A Magical Weekend at the Moorland Garden Hotel and The Potter Otter

A couple of weekends ago, we had a magical time at the Moorland Garden Hotel. Set in the majesty of Darmoor National Park, they have a very special guest with them at the moment (no, not us) but an otter - The Potter Otter.  Dartmoor National Park currently have 100 otter statues, designed by artists from local regions and other parts of the UK as part of an initiative and will be auctioned off to fund conversation projects in the National Park at the end of the summer.

To get into the spirit of the residing Potter Otter at the Moorland Garden Hotel, they hosted a Harry Potter themed afternoon tea on July 8th, which is happening again for one last time on Saturday September 2nd.

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Jonah is 4 and had a limited knowledge of the magical world of Harry Potter, but we watched The Philosopher's Stone the night before we went.  He got the jist; Harry is a wizard and has a wand (which he was very impressed with) and that he goes to a magical school, which is very relevant as Jonah starts school in September... now I have to break it to him that he won't be going to Hogwarts!

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I could NOT be more pleased that Jonah chose to wear his costume... I can rarely get him to do what I want, or dress him up for my own benefit.  He thought it was so very cool though and really thought his wand was real.  Those glasses are ridiculously cute too!

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So we arrived and were directed to 'Platform 9 and 3/4' where we entered magically through the brick wall and were greeted with the sweet smell of butterbeer.  There was Harry Potter themed music playing and images on the wall that gave us a sense of being surrounded by this world that we as Harry Potter fans were so familiar with.  There was even a trail of spiders leading to The Chamber of Secrets!

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After our butterbeer, we were directed to The Great Hall and our table (which was Ravenclaw... a little disappointing cos' you know, everyone wants to be in Gryffindor... or at a push Slytherin) but we soon got over it when we were met with the incredibly detailed sight of the Afternoon Tea.

The menu was thoughtfully put together and the decoration exceeded my expectations.  Each place setting had a handmade chocolate wand and chocolate frog.  There were pumpkin pasties, treacle tart, golden snitch macaroons and everything was absolutely delicious.

As you can see from the photo below, Jonah's favourite were the 'rock cakes,' which he is STILL talking about: 'Mummy, I want one of those giant bread rolls with the cream and jam that Harry Potter eats!'

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Once we had had our fill of truly scrumptious magical goodies, there was an opportunity for Jonah to go and enter his name into The Goblet of Fire which spilled out smoke when the paper was dropped in.  I had to put myself in Jonah's shoes to realise just how fantasical that moment was.  It was such a wonderful touch and finish to the tea.

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We rolled out of The Great Hall and onto the wonderful front lawn of the hotel where there are lots of collections of garden furniture to laze around on.  It was a scorching day and our friend came to join us for the rest of the afternoon.  There is nothing much that brings me more joy than having a hot summer's afternoon laid out ahead of me with nothing to do but enjoy it.  The boys ran around the garden in front of us, enjoying the quirky sculptures and trying out the various seating areas whilst we drank cold drinks from the bar and enjoyed each others' company.

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When the boys were tired out, we retired to our room.  It was spacious, clean and had a modern flair.  My first impression was that it had been tastefully renovated with guests in mind; comfy beds and a spacious bathroom.  We had a family room with a double fold out sofa bed, two single beds and a cot for Winter.  We had a view from our ground floor bedroom straight out onto the lawn and the bandstand which was lovely to enjoy when having our morning coffee on Sunday.  Can you believe that even after our afternoon tea, we still managed to fit in and incredibly tasty 3 course meal at the hotel restaurant including mussels, burgers and ice cream?  We were all in heaven!

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Before leaving, we couldn't resist a moment alone with Mr Potter Otter himself.  Jonah was almost start struck when holding his hand (Winter not so much!)  You are welcome to visit The Potter Otter for free at any time in the hotel bar.  

Thank you so much to The Moorland Garden Hotel for such a magical weekend stay.  Jonah was truly captured by the magic of the Harry Potter Afternoon tea, but so were we who have been big fans for many years!  If you would like to stay here, there are some great deals that you can find here.

We were invited to spend a weekend at The Moorland Garden Hotel in exchange for and honest review.  As always, all opinions are our own.