Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, being all snug by the fire with my little tribe is just perfect. However, the build up to Christmas can be a little stressful, because we have a few family members that are incredibly difficult to buy for. They either buy whatever it is they need or just like to live simply and don’t have much interest in the ‘latest thing’. In our little tribe we put a lot of value on experiences, which lead me to the idea of putting together an ‘Experiences Christmas Gift Guide’. After all experiencing things and creating memories together are what life is all about!
Spa Day at Macdonalds Hotels and Resorts
A while ago I wrote a post about life getting a bit too hectic and dropping a few of the spinning plates. In a society where working hours are long, stress levels are high and burn out is all too common, a relaxing spa day is a great all-rounder gift anybody can enjoy. I’ve visited a couple of the Macdonald hotel and resorts because they have some amazing deals throughout the year. Myself and Mr. C recently visited one of their spas for their current ‘Autumn spa day for two with lunch’ offer. It was just over £49 per person and we got to enjoy a 55 minute treatment which included a massage and a facial. We had a dip in the pool, used the steam room, sauna and relaxation room as well as having an amazing treatment. Definitely worth the money and it makes for a lovely, relaxing day.
This is something I haven’t done yet, but will definitely be looking at booking when we return from our travels around South East Asia next year. It is such a quirky idea and definitely something different to what anybody would be expecting. During the experience you will be taught how to make a piece of bespoke ironmongery, which you can either make together or separately. A 3 hour blacksmith experience costs £128 per couple. Alternatively if you want to go full hog, you can buy the 5 hour blacksmith experience for £170 per couple. I was advised most people buy the 3 hour experience as there is always the option to upgrade at a later date.
Earlier this year myself and Mr. C took a trip down to London to see Les Miserable at London’s West End. I absolutely love the theatre, but this was the first time Mr. C had ever been. We both absolutely loved the show and are already looking at what one we want to see next. A night at the theatre is a wonderful gift and with Buy a Gift, there are a lot of options for varying prices. Our package also included a wonderful 3 course dinner at Prezzo’s and a lovely bottle of wine, which made the whole evening stress free and thoroughly enjoyable.
After Tea with R Chocolate
I love a good afternoon tea and what better way to catch up with someone than over an indulgent chocolatey one with chocolate infused sparkling wine. We had our chocolately afternoon tea at the R Chocolate shop in Belgravia. It is such a wonderfully calm part of London, that is central enough to get to easily, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle to relax. The scones were delicious and the chocolate infused sparkling wine was so good, we are ordering some for our Christmas celebrations. This indulgent afternoon tea costs £45 per person, but if you would rather not have the chocolate infused wine, you can have the cheaper option without it, which costs £35 per person. We really enjoyed our experience with R Chocolate and would highly recommend it.
Horse riding in the Lake District
Growing up I used to love horse riding, but money got tight and eventually I had to stop doing it. It is something I would love to start doing again, but haven’t managed to get around to yet. I was looking into holidays in the Lake District and came across horse riding experiences in the Lakes. There are number of different places that offer various different experiences for people of varying abilities.
Cumbrian heavy horses offers rides to both beginners and experienced riders on their heavy horses. All horses are powerful creatures and should be ridden with care, but horses of this size need to be matched to the rider properly. Cumbrian Heavy horses ensures that the rider is matched with a horse that suits their experience level and takes them on a trek with suitable terrain for that pairing.
If the idea of riding a heavy horse is a little daunting Murthwaite Green Trekking Centre offer both village and beach rides for people of varying experience levels.
Earlier this year Mr. C and I got to enjoy a very action packed experience at Go Ape. I’m not afraid of heights, but swinging from a platform in the treetops into a net certainly got the adrenaline pumping. There were points at different points in the course that had some truly stunning views. We did our experience at Delemere Forest, so we could to take in the view over the lake and look down at the sea of heather while zip lining. We had such a great time and afterwards we made our way to the café for some tea and cake. Perfect!
I’m fortunate enough to be on the Netflix Stream Team and that means I was invited down to a Netflix blogger event down in London where the marketing team had put together a great day packed of experiences. I really enjoyed the perfume making experience and was surprised to learn all about the levels of perfume and what scents I was actually attracted to when buying perfume. This would make a great gift for a group day out and would be a great way of bringing people together once the festive season is over.
Star Gazing Experience
When I was growing up I was always fascinated by planets and space. Then one Christmas I was bought a telescope and an arts and crafts planets kit. My parents weren’t together, so I would visit my Dad at the weekend and each week we would sit together and paint a planet. When we had painted all the planets, he hung them up in order across the ceiling of my bedroom. I would always look up at them and wonder about space before I went to sleep. That love of astronomy has always stayed with me and stargazing is one of my absolute favourite things to do. There are a number of star gazing experiences online, from independent companies as well as third party retailers such as Not on The High Street. These experiences can be done as a family, a group of friends or as a couple. What a wonderful way to take in the beauty of the night’s sky and make treasured memories together.
*Note: This is a collaborative post. I haven’t been on all of these experiences and would advise researching all experience day providers before purchasing.