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10 Ideas for Mothers' Day in Sussex

By MatthewWard  |  Posted: March 09, 2012

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Whether you are looking for fine dining or a family day out Sussex has an array of great attractions on offer this Mothering Sunday.

From a pampering day at a top spa or a champagne afternoon tea at a five star hotel there are a whole host of ways to make your mum feel special.

For a different kind of Mother's Day head to the Brighton Chocolate Festival or take a trip on the Kent and East Sussex Railway.

The steam railway, which runs from Tenterden to Bodiam, is running a number of different trains that also offer a first-class dining experience.

The 1.15pm is serving up a delicious ploughmans lunch, or you can settle down to a decadent cream tea on the 3.30pm.

Liz Reid events coordinator said: "It's a wonderful thing to do anytime not just on Mother's Day. It is a fully authentic carriage, the livery is beautiful, the food is freshly cooked on the train and you get silver service. It really is a fantastic experience. It is a real step back in time and you just forget where you are."

The KESR is determined to pull out all the stops to ensure your mum has a Mother's Day out that is just the ticket and is happy for people to mix and match their meals and the stations they get on and off at if they are told in advance.

She said: "There is nothing to preclude you having the different dining options on any of the trains. If you let us know when you book you can have an afternoon tea on the 1.15pm train or a ploughmans on the 3.30pm. We can also cater for different dietary needs if we are told in advance.”

And if the experience of dining in style onboard a vintage locomotive isn't enough then the stunning views out of the carriage window are guaranteed to make sure you have a day to remember.

Liz said: "It is a lovely experience and a lot of the countryside we pass through can't be accessed by road. It is a two hour round trip and for a lot of that you don't see any civilisation at all, just lovely countryside and fields."

But people are being advised to book quickly to avoid disappointment.

Liz aid: “The Pullman dining train has already sold out and we expect the others to fill up too so people need to book soon. Last year we had to turn people away.

"We don't want to over-fill the train as we wouldn't be able to give the same level of service. We want to make sure you feel really special."

For information on how to a get tickets for a very special steam train trip or for more Mother’s Day ideas in Sussex, check out our list of 10 of the best events, attractions and activities below.


1. Meze Meze ,168-170 South Street, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8AU, 01903 765333.

Style: Greek.

Food Served: Lunch: Saturday and Sunday 12pm-3pm. Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6pm-10.30pm.

Mother’s Day: Three courses for £15 per person.

Try: Mosxari kokkinisto - Beef stew in tomato and herb sauce served with roasted carrots, peas and lemon roasted potatoes.

With its welcoming atmosphere and affordable food this family-run restaurant is a great place to go on March 18.

The Mother’s Day menu offers three courses of fabulous authentic Greek cuisine for just £15.

Delicious dishes include tyropita – a traditional filo pastry cheese pie, tavvas -lamb, potatoes and carrots cooked with tomatoes, onions and herbs, and a trio of traditional desserts.

2. Tottington Manor Restaurant and Hotel, Edburton, Nr Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9LJ, 01903 815757.

Style: Classic British.

Food Served: Lunch: Monday to Saturday 11am-3pm and Sunday 11pm-5pm. Dinner: Friday and Saturday 6pm-9.30pm.

Mother’s Day: Three courses, coffee and homemade biscuits for £35 per person.

Try: Roast leg of lamb with rosemary Jus and roast potatoes.

With its original beams, white linen tablecloths and ‘Grandma’s Cooking’ menu, Tottington Manor is the perfect place for a traditional Mother’s Day lunch.

The wide-ranging three course Mothering Sunday menu features a mix of hearty British dishes like roast dinners and steak, kidney and mushroom pie, through to dishes from the chef’s ‘freshly caught’ seafood menu.

And if your mum has a sweet tooth, she won’t be disappointed with a choice of desserts that includes apple and strawberry crumble with custard and cappuccino crème brulee.

Surrounded by picturesque scenery, a visit to Tottingdon Manor is sure to make your mum feel special on Mothering Sunday.


Mirabelle Restaurant, The Grand Hotel

, King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4EQ, 01323 412345.

Style: Modern European.

Food Served: Tuesday to Saturday 12.30pm-2pm and 7pm-10pm (Mother’s Day lunch from 12.30pm).

Mother’s Day: Three course menu £40 per person.

Try: Local fillet of cod, langoustine mash, winter herbs and crispy mussels.

Named in The Independent’s top 50 restaurants in the UK, a visit to the Mirabelle will really show your mum you care.

From the elegant splendour of the dining room, to the innovative modern European food, this is fine dining at its very best.

Chef Gerald Roser has created a Mother’s Day menu showcasing the exciting cooking that has made the restaurant’s name.

This includes crab salad and tandoori smoked salmon mousse, roast marinated rump of Sussex Marsh lamb and mini shepherd’s pie, and a choice of desserts.

The hotel also offers great spa facilities, so why not tie in a marvellous meal with a relaxing afternoon for mum.


The Crown at Turner’s Hill , East Street, Turners Hill, West Sussex, RH10 4PT, 01342 715218.

Style: British/pub.

Food Served: Lunch: 12pm-3pm daily. Dinner: 6pm-9.30pm Monday to Thursday, 6pm-10pm Friday and Saturday and 6pm-9pm Sundays.

