Helen Lindsay experiences Mother’s Day in the grandest of surroundings.
Glancing at the time, bleary brained, after the usual early morning “Mummy, it’s time to get up!” I actually thought I had been allowed a lie-in.
And on Mother’s Day too. How lovely!
However I had forgotten that on the one day Mums are told they can put their feet up, this year the clocks went forward. Our special day got one hour shorter!
But after flowers and a bottle of wine were delivered to me back in bed (the wine remained unopened I hasten to add), my minor grudge against GMT had subsided.
Plus the sun looked like it was going to make an appearance and we were also booked in for a rather special meal in the stately Hoghton Tower.
For the first time the newly refurbished Vaio Room was being opened as a restaurant, and I and a few other lucky Mums were to enjoy a delicious three-course meal.
A relatively small venture, our menu choices had to be given at the time of booking. It all sounded delicious with classic dishes such as sauteed mushrooms, grilled salmon in chive cream sauce and pear and cinnamon crumble.
But there were no children’s choices. I found this a little strange, especially on this particular day, but upon inquiring, I was told they would cater accordingly.
We decided on three cream of watercress and potato soups to start and hoped for the best with a chicken breast in mushroom sauce for the little one’s main course. I chose salmon while Significant Other opted for roast Lancashire Sirloin of beef – we couldn’t visit Hoghton Tower without one of us having the loin, this being where it was knighted after all!
Dessert was a crumble each for us and homemade chocolate cheesecake with ice cream for little one.
And so with Flopsy bear in her best dress we made our way up the beautiful drive in the Spring sunshine and wandered into the magnificent grounds of the tower.
The restaurant was set up in what is usually the tea room and there were two welcoming log fires burning. With the sun streaming through the stone mullioned windows onto fresh daffodils, real linen table cloths and a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere, it all felt very special indeed.
Settled with a glass of rose, food began to arrive. The soup was creamy, peppery and came with lovely soft bread which the little one enjoyed –Dad meanwhile enjoyed most of her soup as well as his own!
Time for the main course and my salmon was soft, fresh and moist with plenty of sauce and Jersey potatoes – a real treat! SO’s beef was, he claimed, a little tough and I found the veg slightly too soft for my liking, but nothing went uneaten. Little one’s portion was far too much for her even though I had requested a tiny amount, but she is a spectacularly fussy eater.
After a bit of a wait, which I found relaxing but SO found too long, the desserts were served and finally the little one was happy. And we were too. Naughty but very nice.
So despite the odd wait between courses and a minor mix-up with drinks, we enjoyed a lovely meal in fantastic surroundings. The beautifulgrounds were also at our disposal for an after-dinner walk with some great nooks and crannies for hide-and-seek.
For £19.95 per adult and £9.95 for children, it really can’t be compared to a ‘restaurant’ chain not too far away which we noticed was charging pretty much the same.
I know where I’d rather be!