Mother’s Day, Sorted
While we love a comforting roast and a decadent afternoon tea, we know that Mum’s don’t all come in one cookie-cutter shape and size. So this year, as well as directing you to the best scones around, we’ve rounded up a few different ideas for gifts to show Mumma the love. Enjoy, whatever you do! x
Courses for creatives at The Old Kennels
We’ve just discovered this cracking spot in amongst the rolling Blackdown Hills, near Dunkeswell. If you’ve a creatively-minded Mum who’s been meaning to try something new this year, I defy you not to find a course that’ll come up trumps on the list here. From botanical drawing, to cold press soap making, it’s all there among dozens of others. Immersive, relaxing, taught by the very best tutors in their field and, with the option to stay over in the gorgeous Loft Apartment, it’ll be an experience she’ll be raving about to all her friends for months to come. Club together with your siblings for a specific course, or plump for a gift voucher and then imagine the brownie points…
Bucket List beauties at SeaSports South West
Has she been making mumblings about wanting to get onto the water? Enter stage left, the brilliant SeaSports South West in Teignmouth. This fab watersports centre, located on the pretty and sheltered Back Beach is about to throw open the doors again for Easter and, they’re offering two options in honour of Mothering Sunday here (Dads to small people, take note!). Rather cleverly, any Mums (or *cough* Dads) booking their kids onto the Easter Holiday Club at Seaports by 11 March can enjoy a free kayak or paddle board hire (you’ll look super-organised, as well as mega thoughtful); or alternatively, if the kids have flown the nest and are beyond club stage, then you’ll find a gift voucher will cover plenty of fun ideas, from taster sessions to SUP Yoga Course gifts.
I know it’s hard to believe right now, but it WILL warm up and she WILL be grateful. I loved my little SUP Yoga course last year, which you can read about here and you can all enjoy a day in Teignmouth, while you’re at it. Here’s my guide on the best bits.
Give her some ‘Me Time’ by the sea, with Heart & Sole Wellbeing Retreats
Another one to club together and sort out, pronto! Having tried one of these retreats recently, I can’t think of a better gift to a Mum, whatever stage of motherhood she’s at. Sleep-deprived, or coming out the other end of an intense parenting period (completely with a crisis of identity), a weekend here will totally perk her up, for weeks and months beyond. In this special Mum-centric retreat at a beautiful contemporary beach house on the south Devon coast, she can expect flowers, fairy lights, brunch, pampering, scented candles, sandy Beaches, sea and surf – the works! Tempted? Read about my experience here.
Floral Fun with Hannah Burnett Florist
As a Mum, I can highly recommend switching off from school letters and juggling work and life and booking on to one of Hannah’s fabulous workshops – but you know that already, don’t you because you voted her a Muddy award-winner. The question is, which one will you gift yours? Choose from a seasonally themed workshop, including a specials Mother’s Day one, or perhaps she’s always wanted to develop her green-fingered creativity, in which case, plump for a 4-week Beginners Guide to Floristry package. Something glorious to look forward to – what could be better?
A day of pampering with Devon Fit Camp
Ever since last year’s Muddy Awards, I’ve been aware of – and in awe of – fitness and motivational coach Claire Morgan-Hughes of Devon Fit Camp; a woman who seems to be able to gently whip other women back into shape, no matter their age, size or workload (you should follow her on social media, because it might all just rub off on you). But her special event, ‘The Elegant You’ day takes ‘me time’ to another realm altogether; it’s a chance for a frazzled Mum to spend an empowering and fun day focusing on nothing but her. Taking place at the chic Hotel du Vin in Exeter, and, with experts on hand including Claire (who’ll share all her secrets) and a stylist to the stars, she’ll get to try out a new look, experiment with fresh make-up ideas, and concentrate on clearing the decks for a healthier mindset and, ultimately, lifestyle. It sounds just gorgeous – every woman’s dream, no?
Paschoe House, Bow nr Crediton
Fancy treating her to the full-blown, country house experience? Well, you get to enjoy it with her too, surely? Paschoe House situated right on the Two Moors Way has a table reserved in your name; a superb mix of traditional elegance, style and a seriously scoffable and oh-so-pretty afternoon tea to boot. Upgrade to champagne in front of a roaring fire, or go for a quirky twist with a tea-infused cocktail. It’s served in a teapot, so who’s going to know you’ve given the Earl Grey a miss?
Salutation Inn, Topsham
The 300 year-old Salutation Inn sits regally in the heart of easy-on-the-eye Topsham, at the head of the Exe Estuary; and, frankly, no-one embraces the rituals of afternoon tea quite like this place. Think English splendour, the tinkling of silver tea spoons and the pop of a glass of bubbly, as the tiers of decadence are presented before you in the GlassHouse. Just look at those little patisserie treats sitting atop buttery scones; just add a massive dollop of homemade jam and Devonshire clotted cream and down the cake hole they go. Every. Last. Crumb.
Kentisbury Grange, Kentisbury
Whether you book for a decadent lunch, or indulgent afternoon tea at this beaut of a restaurant by Michelin starred master of culinary magic Michael Caines (try saying that after a few), you’d be mad not to round it all off with the Kentisbury Grange speciality tipple, Strawberries and Cream Martini. Using Wrecking Coast Gin, it’s like dessert in a cocktail glass. Don’t stop at the one, if I were you…Read more about this hotel and restaurant here.
Hotel Endsleigh, Milton Abbot
I’ll be posting a full review of Olga Polizzi’s idyllic country retreat soon, but in the meantime I can confirm that the Afternoon Tea experience here is something else. Recline next to a roaring fire, gaze out across the wooded valley as the mist settles and help yourself to the most decadent buffet you ever did see, to enjoy with your tea (or fizz, naturally). Scones, finger sandwiches, fluffy sponges and intricately decorated patisserie treats, they’re all lined up, waiting to be scoffed. Mum will feel suitably spoiled.
Home farm, Parke, Bovey Tracey
Pssst! I’ve had a sneaky peak at the Mother’s Day menu at this cracking, cosy spot located on the National Trust’s Parke Estate and I’ve already got food envy. Book in for the Sunday (there are just 2 nice, long sittings in the day, so you can really enjoy it) and you can all feast on comforting dishes like locally landed fish pie, or slow braised Dartmoor lamb shoulder. Sorry, what was that – pudding? White chocolate creme brulee, or mocha praline eton mess making your mouth water? 3 courses all for under £30 – b-a-r-g-a-i-n.
Oh – and double pssst! For bonus brownie points, treat Mum to a weekend stay at the nearby Lurcombe Luxury Holiday Cottages (great for walking and relaxing) and get 15% off (valid between 9th – 19th March), so that’s £150 for a 2 night stay. My work here is done.