CHERYL GIBBS: Shouldn't there be an annual Aunts' Day?
Happy belated Mothers' Day to all the mummies, in all their forms, out there.
Mothers’ Day is usually a manic day in our family. Not only do we celebrate it with my mum, but we also have my aunty Sharon, Matt’s mum and his step-mum, so it’s usually pretty hectic.
Unfortunately Matt didn’t feel well on Sunday so we ended up not seeing them all.
I did take my mum out for dinner in Southsea in the evening though. We went to Noble House, which is one of my favourite Chinese restaurants, especially because they do a huge amount of mock-meat so I can devour Chinese ‘chicken’ satay like there’s no tomorrow.
My sisters bought me a nice pot plant from their children, which was lovely and a very nice sentiment. I did pose the question on whether we should designate a day each year to celebrate all uncles and aunties. Funnily enough I didn’t get a concrete answer!
A LITTLE BIT OF LUXURY GOES A LONG WAY
Each year Matt and I visit the New Forest for a little break. We’ve been going for about six years and what we both love about it is the fact it’s just up the road and there’s no lengthy drive to get there.
Last weekend we booked one night at the Montagu Arms, which you can see from the grounds at Beaulieu. Before we went to the hotel we had a little nose around Beaulieu Museum, it’s a quaint and interesting little place.
The Montagu Arms is one of the most stunning hotels I’ve ever had the privilege of staying in, in this country.
From the outside it looks like almost any other boutique-style old hotel with quintessential English charm. But on the inside, well, what can I say?
We stayed in the newly-built two-storey Hay Loft suite in an old converted barn. My word, what a place it was. Bear in mind that since we moved to our bungalow in Clanfield we’ve not had stairs or a bath, we only have a shower. But don’t worry, I do wash.
The suite with its upstairs lounge area and the standalone bath – that was so big my feet couldn’t reach the end – was quite the luxury experience.
In fact I really didn’t want to get out of the bath. I was very happy with a glass of wine, hot bubbles and a magazine to read – what more could a girl want?
It took a lot of coaxing and the promise of a fancy meal in the restaurant to get me out, looking rather prune-like.
We dined off the restaurant’s surprise tasting menu, which meant we didn’t know what dishes were coming – and there were five courses in total.
I can eat, but this place took food to a whole new level and I genuinely haven’t devoured anything that tasty for a long time.
We were so full by the time we finished our fifth course so we relaxed in the sun lounge ... for yet more food! We just about managed an Irish coffee and sweet canapés.
What a weekend, highly recommend.
THE SMELL OF PEDAL TO THE METAL
I wouldn’t say that I’m a petrolhead, but I have always appreciated cars.
Perhaps it stems from the fact my father was a mechanic and growing up around different cars all my life.
Or perhaps it’s a renewed interest since I started to work for Blackball Media, in Gosport, which specialises in all things automotive.
Whatever it is, I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the National Motor Museum, at Beaulieu.
Mum tells me we went as children, but I don’t remember, so I went in with fresh eyes.
I really enjoyed walking through the museum, reading about all the vehicles, their interesting pasts and what the older vehicles were used for.
It was like walking through time and I really enjoyed it.
We went on the monorail and walked through Beaulieu Palace House, a stately Victorian manor. It was the perfect start to our little break away in the New Forest.