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Mother’s Day: 6 luxe ways to say ‘I Love You’

Short on ideas but big on ambition? Here are six luxe experiences with a wow –  from gold facials and bespoke scents to Michelin star meals and a posh picnic


Feel like you’ve stepped into Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Head to the super-luxe Cliveden House Hotel – a stonking Italianate mansion set in 376 acres of gardens and woodland – and take a special boat trip. There are two beautiful vintage boats – one for 10 guests, the other for four – and you can add a posh picnic lunch, afternoon tea or Champagne to scoff or quaff as you a potter down to Henley. It doesn’t get better than this… unless you can snaffle an overnight stay and keep the boat.


Ascot Racecourse Spring Family Race Day wicker hits

Get dressed up and gallop to Ascot Racecourse for the Spring Family Race Day (27 Mar) It’s fun for all the family, with fine food and fizz on tap for the frown up and loads of activities for kids to get involved in. This falls into the category of ‘winning’. Top tips: wear comfortable shoes and book at table at the Parade Ring Restaurant for a special meal.


Basildon Park National Trist cream stone mansion house seen in film Pride and Prejudice

Basildon Park has period drama in spades and not just because it has starred in Pride and PrejudiceThe DuchessMarie-AntoinetteDorian Grey and Downton Abbey. The views are jaw-dropping, the house is small-scale grand, and the gardens and grounds perfectly reflect each season. There’s an informality to Basildon Park that I absolutely love. Head inside and hunt down the beautiful shell collection, there’s an early Wedgewood wine cooler and you can play spot the rooms that appeared on the big screen. A cream tea in the café is obviously a must.


The Hind's Head Bray Vicars-Room Private dining room

The chances of getting a table at Heston Blumenthal’s three star thriller The fat Duck pretty much slim to none. Instead, totter a few metres down the road to his one Michelin Star gastropub The Hind’s Head. Head chef Pete Gray flicks through the history books to find unfashionable dishes and brings them back with pizzazz. The eclectic decor reflects its royal and religious past, especially in the Royal Lounge where pre-lunch/dinner cocktails are a must and The Vicar’s Room (above) – the very dramatic private dining room There’s seating for up to 20 guests and sumptuous set menus – no death by parma ham-wrapped chicken here.


Gold facial

Luxury that slaps you in the face. Not literally, but a 23 carat liquid gold and caviar facial sounds pretty fabulous to me. The treatment features the highly acclaimed ‘Liquid Gold’ argan oil gold (not actual gold) plus caviar and pearl that leaves your skin smooth and glowy. This slice of heaven is available at Fairmont Windsor Park‘s whopping 2,500sqm two-storey spa and wellness centre. A day loafing here is the ultimate indulgence: indoor lap pool, outdoor vitality pool, salt room, thermal suite, Hammam, Japanese foot spa, hair salon… The list is endless.


Humos Caversham wall of essenital oils

You don’t need to Béyonce to release your own perfume. You can make your own. And if you’re looking for a gift experience that is totally unique, deeply personal and indulgent it is this. Natural perfumer, HUMOS is a stunning atelier on Church Street in Caversham, where you can take part in a workshop to create a scent that is personal to you – be it a perfume, scented candle or room diffuser. The process kicks up a lifetime of memories, which are then bundled into one little glass vessel which is your very own This Is Your Life fragrance. Heaven.

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