MOTHER’S DAY is fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking and planning what to do for that special woman in your life. Things get booked up nice and early, and when we say booked up, we do of course mean post-pandemic. The best deals always come with an early booking and let’s be honest, when isn’t a good time to think about our Mums?

So here is the SOUTH WALES LIFE guide to help you along. With the way of the world at the moment, we’ve added a section with ideas you can do at, or from home.

MOTHER’S DAY in the UK is often known by its traditional and religious name of Mothering Sunday. It’s not a Bank Holiday, but let’s be honest, it’s a day to celebrate those very special women in our lives who made us who we are. Or for many of us, it’s a chance to remember Mother’s who are no longer with us.

It was actually J.K. Rowling who wrote one of our favourite quotes on that subject. One of the important themes in the Harry Potter series is how a Mother’s love protects us throughout our lives, even after she has passed away.

“Love as powerful as your Mother’s
for you leaves its own mark.
To have been loved so deeply,
even though the person who loved us is gone,
will give us some protection forever.”

Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent, usually landing sometime in March. Traditionally, it’s a day when people visit the church they were baptised in and on which they honour their mother. Both Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in the UK observe Mothering Sunday.

YearDateDayHoliday
202114th MarchSundayMother’s Day
202227th MarchSundayMother’s Day

Apart from the church-based activities of Mothering Sunday, Mother’s Day is celebrated pretty much the same the world over. It has, of course become more and more commercialised, but it’s still primarily a “family time” holiday. It’s common for children to give their mother a gift, flowers, a card, a break from house chores, and maybe some time to rejuvenate at a salon or a spa.

We will tell you about events you can do, places you can take Mum, all of which are special and amazing. We do however, want to share some other ideas which we thing any would enjoy just as much, if not more. The old saying is – ‘the best things in life are free’ we reckon the best things to do with and for your Mum can be that too.

We’ve done some research on this subject and it appears that what WE think is the best thing for our Mother’s isn’t always the case. Don’t get us wrong, a piece of jewellery, a slap up meal, expensive flowers and chocolates, will always be well received, and we aren’t discouraging those. We can however tell you that, overwhelmingly, the Mother’s we interviewed said the tears will flow with a personal or even hand made gift.

We can hear a collective sigh from guys who are thinking they can put their wallets away and make something Blue Peter style. Well, hold on fellas, we’re talking here about combining gifts, like a whole MOTHER’S DAY package if you like.

THINGS TO DO AT HOME

Staying at home on Mother’s Day seems a pretty good option to a lot of us. Current situation to one side, home is a great place to spoil Mum, she is comfortable, and we think would quite enjoy watching us all run around after her on this special day. Most importantly, and I think we can all agree with this one, Mums love being around the people they love above all else.

With that in mind, we thought the best way to begin this guide is to start at home. If there are lots of Mums to cater for, you can of course get them all together in one home and make a real family thing of it. If you are going to your Mums, you can take all you need to pamper her too. Whichever it is and whatever you choose, this section is packed with things to do in, or indeed from the comfort of your own home.

Since every Mother is different, you will know best what makes her happy. Really give it some thought, maybe those times when you saw her smile. What you think about and do on the day is sure to bring another smile to her face.

Focus the day on your Mother by doing at least one of these, if not more…….

  • Put together a collection of photos from the past don’t forge to add a current selfie with your Mum. Most Mums seem to enjoy flicking through pages of an album and remembering those good times of the past.
  • Think out side of the traditional ‘flowers’ box. Bring some of her favourite plants and help with the gardening. There are two benefits to this, the plants will be a year long reminder of you and the gift you gave and, most importantly, you get to spend time together planting them.
  • Cook a meal but do it together. My Mum hated me cooking for her but doing it together made her smile. Don’t forget to take pictures for your album.
  • If the whole family is together have an afternoon board game marathon or a game night with everyone. Nibbles, drinks, laughing and pictures. All perfect.
  • This will take some thinking but we reckon Mum will love this. Put together a list of things you learned from her over the years. Read it aloud and leave her with the list so you can look at it again (and she will). 
  • We think the greatest gift you can give any Mum is the gift of your time and let her decide what to do.

