As much as mummies love their offspring, the promise of a child-free day off, where one can fleetingly return to a life that existed pre-children, is to be savoured. A day where you can enjoy your coffee at a leisurely pace instead of dashing off to catch an escapee child, to browse the shops without dealing with unfathomable tantrums, or simply to hold a conversation in full sentences.

With Mother’s Day on the horizon (11 March), we’ve come up with the perfect ways to treat yourself to some well-earned time off. Go on mamas, you deserve it!

Cycling clifton

Have a spa day

Make sure the Lido Bristol or Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa are high on your list of places to visit on your kiddie-free day. Step one foot inside these supremely-chilled establishments and you’ll be transported to the realm of serene, energised grown-ups. Reinvigorate a Peppa Pig-fogged-mind in the steam room, blast away the whining with a dip in the pool and soothe child-carrying muscles with a spa treatment before taking your time over a glass of bubbles accompanied by something delicious. 

Lido Bristol

Image - Lido Bristol

Caffeine-up

If you consider the crack of dawn to be a lie-in, then treat yourself to a super tasty caffeine injection at one of Bristol’s coffee hotspots. Pop into Arnolfini or Watershed down on Bristol’s pretty Harbourside, nibble a legendary homemade cake, soak up the buzzing atmosphere and make the most of your moments of quiet to peruse an exhibition.

Ashton gate coffee shop

Image - Ashton Gate Coffee Shop

Stress-free shopping

Shopping and pre-schoolers do not a dream combination make. Take the opportunity to actually try on clothes instead of having to flee changing rooms after AWOL toddlers - Bristol is the shopping capital of the South West, so you can take your pick from the boutique stores of classy Clifton Village, the alternative shops of Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road or explore the latest high-street trends in Bristol Shopping Quarter and The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.

Harvey Nicks

Image - Harvey Nichols Bristol

Eat a lingering lunch

Make sure you choose the least buggy-friendly establishment you can find…we’re joking of course, most places in Bristol are pretty family-friendly, but we do recommend taking a friend who won’t answer ‘NO!’ or ‘Whyyyyyyy?’ to your every muttering. Far removed from nap time schedules and food-flinging, feel free to linger over your meal, savouring every mouthful. There are lots of lovely places for afternoon tea (we like the gin-accompanying kind), or why not spoil yourself with a Michelin-starred meal at Casamia or Paco Tapas? Over in Clifton you’ll find the first Ivy outside London, or go for a less-formal but exceedingly delicious Pinkmans bakery treat. The Glassboat offers a very lovely menu in a unique location, The Ox serves steak of the dreamiest kind and Hotel du Vin is cosy and classy with an exceptional wine menu.

The Ox

Image - The Ox

Let your hair down cocktails

Head out for a night on the town to sip handsome concoctions. Bristol’s Speakeasies offer a dash of glamour and excitement with secret entrances, charismatic décor and of course, alcohol! Try Hyde & Co, an atmospheric den just off Berkeley Square or The Milk Thistle, all wood panels and leather sofas oozes prohibition panache. Cox and Baloney Tea Rooms run Pudding and Cocktail Club and Gin and Cheese Club evenings…need we say more?

Gin and cheese

Image - Cox and Baloney Tea Rooms

Night out at the theatre

Swap bath and bedtime rituals for dinner and a show with a friend. Lots of restaurants in Bristol offer early-bird special set menus - try Loch Fyne, Aquila and The Ox for pre-theatre discounted yumminess. Old Market Assembly, home of The Wardrobe Theatre, has a highly affordable restaurant, bakery and bar, all rolled into one.  Bristol has performances to suit all tastes every night of the week - Bristol Hippodrome hosts major West End and Broadway productions, Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Colston Hall and The Redgrave Theatre all have an excellent programme.

Bristol hippodrome

Image - Bristol Old Vic

Go for a walk

Clear your head and go for a stroll without having to lug a buggy or drag a reluctant kiddo along. Explore Bristol’s parks and neighbourhoods – from the street art adorned streets of Stokes Croft to the wide open green spaces of The Downs and Ashton Court Estate. Getting around on foot or bike is easy in the city and it’s not hard to squeeze in a few iconic landmarks on your travels. Wander around the Floating Harbour to see Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Clifton Suspension Bridge from afar, or take a leisurely stroll around Clifton and get up close to the mighty bridge.

Clifton suspension bridge

Image - Clifton Suspension Bridge

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