Ten things to do with mum in St Albans this Mother’s Day (that you might not have thought of!)
- Credit: Archant
Whether you live in Hertfordshire or you are just visiting for a weekend break we have 10 ways for you to celebrate Mother’s Day 2017 a little differently.
Shop Boutique and Vintage
St Albans is home to many independent retail businesses that offer unusual, one-off fashion and homeware items. LA James, an antiques store located on George Street, has been family run for over 60 years. Mahogany bookcases filled with decorative miniatures and collectibles adorn the walls. You can also check out their treated wooden bureaus, the thick, illustrative tapestries and Tiffany stained-glass lamps. Or riffle through the antiquarian maps and prints until you find a historical treasure.
Maison Hartley offers vintage homeware with a contemporary twist, which they describe as ‘modern rustic’. They sell furniture and accessories that echo the trending, Scandi-Nordic, ‘hygge’ concept. They also sell a wide reclaimed wood bookcase with a ladder attachment, like something from Beauty and the Beast!
Simply French is a French fashion boutique selling hand picked prêt-a-porter pieces from acclaimed designers. They also offer a personal styling service for a truly unique shopping experience.
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Try stopping by Chloe James, a fashion, gifts and interiors store, run by Donna Nichol. Currently she sells the Thierry Poncelet Dogcester Prints series, which are well worth checking out for artistic appreciation and amusement.
Tea and Puds
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Afternoon tea in The Abbot’s Kitchen located in the Chapter House of St Albans Cathedral is always a great idea for history lovers. A wander around the cathedral, exploring its vast chapels and galleries is an afternoon well spent and when you need a moment of respite you can order tea and cakes from the café’s friendly staff. When you take a seat in The Abbot’s Kitchen, it’s easy to imagine it as a once monastic refectory.
If you hate the idea of an afternoon tea’s finger sandwiches and bite-size portions then you need to pay a visit to The Pudding Stop. These decadent puddings are baked in-house each morning by a team of talented bakers. Eat your tarts, cakes and tray bakes inside the restaurant or take it to go. They even have a mobile Pudding Stop in the form of a vintage camper van that is parked at St Albans station every week night for all the craving commuters. Mothers who deserve a hard earned treat will not be disappointed by the choice and flavours, or the hearty portion-sizes! On Mothering Sunday they are also hosting a movie night, playing West Side Story from 8pm. No need to book, just grab your mum, a pud and a seat.
Maybe your mother is an avid gardener and lover of all things floral, why not try flower arranging classes? The Flower School offers a class on March 23 from 7.30-9.30pm. It’s the perfect way to learn about your blooms and design them yourselves.
At Pots of Art, located on Holywell Hill, you can pick from a wide range of ceramics to decorate. Create your own painted design and take your piece home with you, a little something to remember this Mother’s Day with.
Life Drawing classes are also available at the Trestle Arts Base on March 27 from 7-9.30pm and at just £15.75 per person. The class is guided by professional illustrator, Bob Wright, and all the materials you need are supplied. If you haven’t heard of Bob Wright before it is well worth checking his Twitter account for his darkly comical designs.
Something for the Animal Lovers
Willows Activity Farm is an option for any mum who loves animals and the great outdoors. They have a petting farm, a growing patch and various other activities. Perfect for mums with young children, Willow’s has many places for them to play and explore. Grab a coffee to go at the site’s café and watch the children interact with the animals or play in the tree house. Before leaving be sure to go to an animal feeding session and then for a lakeside walk.
You can always take a leisurely stroll along St Albans’ River Ver but if you want something with a little more impact you could try a one-off class at the Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym. There is a diverse list of classes you could join, from boxing fit to interval training. Try a relaxing yoga class or the Barre Concept class, for all the aspiring ballerinas!
Time for a Pamper
After sweating it out at the gym you can spend the afternoon being pampered at one of our acclaimed spas. Sopwell House is a beautiful retreat set just outside of the city centre. They offer luxurious Clarins and ESPA facials, massages and body treatments, as well as manicures and pedicures. With a sauna, swimming pool, steam room and spa bath it is the perfect relaxing treat. For those choosing to stay overnight the Sopwell suites have king sized beds, built-in fireplaces and seating by the windows as well as cosy nooks for that idyllic country stay.
Running out of time? Pop into the St Albans City Champneys health spa for a speedy manicure and a 25 minute full-body massage. It is luxury and relaxation for mothers in a rush.
Take a trip to Morocco by booking a table in Little Marrakech. On first impressions it’s an unassuming doorway, sandwiched between shops, but inside is so lavishly decorated that you can’t help but feel like you’ve been transported. Ambient lighting, thick, brightly coloured fabrics, mosaic crockery and tagines fill the cosy restaurant. The flavoursome food is richly spiced and they also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Little Marrakech has also been awarded four and a half stars on Trip Advisor.
If you’re getting the whole family together for Mother’s Day make arrangements to dine in Bar Mezé, a Greek Cypriot restaurant with Ottoman and Arabic influences. A truly authentic Greek experience is to be surrounded by family, good food and fun. This family run business uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to make dishes that can be shared amongst your party. Rated number six of the best restaurants in St Albans, this is an experience not to be missed.
Catch a Show
Themed nights at the Alban Arena mean that music lovers can watch The Bootleg Beatles perform their critically acclaimed tribute act on March 30 at 7.30pm. Accompanied by ‘Scouse’ banter and their greatest hits it’s the ideal show for a ‘60s throwback. Other productions include The Magic of Motown and The Sensational 60s Experience, featuring star-spangled performances from tribute acts such as, Jackson 5, The Supremes and The Temptations. If you’re after a belated Mother’s Day surprise get your hands on a ticket before they’re sold out!
Mokoko Cocktail Bar and Grill on Verulam Road offers a cocktail making masterclass and wine tasting with the last entry at midnight. These classes have grown increasingly popular so be sure to book your place soon. Stop by to listen to live bands play or catch up over a hand-crafted cocktail.
O’Neills Pub on Victoria Street is open until 12.30am, playing live sport and hosting live bands. Pub grub is served until 10pm and there is a variety of cocktails to try, as well as mocktails for the non-drinkers.
Everything You Need
If it’s just a simple day out with mum that you wanted then St Albans city centre and precinct have everything you will need. From high street fashion stores like Top Shop, River Island and H&M to jewellery shops, a bookshop, health and beauty stores and a vibrant market. Catch up over a hot chocolate or just watch the world go by from a window at The Exquisite Peacock Emporium.