Here are some special things you can do for your Mum which may be perceived as either ‘going out’ or ‘going away’ activities, but actually can easily be done or organised from the comfort of home:

  • Book a spa day. Many Mums spend quite a bit of time taking care of everyone else, and tend to neglect themselves. If this sounds like your Mother/Partner, make an appointment for her to be pampered at your local day spa – your home. Think about it for a moment, she will love being pampered, a proper long soak in a bubble filled bath (strict orders for the kids not to disturb), time to indulge herself in getting ready, doing her hair, nails and all the things she may not be able to do because of everyday life. Maybe, at the end of the day, you could consider giving Mum a massage? Now we are talking partner Mum not your Mum!!! Perish the thought.
  • Treat her to a weekend adventure. If Mum is the adventurous type, whether it’s hiking and bicycling, or she’s more of a B&B sort of girl, why not arrange it all from home. Breakfast in bed, all of you out on your bikes, long walk together. In fact everything you would do on an adventure weekend only this time, home is your base.

Go on holiday – Hold on a minute, we’re in the middle of a crisis, funds are tight and you expect us to go on holiday? Well, as nice as it would be, why not bring the holiday to your home. If you go to Spain each year, I sense Tapas and Sangria being served. France, then it has to be croissants fro Brunch. Get the idea now? You can even pack a picnic filled with all your holiday favourites and go into the garden or further afield. You don’t have to go on holiday to have a good time. For an added touch, adorn your kitchen or dining room table with a red-and-white-checkered tablecloth and fresh flowers, put on some appropriate music. You could even teach the kids a few basic words to greet Mum. “Bonjour” and “Merci”.

Go to the movies – Maybe the local multi-plex isn’t on your radar today, we don’t think Mum would want to sit in the dark and not having a chat to everyone anyway. So how about your own Silver Screening at home. The main feature could be your favourite holiday video or even a slide show if you are going old school. Think of the fun you’ll have looking back over those great times and fashions.

Go to a gig – We’re sure you get the idea behind these now. You can bring the concert to your home. Do the kids play an instrument at school. Are you are dab hand on the karaoke. Or is there a favourite CD you all love listening to. Get the kids to perform, singalong to some cheesy tunes and get Mum to be the X-Factor style judge for the day.

Make a good impression – Bit messy this one and maybe needs a warm day, it is so much fun though. Go outside, mix up a small bucket of colourful non-toxic paint, get the kids to put their hands and feet in it (which they’ll love), spread out a large roll of paper, and have everyone press their hands and feet onto it, leaving their prints behind. When it dries don’t forget to mark who’s feet and hands and the date, then next year come back and do it all over again.

THINGS TO BUY

Here’s a few places to go for ready-made gifts, flowers and photo albums. We have no financial or promotional interest in any of these whatsoever. They are just to give you ideas.

As fantastic as they are we would still advocate going down the D.I.Y. route, especially if you have kids who can help – or you can help them more like. We have come up with a few ideas to get you started. The SOUTH WALES LIFE team have all done things like these over the years and from our experience are always well received.

THINGS TO MAKE

Occasionally, thinking outside the box will give you the most affordable, creative easy to prepare presents and the nice thing is, you can personalise them so easily. Take this one for example. Four jars which cost a couple of quid, things to put in them, and a little bit of writing or printing.

This one you can actually buy but what we have done in the past is get a really nice, small box or jar and some pretty parchment type paper. Cut them into small pieces, write your message on them, or get the kids to do it, tie them up with pretty string or ribbon, put them in the box or jar and give them to Mum.

You can even make a little “Things I/We love About You” Book. Hole punch blank index cards in the upper left corner. On each card, write down one thing you love about your Mum. When you’re finished, slip a binder ring through the hole in the all of the cards.

  • You can ask your whole family to participate, so she knows why you all love her.
  • Try using different coloured index cards or decorating them before you put the book together. It will make the book look more personal and let your mom know you spent a lot of time on it.

