Who knew that Hanley’s dingy old bus station could be transformed into something so adorable and festive?
I’ve been wandering past Stoke’s Winter Wonderland feature since it was set up in November and kept saying to Jake that we absolutely have to go, and finally, we did.
Stepping through the entrance is like stepping into a completely different universe, from a gloomy city centre of grumpy Christmas shoppers to a gorgeous Christmas village full of stalls and fairground rides.
First on the agenda was to get a cup of tea, because it was bloody cold and I need a regular tea-fix. With brew in hand we had a nose around the little stalls selling decorations, gifts and yummy sweet treats before making our way into the heated marquee to chill and listen to Christmas songs.
There are so many smells you don’t even know where to look or what to get your hands on, mulled wine, German hotdogs, crepes, doughnuts, chocolate fountains, beer, everything just smelled amazing. Hotdogs and burgers were being cooked on a huge (I mean huge) hot plate in the centre of the main entrance and I just couldn’t resist getting a Frankfurter. You know when the smell of food makes your mouth water? Well, I was practically drooling.
Of course you’ve got to have a pudding? You can’t not, right? Nutella crepe sold it for me and we sat back in the cute marquee under the Christmas lights whilst I munched away.
It’s actually unbelievable how many attractions have been fit into the old bus station, from Crazy Mouse to The Sizzler and a really tall ride that made my stomach do somersaults just looking at it. There’s even a little ice rink!
The only thing is, if you want to do Winter Wonderland properly, you have got to splash the cash (and quite a bit) with ice-skating being around £12 and each ride costing around £2.50-£3 each, you could easily rinse £30 without getting food. However, it’s equally as nice to have a wander around, get some food and a beer and listen to a bit of Slade for under a tenner!