The following is a guest blog from our resident Berry Family, Ben (Dad), Katie (Mum) as well as their two children Flo (aged 2) and Bertie (aged 1, he came to stay for his Birthday!). Written by Ben it covers their recent trip to see the Blackpool Illuminations whilst staying with us at Lancaster House Hotel using our City and Seaside Offer, a Room Only offer, 20% discount on food or drink purchased at the hotel during your stay, and complimentary in room goodies.
A Trip to see the Blackpool Illuminations
Lancaster House is one of our favourite hotels and has become our most visited with how busy the Lake District is. We love it for the pool, the food and the spacious rooms but this time we wanted to visit to make use of the new City and Seaside Offer and head to Blackpool for the Illuminations which have been extended until 3rd January 2021.
Our Favourite Hotel in Lancaster
On our arrival it was great to see all the Covid secure policies being adhered to but not stopping a friendly check in. Whilst our room was ready we wanted to get right to lunch in Sandemans Bar. One thing Katie always mentions is how good the children's menu is at Lancaster House, giving both plenty of choice and not being a “nuggets and chips” offer. Called The Sams Club menu it is not only a great selection of food but it doubles as a colouring in sheet. Flo always goes for the Pawfect Penny Pasta, Bertie didn’t get much choice (since he can’t talk) with us choosing a Veggie Bits and Dips for him.
Being Vegetarian there was plenty of choice for me and I opted for the Veg Fajitas and Katie went for the Teriyaki Salmon Supreme. To get us going we got something small, Pigs in Blankets with English Mustard dip and Marinated Olives. Whilst I thought the Olives were just for me, Flo couldn’t help but eat as many of the green olives as she could. Katie breathed in the Pigs in Blankets whilst I raced Flo through the Olives.
Flo was quite demanding for Pink Ice Cream but we got her to the room promising the Fish we would see later at Sea Life Centre. We opted to upgrade to one of Lancaster House's Luxury Studio Suite. These rooms are fantastic, lots of space and great for a family. We use the sofa bed for Flo and then a cot for Bertie. The bathroom is huge! I've been in the bath with both kids and the complimentary toiletries worked great as bubble bath.
The City and Seaside Offer offer includes Popcorn, Cookies and Juice for the kids (as well as a hot chocolate voucher). We tried to open just one bag but had to open both in the end to stop arguments. The cookies we kept for later.
One of the great features of the room is that it has two TVs and a dividing door meaning Flo can watch the TV in her bit and we can watch something else in the main bed area, very well designed indeed. Of course that didn't stop Flo jumping on our bed...
Katie's top tip: upgrade to a Luxury Studio Suite for only £40, it's worth every penny!
Parking in Blackpool
Lancaster House is so well positioned to get into the Lake District, but today's fun would be in Blackpool. Google Maps quoted us 36 minutes from Lancaster House car park to Blackpool Central car park. Of course it took us a little longer as despite Flo telling us she was fine when we left, the moment we joined the M6 there was a “me think me need a wee wee” from the back. Thankfully Lancaster (Forton) Services are literally a mile down the road. Central Car Park was full and so we parked at the Houndshill Shopping Centre, which is equally well placed to get to our Attractions.
Blackpool's Sea Life Centre & Madame Tussauds
We had pre-booked timeslot access to the Sea Life Centre and Madame Tussauds. The kids absolutely loved all the fishes and, whilst I was worried they might be, they weren’t at all bored in Madame Tussauds. It’s easy to assume Madame Tussuads is just looking at statues but there is plenty of interaction, sounds and lights to keep everyone having fun. Using a pram in Madame Tussauds we felt like royalty as we got to use a lift with a gentleman who would tell us a little more than everyone else seemed to get. Flo particularly liked the Sharks in Sea Life and seeing daddy lift the Taxi like the Hulk in Madame Tussauds.
Katie's top tip: Pre-book attractions online, they do bundle deals to help bring the price down. Under 3's are free!
Somewhere to eat in Blackpool
For dinner I had tried to book Stefani's Pizzeria, one of the best rated Pizzeria's in the area, unfortunately they and two other places I tried were fully booked. With Blackpool being a popular destination and it being a Saturday night not even five days’ notice could get us a table reservation at a local hotspot. I figured we would go to a walk up location like Bucaneers in the Coral Casino or, since were at the sea side, get fish and chips from any of the many locations along the prom. But, on the drive down Katie booked a most surprising option, Mr Basrai's World Cuisines. A short walk along the prom and up past the Winter Gardens Mr Basrai's was as busy as everywhere else, we were very glad we booked. After paying on arrival we sat down and got to sampling everything on offer. I personally see buffets as a challenge to get best value and with a small charge for the kids there was extra pressure for me to perform. Whilst somewhat hectic (and not recommended for those who don’t want people around them) the food was fantastic, fresh and with great service. I would liken it to one of the smaller Las Vegas strip buffets or a good Cruise buffet as it features an ecliptic mix of foods with a few chef stations cooking things to order. I’ll be back with friends!
Katie's top tip: book a dinner reservation, queues were long for almost everywhere!
After Dinner we walked back along the prom to enjoy the lights. Although with two tired kids it was almost if Flo's “pretty lights” were an afterthought given all the fun we had with everything else we had managed to do in Blackpool.
After A Fun Day Out
After a long day we put the kids to bed and made full use of the special offer of 20% off all our food and drink during our stay with a Gin and Tonic and well deserved Peroni delivered for consumption bedside.
In the morning we opted for breakfast in bed, with a breakfast tray delivered to the room. We made quite the mess as just after posing for a picture Katie knocked an orange juice all over the bed... (Sorry housekeeping!!)
But the main plan was to get in and enjoy the pool. Pre-booking a slot is essential but it does mean that the pool is pretty quiet, which is quite good when the kids are as loud as ours. It is well set up for families with a small kid’s pool, as well as adult only areas. Indeed I managed to sneak off into the outdoor hot-tub which was pure bliss!
Whilst we were tempted by the excellent looking Sunday Lunch offering (starting at £19.50 per person) but we needed to get going home. No doubt we'll be back soon!
A Breakdown Of Our Stay
Stay: Lancaster House (from £79 , room as shown £119)
Play: Blackpool Illuminations (£Free), Sea Life Centre (£13 per adult), Madame Tussuads (£13 per adult), Sandpiper Health Club (£included in the room)
Eat: Mr Basrai's World Cuisines (£20per adult average), Sandemans Bar (£18per adult average), Room Service Breakfast (£17.50 for adults, 50% off for kids)
Daddy and Flo sharing
Flo enjoyed our bed
A moment of peace
On Blackpool prom
In the famous underwater tube
Obligatory shoulder carry
Family enjoying the pool