I have visited numerous venues like this since retiring early, as my wife insists we try everywhere, on the basis that we now have all the time in the world! We first came here when it had been open about six months on the run up to christmas, we found it quaint and although only a limited number of shops quite unique, my wife has a magnetic attraction to gift shops and found the 2 in the centre very enjoyable, I especially liked the Deli as the choice was quite extensive. we had tea and cake in the tea rooms which was great and spent a couple of hours "spending the childrens inheritance"
My wife and I decided to visit again this weekend (this will be about our 4th visit) and have to say found it a little dissappointing, the place has expanded to the barn area over the last few years to offer more shops, a number of which have vanished since we were last here, leaving it quite empty and comes across as hollow and soulless, The deli appears to have changed hands and does not offer anywhere close to the original deli's selection although you can kit your Bathroom out with a complete set of Towels! It is a new experience for me buying bath towels in a Delicatessen??!!.
The upstairs area above the Tea room for the most part could well be a market area along the front in Blackpool, there is a stunning shop in the corner selling bespoke items for ladies and the childrens shops are nice , but the remainder of the upstairs leaves a lot to be desired hence we did not spend much time up there.
Again we had Tea and cake in the Tea room which was ok, but found the prices had increased considerably, I realise that prices do increase but felt they had risen dramatically and in my eyes were not justifiable.
I know we will come back in the future as it is only a short drive, but I just hope they improve the place and it's facilities, because we do need places like this and it would be ashame for it to become another failure in this current economic climate.
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