The gentle clink of glasses effervescent with bubbles marks the start of the celebrations proper and I am shooed from the kitchen.

Chatterings from next door mingled with the familiar fumbled chink from cutlery-clad small hands lets me know that something special is coming my way.

It must be Mothers’ Day.

I am presented with a thoughtful omelette. Thoughtful in the fact it closer resembles scrambled eggs but it tastes delicious nonetheless.

“Could I possibly have some toast with it?” I plead.

“Not today – we can’t have you filled up with the day we have planned for you!”

(Images of perilous roller coasters overwhelm my mind.)

After getting ready I’m taken for a short but lovely brisk walk at one of my favourite places – the Sandbanks peninsula. The sun still quite low in the sky, given the time of year, beams softly upon my face. I’m then escorted to the car where I am blindfolded (not terribly well, I might add, given the aforementioned small hands) and driven to the Christchurch Harbour Hotel.

“Mrs Howard?” a polite receptionist greets me. “Everything is ready for you. Here are your slippers and robe.”

I have three hours booked at their heavenly spa and a 30-minute back massage, followed by lunch at The Upper Deck. My husband is poised to take the small person to the quay for a walk and wave to the swans and a visit to the Red House Museum before they’ll join me for lunch.

“Have a lovely time!” I call behind me as I run through the spa doors for my much-needed solitude.

It is as glorious as it could be. A couple of laps in the heated pool and some cardio on the treadmill warrants some me-time in the sauna, steam room and salt room before my therapeutic massage.

As promised my family return and we head for lunch. The set menu has a great offering. I opt for a baked cheese soufflé, seared salmon, and the blueberry cheesecake as well as the cocktail of the day.

All the food makes my small person rather sleepy and she naps in her pram while my husband and I decide to take a stroll after parking up in Bournemouth. Heading down from East Cliff we take in the panoramic views from just outside the beautiful Russell-Cotes museum before heading down to Pier Approach and back up towards West Cliff soaking up the almost-spring sun rays, the still-crisp air filling our lungs.

“Time for some tea,” I’m told. “Tea on a bus.”

Heading towards town, the curious expression still etched upon my face, I am soon asked to board a vintage-looking double-decker bus where, I learn, we are to enjoy some afternoon tea. Mini cakes and pastries, sandwiches and as much tea as I can take are served on dainty plates on a joyous tour of the town. My small person is in raptures.

The sun is now low in the sky and, after a day of absolute indulgence, my eyelids begin to follow. Time for home in Poole. And once there I am presented with a beautiful hamper choc-a-block with goodies. Chocolates, espresso martini, biscotti, gin and a scented candle – all of which are locally-sourced.

“Happy Mother’s Day,” my small person musters as she kisses me on the cheek before falling asleep, her head slumped sweetly on my shoulder.

“Thank you for my wonderful day,” I whisper.

You can have your own magical experience too. Enter our 2020 Mother's Day competition here.




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