Fun and games will accompany visit by Santa

The fireplace at Matfen Hall.
The fireplace at Matfen Hall.

A fireplace, rejected by its Royal owner for being too narrow, will be put to the test as a historic Northumberland hotel prepares to say hello to a very important visitor.

And to welcome Santa, Matfen Hall has arranged a programme of fun and games between 1pm and 3.30pm on Monday and Tuesday for the children who come along.

The marble fireplace in its Terrace Room was originally commissioned by King George IV for Buckingham Palace. It was discarded for not being wide enough.

But staff at the award-winning hotel are confident that their portly visitor will be able to squeeze through it when he arrives.

Each child will receive an early Christmas gift from him and accompanying adults will be served tea, coffee and mince pies during their visit.

Matfen Hall managing director Bernard Bloodworth said: “Not only will the children be able to meet Santa, his elves will be here as well to help them write their Christmas letters and take part in festive crafts and activities.”

Tickets to meet Santa cost £11 for children aged four and under, £15 for those between five and 14 and £6 for adults – reduced prices for Matfen Hall members are available. To book, call 01661 886500 or email aquavitaemember