Your best Mother’s Day
Park House Hotel, Midhurst
The perfect venue for a stay with Mum. Set in stunning surroundings with views across to the South Downs, this is the ultimate country bolthole. It’s just the right side of chintzy, think comfortable beds, windows that actually open and cosy squashy armchairs. Fido’s allowed in some rooms too. Treat yourselves to a spa afternoon and hang out in the indoor pool with mother-of-pearl tiling, before tucking in at the restaurant.
If you can’t stretch to a stay, there’s a Mother’s Day afternoon tea option on Sun 22 Mar which will feature live music, a free glass of fizz for Mum and a half-day voucher to use the spa.
South Lodge, Horsham
This classy haunt in Lower Beeding near Horsham is its own little haven, the quintessential English country house hotel that just oozes luxury. For Mother’s Day weekend there are five (count ’em) dining options available, from afternoon tea to a full-on six-course ‘dining experience’ via the traditional Sunday lunch and carvery. Treat Mum to a day at the state-of-the-art spa, or stay overnight for the full experience. Wash it all down with award-winning Sussex-made Ridgeview sparkling wine.
The Gallivant, Rye
A weekender for the active, beachy types. The Gallivant is just opposite Camber Sands and is more of a restaurant with rooms than posh hotel. Relaxed and unstuffy, this is modern low-key luxe but nonetheless packs a punch. There’s a cute beach hut for massages and treatments and none other than Observer food critic Jay Rayner has raved about the quality of the restaurant. Keep an eye on Insta for up-to-date menus and offers.
Leonardslee’s gorgeous afternoon tea will be on offer from Wed 18 Mar to Mother’s Day itself on Sun 22. While you’re there, book Mum in for a floral crafts workshop. On Saturday there’s three chances to try out hand-tied floral bouquets (£50) and on Sunday, Amanda Jane Flowers will host a seasonal floral hat box workshop (£50). Mums get free entry to Leonardslee on Mother’s Day itself, so don’t forget a wander around the gardens which are at their best with spring colour and wildlife including the estate’s famous wallabies.
Mother’s Day Prosecco cream teas, Bateman’s at Burwash/Bodiam Castle
Whether you’re treating your own mother or dropping heavy hints to the fam, you’ll want to check out the Prosecco cream teas at Bateman’s and Bodiam Castle for Mother’s Day weekend. Book ahead to be sure of your spot in the vintage tea rooms and work up an appetite with a walk around the grounds too.
Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, Herstmonceux Castle
Afternoon tea at an actual castle? Mum’s worth it – heck, you’re worth it. Another delicious-sounding offering at this stunning castle complete with 300 acres of themed gardens, woodland, parkland and fields. Expect to be dazzled by daffodils and other cheery spring blooms.
If you’re less in the mood for a, er, castle and thinking something a little more understated, here’s Muddy’s guide to the best vintage tearooms in Sussex – just be aware you’ll probably need to book ahead.
Booze and choccies
If you must (because who doesn’t love booze and chocs) but we’re still not allowing a last-minute raid on Tesco.
Noble & Stace
Treat Mum to beautiful handmade chocolates, tablettes, truffles and pastilles with distinctive colourful splashes from Midhurst chocolatiers Noble and Stace, online or from a variety of Sussex and Surrey suppliers. Some, like the English Sparkling Wine and Brighton and Chilgrove Gin varieties, have an extra boozy Sussex twist. There are even dairy-free chocs. Truffles boxes are £10 – 20. You can also buy vouchers for chocolate-making workshops.
No, not a pint of IPA – unless that’s Mum’s tipple of choice of course. This unique low calorie, light beer from Binary Botanical is infused with organic hops and wine yeast to give it a tropical aroma and crisp and clean Prosecco-like flavour.
Gin & On It
It ‘ain’t called mother’s ruin for nothing. Gin has been having A Moment for quite some time now, in fact we’re not sure we can still call it A Moment when it’s lasted years. Sussex has some fantastic gins to choose from and our pick is Slake, produced just metres from the beach at Shoreham-by-Sea full of ingredients foraged from the surrounding coast and countryside. We like the sounds of the Hedgerow Gin, and gift boxes are also available.
Sussex wine has taken the world by storm and leading the charge is Bolney Wine Estate. Treat Mum to a bottle of award-winning fizz or push the boat out and book a tour of the vineyard, complete with tasting of course, and a delicious lunch or afternoon tea.