Mother’s Day in Somerset
With only a week to go, here are Muddy’s mega Mothering Sunday picks…
Family Sunday lunch – don’t worry, you don’t have to cook it
I’m trying to work my way around our region’s many, excellent local pubs (*hic*). Some of my favourites for a family lunch include (*drum roll please*)… The White Hart in Somerton’s picturesque market square has a triple roast with all the trimmings, plus some tempting options for non-carnivores – and mums get a Bramley gift, too. The White Horse has a brilliant sharing board over in Haselbury Plucknett near Crewkerne. Lunches are fab at the Ring 0′ Bells in Compton Martin in the Chew Valley (that’s the pub where big name music stars just happen to pop by – though we can’t promise a musical megastar when you visit), The Queens Arms in Corton Denham near Sherborne, old coaching inn The Talbot Inn over in Mells, The Babbling Brook Inn and its award-winning Sunday roast not far from Bridgwater, The Sheppey out on the Somerset Levels (there’s live music at 3pm) and The Swan in Wedmore (with Bramley gifts for mums). If you prefer a cosy restaurant atmos, head to Levant at Castle Cary for a Middle Eastern inspired Mother’s Day lunch or to Wiveliscombe, where Duende are putting on a special feast.
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 ten includes the crocuses carpeting the grounds at Forde Abbey near Chard. The stonking grounds of Tyntesfield up in Wraxall is a vast Gothic pile with formal gardens, an orangery and 540 acres of rolling parkland. Mums get in free to the Walled Gardens of Cannington near Bridgwater (so long as they’re with another paying adult) and there’s a free gift if you get there early enough (it’s open 10am-5pm). The gardens, designated an RHS partner garden, lie within the grounds of a medieval priory; there’s a tearoom and plant nursery too. You can walk through three centuries at Hestercombe‘s gardens – the Georgian landscape gardens, a Victorian shrubbery and Edwardian formal gardens – then pop in for afternoon tea or a special two-course Mother’s Day lunch in the historic Bampfylde Hall. Prior Park Landscape Gardens in Bath are pretty at this (and every other) time of year; help lift and replant the snowdrops on March 11 if the mood takes you. Do the Somerset Space Walk along the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal. This sculpture trail is a scale model of all the planets around the sun, running from Maunsel Lock at North Newton (where the sun is), down to Taunton in one direction and Bridgwater in the other, with all the planets set out along the way. There’s a tea shop at the lock.
Have your cake – and eat it
I’m always up for tea and cake, so I’m guessing that you might be too. Pinkies out for cream tea (or lunch) at the 18th century country house Ston Easton Park just south of Bath. Afternoon tea at the Corinthian-columned Pump Room at the Roman Baths in Bath comes accompanied by a trio or pianist. For something quirky and unique, hop aboard an Brigit’s Bakery afternoon tea bus tour on a vintage Routemaster bus driving around the landmarks of Bath. See our guide to the best afternoon teas in Somerset and beyond.
Mother/adult daughter jaunts (no kids allowed)
Indulge yourselves at the Buff Urban Day Spa in Taunton, with a luxury treatment for two including a foot ritual, mud wrap, Balinese massage, hand treatment and facial before having lunch and a bottle of champagne up on their roof terrace. Mix some mean G&T twists at a gin masterclass at Sub 13, Bath’s award-winning cocktail bar. Get cooking – Vietnamese, Ethiopian, gourmet vegan and more – at the famous vegetarian Demuth’s Cookery School in Bath. Chill out at the Bristol Lido, one the UK’s oldest surviving lidos with an outdoor pool surrounded by an award-winning restaurant, tapas bar and spa. Or if your mum’s into gardens or flowers, how about time away together on a trip to a European flower festival, garden or flower market; Bath-based travel experts ECT Travel have a programme of tours within the UK, Europe and beyond, some accompanied by Jonathan Moseley, floral expert on BBC’s Big Allotment Challenge.