Christmas Narrowboat Experience, or Equivalent *3x REPLIES in kind!

Dear Santa,

we were sorry to miss you on the canal this Christmas time but we found your flyer too late (24th Dec) on a pub table. Can we instead book for 2016, to avoid similar disappointment this year?

We noted that on the flyer it says adults get a ‘hot drink and mince pie or equivalent’ and we need to know what could possibly be equivalent to a mince pie for such a festive excursion?

Possibly the only equivalent could be a portion of Christmas pudding, and that has to be served warm (flaming preferably) and with brandy butter so is rather unpractical, for a barge so maybe your equivalent is Christmas cake? Again slightly awkward in the need for it to be cut up, and also not having dedicated unique casings to crumb-catch such as the mince pie (usually) does.

If you were thinking of serving individual apple pies, even if they be of the famous Mr Kipling variety, simply will not do. Apple pies, even Mr Kipling’s, are in no way festive. And I’m sure I do not even need to mention that mere biscuits -even chocolate covered- again are not festive and so would be out of the question.

We are aware that some shops now sell Germanic and Italian traditional Christmas sweet goods but we feel you must surely not employ these as this ride will surely be a very traditionally English ‘Do’? So no gingerbread or raisin or hard bland cakes please.

Yule log! Yes this could potentially be an equivalent -but again unless with individual cases could be too messy, and I’d hate to think of Santa having to sweep up after everyone.

On another point – is the equivalent only actually available if you run out of mince pies? Have you ever run out of them before?

If on the day we attend you’ve run out may we bring our own? Or would you suggest we get Kitty to make a batch we can bring along, and sell to yourselves as a stop gap perhaps? If we do the latter could we get a discount on our ride? If Kitty for some reason (she may not see the year out you know) cannot do the pies could we fetch Supermarkets Own Brand? And again sell them on to yourselves or even direct to fellow trippers?

Or is the equivalent available on every trip, and not just when (and if) mince pies run out?

If so the details of the equivalent could/should perhaps be denoted on the flyer, unless the equivalent differs every trip of course.

Do excuse us if we are barking up the wrong tree here, and the mince pie equivalent is not actually equivalent in terms of it’s festive nature but rather in size or volume or monetary or calorific value?

Or indeed a savoury equivalent, e.g. pork pie (not especially festive).

Would you consider an After Eight mint an equivalent? Weight-wise it obviously isn’t but depending on special offers, or lack thereof, at the shop it might have a monetary equivalence. And on another note an After Eight Mint is eaten rather faster and so people might feel slightly disappointed as the pie-eaters have a longer snack.

For booking purposes there are four of us who would like to attend, including the afore mentioned Kitty but due to her condition we wouldn’t be able to confirm her definite attendance. Beside myself and my husband our Joycie would like to come but she has mobility issues (bunions) so we would like to know about your provisions for the infirm please. Joycie also has a mince intolerance (veganism), so you can see our imperative for the “equivalent” details!

We wanted to send you this enquiry by letter but my grand neice said to save our stamps and she is emailing this instead.

We hope this finds you having a well earnt rest Santa and look forward to hearing from you (or your elves).

Season’s Greetings

Mrs & Mrs Armitage-Senior


santa canal

A Brilliant REPLY (Just over an hour later):

Dear Mr & Mrs Armitage (Senior),


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