We Are Placemaking were brought on by Grosvenor and Four Rain PR to put together ‘Father Christmas in Residence’ for the festive period. The empty unit on Ebury Street has been transformed into an experiential journey through the Interactive North Pole and Northern Lights, which leads you into the classic Victorian inspired living room where you are greeted by Tinsel and Mince Pie (the elves) and the chief host, Father Christmas. The Placemaking team have collaborated with neighbour Peggy Porschen, who has been busy baking beautiful ginger bread treats for the residence and for Father Christmas to give the children to take away.  

The inspiration behind the creative development by the Placemaking team was to create a truly memorable experience for families that differentiates from the traditional Christmas Grottos that are popular at Christmas time. After meeting Father Christmas individually for a photograph taken by our in house photographer (included in the ticket cost), the children are invited to take a seat on the big red rug for a Christmas Story (The Night before Christmas). The children are then given their treats before parents provide their email address to take their photograph away. The sessions last for half an hour and we have found this really worked in making the difference from the classic short Father Christmas meet and greet.

“Our visit didn’t feel rushed and we got a good chunk of time with Santa where we had the opportunity to ask him questions and interact – a feature you don’t always get.” Wander Mum.

Photo credit: courtesy of Wander Mum

The event has been ticketed at £5 and all proceeds have been given to charity, Beanstalk. Beanstalk recruit, train and support volunteers to provide consistent, one-to-one literacy supporting primary school children who need a bit of help. Trained readers provide them the support they need to improve their reading ability and confidence.

The feedback has been extremely positive, with many parents wanting to return next year and great feedback from press and bloggers including listings on Country Life Lifestyle, Event Brite, Huffington Post, Breaking Travel News and Little London.

“We had a really wonderful time at the Father Christmas Experience yesterday! All the parents and children absolutely loved it, Father Christmas and Tinsel did a fantastic job and the atmosphere got all of us into a festive spirit.” – Peggy Poshchen

By Louisa Bass