guests for not going home, they want to make the most of their stay. Center Parcs are quick to build fancy new villas but don’t put any more parking spaces.. rant over.
Anyway, the mood improved after we’d had a nice lunch at Bella Italia, we took a walk around the Winter Wonderland, which I have to say was very impressive, they didn’t have that last time we went at this time of year. There were real reindeer, a talking post box, various animated animals, an owl that told corny jokes and a humongous Christmas tree! Madam and Sir loved it. There was a stall selling mulled wine and other hot drinks, a Christmas shop, Santa’s Grotto and much more, not to mention hundreds of fairy lights!
We had booked two meals out prior to our arrival, which is another minor gripe, time was you could decide on the day, or the day before where you ate but because the bookings are now out of the restaurants hands, that seems no longer possible and it takes some of the spontaneity away. That said, the Sports Cafe is a *just turn up* place and I have to say, it’s been refurbished, the menu revamped and is a brilliant place to eat. The food is lovely, the service is efficient and friendly.
On the Wednesday we had a table booked at the Indian restaurant. All four of us had their set menu and it was divine as well as excellent value for money. The staff were friendly and efficient, and the food.. 😀 we will definitely be going back there.
Thursday was our last night and the kids had wanted to eat at Hucks the American style restaurant. The food was very very nice but I must say, it’s a little pricey compared to what the other restaurants charge. Normally the place would be rammed but not this time, maybe a reflection of that? either way we enjoyed our meal, complete with wine, coffee and sniffter 😀
Of course we went to the subtropical swimming paradise, which is so big it doesn’t matter how many people cram in there. BUT.. (here I go again..LOL) the changing area is in dire need of a revamp, not the easiest thing to do I know, and more chair space is needed. It’s all very well having your cabanas Center Parcs but not everyone can afford or wants one. Just sayin’..also for the amount of disabled visitors there is a woeful lack of accessible changing facilities. Also just sayin’..
I just noticed I’ve used the words “friendly and efficient” twice to describe service received there but for all the faults, for all the nits I could pick, Center Parcs customer service is second to none as far as I am concerned. Other places could learn from them.
Will I be going back.. of course! the kids love it, we go twice a year every year at least 🙂 nowhere else suits our needs as well. It’s our most favourite place in the UK.
I forgot to take my camera with me, so took some photos on my phone 🙂
I (Hubby) paid for this holiday ourselves, I have not been asked to write this, all opinions and photos are my own. This is just my thoughts of a lovely pre Christmas break.