Easter Peter Rabbit Breakfast at Dobbies Garden Centre

Garden centres are great places to go with young children, whether you are looking at flowers and fish or going to the cafe or if your local garden centre offers children’s activities. I’ve always liked the garden centre near us and when it changed hands a little while back and became part of the Dobbies chain, many people didn’t know what to expect.

As I’ve written before, I was really pleased that the garden centre now includes a small soft play; it is ideal for my daughter’s age and we have been several times. They also offer special events for children, which sell out very quickly, so when I saw a Peter Rabbit breakfast advertised last Easter, I booked right away. My daughter (then 4) and her cousin (5), who was staying with us, really enjoyed it and it included more than I was expecting including a really good quality gift to take home – and a nice breakfast for the adults!

It was a slightly earlier start than I would have liked, at 8.30 – plus advice to arrive 5-10 minutes beforehand. We were seated in the garden centre’s main restaurant, where tables were laid with brightly coloured plastic cutlery and cups for the children, and a Peter Rabbit colouring in sheet and crayons at each child’s place. We had pre-ordered our breakfast and it was served promptly; the portions were a little on the small side for adults and a little on the large size for children but otherwise good. We had a choice of a full English breakfast and a tea or coffee for £8.99 for the adults, or a breakfast roll – I had one with one sausage, one rasher of bacon and one hash brown in it – plus a tea or coffee for £6.99. The children’s breakfast, a slightly smaller version of the full English was £9.99, with a bottle of Innocent juice – but that also included the activities plus a book to take home that had an RRP of £6.99. So overall it was very good value!

When we finished eating, a staff member invited the children over to a table along one side of the restaurant where crafts had been laid out; children could go over whenever they had finished eating which was good as we didn’t have to try to keep them occupied at the table while we finished our meals. They coloured in some bunny ears and a band with pictures of Peter Rabbit, cut them out (with help if needed) and glued the band together to make a headband. After a few photos in front of a large Peter Rabbit sign, we were shown across to the ‘coffee lounge’, a small room just off the end of the restaurant, which I had never noticed before. It was decorated with bunting and had a garden seat in one corner, complete with rabbit soft toys, flowers and more, and two members of staff ran a few games – limbo, musical statues – with the children. Then they sat down and listened to another member of staff reading the Beatrix Potter story of Peter Rabbit, and when the story was finished, each family had a goody bag.

Ours had two books inside – not the same, which I was worried would cause an issue but immediately each girl picked up the one that they wanted and luckily didn’t want each others! I assume the books were chosen according to age (we had given the girls’ ages when we booked); there was a beautifully illustrated copy of the traditional Peter Rabbit story, and a brightly coloured lift-the-flap book of a new Peter Rabbit Easter egg hunt story. Both girls were very pleased and so was I, as it was a lovely book and a really enjoyable event. This year Dobbie’s is running another event, an Easter Bunny Breakfast, which looks a bit different as it isn’t Peter Rabbit themed where the children will follow the Easter Bunny on a hunt around the store. Unfortunately we left it too late to book but will look out for it earlier next year!

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