Denman ‘Mother and Daughter’ Weekend by Ann-Marie Skill

One of our wonderful members, Ann-Marie, recently visited Denman College with her Mum (also a WI member!) and wrote us a lovely review of their weekend. We would like to thank Ann-Marie very much – x
Inspired by joining the Sotonettes last December I invited my mum (North Lincolnshire WI) on a ‘Mother and Daughter’ weekend to the WI’s Denman College in Oxford.
Mum and I met up on Friday 24th May (left on Sunday 26th) at the College and what a beautiful place (picture below). We had a wonderful 3 course meal to begin with after the greeting and then a Petits Fours demonstration by Peter Lien ( We watched Peter make 3 different petits fours (Canele, Florentines and Blueberry Friands) then ate them in about 1 minute flat! Absolutely wonderful.
This was the first weekend of its kind (Mother and Daughter) and I was really excited about spending some time with mum and also learning a few things. There was a choice of classes and we had to have picked, in advance, 3 things to cover for the weekend. We chose singing for pleasure, Flamenco dancing and charm bracelet making (other choices were: fabric picture making, watercolour sunsets and facinators (head wear).
For a laugh see us Flamenco dancing

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The accommodation was absolutely lovely, single room with en-suite, in one of the accommodation houses where each room is sponsored by a WI (I did wonder if Sotonettes should decorate a room!?) – we were in Oak. I stayed in ‘South Lincolnshire’ and my mum was in ‘Nottingham’. There a a few houses on the grounds and you can also stay in the main house (if you’d like to share a room you can). We had a 3 course meal in the restaurant every lunch and dinner time and there was a choice of breakfast; me being a greedy so and so went for a cooked breakfast both days. Meals were fantastic and the atmosphere was really lovely. Everyone mixed and chatted about the different activities. There were some ladies on a baking course – they were worked really hard and made around 8 cakes (the joy of their course was that all their ingredients were measured for them in advance!).
I did think it was a tad expensive initially at over £200 but I do now think differently having just thoroughly enjoyed being spoilt for the weekend. We fully intend to go back next year and I’m saving up for my next course, although I can’t decide on what yet – ‘Sewing Machine magic’, ‘Silver Jewellery: an introduction or ‘Breadmaking’? Why don’t you bring your mum along next time?
Ann-Marie Skill