A treat for my Mum – gifted to me from Hastings hotel.
My Mum is a massive part of my life. More than often you’ll find her in my kitchen giving out to me for the state of the hall covered in little people’s coats or attentively serving me, my husband and our dog Mimi (who loves her granny!) like a house keeper. She’s a keeper.
When Dad died she was in her early forties so I often feel like she never treated herself to any luxury after he died- apart for the odd night with girlfriends at a supper night or a trip to shop without us during the Christmas period.
First we checked into our Ava suite – a classic ‘Ella and Aly’ getting lost scenario unfolds when we thought it was a room we had on the Ava floor, when in fact it was the Ava suite itself.
Our suite was beautiful with two winged chairs off to the side where we discussed the novels we are reading. This is an activity that I am not sure we have ever played out as mother and daughter before. Mum’s novel is a true story about a missionary in China. Mine is the Goldfinch which is about a little boy and his Mother dies in the opening chapter. Heavy enough reading but great to share!
It felt like this gentle start to our evening was how the way our stay would play and it felt good. This time of year is my busiest with late nights in the studio and long days processing orders – which I am so very thankful for (this year we have taken on St George’s twilight market and Victoria square so all systems go! ).
For me to be able to hit pause and to let mum faff about with the coffee machine (if you follow me on instagram you will have seen her flustered unsure how to work the machine!!) was up there with the best times for us.
We didn’t try the spa this time around as Daniel O’Donnell was on the late late show and this called for our attention after we had finished our incredible fine dining in the mitre restaurant just two floors up from our suite. Mum made sure to avail of the bath in the room though which she called out “sure, this is just like a spa..” then raising her voice to me “.. and can YOU SMELL THAT BUBBLE BATH!? It’s GORGEOUS!”!!
The next morning we leisurely read our novels and Mum had a cup of tea in bed watching Saturday kitchen. A show she used to watch with granny, even after her dementia set in.
When Granny’s dementia was well established and difficult to manage we took turns in the family to stay the weekend with her in Armagh. So I also have fond memories of the Saturday kitchen ritual and it was great to this moment with Mummy in the quiet and grandeur of the Culloden.
Breakfast was equally as special as the night before where we could choose from the a continental selection (my hubby I are big fans of a buffet style breakfast when we stay in hotels) or from the menu which I did. Avocado on sourdough, poached egg and bacon. Mum had pancakes.
Suki tea for two to accompany it which set us up for the road.
Highlights included the fire for mum and the bath in our en suite. As well as the view over Belfast lough- she relayed it to my aunty as she looked out the window “just watching the planes fly over the lough”. The pace of the evening and morning was beautiful and welcomed.
I would recommend for anyone wishing to treat their mother, their partner or themselves (!) this Christmas to look into Hastings hotels. I keep seeing the vouchers on the billboards and have passed it onto my in laws as a potential gift for another special birthday in February.
Our wedding was in the Culloden and our hope is that some year in the future we will spend Christmas in the Slieve Donard.
You can find more information here and when go ahead please do allow yourself the time to switch off from the world to let the Culloden take care of your eating, drinking and self care needs. It’s amazing how you don’t need nice weather to enjoy a hotel break the way you do a holiday abroad!
This post is in partnership with Hastings Hotels. I was kindly gifted the overnight.