Top of Town Christmas in Basingstoke
Dear Mummy, we visited the Top of Town in Basingstoke recently to partake in some festive fun. We heard that Father Christmas and his reindeer were in town. This is the first time I’ve clamped eyes on Rudolf and I wasn’t disappointed. The Top of Town Christmas event was on for one night only, on Friday 5th December. My mummy picked me up early from nursery so we got parked up early before the crowds. We easily found a space up at Joices Yard car park behind the high street and it was free! We couldnt believe our luck! Must be because the Christmas event is on.
We head to The Tea Bar, which is a quaint vintage tea shop in the heart of the high street. It’s very pretty in here and we find comfy sofa’s and warm up with hot tea and a babyccino for me. The Tea Bar is very kiddy friendly and at the back of the cafe is a large low coffee table with children’s books, a large plasma screen, board games and wooden toys next to it. We enjoy some cake and my mummy and grandma catch up and have a good chat, while I play. The Tea Bar has a fantastic range of teas and plays host to Live Jazz evenings, crafty workshops for kids and vintage parties. My mummy would like to go to the Rat Pack evening, check out their FB page for more details 🙂
Its 5pm and we head outside into the cold to watch the school choirs sing, a crowd gathers underneath a large gazebo huddled in chairs. The mayor of Basingstoke is here and opens up the Christmas celebration and we see Santa arrive on his wheeled chariot and heads to his grotto. A lot of people are here to see him and eagerly queue outside one the shops which has been transformed into a fairy light wonderland. While we’re here it’s the perfect time to go and explore the shops. We head to the Naomi House charity shop to see our friend Angie and buy a raffle ticket.
The Top of Town Christmas is part of an initiative by Basingstoke Borough Council to encourage more shoppers up to the top end of Basingstoke to support small businesses and encourage growth. However, the Top of Basingstoke only really plays host to pubs, restaurants, hair & beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo parlours and charity shops, so really needs more high street shops up there too. There are a couple of small jewellery shops which take my mummy’s fancy but the majority of retail shops are in Festival Place Shopping centre now, which is much the same in every big town and city – when large shopping centres open the high street suffers. I’m glad the council are trying to do something positive to keep the Top of Town alive and prosperous. There are still a lot of units closed which is a shame and kind of off-putting. They need some more local businesses up there in pop-up shops, maybe a soft play centre or something to draw the crowds up there?
Its starting to get really cold, too cold for a baby like me to be out so, we enjoy some quick crafting and make a reindeer mask with SL Art workshop and see the reindeers before waving goodbye and heading home. It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours in an area where we wouldn’t ordinarily visit. Hopefully the Top of Town will play host to more events like this is the future. Can’t wait until Basingstoke Live returns next year! That’s always a sure fire way to get the community up to the old high street.
Love Bella x