In all the years that I have been writing I think this is the first time that I have received a free perk. This is probably due to the fact that I mostly write about consumer finance for clients and there is no incentive for them to offer me anything other than payment. Recently, however, I was really pleased when Chill Factor e asked me if I would like to try out their facilities and offered me free participation for a family of four.
Chill Factor e are one of the organisations that I will be featuring in my next book “Great Places for Kids’ Parties – A UK Guide”. It is within easy reach of my home and my daughter has been skiing there previously so I knew she would be thrilled when I told her the good news. We decided that me, my husband, daughter and her friend would go and we chose the Pick & Mix option as it allows you to try a little of everything. Pick & Mix activities include sledging using three different types of sledge (standard, Snow Carver and Snow Zipper), tubing and use of the Luge Ice Slide. The Luge is 60 metres long and the only one of its kind in the UK.
The building looks really impressive from the outside with its sloping shape; it looks pretty impressive on the inside too as you can see in the above picture. It took two years to build and has the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK, which measures 180 metres. Chill Factor e offers skiing, snowboarding and a range of other snow based activities. It also has a 12 metre high climbing wall.
Of course, as a self-confessed wimp I totally abstained from the activities but they were great fun for my 16 year old daughter and her friend as well as my considerably older (but young at heart) husband. For me the Luge looked particularly scary but particularly inviting for the rest of our party. The activities lasted an hour and the three of them had a great time.
Although we decided to eat elsewhere beforehand Chill Factor e does have a great selection of eating and drinking venues including an excellent, spacious function room. In fact, it’s a great place to go just for a meal or party even if you aren’t taking part in any activities. The restaurants, cafes and bars comprise of: Costa Coffee, Mont Blanc Italian style restaurant, Nando’s, J D Wetherspoon, Chilli’s Sports Bar and Frederick’s Ice Cream. There are also a number of shops which mainly sell items related to snow sports as well as gifts.
After having a look around we went to the changing area where the rest of my party got kitted out with helmets and boots. They also had to make sure that they were wearing warm clothing including gloves and that their arms and legs were covered. I plonked myself down in Mont Blanc with a nice glass of wine and my Kindle, laughingly telling the girls that the wine was my slippery slope. The Mont Blanc restaurant overlooks the slopes and the views are stunning. Yet, amazingly it is cosy and warm inside. If you want an even better view you can walk through two sets of doors onto a large balcony, which is equipped with tables and chairs. Be sure to take your coat though as it’s cold out there.
I chose to stay indoors for most of the hour, wandering outside occasionally to take a few pictures and just in time to see my husband’s spectacular fall at the top of one of the slopes. Unfortunately I didn’t capture it on film though so I’ll have to wave goodbye to my “You’ve Been Framed” reward. I admit to being a bit concerned though when he took a while to recover. Little did I realise at that point that he was absolutely exhausted. The girls, however, emerged as fresh as daisies at the end of it all, as 16 year olds gallingly do.
Chill Factor e is one of over 20 fabulous venues that will be featured in my forthcoming book “Great Places for Kids’ Parties”. They will be offering a special discount of 20% off children’s parties taking place Monday to Friday and 10% off children’s parties taking place Saturday or Sunday. This offer is available exclusively to people who purchase the book in either print or digital format. Additionally, for all children’s birthday parties with Chill Factor e the birthday child goes free. I will also be including exclusive special offers for children’s parties from some of the other organisations in the book. I’ll be making further announcements via this blog as I get nearer to publication date.