Mother’s day sorted!
Everywhere gets so darn booked up for Mothering Sunday – as you’ll know, if you’ve ever spent the week before desperately trying to nab a restaurant reservation only to find it’s Burger King or bust. So in the interests of being super-organised, we’ve decided to get in there early this year with our guide to what to do with your mother – or your children – on Sunday 26 March (I can think of a few suggestions that aren’t quite in keeping with the spirit of the day, but let’s leave that there). Here are Muddy’s mega Mothering Sunday picks…
If a day wandering around an art gallery sounds like perfect Mother’s Day fodder then you’ll be pleased to know there is lots to see at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village in the village of Compton right now thanks to the 200th birthday celebrations of GF Watts. Wander around the A Life in Arts: GF Watts exhibition and Monumental Murals. And of course the studios of GF and Mary Watts at their home Limnerslease, are also open and well worth a visit. If you fancy getting creative yourself, there are two-hour pottery workshops with Claire Waterhouse. The cost is £45, you can book here. Families with children can also enjoy a drop-in portrait photography studio with props and costumes. Take away your photograph as a souvenir.
Looking for something grown-up and child-free to do with your mum? If you’re partial to a bit of pampering and cake, Polished in Godalming has a selection of spa day packages which include a complimentary afternoon tea. Choose from two (£95), three (£135) or four hours (£165) and decide whether you want a massage, facial manicure or pedicure… or the lot! If you’re in Reigate, The Nail and Body Boutique has a two-person spa day package (£250) involving a facial, massage, manicure and pedicure plus afternoon tea, plus a free aromatherapy gift and card for mum. If it’s a gift you’re after, the Relaxation Rooms in Guildford is offering a free 15 minute back massage with any Mother’s Day Gift Voucher for an ESPA Pro/Environ facial; and Cranleigh’s award-winning day spa, Idyllic, has the Rest, Relax, Revive package on offer for £70. Omni the Salon, in Walton-on-Thames, has a choice of Treats for Mum gift voucher packages. Chose from the ‘Thank you’ (£90) and treat mum to a full-body hot stone massage and express facial, or the ‘Best Mum in the World’ (£35) where she’ll get an express facial and express mani or pedicure. Seven Beauty in Ripley has the Mother’s Day Bubbles and Beauty voucher package for mums and daughters: two gel manicures and a glass of prosecco each (£65); or one just for mum: a back and scalp massage or a 45 min facial plus a gift bag (£35).
Don’t worry – you won’t have to cook! Lucky for you I’m rapidly gaining an encyclopaedic knowledge of our region’s many, excellent local pubs (*hic*). Some of my favourites for a family lunch include (*drum roll please*)… The Sun Inn, in Chobham, The Running Horses, in Mickleham (take a stroll around Box Hill first and if you book a table after 6pm, mums eat free); The Abinger Hatch, Dorking and The Victoria in Oxshott. For foodie fans who might want to combine lunch with a spot of shopping, try Bears @ the Packhouse in Farnham or the Angel Upstairs in Guildford. And for something a bit different and with a bit of Hoxton cool, try Boxpark in Croydon.
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 ten includes the stonking 18th century gardens and grounds of Painshill in Cobham where mums get free entry when they’ve got the kids in tow; Box Hill and Leith Hill are great National Trust walks, as is pretty Chatwell, near Westerham in Kent, which is offering a Mother’s Day garden tour and cream tea. Also just across the Kent border is Hever Castle, with its 125 acres of glorious grounds. If you want a real treat, book a table at the elegant Guthrie Pavilion Restaurant situated in the Italian Garden overlooking the lake.
I, for one, will never turn down the opportunity to scoff a scone and I’m guessing that you’re partial to an afternoon tea too. Allow me to suggest Foxhills, the swanky country club and resort in Ottershaw, for afternoon tea. The Waters’ Edge in Horsell is on the site of Heather Farm, a wetlands centre on Horsell Common, does a damn fine breakfast and has a selection of cakes to die for. Kids are also well catered for here, with kits for them to go off in search of all sorts of swamp goodies. Combine a trip to The Lightbox with coffee and cake (or indeed brunch or lunch – it all looks amazing) at the brand new Seasons Cafe and Kitchen at The Lightbox in Woking. 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).
A trip to the big smoke
Central London is so much calmer and more pleasant on a Sunday than a Saturday. Jump on the train to Victoria or Waterloo (don’t forget shops close at 4pm on Sundays so start earlyish), and make your way to the Southbank for a wander along the Thames, before heading to Selfridges to flex your credit card. The iconic department store’s Mothering Sunday activities are still tbc but they usually involve Prosecco and pampering (yes please). Have a stroll around Tate Modern, where The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection is showing until May 21; or take a wander through the parks of central London St James’s, Hyde or Green Park.