Where has the time gone? It only seemed like yesterday that the Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead opened it’s doors to the public amidst great fan fair. But that was 2009, and at the weekend they celebrated their 5th Anniversary in style.
I decided to go and check it out and took my 2 eldest kids (Holly and Harry)on the bank holiday Monday. We got there early so my kids could get kitted out and we hit the main slope for a couple of hours. The slope is a good size in length at 160m and reasonable gradient so it is ideal to practice your ski/snowboarding technique and to get that fix in-between ski seasons!
We were then invited to join in the activity of Donuting. Harmless enough I thought before I saw the course which involved bumps and tunnels before spitting you out through a spiral chute at the end! It really was great fun and the kids absolutely loved it.
After all that activity we were starving and headed up to the bar on the 2nd floor. The bar area is spacious and large glass panels look out onto the slope below. This is great as you can enjoy a coffee or beer and have a bite to eat while people watching as they ski, snowboard, and often crash and burn below! The food really is good and not your typical microwaved pub grub. I opted for the Gourmet burger and it was well worthy of it’s title. Although I was a little jealous when they brought out my daughter’s ‘All Day Breakfast’!
My (and Holly and Harry’s) highlight of the day was when Jenny Jones came and joined us at our table for a chat and interview. Jenny really is one of the nicest people I have met and considering her recent fame, is completely grounded. My daughter, Holly, had the all important task of controlling the audio recorder on my iphone for the interview and found it funny when Jenny occasionally checked that it was still running. Jenny then had to dash off to spend some time out on the slopes teaching snowboarders how to do basic jumps and bench tricks. Something I could have benefited with!
Jenny was not the only celebrity there; she was also joined by fellow Olympians Aimee Fuller, Jamie Nicholls and skier Ed Drake. They all sat down for an autograph session signing posters which proved very popular as the queue snaked to the far end of the bar seating area.
There was many other activities going on such a Burton snowboarding school for toddlers which was set out in the car park. That really did look great fun as the little tots got to go around a mini course and were initially pulled downwards by a harness.
It was a fantastic day out and the kids were absolutely buzzing on the car ride home. Happy birthday to Hemel Hempstead’s Ski Centre, may there be many years to follow!