So…your mum doesn’t fancy hen party hedonsim, but you still want to do ‘something special’? Here’s our hit-list of activities that’ll nicely nurture the mother-daughter bond
Words by Beth Forsyth
The hat the mother-of-the-bride chooses to wear is often the subject of chatter among guests, so why not really give them a real talking point by making your own headpiece? Milliner Yvette Jelfs and her team bring hat-making classes to you, allowing you to create something to dazzle guests from the comfort of your own front room. The two-hour course includes a comb or Alice band for you to build into a fascinator, while the full-day course includes a shaped hat that you’ll be shown how to fit and decorate. Two-hour courses from £65; day courses from £260 (travel expenses and overnight costs not included).
Yvette Jelfs Millinery, email@example.com,
2 GET YOUR CHOCOLATE KICKS
Sometimes it’s time to say ‘stuff the diet, I’m treating myself’, and a Chocolate Connoisseur evening at Edinburgh’s Coco Chocolate is definitely one of those occassions. During the hour-long session (and over a glass of wine), you and your mum can learn the process of making chocolate, tasting cocoa nibs and cocoa butter in their pure states and also sample chocolate from Madagascar and the Caribbean. If you’d prefer to get the other sweet-toothed hens involved, then one of the larger tasting sessions (for parties of eight to 16) could be right up your street. The chocolatiers can even visit your hotel or apartment to hold the party there. And if you’re feeling really ambitious, you could even make your own favours at Coco’s Chocolate School. Connoisseur evenings from £15 per person; hen parties from £20 per person.
Coco Chocolate, 74 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, 0131 228 4526,
Strings of colouful fabrics fluttering in the wind are synonymous with celebrations, so what better reason to get the bunting out than your wedding? Leah Halliday urges you to go one better though, with her bunting-making workshops in Dumfries. If you and your mum are pretty comfortable on a sewing machine and can master a straight seam, then – using the techniques of bias binding and applique – Leah will show you how to DIY a length of cute flags that will be a pretty touch to your venue decoration plans. £25 for a three-hour class. Next dates 25th June, 2nd July and 6th August.
Leah Halliday, 31B Castle Street, Dumfries, 07762 138713,
4 TAKE JEWEL CONTROL
Even the most ardent of shoppers can soon be fatigued by traipsing round the shops hunting for the perfect piece of jewellery to set-off a wedding dress or mother-of-the-bride outfit, so why not take matters into your own hands (and have a bit of fun into the bargain) with a jewellery-making workshop at the The Bead Shop in Edinburgh. It offers a variety of day and evening classes to suit all skill levels and budgets, from showing you how to make a stow-stopping necklace (like the one pictured below) to tiara-making sessions that teach you the essentials of wire wrapping. Prices vary, but start from £12 per workshop plus the cost of materials.
The Bead Shop, Edinburgh, 0131 343 3222,
We know you DIY rides are always on the hunt for ideas to make your day that little more personal, so why not create your own pretty posies? During a class at Mood Flowers’ Flower School, under the skillful eye of florist Nick Priestly, you and your mum can learn to create a beautiful hand-tied bouquet using a technique that can be used again to replicate the look on your big day. All flowers and materials required are supplied and, even better, all the designs you make are yours to take away. Luxury Hand-Tied Bouquet class (10am-12pm), £65. Next date 18th September.
Mood Flowers, Unit 51 Anniesland Business Park, Glasgow, 0845 362 0982,
Make like a stylish Thelma and Louise by geting behind the wheel of a cool Caterham 7 sports car and exploring some scenic Perthsire contryside. While we can’t guarantee you’ll bump into Brad, you will be treated like an A-lister at The Four Seasons Hotel where you’ll park up and stay for two evenings in a chalet, enjoying dinner in the two AA Rosette Meall Reamhar restaurant on one of those nights.The ‘Drive, Dine and Doze’ weekend break costs from £231 per person based on two sharing.
The Four Seasons Hotel, St. Fillans, Perthshire, 01764 685333,
If the thought of fillet of wild seabass with braised oxtail, crushed coco beans and bourguignon garnish sends you into a food frenzy, the new ‘Soul on Fire’ package at Abode Hotel in Glasgow will no doubt tickle your tastebuds. As well as an overnight stay in a fabulous room (with complimentary flowers on arrival and full breakfast the next day), it includes a pre-dinner glass of champagne and an amazing seven-course dinner from a tasting menu masterminded by chef extraordinaire Michael Caines. The menu is designed to reflect the seasons with an emphasis on the finest Scottish produce, but some of the delights you may be lucky enough to sample are smoked Finnan haddock cake with poached quail egg or melt-in-the mouth saddle of Highland venison with chocolate and chestnut puree. Stay in an Enviable room with the ‘Soul on Fire’ package from £329 per room based on two sharing (£70 supplement for Saturday nights).
Abode Hotel, 129 Bath Street, Glasgow, 0141 221 6789,
8 BE THOROUGHLY PAMPERED IN PERTHSHIRE
Getting everything organised in the run up to your big day can be stressful, so take some time out with your mum to sit back, relax and get pampered from head to foot at Atholl Palace Hotel’s Lavender Spa. Spend time in the thermal pools and spa rooms of the hotel’s Victorian health hydro before indulging in the signature Lavender Lullaby treatment, which will relax every muscle you can think of and leave you looking and feeling tip top. From £40 per treatment, one night bed and breakfast from £80 per person.
Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry, Perthshire, 01796 472400,
Forget Earl Grey, the vintage teapots at The Blind Pig’s Intoxicating Tearooms are brimming with an array of delicious cocktails. Ask for a window seat and you and your mum can revel in one of the best people-watching spots in Glasgow while working your way through a cocktail teapot (or two!) and a three-tier cake stand loaded with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones. The bar’s mixologists can even share their pearls of wisdom at your table, explaining how to create the treats within the teapots. From £15 per person for a pot of Tea-Time Martini and treat-filled cake stand.
The Blind Pig, 116 Byres Road, Glasgow, 0141 357 5482,
A wine-tasting evening at Inverarity 121 in Glasgow is sure to get the pair of you in fine fettle in the run-up to the wedding. During these informal and chatty two-hour sessions, you’ll be talked through a variety of wines pertaining to that evening’s theme which is usually topical or seasonal and have in the past included rose nights (a favourite with the ladies), Krug previews and Burgundy bonanzas. There are spitoons, of course, if you just want to tease your palate but when you’re sampling such delicious wines, we say ‘down the hatch’! Places are limited to 20 per session and prices range from £5 to over £20 depending on the theme of the evening.
Inverarity One to One, 185a Bath Street, Glasgow, 0141 221 5121,