Eden Project while holidaying in Cornwall three years ago and we were very impressed. So last week we considered it just plain foolish not to revisit as it was so near to where we were based. Second time around, I expected a certain amount of 'been there, seen that'. But no, it was anything but. I was even more impressed as a returning visitor. Maybe the place has developed somewhat or maybe it's having two kids in tow this time, but it was just the best day out.
Usually I find that purpose built 'tourist attractions' fail to grab me. The Eden Project is so incredibly thought out. It works. For me the gardens (especially the allotment) are so inspiring; I certainly bought a few ideas home with me. I learnt a lot to which isn't a bad thing. The design of the place is well considered for children. There is so much fun laid on for them through which they learn. When navigating around the gardens, children can opt to leave the path and take the willow tunnels - so much more fun! The Biomes are spectacular structures that allow you to explore the Rainforest and the Mediterranean. A hit with Lily armed with her own guide book.
This summer we were there for the 'Festival of Play'. Lily and Arthur had a go at the Circus Skills workshop. Lily is an impressive sight with a hoola-hoop, but Arthur's plate spinning still needs some practice. Then there was the den building project where families were invited to use the poles, frames, fabrics and blankets provided to make a 'proper' den. There were some pretty impressive structures going up with competitive dad's taking the lead. Ours was built in the chaotic panic one enters when the kids are tired and you're trying to reignite their interest. Needless to say we have no photographic evidence as we were too ashamed to capture the result.
The food was another point worth noting. It was really good. We ate in the Eden Bakery. It's a canteen style set up where you help yourself to what takes your fancy. We had mid-morning coffee and pastries and went back for lunch. The choice was generous and healthy; pizza and salad, big bowls of salad, savoury tarts and thick vegetable soups all with tasty bread baked on the premises. We're glad we didn't pack a picnic that day.