Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
"Oh not my ol' crocked hands" she said as I went to snap a picture of my mum holding her drink, but what she can't see is that those hands are perfect and exactly why I was spending this day celebrating her.
Those hands helped to care for her mummy when she left school aged 14 as granny had MS in the days before carers, those hands raised 4 girls and many years of which single handed, those hands have supported with 7 grandchildren and those hands have lifted up, wiped tears, patted backs in encouragement, cooked, cleaned, cared, held hands of the elderly and young, lifted the phone to listen and to support, drove around the country being 'mums taxi' and many, many more. Those 'ol' hands' are the meaning of perfect and those 'ol' hands' are directed from the biggest, most caring heart.
It's not often I get to spend any time with just mum anymore, with 2 little girls around we barely get a chance to catch up properly so with Mother's Day just around the corner I decided that a relaxing day just the 2 of us would be perfect! When I was invited to treat my mum (and myself) to a day at Galgorm resort and Spa I literally jumped at the chance! The resort is minutes from us and any excuse or special occasion will see us heading out... it's very close to home but when we are there we could be a million miles away, it is the meaning of tranquility and utter bliss. Our day started with Afternoon tea in the River Room restaurant which is located over the stunning River Maine and truly is picturesque. We enjoyed a delightful menu of soup, sandwiches, delicious savoury scones with smoked paprika butter followed by pasteries, macaroons, scones and cake. We were talked through each serving with a friendly and personal service. Our cups of tea or coffee were never empty and we got to really relax, chat and enjoy the atmosphere of the room.
The presentation of the cakes and treats was totally stunning and were expertly crafted that saw us appreciating them before we tucked in. We even got to meet the patissier, I asked her how hard it would be to learn how to make macaroons but mum told me to stick with trying not to burn my Betty Crocker boxes first. We spent a few blissful hours nibbling at our leisure, enjoying the views and chatting about life, just the two of us. We could not fit another bite in so we got a little box to take some treats home to the girls and then headed across to the Thermal Village.
This is my ultimate luxury and somewhere I try to visit a few times a year, the Thermal Village is unique with indoor pools, Celtic sauna (set right on the bank of the river, if there is anything that will keep you in a sauna it's these stunning views), hot tubs, outdoor pools, orangery, steam rooms and much more. It really is somewhere that has to be seen to appreciate the true beauty of it as every time I go back I am blown away with its beauty as the first time. Mum and I started in the outdoor pool followed by a hot tub and then decided we needed to refresh so headed to the orangery to relax on the swing seats and have a strawberry daiquiri... we were on holiday for the day so it didn't matter that it was only 3pm.
After another spell around the sanarium and saunas we headed to our appointment for the Celtic Ritual which orginated in Finland and is a meditative experience, a ritual with towels is used to lessen the heat and allow you to breathe in the essential oils before completing with meditation in the River House and followed by refreshments in the orangery.
The meditation was utter bliss and reminded me why I enjoyed it so much when pregnant with Annie, I feel that in those short minutes I released all stress hormones and completely reset myself. Mum and I could barely speak for a few minutes after as we were so chilled out, a far cry from the giddiness at the beginning when we saw a guy flapping around a towel in extreme heat! I would definitely do this again and am already googling meditation books for practice at home as the contented sleep last night I am putting down to the meditation (and the fact my 1 year old let me).
Finally and the part of the day mum was extra excited about was the Riverside bathing experience which is set on the picturesque riverbank, wood fired and eco friendly. They are super quirky, very different and offered total relaxation for both body and mind. It's been a long time since I jumped into the bath with mum (the poor crater many an evening as she was relaxing my 3 year old self would believe that my company was exactly what she needed), I was glad I could join her this time with a glass of prosecco, chatting, listening to the birdsong and River and to toast her for all of her mum, nana, best friend and confidant duties she provides to us day and daily. The Riverside Bathing experience is a lovely treat you can add to the spa experience but not a necessity for an amazing time, as the location, facilities, service and dining alone is a total escape and treat in itself.
If you are after something a little different to spoil your mum, nana, sister, carer, wife or whoever that special lady is on Mother's Day then I would highly reccomend an afternoon tea, trip to the spa or even both! Galgorm is currently offering a special afternoon tea on the 25th and 26th March for Mother's Day with prices starting from £29.95. Prices for the Thermal Villiage experience with afternoon tea start at £75. This post is in collaboration with Galgorm Resort and Spa but all opinions and the love of the place is entirely my own. Anna xx