So here we are, final full day here in Butlin’s Minehead just for tots week. A week full of Teletubbies, Mr. Men, Justin Fletcher (aka. Mr Tumble). You’d be forgiven to think we had gone mad going while you have all these English kids programmes here.
Normally, you’d be bang on. However, this was our first family holiday as the 3 of us. So seeing Mr Tumble was the overwhelming factor in making our decision.
It’s such a fantastic atmosphere with the wonder and awe the hundreds of little people have on there faces.
Not least the little girl next to me in the queue for the milkshake show. Her face when she saw one of the skyline gang was a picture. It just goes and cements the innocents they possess until as us adults take that away from them. Normally through our own actions or the actions of other parents in how there child is raised up. Mimicking their behaviour.
Ok, I’ll climb down from my soap box for a brief second.
It’s breaks like this that makes being a parent so worth while. It’s a place you can act the clown along with the hundreds of other parents. Yes, you have the far more popular Disney land or even Disney world Florida. However, I would consider this the UK Disney alternative.
From arts and crafts, book library, soft play, character meet and greets, and so much more. You will find most of not all of your stay will be included in your holiday cost.
It all sounds wonderful… of course most is true. However, you do have a few nasty surprises.
Issue Number 1 – Smoking
You will know all too well, smoking in most places is banned over here on the Isle of Britain. This is no different here at Butlins in Minehead. With signs all over the place stating that smoking is to be kept to the designated areas.
This is all fine if people respect those rules and abstain from puffing on the death sticks long enough to get to these areas. Alas, you would walk around the park and people puffing away, even those pushing children around. As a avid non-smoker (never tried, and never shall), i cannot stand this. However, at least people wer’nt smoking outside our room.
Oh yeah, they were. Absolutely disgusted, as you can see from the image below. This you would be mistaken to think this was from the end of our stay. Oh, no fine friends. This was after just a few hours from when people arrived around 3pm until this was taken at 7ish.
This wouldn’t bother me so much if the weather was shit and the windows shut. However, with the weather so unseasonably hot, we had all the windows open but had to shut when these considerate people lite up.
The only way you could possibly get away from this is if you booked to stay in either the seaside hotel or one of the many more expensive accommodation.
Needless to say, we had a quiet work with head office and was reassured that security would be patrolling the area.
Issue Number 2 – The Food Outlets
Ok, before we go further we purchased the Dine Around package. This allowed us to have breakfast in their ‘premium’ buffet restaurant and then either a 2 course lunch or dinner with a choice of selected beverage.
We found in general the food places to be very good. Booking for many of them is essential to get a sensible slot.
However, we ate at the Fire House Grill twice during our stay. Both times we had enormous problems. Each time we dined at around 5.00pm, having booked seats previously as we were told that they would be busy. It was our second visit that pissed me off more than anything.
We arrived and immediately told that there would be a 45 minute wait for food. Upon quizzing it was due to a number of walk-ins. As i look around the restaurant was half empty! So immedaitely was unsure as to what this wait was all about. We were then told it was advisable to order starters (unbenown to them we were going to have one anyway).
Fast forward 35 minutes from ordering and we had not had our starters, all we ordered was bread and oils. They must have been making the bread from scratch with this delay!
Then, before. we had even finished these. Our mains had arrived and starters whisked away. Absolutely shocking, but must be a one off right… NOPE!! The table behind us had there mains before their starters (which was then removed from their bill). However, the table opposite us (which had 2 younf children) arrived before us and had not had any food upon us leaving.
When looking on TripAdvisor this wasn’t a one off. This restaurant had been slated for its service by many guests.
So, in conclusion. The stay was great, food (when it arrived) was great. The Dine Around was not worth the money we paid for it. The smokers will always put a dampner on things
Alas, we have booked to come back next year.