Anorak News | Santa’s ‘Close Friend’ Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen And The Papers Say The Rubbish Magical Journey Is ‘Amazing’

Santa’s ‘Close Friend’ Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen And The Papers Say The Rubbish Magical Journey Is ‘Amazing’

by | 24th, November 2014


Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen designed The Magical Journey, near Sutton Coldfield. And Santa Claus himself endorsed it:

“Father Christmas has selected the Belfry Resort and also asked his close friend Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to create a ‘North Pole Outpost’ that will be a winter wonderland of magic and drama.”

Vistors calls the place “appalling”, “cheap” and “rip off”.

Mother-of-four Michelle Guarini, from Stourport-on-Severn is on critic:

“They made out it was going to be a fantastic, Narnia-like experience and there were workmen wandering around with cigarettes. The Christmas market was about six shacks and there were some elves who didn’t seem to know what they were doing. The kids were bored. It was appalling.”

That’s elves and kids for you.

No word from trusty Santa on the crappy he advertrised show but Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen says it will all be made better. Just as soon as it’s reopened. The deisgner issues a statement:

“Laurence’s involvement has been purely creative with nothing to do with production or management of the event and we very much hope that the efforts being made will make the experience much closer to his original ravishing vision.”

But the celebrity did tweet:


Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 16.47.53


Event director Paul Dolan says the winter venue approved by a man who lives at the North Pole was “severely hampered” by bad weather.

Go figure.

But one reviewer does love it.

The Great Barr Observer told its readers:

Taking your child to visit Father Christmas is one of the things parents look forward to most about the festive season. But too often you end up heading to the local shopping centre, paying £8 to have your little darling plonked on Santa’s knee and hoping they don’t pull off his fake beard.

We always thought someone could do better than that, and now thankfully someone has.

The Magical Journey at The Belfry bills itself as the ‘ultimate Christmas experience’ and you’re not just visiting Father Christmas; you’re a part of the story.

Designed by the famously flamboyant Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, the experience is styled to reflect a European Christmas with all the magic, mystery and fairy tale qualities you would expect. If American take on the season of goodwill leaves you cold, then The Magical Journey is for you…

Then it’s onto a magical train and into the Narnia-like woodlands, with snow laden Christmas trees but a less generous covering of snow on the ground. It smells, looks and feels exactly how a Christmas adventure should, and when you stumble on Santa’s house it is a real surprise for parents and children alike.

Gavin Jevons noted:

“People need to lighten up. We went on Saturday and my little girl loved it. Yes, perhaps a few things could have been done differently but it’s what you make of it that counts. For £20, it’s a bit unrealistic to start demanding Disneyland.”

Not if the local paper told you it was better than Disneyland…

Posted: 24th, November 2014 | In: Celebrities Comment | TrackBack | Permalink