Pól Ó Conghaile


From long drives to lazy lunches, how to make your mother’s day

Whisk her away from the daily grind with some great trips, treats and events, selected by Pól Ó Conghaile

There are many pampering packages on offer for Mother’s Day in spas and hotels around the country.

Big Laughs at Ballymaloe…

There is no better keeper of the Irish Mammy’s flame than Colm O’Regan.

The Cork-born author and comedian behind the @irishmammies Twitter account (129,000 followers and counting) has created such a powerful brand, it even sells tea-towels (or “tweet-towels” if you prefer) bearing mammy’s wisdom.

“Haven’t you enough gallivanting now for one week?”

Now, he’s made a show of mammy. ‘Ireland’s Got Mammies’ is at Ballymaloe Grainstore for one night only this Mother’s Day. Tickets from €20pp.

Details: Ballymaloe.ie; irishmammies.ie.

Crafts & Couture in Kilkenny…

Did you know that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey have both been snapped with clutches co-designed by a Kilkenny jeweller lately?

Chesneau Heltzel minaudières are a collaboration between Rudolf Heltzel and Edmond Chesneau, and can be ordered at Heltzel’s Patrick Street store or you could simply pay a visit as part of a weekend exploring Trail Kilkenny’s craft trail.

One night’s B&B at Zuni Hotel is priced at €85 per room, or €140 if you’d like to include an evening meal at Maria Raftery’s Zuni Restaurant.

Details: zuni.ie; trailkilkenny.ie.

A Two-Night Mother’s Day…

Why limit Mother’s Day to 24 hours? Aherne’s of Youghal has two nights B&B plus dinner for two on one night from €160pp. The Blue Book townhouse and restaurant is offering late breakfast till 11am and a late checkout till 2pm. Valid until March 31.

Details: ahernes.net; Irelands-blue-book.ie

Flaggy Shore flavours …

Treating your mum doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact, Mother’s Day could be made special with something as simple as a nice drive and an ice-cream.

Scooting down to the Spar for a Wibbly-Wobbly Wonder won’t cut it, of course. But what about a tour through the Burren to Clare’s Flaggy Shore, stopping off for a scoop or two of artisan ice-cream at the Linnalla Ice-Cream Café?

Bríd and Roger Fahy have a host of unusual flavours on offer here, including sea buckthorn, wild hazelnuts and gorse, and the café opens at weekends.

Details: burrenbeo.com; linallaicecream.ie

An afternoon with Ronan Collins…

Ronan Collins is another man who has a way with the mammies and his showband is performing at Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Dublin this Mother’s Day. The hotel’s special kicks off at 2pm with a four-course lunch, followed by a performance of songs and reminiscing from Collins and chums. It’s priced at €49.50pp (lunch only from €32pp).

Details: fitzpatrickcastle.com.

Pampering at The Cliff House Hotel…

There is no greater gift for a mum than quality time. That, and an afternoon of pampering at the five-star Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford.

The hotel’s Mother’s Day package kicks off with afternoon tea created by Michelin Star chef Martijn Kajuiter — a three-tiered delight including corned beef sandwiches, raisin and buttermilk scones, Ardmore carrot cake and white chocolate and lemon tart.

Afterwards, you can enjoy a luxury manicure in The Well Spa (a 55-minute treatment including a relaxing hand and arm massage) while you sip on a glass of wine. The experience costs €130 for two, with overnights an additional €180 per room.

Details: thecliffhousehotel.com

The West’s Awake…

The Wild Atlantic Way is the big tourism buzzword for 2014, and it starts in Kinsale. Why not mark Mother’s Day down to drive a stretch? The full route winds 2,500km to Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula, but somehow, we don’t think Mum will thank you for that. Better to take it handy, stopping off for lunch at the Blue Haven in Kinsale, or perhaps a bag of handmade Mella’s Fudge from Manning’s Emporium in Ballylickey…

Details: bluehavenkinsale.com; mellasfudge.com.

The Full Monty at Fota…

Sunday is one of the best days of the week to bag a five-star hotel deal. No surprise as to why — while savvy guests lounge around enjoying stellar breakfasts and late checkouts, the rest of the world is harrumphing off to work on Monday morning.

Fota Island Resort is a case in point. Its Mother’s Day special has homemade truffles and sparkling wine on arrival, a choice of a harmony facial or full body massage and dinner for two in the Fota Restaurant from €358 for two people sharing.

Details: fotaisland.ie.

His & Hers at Ballygarry House…

Got young kids? March 30 is the perfect day to fob them off on the grandparents and check yourselves into Ballygarry’s Nádúr Spa. Couples booking a 60-minute facial for her (€90) and a 60-minute massage for him (€85) as part of the Tralee hotel’s Sunday special get a free glass of wine or pint of beer in the Leebrook lounge afterwards.

Details: ballygarryhouse.com.

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