Card and gift ideas
Mother’s Day can be celebrated simply with a pretty card and a gift like a candle or beauty product – and Winchester city centre has some delightful independent shops that can help you treat your mum. Including Cornflowers in Kingsgate Village, The Consortium on Jewry Street or browse the locally made items in the visitor information centre on the ground floor of Winchester Guildhall, The Broadway – like beauty products by Bee Good (made with honey and wax from the owner’s hives) and scented gifts from Hampshire Candles.
Consider ordering a vintage style bouquet from Joannes Florist; a mix of fresh and dried flowers from HeartBee Flowers; or a contemporary arrangement from Pinx Florist. Visit Wildbunch Florists at Cobbs Farm Shop (just outside Winchester), or their flower shop in Alresford. Wickham Flowers does arrangements for all occasions; plus add a balloon, chocolates or a gift. Hylands in Bishop’s Waltham sells bouquets and plants. Or treat your mum to a floral workshop and afternoon tea at Lainston House on 24 March – with an expert demonstration for a spring flower table display to enjoy at home.
If you’re buying for a chocoholic, the award-winning Winchester Cocoa Company sells uniquely flavoured selection boxes, slabs and novelty items; head to the Wickham chocolate shop, Confiserie Verdonk, for imported speciality chocolates from Belgium, over 100 flavours and no added sugar treats; and pick individual chocolates from the counter at Sweet Corner in Bishop’s Waltham. Alternatively, book a place for you and a loved one on to Seasons Cookery School’s chocolate making class (spaces available for March and April classes) and learn the skills to make a variety of chocolate treats.
Fancy a bottle of bubbles, why not take a trip to the award-winning Hambledon Vineyard or Hattingley Valley Wines, near Alresford. Book a spot on a tour and learn how they produce their wines, sample them and buy a bottle at cellar door prices. If you’re thinking about cooking a meal for your mum, purchase a specialist Italian wine from Toscanaccio on Parchment Street, ‘wines of distinction’ from The Naked Grape in Alresford and rare wines from Just in Case in Bishop’s Waltham.
For more gift ideas across the district, visit here.
Treat her to a pamper day
Spoil your loved one to memorable spa day at one of Winchester’s luxury spas – with hydro and thermal areas, relaxation spaces and countless treatments on offer. Let them put their feet up in the bubbly foot spa at Ana Spa at Holiday Inn, Winchester (five minutes from the city centre) or feel rejuvenated after a facial. Buy a gift voucher for your friend or family member to enjoy one of the many massage/skin softening/exfoliating/detox treatments available at The Spa at The Winchester Hotel, on Worthy Lane – reopening in Spring 2022 after an exciting refurbishment. Opt for an holistic treatment like reflexology or beauty treatment such as eyelash extensions at the award-winning Vita Skin Spa on St Peter Street.
Alternatively, browse and buy a gift from a range of locally made pamper products available at the visitor information centre on the ground floor of Winchester Guildhall, on The Broadway.
Anyone for afternoon tea?
Visit the cosy Frieda’s Tearoom on Parchment Street to spoil someone special to a cup of tea and slice of homemade cake or a luxury champagne afternoon tea. Enjoy freshly made sandwiches and scones in Winchester Royal Hotel‘s award-winning Garden Restaurant and secret garden – visit the hotel on St Peter Street. Or if the weather is fine, find a quiet corner in the Cathedral Cafe – with cathedral views from the terrace and peaceful walled garden.
Or fancy having afternoon tea at home? The Cup & Saucer will deliver tasty sandwiches, savoury treats, scones and cake (all on vintage crockery) to the address and at the time of your choosing – and once you’ve finished, just put the washing up in the delivery box and the team will collect it. Vegetarian, vegan, and children’s options are available, as are picnic and breakfast hampers; gift vouchers too!
Take Mum out for Sunday lunch
Settle down for a delicious meal in the grade II listed Chesil Rectory, on Chesil Street. Enjoy British seasonal dishes such as roasted corn fed chicken and stuffing and dry aged Hampshire beef with horseradish cream and ruby poached pear with amaretti biscuit ice cream.
If you’re in New Alresford, visit The Globe, a 15th century pub with a garden and terrace overlooking the banks of Alresford Pond. Tuck in to a menu of pub staples like their homemade burger and beer battered fish and chips or more decadent dishes like marmalade and whiskey glazed gammon and bouillabaisse.
In Bishop’s Waltham, try The Crown Inn. This 16th century coaching inn offers a wide range of platters for two, roast dinners – including a roast sirloin to share – pub classics and puddings like apple and plum tarte tatin with coconut sorbet.
While in Wickham, enjoy starters from soup of the day to crispy Asian beef and mains including slow roasted lamb and pork loin with crackling at The Square Cow – once formally known as ‘The Old Curio Shop’ in the village square. Plus, live jazz performances from 4pm that Sunday (27 March).
Other dishes, including vegetarian options, are available from these pubs.
Days and evenings out
For a fine day out, The Watercress Line in Alresford is back up and running from 19 March, after a short break following their festive Steam Illuminations. Enjoy a relaxing ride on a steam train through ten miles of beautiful countryside. Plus, why not book a table for a delicious cream tea?
Or visit Chawton House’s Botanical Women exhibition (running until 18 April) and learn about the role women played in horticulture and plant science in the 17th century – from writing about plants to keeping estates looking immaculate to illustrating flowers the public had never seen.
If your mum enjoys the theatre, but you’re not sure which show to take her to see, why not gift her Theatre Royal Winchester vouchers. There’s plenty of drama, comedy and music lined up, plus on 28 May, Tits, Gits and Little Sh*ts: An Evening with Gill Sims – during which the best-selling author will take a hilarious look at the changing face of motherhood.
Finally, enjoy a gin and tonic at Bombay Sapphire Distillery, in Whitchurch – with a Discover Experience or Gin Cocktail Masterclass. Learn about the botanicals in Bombay Sapphire and explore Laverstoke Mill – once home to the production of bank note paper, now a state-of-the-art sustainable distillery.