Next Sunday is Mother’s Day so write ‘buy card’ on your hand as you pick from our following list of things to do to spoil her. Suddenly you’ll be her favourite child.
Your Mother spent a good few hours biting a poor midwife’s hand to bring you into the world, so the least you can do is make Mothering Sunday a good one. If you’re going to be in London for the day, here’s some ideas for things to do/places to go/cocktails to drink.
Start the day with a bloody big brunch (and a bellini, why the hell not) to fuel up for the jam-packed day:
The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell is one of our favourites, with a great selection of breakfast cocktails and delicious food in a relaxed, homely atmosphere. The coffee will give you a kick up the bottom too.
The Grain Store in Kings Cross is a bright and airy brunch spot. If you’re lucky, Nick the pianist will wake you up by tinkling his ivories as you sip a carrot & orange cooler (one of the best brekkie drinks we’ve ever tasted).
The Riding House Cafe is a swanky central eatery. Head there to start the day in style with a hearty breakfast and accompanying milkshake (go on, make it an alcoholic one).
Once you’ve eaten, you’ll have a couple of hours for a spruce-up:
The Blow Bar in Islington has a number of offerings on its ‘menu’, but their most popular is the £25 high fashion blow dry (we know, ouch, but it’s a special day after all).
Pop over to Dalston to WAH Nails for a bit of something different (prices from £25), from the kickstarter of the nail art trend Sharmadean Reid…
…if you’re after a classic mani and a gossip, try CowShed in Soho where the average mani is approx £40 and you come out with nails of perfection.
Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant NOPI is perfect for a special occasion, striking the balance between formal and relaxed and offering incredible middle-east and asian food (for a price, yes, but worth it).
If you fancy something that’s French, swanky, and does great seafood/steaks then you need to head for Balthazar in Covent Garden. The waiting staff (and surrounding clientele) make you feel like a million dollars.
For lunch in the suburbs, head to leafy Richmond for Petersham Nurseries: the garden centre with a Michelin starred cafe. Of course. It’s not cheap, but you pay for what you get, and the setting is beautiful.
You’ll need to walk off all that eating:
Head west to Kew Gardens for a sunny stroll (FINGERS CROSSED) and a few glasses of Pimms. Tickets are £14.50, worth every penny for the brief tranquility away from central London.
If you want something a bit more ‘down with the kids’ then try the Alternative London Walking Tour. Held around and about shoreditch, a very cool young person wearing bright kicks will guide you through the history of the city boundary pointing out street art as they go. A brilliant couple of hours and you only pay for how much you think it was worth.
Head 306m up The Shard for views across all of London (£25 when booked in advance) and then walk from London Bridge down to Tower Bridge to take in the sights of the city.
Or maybe snack some more. It would be wrong if we missed off the one thing synonymous with Mother’s Day – afternoon tea:
The Langham does a mean afternoon tea in its Palm Court, and legend has it this is where the trend began well over a century ago. Prices start around £40 per head, a little more if you want to add a drop of fizz too.
For an option that’s slightly easier on the wallet but just as highly revered, try The Athenaeum in Mayfair.
After all that outdoor exercise, it’s no doubt time to eat again. Throw on your glad rags and head out for dinner:
Super sleek restaurant Chiltern Firehouse has just popped up and got everyone talking. From the owner of Chateau Marmont in LA, CF is glamour with a twist. The prices aren’t cheap and bookings are a must, but bag a table here and it’ll be the highlight of your (amazing) day.
Head into South London to hidden gem Powderkeg Diplomacy. ‘Quirky’ is the name of the game, and they do it with pizazz (has anyone ever used pizazz in a Mother’s day blog before? We think not). Plants hanging upside down from the ceilings and waiters wearing braces and flat-caps, it’s a great experience, great food, and not too expensive.
To end the day in style, throw in some cocktails too:
Oskars at Dabbous is the perfect option for people not able to get into Dabbous itself (the restaurant is booked up until 2042). Pared back concrete walls and dim lighting give the central bar an easy, relaxed vibe, and the cocktails are incredible.
Worship Street Whistling Shop in shoreditch frequents lists of London’s best bars, but once you’re inside it doesn’t feel like the world and his wife are clamouring to get in. Plenty of space, ambience and great service make it a must.
Happy mums all round!
Words by – Jo Birch
[Imagery courtesy of the The Modern Pantry, Grain Store, The Riding House Cafe, Blow Bar, WAH Nails, CowShed, NOPI, Balthazar, Petersham Nurseries: Keiko Oikawa, Kew Gardens, Alternative London, The Shard, The Langham, The Athenaeum, Chiltern Firehouse, Duck & Waffle, Powderkeg Diplomacy, Dabbous & Worship Street Whistling Shop]