Make a memory jar. You can use any jar you like – even an old vegetable jar – just make sure it’s cleaned out really well and smells fresh. Then write one memory of your Mum on each slip of paper. When you’re finished, fold them in half and put them in the jar. This is not about the jar but very much the memories. You can even put pictures inside too.

  • You should use at least twenty slips of paper so the jar looks pretty full.
  • You can decorate the jar with stickers, craft paint, or ribbon. Make sure you write “Memory Jar” on the outside or tie a label around with ribbon.

This is a full on Mother’s Day Party Kit, just click below and it’ll download straight to your device. There are banner, food labels, sweet wrappers and so much more. There’s a lot, you have been warned.

PARTY KIT

And for no other reason than we like this message. It’ll be really nice printed and framed and put by Mum’s bedside.

PLACES TO EAT

We are certain we won’t be able to take Mum out for something nice to eat on Mother’s Day, restrictions seem to be in place for hospitality for a while yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t think and plan ahead. A nice homemade voucher, a future date in the diary, something to look forward to when restrictions ease, will always go down well.

We have no links to these places, just a few selected, at random, to give you some ideas. Please remember the opening times etc are what we had pre-covid.

Celtic Manor Resort – Mother’s Day At Home

The CELTIC MANOR RESORT are continuing their ‘At Home’ menu, which has been really successful during lockdown. This time it’s our Mum’s who get the Resort treatment.

Make her special day even sweeter with a mouthwatering afternoon tea, a delicious taste of spring filled with savoury bites and sandwiches, delicate hand-made cakes and fluffy vanilla scones with clotted cream. 

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea from £14 per person

Treat your mum, or the whole family, to a delicious Sunday roast with all the trimmings, hand prepared for you by their award-winning chefs for a restaurant-at-home experience, simply heat, serve and enjoy!

Mother’s Day Lunch from £29 for two people. For details go HERE.

Laguna Kitchen and Bar at Park Plaza – Cardiff

The independent, award-winning Laguna Kitchen & Bar is situated in the city centre within Park Plaza Hotel Cardiff and famed for serving classic British cuisine with a twist of Welsh character. Combining the very best local produce with fresh herbs from our own garden, our chefs design seasonal dishes to satisfy every palate.

Their Afternoon Tea selections range from the Traditional to the savoury, so whether you’re tucking into a warm sultana scone with Cornish clotted cream or a mini venison burger, they’ve got something for you. 

As well as 10 different types of loose-leaf tea to choose from, why not sip a glass of Ayala Champagne for a sparkling occasion. Afternoon Tea is served daily from 12.00 pm to 5.30 pm, advance booking is advisable. 

For more information and to get yourself booked in, go here. LAGUNA

Craig Y Nos Castle – Swansea

How about a special three-course Sunday lunch at Craig Y Nos Castle. Here are details of the regular Sunday Lunch Menu to give you an idea.

Craig Y Nos Castle is on Brecon Road, Penycae in Swansea. For more details on their, go here. CRAIG or give them a call on 01639-731167

The Angel – Abergavenny

The Angel Hotel is a luxurious, 4 Silver Star hotel, located in the centre of Abergavenny. Situated between 7 hills on the Welsh/English border. The town is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to Wales’ and The Angel is a perfect base for a lunch or Afternoon Tea as it is only a 2 minute walk from Abergavenny Castle or 5 minute walk from Linda Vista Gardens. Providing a warm, friendly environment in a truly residential setting.

The Angel Hotel does get really busy and it’s Sunday Lunch and Afternoon Tea is second to none. For more details, go here. ANGEL

Llechwen Hall Hotel & Restaurant – Llanfabon

A hidden gem in the heart of the Cynon Valley, Llechwen Hall is a charming country house hotel with an AA-Rosette awarded restaurant.

A traditional Sunday roast in the glorious surroundings of the Welsh countryside, and all from around £12.95 per person.

Sunday Lunch, the great family affair, and here at Llechwen Hall, they welcome you to your home from home. Enjoy the delights of sumptuous food along with a fantastic atmosphere and most importantly, without all the washing up! The menu always offers a superb selection of roast meats as well as fish dishes and vegetarian options.