Mother’s Day: Two courses £16.95 per person or three courses for £21.95.

Try: Roast topside of Bird in Eye Farm beef with all the trimmings.

For a relaxed, family-friendly Mother’s Day celebration head to The Crown at Turner’s Hall.

Warm and welcoming, with traditional decor and classic British cooking, it has built a reputation as one of Sussex’s most popular country pubs.

The Mother’s Day menu features everything from roasts to sea bass in chorizo butter and a venison burger.

And the desserts are simply to die for with favourites like bread and butter pudding, fresh fruit pavlova, and double chocolate tart.

5. The South Lodge Hotel

, Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6PS, 01403 891711.

Style: British.

Food Served (Mother’s Day lunch): The Pass: 12pm-2pm daily, Camellia: 12.30pm-2.30pm, Carvery: 12pm-2.30pm. Afternoon tea: 2pm-5pm.

Mother’s Day: A range of offers including five course taster menu in The Pass £49.50 per person, three course carvery £45 per person and champagne afternoon tea £31.50 per person.

Try: Fillet of beef with confit potato, cabbage purée and red wine. (from The Pass’ tasting menu).

From award-winning fine dining to a champagne afternoon tea, the South Lodge is offering four different Mother’s Day treats on March 18.

The Michelin-starred Pass restaurant is serving up a five-course taster menu, while for those a more relaxed family-friendly meal there is a three course carvery.

The Camellia restaurant is offering roast dinners and refined British cooking in elegant surroundings, while for the ultimate Mother’s Day indulgence book in for a champagne afternoon tea.

Served between 2pm and 5pm the indulgent feast includes freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves as well as delicate pastries and a class of fizz.

Days Out

6. Lunch or Afternoon Tea on the Kent and East Sussex Railway , Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 6HE, 01580 765155.

Event/activity: Steam train ride, lunch or afternoon tea.

When: March 18, lunch train departs Tenterden 1.15pm, tea train 3.30pm.

Tickets/price: £22.50.

For a Mother’s Day outing offering refinement, relaxation and good old-fashioned fun, the Kent and East Sussex Railway is just the ticket.

Sit back and take in the stunning views as the steam train takes you on a two hour round-trip through the glorious countryside between Tenterden and Bodiam.

The lunch train offers a hearty homemade ploughmans lunch while the traditional tea includes a selection of delicious sandwiches, and mouth-watering cakes.

7. Bodiam Castle , Bodiam , Robertsbridge, TN32 5UA, 01580 830196.

Event/activity: Castle, lunch and live music.

When: March 18. Lunch: 11.30pm-2.30pm, castle open 10.30am-5pm.

Tickets/price: Adults £25, Children £11 (lunch). Normal admission, adults £6.30, children £3.15.

Mother’s Day Special: Two course lunch and concert (booking essential).

A perfect example of a medieval moated castle a visited to Bodiam is always a treat.

For Mother’s Day there is the added enticement of a delicious two-course meal in the Terrace Room accompanied by the sounds of ‘Portcullis’. The group will be playing a selection of medieval songs to create a truly unique atmosphere.

After lunch stroll through the castle’s beautiful grounds or treat mum to a present from the gift shop to mark the occasion.

8. Brighton Chocolate Festival , New Road, Opposite Royal Pavilion, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1.

Event/activity: Stalls, demonstrations and tastings.

When: March 17 and 18, 10am-6pm.

Tickets/price: Free.

If chocolate is your mum’s indulgence of choice then head for Brighton Chocolate Festival.

Spread over two days the festival is a celebration of all things chocolate from bars and bon bons to crepes and cakes.

There are a wide range of stalls and the best UK’s best chocolatiers will be there in person for a whole host of demos, talks and tastings.

So for a special Mother’s Day gift, leave the discounted box of chocs on the supermarket shelf and take your mum down to Brighton for the day.

9. Weald and Downland Open Air Museum , Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0EU, 01243 811363.

Event/activity: Museum.

When: March 18, 10.30am-4pm.

Mother’s Day: Reduced price, £2 entry and open house.

With spring in the air, buds bursting and newborn lambs frolicking, Mothering Sunday is a wonderful time to visit the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum.

To celebrate the occasion the attraction has dropped its admission prices to just £2.

Visitors can enjoy the ‘open house’ at the museum and explore more than 45 historic buildings including a Tudor kitchen and working 17th Century watermill.

Set in the heart of the South Downs the attraction also offers woodland walks and a lakeside café.

10. Afternoon tea and jazz/ spa day at Ashdown Park , Ashdown Park, Wych Cross, Nr Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JR, 01342 824988

Event/activity: Afternoon tea and live jazz / spa day.

When: March 18.

Tickets/price: £27.50 per person.

Make your mum feel like a queen this Mother’s Day with an afternoon at Ashdown Park.

In the Richard Towneley Suite, the hotel is laying on live jazz to accompany a high tea with freshly baked scones, sandwiches and pastries.

And if that wasn’t enough you can add a relaxing trip to the hotel’s award-winning spa. With treatments ranging from massages to manicures it is the ultimate Mother’s Day indulgence.

The spa also does mother and daughter packages - great for busy mums and non-stop nans.

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