Around 20 years ago, Christmas Eve in Norwich used to be full of people – mainly men – walking around munching on hot dogs, and roasted chestnuts and shopping for last minute gifts. There were queues of people in most shops trying desperately to think of something for Aunty Flo or Uncle Dereck. Whether there is still the same scene on Christmas Eve in Norwich, I can’t profess to know. Like a great deal of people, I have succumbed to the lure of the computer and online shopping. As tempting as it is to be part of the throng of vibrant city centre life, patiently waiting in a queue to buy cousin Claude a book on feeding a winter garden, while the octogenarian in front tries to find her discount voucher that is hidden somewhere in the depths of her wallet, sitting quietly in front of a screen for an hour or so is definitely the way to go. Even if that does mean missing out on the roasted chestnuts, the Christmas Eve buskers and the general bon vivre of excited people everywhere.

We have seen this trend at The Grove as well. Not only, are more people buying holidays online than ever before, but also, they are buying gifts and vouchers online, too. We have a few on offer, which, would make ideal Christmas presents, if anyone doesn’t fancy waiting behind an octogenarian in a shop. Probably, our most popular vouchers are for afternoon teas, where you can easily just sneak in a little upgrade to transform it into an afternoon tea with fizz. Also proving popular are our meal vouchers. There is a Sunday lunch voucher or monetary vouchers, which can be used towards meals or stays. Also available are room upgrade vouchers – perfect for a little treat if you happen to have a friend coming to stay with us – a stay and play voucher, which is a great deal including dinner, bed and breakfast and a round at Royal Cromer Golf Club. Finally, we have a Grove and gardens voucher, which again is dinner, bed and breakfast and entry into East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens. All in all, there are some great presents for friends and family.

In a week or so, we will see the return of Black Friday and hopefully, we will not see the return of last year’s shameful supermarket scrums, but closely following that is what’s now known as Cyber Monday, which is the biggest online retail day of the year. There is no question of which one sounds the most appealing. Goodbye queues, hello clicks!