Dear Father Christmas…
Your kids need to get their letters in to the Big FC, if he's going to meet his deadline. Muddy heads to the new Lapland UK Wishing Store – a new immersive storytelling experience at The Lexicon Bracknell to get our requests in pronto.
Taking a child to visit Father Christmas should be fun but it’s fraught with danger. There are questions… endless questions. Why is his beard not real? Why does he not look the same every year? That big tummy was fake mummy. Plus you spend every other day of the year warning your kids not to talk to strangers and then thrust them into the arms of a cuddly man with a white beard. Cue embarrassed emoji and a stream of untruths to silence your kids and keep the magic alive.
But I have discovered that there is a way, Santa’s been retired of his pre Crimbo hustle (well, he is a gazillion years old) and has given the job of collecting children’s wishes to the elves. Bye bye Santa’s Grotto, hello Lapland UK Wishing Store at The Lexicon Bracknell. It is the first of its kind and, I have to say, it is absolutely brilliant.
An outpost of Lapland UK, a festive forest experience in Winkfield (now sold out for 2019), The Lapland UK Wishing Store is an immersive storytelling experience that is keeping the Christmas dream alive – and at £5 per child, it’s incredibly good value.
On the outside it’s just another shop, on the inside it’s like you have disappeared down a Lapland rabbit hole. Wish and Scribble, a 300-year-old fairy and a mischievous elf, are your hosts, there is a beautiful Wishing Tree growing inside the store, a storytelling corner with tree stumps for the children to sit on, old school writing desks to pen your very important letter to Father Christmas and a magic post box that ensures your wishes make it into the hands of the big man and his team of elves.
The ‘small folk’ are captivated from start to finish. Wish and Scribble sing jingles and make time for photos and giggles If there is a place that will keep the magic alive for littlies (and even older children starting to question if the Big Man really exists) this is it. This wasn’t festive fake news, it jump started the seasonal excitement to a level only seen after eating an advent calendar in one sitting.
If the threats of the naughty list are wearing thin, book in a visit to the Lapland UK Wishing Store. It totally won over my five-year old, and, to be honest, I wish I’d had my Elf moment and written my own letter to the FC.
In the absence of a beautiful handwritten note, I thought I’d take the opportunity to whizz around the shops and pop my wishes into Santa’s Inbox (and *wink* Mr M’s, too).
1/ American Vintage cardigan, £200, Fenwick Bracknell
A throw on cosy cardi is pretty all I need to see me through winter, and this super-soft American Vintage alpaca/merino wool mix with flattering 7/8 sleeves is a winner. Available in two other colours, yellow and black.
2/ Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Volume 2 Mascara, £25, Fenwick Bracknell
After many pre-Crimbo late nights shopping, partying, wrapping and decorating, any beauty product that makes my eyes look open is a must-have. I’m a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes is a Christmas miracle for your eyes, creating volume that from nowhere.
3/ Leopard shoes, £85, Office
Grrrrrrr, animal print for the indecisive, these Office slingbacks, with a heel height suitable for walking and dancing. I am obsessed with these shoes, and will hopefully be wearing them from Christmas Day lunch to the New Year’s Eve hoedown.
5/ Label Mix/ Hill & Friends, £95, Next
Emma Hill and Georgia Fendley (credited for revitalising Mulberry) are the duo behind Hill & Friends – launched with a fashion buzz in 2015. Now they’ve brought their fab bags to the high street, producing Next’s first ever Label/Mix accessory collection. The result is a mix of glossy camera bags, mini totes and suede clutch bag. If I could have this red crossbody bag, I promise to be good (also available in Black).
The Lapland UK Wishing Store at The Lexicon Bracknell is open until Tue 24 Dec, book here. The festive fun doesn’t end there, The Lexicon has a traditional Christmas market (German sausage, anyone?), Elven Treasure Hunt with a chance to win tickets to Lapland UK on Christmas Eve; carol singers and more. It’s so darn festive you’ll be fa-la-la-la-la-ling all the way home.