On Saturday we had our festive Suffolk blogger meet up at Blackthorpe Barn near Bury St Edmunds. We were kindly given a tour by Director, George, and Manager, Ady, and enjoyed delicious refreshments in one of the barns whilst having a good chat about the world of blogging.
I had written about the Christmas Barn on many occasions for various magazines, however this was the first time I’d managed to visit and there was just so much to see and do. I was amazed by the amount of decorations and gifts on offer, and all the thoughtful touches that had been added by the owners of the Barn.
After our fantastic festive morning, I thought I’d put together a blog post with 6 reasons why you should visit Blackthorpe Barn this Christmas time:
- You can meet Santa
Yes, Father Christmas makes a special appearance at Blackthorpe Barn in the Grotto on the weekends leading up to Christmas (Santa will be there on the 15th, 16th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd of December). We were shown around the magical Grotto before it opened to the public and it is adorable – like a winter wonderland. Children will absolutely love it!
When booking, parents can tell the team what their child is asking for Christmas so that Santa will already know what to say when they meet. Kids will also get to chat to the Elves and be given a small token gift from Santa.
- Experience the most festive shop you will see!
Blackthorpe Barn’s Christmas Shop is packed full with all kinds of decorations, lights and gifts. There was something to suit all décor tastes. Whether you opt for a classic country Christmas, or like to go modern with sparkles and bright colours, there are decorations for you. You can’t help but get into the festive spirit after walking around the store.
- Pick up a real Christmas Tree
There’s nothing quite like having a real tree at Christmas, in my opinion! I love going to pick it out each year and filling the house with the smell of pine. George was explaining that all the trees are grown by the Rougham Estate which has been selling them for over 40 years. He also revealed that the Nordmann Fir is one of the most popular that they sell at Blackthorpe Barn due to the way that they retain their needles.
- Festive Food and Drink
Although we didn’t stop in the café, we did sample some of its delicious mince pies and cakes during our visit. The café serves up soups, light lunches, pies, quiches and sandwiches, as well as cakes, scones and pastries.
We also popped our heads into the Forage Kitchen, a new fine dining restaurant and cookery school at the barn. Forage Kitchen was hosting a tasting menu that day and the aromas around the kitchen were mouth-watering. The restaurant is set out so that you can watch the chefs’ cook and plate up your dinner during a unique foodie experience. You can find out more about the Forage Kitchen by clicking here.
- Wonderful Workshops
At this time of year it’s lovely to get creative and make some handmade gifts or decorations. Blackthorpe Barn offers a range of workshops including handmade crackers, soap and bath bomb making, wreath making, Christmas garlands and felt baubles. Workshops are a lovely activity to do with loved ones and a way to spend some quality time together at this time of year.
- Buy handmade gifts
During the weekends in December, Blackthorpe Barn hosts a British Craft Fair where you can shop from local artists, makers and crafters. Here you’ll find unique gifts such as leather bags, knitwear, ceramics, jewellery, cosmetics and paintings. If, like me, you’re planning to purchase most of your gifts from local businesses this year, then this will be a great place to start!
I hope I’ve inspired you to visit Blackthorpe Barn this Christmas – I’m already looking forward to returning in 2019!
Thank you for having us Blackthorpe Barn!