Tuesday 16 January 2018

Top 10 Mother's Day breaks for 2017!

March 26

Marlfield House
Clontarf Castle
The Owenmore Restaurant at Ballynahinch Castle
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Looking to surprise the No.1 mum in your life? Here are 10 of the best Mother's Day breaks at home and overseas.

Mindfulness at Marlfield House

The Blue Book’s Marlfield House has a mindfulness retreat kicking off on Sunday, March 26. Tutor Lynda Hughes will teach skills for Seated Meditation, Mindful Movement, Body Scan, Walking Meditation and other practises over two sessions, and there’s a three-course dinner at The Duck on Sunday night, as well as a light lunch before you head off on Monday too. The workshops are suitable for all levels of mindfulness experience, they say.

Details: 053 942-1124; marlfieldhouse.com; from €174pps

Brewing up a storm at Clontarf Castle

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The lobby at Clontarf Castle

Rebecca Storm plays an intimate concert in the Great Hall at Clontarf Castle Hotel (above) this Sunday. Musical-loving mums can enjoy a chilled glass of Prosecco on arrival, followed by a three-course lunch and the concert from €59.95pp. Add an overnight stay at the recently refurbished 4-star from €125pp, all-in.

Details: 01 833-2321; clontarfcastle.ie; from €59.95pp

Amazing Airbnbs in Iceland and Greece

Northern Lights over Jokulsarlon, Iceland.

Airbnb has listed its Top 10 ‘M-Factor Homes’… a line-up of “marvellous properties… at prices that won’t break the bank”. Highlights include a villa on Skopelos Island, where Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan filmed Mamma Mia, from just €40 per night (airbnb.ie/rooms/4051718). Another villa in Northern Iceland starts from €242, with stunning fjords, magnificent waterfalls and possibly even the Northern Lights on the menu (airbnb.ie/rooms/444289). Just remember, flights and transfers are not included.

Details: airbnb.ie; ‘M-Factor’ villas from €40 per night

Yummy Mummy spa treats at Farnham Estate

Cavan’s Radisson Farnham Estate has a ‘Yummy Mummy Spa Package’ for first-time and recent mums, with several treatments including a ‘Deluxe Leg Relief Pedicure’ designed to reduce fluid retention and relive aches and pains, a ‘Polish and Skin Smoother’ involving a full body grain-free exfoliation to hydrate and soothe the skin, and an ‘Escale Beaute Facial’. You can also enjoy a light lunch and the hotel’s infinity pool, thermal suite and relaxation room.

Details: 049 437-7700; farnhamestate.ie; from €185pp

Lunch and a Duvet Day in Connemara

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The Owenmore Restaurant at Ballynahinch Castle

Ballynahinch Castle has a Mother’s Day lunch in its newly refurbed Owenmore Restaurant (above) – overlooking the winding river. Lunch will be served from 12.30 to 3pm and costs €40pp. If you fancy a night in, the hotel has a ‘Duvet Day’ offer with B&B and room service dinner in a specially-prepared room including chocolates, scented candles, sensual bath oils, bathrobes, slippers and luxury duvets from €160pp. There’s a movie and popcorn, too.

Details: 095 31006; ballynahinch-castle.com

Afternoon Tea treats in Wicklow and Kerry

Afternoon tea is one way to soak up a five-star atmosphere without paying the full, five-star whack. Druid’s Glen Hotel & Golf Resort has its array of finger sandwiches, homemade scones, sweet pastries and organic blend loose teas from just €24pp. Wexford’s Ferrycarrig Hotel has a new afternoon tea room with menus from €17pp. Meanwhile, in Kenmare, the Park Hotel has a Mother’s Day Celebration afternoon tea from €50pp. It’s served in the Victorian dining room by an open fire with a harpist… and a glass of champagne.

Details: druidsglenresort.com; ferrycarrighotel.ie; parkenmare.com

Castaways at Castlewood House

Castlewood House, Dingle

Dingle’s Castlewood House is a serial award-winner – taking TripAdvisor’s Best Small Hotel in Ireland and ‘Best Irish Breakfast’ in our Reader Travel Awards just this year alone. It has a one-night package on April 2 including an overnight stay, its award-winning breakfast, and a mimosa on arrival from €99.  

Details: 063 915-2788; castlewooddingle.com

All aboard a Rhone River Cruise

River cruises offer a chance to tour inland landscapes and cities in ways that ocean cruises can’t match. Cruise Escapes has a six-night trip on the Rhone departing April 7, including two nights in Lyon – where you can see Dutch violinist Andre Rieu perform in concert. The cruise includes four days on CroisiEurope’s four-star MS Mistral, with stops in Arles, Avignon and a road trip through the Rousset mountain pass. The trip costs €1,389pp including flights, transfers, all meals and drinks on board, and a three-star hotel in Lyon.

Details: 01 294-1000; cruiseescapes.ie; itaa.ie/offers

Mother’s Evening at Ballymaloe

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Ballymaloe House

This Sunday, March 26, Ballymaloe House is inviting you to an extended Mother’s Day in East Cork. Enjoy a glass of bubbles on arrival, a walk on the grounds, a famous Sunday night buffet served by Myrtle Allen and family, and stay over in a large room before starting the week relaxed, refreshed and bonded!

Details: 021 465-2531; irelandsbluebook.com; from €200pp

Mum’s the word for lunch in London

'Rhubarb with Hibiscus' at Dinner by Heston. Photo: Pól Ó Congaile

I recently ate a two Michelin Star meal in London for £40/€46. How? By choosing the set lunch menu at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Lunch bookings are easier to come by than dinner, and set menu deals can have you sampling top-end cuisine for a fraction of the cost (in another example, the set lunch menu at the three-star Gordon Ramsay costs £65/€75pp, while the a la carte costs £110/€127). While in London, check out Mother’s Day at the Museum of Brands (£11/€12.70)– it’s got a tour exploring how mums have been portrayed in media and advertising over a century!

Details: dinnerbyheston.com; museumofbrands.com

PS: Discounts on the Camino

CaminoWays.com is offering 10pc off some of its most popular walking tours for Mother and son or daughter bookings made before March 31 (use the discount code MOMANDME2017). See caminoways.com for more.

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