Dec 6, 2016

Christmas Photos and Christmas Doughnuts.

Another weekend, another holiday season tradition ticked off the list.  And in rather grand style, I might add.  Preschooler SSG had his photo with Santa at The QVB this year and the whole day was just lovely.

The highlight of any visit to the QVB at this time of the year is the opportunity to get up close to the shimmering, sparkling beauty of the Swarovski encrusted tree.  It spans the height of the building and its star shines magnificently at the centre of the highest stained glass dome.  I never really appreciate the red and gold detailing of the walls until Christmas time when the green of the tree sets it all off to perfection.  

Preschooler SSG did such a good job of keeping his photo outfit spotless.  He's sitting on my backpack in the shade as we waited for our bus yesterday.

With the pressure off me this year in terms of not needing to be in the photo, I dressed for comfort.  Those Bettina Liano shorts from Costco were a very good buy indeed.

We packed lots of snacks to share with friends we were meeting for the photos.  There's nothing like the promise of a 'healthy' snake to encourage good behaviour in the line waiting for Santa.

This is for those of you unfamiliar with how Santa photos at the QVB work.  Bookings and prepayment start online a good month beforehand and this really does help keep the line from getting as feral as it does at Westfield and the other shopping centres.

Santa's gazebo is a thing of old world beauty with its wrought iron framework and dome of richly coloured flowers.  There are several fairies on hand who are dressed to theme and spend a few minutes with each child in the line chatting and setting them at ease for the photos.

Bubbles are always a hit and a pleasant distraction from the boredom of having to wait in line.

The actual photo session is fast and friendly.  Children have a little chat with Santa and offer them any letters they may have written, photos are taken, Santa says goodbye with a hug and words of Santa-ly wisdom and then you are done.

There's even a Haigh's Santa for each and every child and parent taking part in a photo shoot.

Due to the popularity of photos at the QVB venue, Santas seem to work shorter shifts than they do elsewhere.  We were lucky enough to see a couple of free range Santas strolling around the shops in between their shifts.  Preschooler SSG got to high five this particular Santa who later went on to participate in the gift exchange of a group having Christmas lunch at a cafe.  It really is such a magical, special time of the year in the city and it's lovely to see the off duty Santas taking their work home with them.

I love that you can see the tree from practically every level of the QVB.

One last shot of the tree....

Coming a close second in the highlights of the day stakes for the boys was the chance to take in Hobby Co's model train window.  The scenery for the model railway has even had a bit of a festive make over with snow kissed trees and glittering lights added here and there.

Some enterprising parent 'borrowed' a few chairs from a nearby cafe for the children to sit on as they watched the trains go around and around and around.....  The boys were bolted to those chairs for a good half hour and we had to prise them off their seats to go home.

Luckily I had a decent bribe in the form of a treat from Doughnut Time.  A voucher for a free doughnut was included in our photo package.

I've never tried Doughnut Time before and it soon became clear that I was missing out.  While the doughnuts don't look as arty as other bakeries, they do look fun and their flavour combinations are right up my alley.  I am so going back for a Milo Cyrus being a big fan of both Miley and Milo.

Our gift boxed doughnut managed to make it safely to the train station without once being opened or having any of its decorations being picked off by either Preschooler SSG or myself.

I give these doughnuts a solid 11/10.  The doughnuts themselves are fresh, fluffy and not sweet.

While the frosting is just sweet enough with a rich consistency.

There really wasn't much of our doughnut left to take on the train when it arrived but the box was too cute to throw away so soon.

Have you experienced the wonder of Doughnut Time?  What's your favourite flavour?


  1. Oh I like the booking idea! We do pet Santa photos so have to book in advance and go in before most of the stores are open, works out nicely with the boys as it's early in the morning so they are happier, haha!

    I've never been overly impressed with doughnut time, maybe I need to try the festive ones :)

  2. That Santa gets around. He had a grotto in Sussex on Sunday!


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