5 Ideas for Mother and Daughter Holidays Around the World
Our favourite mother and daughter bonding opportunities across some of our favourite cities
Let’s face it: mother and daughter bonding opportunities are wonderful, but we’re all better than cheesy local shopping trips with a spa treatment (although a good mani-pedi and a hammam never hurt anyone). Mother and daughter holidays sound more suited, though. Paris will always have a special place in well-travelled gluttons’ hearts, and New York’s designer boutiques and department stores are a cut above. And then there are cities to visit for contemporary art and green space. If it sounds like a tough choice, Plum Guide’s hard-to-please global travel experts have provided their ideas for mother and daughter holidays here. We’ll help you find the most delectable cheese in Paris, show fashion lovers the way to the best designer stores in New York, and tell you where to go for an art weekend, cookery course or a welcome green city break. And we really have seen it all, so you’re in safe hands.
Shopping in New York
New York’s famous stores are more landmarks than merely places to buy things. Designer emporium Saks Fifth Avenue takes its address on the world’s most famous shopping street very seriously: its eighth floor even has its own postcode (10022-SHOE: no prizes for figuring out what they sell there). Don’t miss Barneys on the Upper East Side, Bloomingdale’s on 59th and Lexington for that Brown Bag. And now, since everyone’s talking about the new Hudson Yards, head there for a mix of designer stores and boutiques. The architecture’s worth a look too, including a honeycomb-like staircase-slash-public artwork. Finish up in Midtown for Macy’s and the penthouse day spa at Bergdorf Goodman (housed in an art deco former Vanderbilt mansion). Plum Guide has a range of professionally vetted homes in Midtown to book into afterwards too.
Dine your way around Paris
The French love their food so much, it’s a common theme. Our favourite French sayings include: “avoir la pêche”, which means to be on form and literally translates to “to have the peach”, while “en faire tout un fromage” means making a fuss about something (or literally making a cheese about it). We could go on, but we’d prefer to “make a cheese about” Paris’s restaurants. Any form of bonding is best done over food, we believe, and Paris has more great restaurants than anyone can feasibly work their way through in – ooh – a year, let alone a weekend. And it doesn’t get more Parisian than the teeny-tiny Au Petit fer à Cheval, or for French classics like slow-cooked boeuf bourguignon in a modern, youthful setting snag a table in the courtyard of the eccentric and cheekily named Derrière. Marché Bastille and Marché St-Martin are your go-tos for seasonal produce and gloriously stinky fromage, respectively.
Take an art break in Copenhagen
For culture-focused mother and daughter holidays, Copenhagen is hard to beat when it comes to art. Work your way around the classics: SMK (National Gallery of Denmark) is a wonderful place to start for a broad view of Danish and Copenhagen art through the years (with a conceptual café that brings art and food together through beautiful Japanese and Italian-meets-Scandi design). The gardens outside make a compelling case for a walk, too. See V1 Gallery for something more up-to-date, and Copenhagen Contemporary for larger-scale art installations that are made to be interacted with (climbing on the art is often encouraged – but remember, boundaries, please). Take the train just outside the city to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art for international works from 1945 onwards, plus outdoor sculpture with moody views across the water to Sweden.
Have a green city break in London
London is greener than you might think. So green in fact that, with half of the city made up of green space, a group of passionate urban eco-warriors successfully fought to make it the world’s first National Park City. And now even the Mayor’s on board. So if you enjoy a good swathe of green space as much as you adore culture, London is your city. The obviously named Green Park is a short hop from cultural institutions such as the Royal Academy of Arts and top restaurants like Gymkhana; Holland Park, with its resident peacocks, is overlooked by the Design Museum, with hidden gem Leighton House just nearby, and a host of Plum Guide homes in the surrounding Kensington area; and then there’s leafy Hampstead, with the Heath’s swimming ponds, the Parliament Hill views and the boujis boutiques and cafés to guzzle coffee in later.
Take cookery lessons with Italian grandmas in Florence or Rome
Souvenirs: let’s be honest, who really wants the cheap tat? Bring home a skill instead. And if you think you could learn a thing or two about cooking from an Italian nonna (who couldn’t?) this is the trip for you. There are nonnas in kitchens all over Florence and Rome, waiting to knead some culinary sense into willing participants – it’s up to you which region’s cuisine you’d prefer to learn. Florence for Tuscan staples and delicacies like pappardelle and truffle, or go with Rome for meaty fare like rigatoni alla gricia (made with cured pork jowl). An especially good idea for Type A mothers and daughters who like to use their downtime to upskill, and bring something home that they can really brag about.