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  1. I doubt there are many outdoor ice rinks which are set in such beautiful surroundings and SKATE in Bournemouth Gardens will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit.

    Skate 2019 1

    This year the rink is even bigger and it took us no time at all to get checked in and swop our shoes for skates.  Our daughter is 3 and hers were the one’s which you strapped on to the shoe which she loved and the rest of us ungracefully made our way to the rink to see who would fall over first haha.

    We’d pre booked the kids skate aids, not just for their sake but also for ours and actually having something to lean on meant I could whoosh her around with confidence.  We did have a little problem though when little miss independent decided she no longer wanted to be pushed around and so she pushed her own skate aid while I slowly and very badly wobbled along by the barrier.  Our 7 year old son is more than happy to be speedily pushed around by his Dad who doesn’t seem to have any fear of falling.

    Collage SKATE Christmas

    Our time went really quickly and when we got off we went straight into Moguls Alpine Bar and enjoyed some seriously delicious hot chocolates stacked with cream, marshmallows, a chocolate flake and maltesers.  There’s plenty of seating with Christmas trees, twinkly lights, sheepskin rugs and even VIP booths for those who want to get a party together. 

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    If you are feeling peckish while you are there then the street food vendor ‘Nosh Box’ is ready to serve a number of dishes like posh hot dogs, loaded fries, noodles and even kids meals.  We didn’t eat while we were there but I did go over to have a nosey and the food looked very appetising indeed, especially the loaded doughnuts with gingerbread ice cream, toffee sauce and smashed honeycombe.     

    Although we visited during the day which was great we also walked through the gardens later when the sun went down and it really is very pretty with all the twinkly lights and huge Christmas trees surrounding it.  

    Collage SKATE Christmas 2

    For families with little one’s there’s reduced rate ‘Toddler Time’ sessions during the week up until 13 December 2019.  The sled style skate aids are highly recommended but it is advisable that you book these in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.

    SKATE is open every day and evening until Sunday 5 January 2020 (excluding Christmas Day) so if you want to treat the family then please visit Ice Skate Bournemouth for more information, session times and tickets.

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    Dorsetmums was invited to SKATE for the purpose of a review however all words are my own.

  2. Every Mum deserves a treat now and again and I recently visited the New Park Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst with a friend for a well deserved relax in the spa and to indulge in the new 'Winter Wonderland' Afternoon Tea which is inspired by the release of Disney's Frozen 2.

    New Park Manor Frozen 1

    We were warmly welcomed in the Spa and given our dressing gown, towel and flip flops before sitting down in the spa café for a quick drink.  I had planned to do lots of swimming in the pool and maybe try out the sauna but we were so busy nattering in the hydrotherapy spa pool and outdoor hot tub that any form of exercise went out the window.  The views of the forest are simply stunning and whilst sitting in the hot tub we enjoyed watching the horses and deer in the fields with moody skies ahead.

    Within the pool area you’ll find loungers, a sauna, steam room and a sanarium which combines humidity with a slightly less intense heat of a sauna.  The changing facilities are excellent with hot showers, lockers, hairdryers and even a whizzy machine which magically near dries your swimwear in seconds.  With the Spa there is also a relaxation room with bean bags, low lighting, soft music and magazines if you would like to have a read.  There’s also a couple of treatment rooms and on a previous visit I had the pleasure of experiencing a deep tissue back massage with aromatherapy oils but they also offer a whole range of body massages, hot scrubs and Elemis facial treatments.

    Collage New Park Manor Hotel 1

    Once we'd managed to drag ourselves out of the Spa we went to the beautifully decorated lounge where we spent 2 hours slowly enjoying cup after cup of tea, finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and divine cakes. 

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    Not only were they all visually beautiful but they tasted amazing, especially the chocolate bomb which has a sharp raspberry mousse inside.  The lemon and blueberry cupcakes and chocolate snowflakes had to come home with us because we both admitted we'd go pop if we ate just one more bite.  Mine were well hidden from the kiddies though and devoured in a dark room on my own haha.

    Collage New Park Manor Hotel 4

    When you walk around the hotel it’s clear to see that they are incredibly child friendly.  In the entrance porch you’ll find children’s welly boots you can borrow, games, area maps and activity packs and the family restaurant provides a good selection of children’s meals and is well equipped with highchairs and colouring in for the table.  For those children who enjoy watching a film there’s a cinema room with plenty of seating, a big screen and toys in the corner.  The most impressive room we came across was the crèche which is packed full of toys and games so you can enjoy a bit of grown up time while they have their own fun with a fully trained member of staff. 

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    The new Afternoon Tea is thoroughly recommended and available at the New Park Manor Hotel and also the Moonfleet Manor Hotel in Weymouth throughout November and December 2019 so you'd better book quick if you deserve a treat too. 

    Full details of hotel facilities and Afternoon Teas can be found on the New Park Manor Hotel and Moonfleet Manor Hotel Websites.

    New Park Manor Frozen 1

    Dorsetmums was invited to the New Park Manor Hotel for the purpose of a review however all words are my own.