Why stress? It’s Sunday after all, so take your time and relax in the Lounge bar whilst reading a newspaper or catching up with friends. On sunny days they have a selection of garden games to entertain the whole family on the beautiful lawn and for those who are feeling a bit more adventurous there are many walking routes surrounding the hotel.

Llechwen Hall Hotel in in Llanfabon, near Pontypridd For more details on what they have on offer, go here. LLECHWEN or give them a call on 01443-742050

The Old Custom House – Penarth

Dine in the bustling open plan restaurant El Puerto. It overlooks the sea and has a wide range of wine and beer at the 45-foot long bar.

The Custom House is at Penarth Marina. They do get really busy so we suggest getting in touch with them sooner. Visit here for more details. CUSTOM

Carvery Buffet at The Vale Resort – Hensol

They have so much on offer at the Resort and do a fantastic Afternoon Tea, which is a really nice and relaxed way to enjoy your food. Once we have full details of what they are offering we’ll let you know.

The Vale Resort is at Hensol Park. For more details and to book, go here. VALE

The Lion Hotel – Blaenavon

The hotel prides itself “on providing quality dishes using local ingredients. The Lion has become famous for their Sunday Lunches. Served every week from 12pm to 3pm. They serves only the freshest vegetables and the best meats that Wales has to offer.

The Lion Hotel is at 41 Broad Street in Blaenavon. For more details, go here. LION

Sunday Lunch – Newbridge on Usk

Laid-back luxury in the heart of the countryside, an idyllic ‘restaurant with rooms’ boasts stunning river views and delightful quirky character.

Newbridge on Usk is part of the Celtic Manor Group and situated in Tredunnock, Near Usk. For the latest details, go here. NEWBRIDGE

Margam Deer – Port Talbot

The Margam Deer in Port Talbot is a family friendly pub where great food is always on the menu. Whether you’re a traditional meat and two veg, a chooser of healthy options, or a massive fan of classic burgers, they will have a treat in store for you.

Their legendary Carvery is served seven days a week, alongside a selection of proper pub grub and calorie-counted alternatives. And the cellar is stocked with fine cask ales, draught beers, and wines, not to mention treats for the little ones. Let them blow off some steam in the toddler area or outside play area, while you sit down and relax.

For details of their Sunday Lunch and to book, go here. MARGAM And you can download their menu right here. MENU.

Blainia Wharf – Newport

The Blaina Wharf in Newport is part of the same chain as the Margam above so expect a family-friendly pub serving a busy area on the banks of the River Usk. Their menu includes a traditional Carvery as well as plenty of pub classics and light bites. We have a children’s play area outside, and serve a delicious, nutritious children’s menu too.

With an al fresco area for sunny days, and plenty of indoor seating for when it’s not so nice, they are the perfect venue for a family meal at any time of year.

For details of their menu and to see what’s on offer, just go here. BLAINA

Sand Martin Pub – Cardiff

And once again the Sand Martin is part of that group. They are very well suited to family groups with a varied menu of classic pub grub, a Family Zone complete with toddler activity area, and of course a great selection of draught beers, cask ales, wines and spirits.

The enviable location next to the Cardiff City Stadium makes the perfect pub for food then a mooch around the shops, and they’re a favourite with families from the Leckwith, Riverside, and Ninian Park areas of the city.

For details of what the Sand Martin Cardiff have on offer, go here. SAND MARTIN

The Tea Cosy – Dowlais

Afternoon Tea is a chance to treat that special lady in your life to a delicious tea, served with a glass of bubbles.

THE TEA COSY opened in May 2019 as a small family business in the local Dowlais community. They offer cooked breakfast, a place to meet friends for a coffee or indulge in one of their delicious cakes or sundaes.

Afternoon Tea is always a favourite, but for now they are offering order and collect services. THE TEA COSY are based at 27 Mount Pleasant Street, Dowlais in Merthyr Tydfil. To find out more head to their Facebook page here. TEA

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