Mr Mulligan's Cheltenham: ReviewPublished:
Taking the Kid’s out for a special activity can be a magical experience. Watching them experience that pure, innocent, childhood joy is second to nothing. But let’s be honest, whilst the kid’s are having the time of their lives, you’re likely to find an accompanying parent on the sideline, bored out of their wits. I often let out a groan of dread when certain places are suggested as an outing for my 3 year old, Alba. Obviously followed by a lovely wave of Mum Guilt. I have, however, found a solution! An activity that is genuinely as enjoyable for the parents as it is for the children. I kid you not.
Huw and I took Alba accompanied by her 9 year old cousin Nathan to Mr Mulligan’s in the Brewery on Saturday afternoon. As soon as we entered the building, we were taken to another world and Nathan was already exploring the hundreds of pictures and objects that laced the walls before we even made it up the stairs. When we did, we were greeted by friendly staff who gave us the opportunity to grab a drink before starting our first round.
There are 2 courses to choose from; Neptune’s Mist and Canopy Creek. Prices were surprisingly reasonable, starting from just £3.50 for under 5’s and with a family group option too. We decided to go all out and do both courses. (Find out more and book Mr Mulligan's Cheltenham here)
After getting a drink from the bar, we were given our golf clubs (handy smaller sizes for the kids) and were able to choose our coloured balls. They had a blue one so it was already a hit for Alba. I had been worried about juggling the drinks with the golf clubs and the children but each hole has a table/barrel for you to set your drinks down on so you don’t have to worry about carrying them the whole way round. We had also stowed away our bags and coats in the lockers before starting. Armed with our clubs and our scorecard we headed into Canopy Creek.
I now understand the difference between bog-standard miniature golf and adventure golf. The set design and artwork was absolutely incredible and created such an exciting environment for all of us. The attention to detail was astounding and there was something new to discover in every corner; whether it was a dinosaur, volcano, giant octopus or a moving bridge with ropes to pull yourselves across. The children loved seeing their golf balls glow in the UV lights and picking out bits on their clothing that did too. They played how they wanted to, Nathan relishing in being in charge of the scorecard and Alba declaring “a hole in 1!” after each hole. They were having so much fun and had so much to look at and explore when they were done with their turns that me and Huw were able to have a real competition of our own.
The holes varied in difficulty with obstacles, slopes and the occasional false hole which brings your ball right back to the start, which made it challenging enough for the grown ups whilst having plenty of variation to hold the children’s attention. Although it was 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and quite busy, we didn’t feel any pressure to rush around and there were no backlogs. We also had quite a few trips to the toilet (‘real’ squash is apparently much better than the heavily diluted variety Alba’s treated to at home) and we would just let the next group move ahead and pick up where we left off.
After completing Canopy Creek we moved straight on to Neptune’s mist. I was worried that the kid’s might have reached the limit of their attention span but they were just so excited to see what the next course would hold. And they weren’t disappointed. My favourite part of both the courses was in the lit up UV cave in Neptune’s mist that brought to life beautiful underwater illustrations and dangling jellyfish perfectly. It felt so magical and Alba and Nathan moved freely around the 3 holes in here as we were the only ones there, whilst Huw and I attempted to perfect our putting.
When we finished we were all hungry and so headed to the restaurant. The fun didn’t stop here and we all took our seats in a themed safari truck table which kept the kid’s busy whilst we browsed the menu. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the children’s meal options were just £5.25 and included a drink. The main menu includes a range of sandwiches, salads, burgers, sliders, sharing nachos and wings with the most expensive main being just £8.75.
When the food arrived I was super impressed; it looked fantastic and tasted even better with Nathan commenting that ‘this is the nicest burger I’ve ever had!’ Alba demolished her chips, chicken goujons and peas whilst Huw and I enjoyed our different choice of burgers - the bourbon bbq sauce was a particular hit with me! The standard of the food was really fantastic, no soggy chips or greasy chicken in sight and Huw was able to select a beer from the large variety of drinks available in the fully stocked bar. (They also do student nights and have adults only after 20.45 so it’s a great place for a night out too!)
We finished the evening off with a treat of ice-cream sundaes and the children were thrilled with the toppings and chocolate sauce on the ‘Chocolate Extinction’ which they shared and still didn’t manage to finish! We then goofed about in the Photo Booth and got 2 strips of pictures to remember this great day with.
When we got up to leave, we couldn’t believe in was 10 to 7! What a fantastic, thrilling day out and great value for money, I can’t recommend it enough.
I’ve already been asked by Alba when we are coming back and have been able to truthfully say that it’ll be very soon! (Huw and I won 1 course each so we need a tie-breaker!)
Rachel, November 2018