Polish your halo: Mother’s Day sorted!
Ahhhhhh! Just one week to go until Mothering Sunday, and I’m screeching in (as usual) with arrangements for my own Mum (sorry Ma Muddy). Restaurants reservations can be a bit of challenge, but there’s always something you can do to make your mother feel a bit spesh on Sunday 26 March. Here are Muddy’s mega Mothering Sunday picks…
Family Sunday lunch – don’t worry, you don’t have to cook it
There’s nothing quite like that feeling of knowing you don’t have to cook a roast or tidy up. So a pub lunch is high on the agenda for most knackered mums. We’re incredibly lucky in Berkshire to have loads of blinkin’ fabulous foodie pubs, washed down with a few glasses, you’re right bottles, of vino (hic). Some of my favourites for a family lunch include (*drum roll please*)… The Golden Ball in Pinkneys Green, Oxford Blue in Old Windsor, The Newbury in Newbury, The Royal Oak in Yattendon, Heston’s casual creation The Crown at Bray and Bel & The Dragon, Windsor.
A family walk (that’s not the school run)
If the weather is looking good (we can but hope), tell your kids to can the moaning about their legs being tired and head off for a nice family stroll. We’re spoilt for choice for scenic surroundings in our region but your starter for 10 includes the stonking grounds of Basildon Park and in the house you can take a peek at its current art exhibition in the South Pavilion; Cliveden House with 375 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland to waft about in, enjoy riverside rambles, den building and climbing trees; Swinley Forest in Bracknell is brilliant for all ages – walks, cycle routes, an adventure playground, horse riding and tree top adventures and if you’re in Hungerford, the canal towpath by the River Kennet is stunning (although it can get a bit muddy, just saying) –take stroll, check out the antiques and grab a coffee.
Let them eat cake
I, for one, will never turn down the opportunity to scoff a scone (I’m a Devon gal – it’s in our DNA) and I’m guessing that you’re partial to an afternoon tea too. Allow me to suggest the luxury country house hotel Cliveden (they cater to kids really well at afternoon tea here) and Coworth Park serves an elegant tea in its classy Drawing Room. If you think you might need something stonger than tea, Caffeine & Cocktails in Reading is doing a Mother’s Day High Tea with finger sarnies, scones and macaroons served with tea and Perrier Jouet champers and for something a bit quirky book on to the Whittingtons Tea Barge in Reading for a tasty high tea that includes a bob about on the River Thames. Fancy a jaunt to London? The Berkeley Hotel‘s long-running fashion-themed afternoon tea, Prêt-à-Portea, is an oldie but a goodie (all biscuits should come in the shape of a stiletto I think).
Mother/ adult daughter jaunts (no kids allowed)
Looking for something grown-up and child-free to do with your mum? Nirvana Spa in Wokingham has a fab spa day package including afternoon tea – two pleasures rolled into one (from £110 per person). If you’re blowing the budget, The Vineyard in Stock Cross has a Grapetherapy spa break at a whopping £536 per person, involving a two-night sleepover, three treatments and 7-course tasting dinner on your first night. Escape for a mum-pleasing day to Hungerford, lots of antique emporiums and boutiques (warning: bring your credit card and a back up). Finally, how about a shopping trip avec maman? Bath is a mother/daughter paradise. Hop on the train, (Sunday opening hours ate 11a-5pm), and have a wander down the villagey boutiquey shops.