A little while ago, I was invited along by Red Letter Days for a Tea with a Tiger experience at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.
Red Letter Days provides experience days which you can buy as gifts for those people who actually do have everything already. In a pre-child life, my husband and I had been bought a falconry experience and a vineyard tour with wine tasting, and had really good days out (despite me being six months pregnant when we finally got around to doing the latter, boo).
Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love a trip to the zoo and I also love tea and cake, and so I begged my husband to take the day off and yesterday we drove up to Hertfordshire together and while they moseyed round the park, I snacked and drank tea with views of the tigers.
We were given a tour of the park by a very knowledgeable and friendly keeper, who gave us a bit of the park’s history, told us about conservation and introduced us to some of the animals who lived there.
Forgive me, for I can’t remember their names, but here are some of the guys and gals we met:
|This white tiger was rescued from the circus. The colour is not natural and is the result of selective breeding by humans; as a result white tigers are prone to genetic abnormality and they don’t breed from them. See? I was listening.|
|After cake selfie|
After the tour, it was time to go for afternoon tea with tigers.
Well, not with them because I don’t think they like to share cake, but in the Treetops Cafe overlooking the tiger enclosure, where you could get up close and personal with the three tigers that live in there.
There were sandwiches, cakes and tea.
There is no pictorial evidence of the food because a) The tigers were right there and make much better subject matter b) I was hungry and c) I still can’t bring myself to take pictures of my lunch, but the cake did not disappoint (and I’m something of a connoisseur).
Meanwhile, daddy and the kids had gone to roam.
When I caught up with them they hadn’t actually made it into the zoo because the huge play area, and Dumbleby Forest (where kids can go and leave their dummies to play freely. Such a cute idea, although a month too late for us!), and pizza was too exciting.
I barely managed to coax them out of the adventure playground; there is so much to explore for young kids and they would have been happy there for most of the day. I really wanted to see the lions, so we took a trip around the zoo, on the promise that we would return to the sandpit and train afterwards.
We stayed until after five, at which point we had to physically drag them away from the play equipment because all the staff looked a little like they wanted to go home and shut up shop. It was a fabulous day out for them, and a brilliant one for me.
Thank you to Red Letter Days who invited me along on this experience, free of charge, for the purposes of this post. I had a great time.
The afternoon tea with tigers is exactly the kind of thing I’d love as a gift – had I not already done it!