MOTHER'S Day is the perfect excuse to spend some quality time with your mum and each year I often find myself wondering how and where to spend it, writes JESSICA PICKIN
So when I was invited along with my mum to the West End of London for a mother and daughter trip, I was intrigued to see what this part of the city could offer for both of us that was different.
Arriving into Oxford Circus we were pleased to find that our accommodation, the Sanderson Hotel, was just a walk away from the station – we had definitely over-packed so a sit down was a must!
The star treatment began before we had even entered the building as two porters standing outside, greeted us as if we were VIPs and opened the doors in what can be likened to a scene from a movie.
From what I had heard about The Sanderson, I was reserved about whether my mum would appreciate the quirky modern theme but the contemporary décor did not overshadow the hotel’s luxurious assets and she seemed to love it.
The reception room had enough vintage furniture and quirky items to keep us occupied until lunch, but we had brunch on the menu so we checked in, left our bags with the hotel, and headed out for our weekend of fun.
As a person who lives in London and my mother who doesn’t, I thought I had a pretty good grip on great cafés in the capital but I was definitely unaware of charming Kaffeine, situated on Great Titchfield street, just North of Oxford Street.
The aroma of coffee and freshly baked sandwiches had our stomachs grumbling the minute we stood inside. We were hungry so were pleased when a friendly waitress took our order and after getting comfy on a high table and seats, found ourselves nattering away and enjoying the laid back but modern surroundings. When our ciabatta, omelette, pancetta and rocket sandwiches with our tea and coffee arrived, we were even happier.
What we liked about Kaffeine was that it allows a change from the usual coffee chains found scattered across London and gives you time for a break away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets, recharging us for the day of shopping ahead.
Being in London’s West End, the first thing we wanted to do was get some retail therapy – and that’s exactly what we did.
Heading first to Topshop’s flagship store during London’s Fashion Week was pretty exciting, it also marked the store's 10th anniversary so we couldn’t wait to have a browse and were pleased to be met by trendy pastel colours and brights. The shop was also holding the Topshop Unique show, showcasing amazing in-house design.
We also headed over to Debenhams to allow my mum to have a browse and pick up some treats – well it is for Mother’s Day!
After a full day of scouring the shops along London’s famous shopping central, with each hand clasping more bags than we could just about handle, we were ready to head back to the hotel to have a bit more of a look around.
On arrival back at reception, a friendly member of staff handed us our luggage and on our way to our room spotted a beautiful billiard room with a red clothed table, if we were not so busy – we would have definitely had a game.
The star-lit lift took us to our floor and soon we headed into our refreshingly unique room, which was walled by floor-to-ceiling glass and lined with layers of sheer curtain, which could be moved by a touch of a button. There was enough space for a family let alone two people, and after sitting on the beds, it was difficult to get back up – sheer comfort.
After getting ready, we were ravenous and looked forward to our dinner so next stop was Fornata – an Italian restaurant open all day. The main feature of the room was the beautiful oval oven within the modern diner themed venue, which allowed us to watch and smell our food as it was being cooked.
Fornata serves antipasti, traditional Italian small plates, so we could tuck into and try a variety of flavours of food from southern Italy whilst enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, which almost felt like being within a family kitchen.
After our evening of food and drinks we headed back to the hotel for some people watching at the Long Bar, which is a modern but elegant watering hole with quirky features such as high seats with eye designs on the back.
The next day we rose bright and early and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant Suka before heading out to continue our shopping, stopping at Miss Selfridge and back to Debenhams for a further look around.
In the afternoon we headed down to The Royal Academy of Arts in at Burlington House in Piccadilly to visit the David Hockney: A Bigger Picture exhibition, which presents his landscape works. This gave us a good opportunity to wind down after a busy day in the city and take in and enjoy the beautiful art. This is a must-see and will be displayed until April 9.
Our final stop focussed on treating mum and so we headed over to John Lewis where we were met by the store’s Fashion Advisor Fiona, who lead us into a cosy but stylish room within the store, where she chatted and advised about fashion and tips.
My mum, who enjoys shopping but wouldn’t say no to guidance, was then lead around the shop with me alongside, as Fiona pointed out great items and ensembles that could work well and suit her. After two hours here, my mum picked up some great ideas and I went away with plenty too!
I spend much time deciding on ideas for Mother’s Day but this trip had enough mother and daughter treats to make her feel spoilt and me happy all in one weekend.
TRIPIDEAS.CO.UK FACT BOX
66 Great Titchfield Street
London, W1W 7QJ
0207 580 6755
334-348 Oxford Street
London W1C 1JG 0844 561 6161
15 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PS
020 8181 8887
Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
020 7300 8000
Bookings: 0844 209 0051020 7494 76
Sanderson Hotel & Agua spa
50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG
020 7300 1400
John Lewis Fashion Advice
John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street
London W1A 1EX
020 7629 7711
Bookings: 0203 073 0564
West End Shopping