Stacy Keibler, George Clooney’s former flame, recently Instagrammed a photo with the caption: “Sun, sand and serenity — the perfect #babymoon.” Indeed! Days spent basking in the sun, 30 weeks pregnant, heat and humidity, 20 pounds heavier, beads of sweat accompanying labored breathing… wait, that sounds awful. Meditative garden walks on occasionally overcast days, topped off with comforting cups of tea? That’s more like it, and that’s what you’ll find in England.
Like motherhood, gardening is about cultivating life, and there are no bigger gardening aficionados than the English. This has been blatantly apparent every May, for the last 101 years, when the insanely popular RHS Chelsea Flower Show comes to London. Fortunately, you don’t have to know a single thing about gardening to enjoy the breathtaking temporary displays or the permanent gardens on the hospital grounds. Can’t get to London in May? RHS, the Royal Horticultural Society, has four gardens you can visit year-round. The one closest to the capital, RHS Garden Wisley, includes a stunning glass house that showcases exotic species you have likely never seen before.
A few hours to the north, Yorkshire is home to RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Stroll through time, with gardens representing a certain era or season. Time-traveling is exhausting and, fortunately, Bettys is on hand to offer sandwiches, baked goods and cups of that liquid comfort. When night falls, sleep soundly at Wood Hall Hotel & Spa, an English country manor that predictably exudes an air of refinement, but the stuffed toy badger that greets you in your room stops you from mistakenly thinking that you’re anywhere stuffy. Don’t forget the spa, where a pregnancy massage or facial beckons.
When you’ve had your fill of flowers, England has no shortage of destinations steeped in history, from Windsor Castle to Hatfield House to the walled city of York. After stopping to smell the roses and sipping well-brewed tea, you should be sufficiently relaxed and ready to tackle the role of new motherhood.
Tour operator Collette and RHS Garden Holidays have partnered to create horticulture-themed tours throughout Europe. To book a babymoon similar to this trip, look for The Gardens of London or The Beauty of Britain package.
While in London
Ever have roast rib of Scottish beef aged 28 days, accompanied by roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and homemade horseradish? At Simpson’s you can, and you should. Your unborn child will thank you.
For five-star treatment in a five-star building, look no further than Rosewood London. Less than a year old, the UK outpost of the luxury hotel group cuts no corners when it comes to service, beautifully appointed accommodations and top-notch dining. As is fitting for one last hurrah, make sure to splurge on one of the 44 suites; “home away from home” is only an apt description if your actual home has a marble bathroom, the most comfortable bed in the world and a butler. The hotel’s Sense Spa, a secluded oasis, offers a prenatal massage that puts the mother-to-be in a zen-like state, one that will be all too rare in a matter of months.