Taking a day to celebrate mothers is a fine idea. But the origins of Mothering Sunday aren’t wholly linked to mums. In the Middle Ages, Mothering Sunday was always the fourth Sunday in Lent. It was the day that children who had gone away to work came back to their ‘mother’ church (and they were sent off to work from as young as 10). Seeing their own mother that day was an added bonus.
This year, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 19th March 2023.
There are always overpriced flowers and sweet treats on Mother’s Day, much like Valentine’s Day. How about something a little more personalised this year?
London brings you an abundance of options to suit a range of interests and budgets. You could splash out on a luxury personalised hamper from the likes of Fortnum and Mason or Selfridges. Maybe a bouquet from award-winning Notting Hill florist, Wild At Heart. Or amazing beauty products or homewares from the legendary Liberty store.
But time together with you or her whole family is often the gift that mums like the best. It doesn’t have to be picture-perfect (as it looks on social media). It can be simple yet special, as long as it’s thoughtful. You won’t be surprised to learn that we’re big fans of a walk and a pub lunch or a picnic.
So here, you’ll find a selection of our favourite Mother’s Day activities in London. From Michelin star, award-winning restaurant meals to wonderful guided walks both north and south of the Thames.
Treat mum to a meal somewhere she’ll love. With myriad places to choose from in London, we’ve made a few suggestions to help you decide on the ideal one for your mum.
Any meal at The Wolseley is amazing, so it’s a wonderful way to start Mother’s Day. Go traditional with kedgeree or omelette Arnold Bennett or indulge in a stack of pancakes.
For something fun and maybe a little outrageous, head to Blame Gloria in Covent Garden. It’ll be a memorable day for sure. Their bottomless brunch will have bubbly Prosecco and cocktails flowing along with Abba tunes.
Finger sandwiches, scones and petit fours with tea in dainty china cups – it’s a Mother’s Day classic.
Treat mum to a truly memorable Mother’s Day afternoon tea in classic, swanky style at The Ritz. It’s award-winning with Michelin stars so you’ll pay top dollar, but there’s nothing like it.
For sensational views, head to The Shard. Our guide Fiona‘s tip is to spend your money on a delicious afternoon tea halfway up The Shard rather than paying the exorbitant price to step out onto the viewing platform at the top. It’s still pricey, but better value than simply splashing out on a trip to the pinnacle.
For a different take on afternoon tea, try Brigit’s Bakery. Firstly, their tea has a French twist with patisseries rather than pastries. Secondly, it’s on an old Routemaster, so you have tea with an added London bus tour.
For a touch of vintage glamour, with equal charm but a significantly lower price point than the Ritz, Candella’s Tea Rooms in Kensington Church Street is a must for a funky and Instagrammable afternoon tea.
What could be better than a long walk around Hampstead followed by a three-course lunch in a pub? It’s our ideal way to spend a Sunday. There are several pubs to choose from, but our favourites include the historic Spaniards Inn and The Horseshoe.
Alternatively, you could enjoy London’s oldest restaurant, Rules. It serves proper, traditional English fare like steak and kidney pie, sponge puddings and the most amazing game you’ll taste anywhere, ever.
London is the best place to enjoy cultural activities. Incredible art galleries, museums and West End theatres abound, so you’ll be sure to find one that your mum will adore.
One of the more unusual, contemporary cultural events is the Van Gogh immersive experience. Picture yourself (sorry, ‘scuse the pun) stepping into the famous artist’s artwork (digitally), just off the Commercial Road in E1.
Another hot ticket is the immersive experience that is Abba Voyage – or there’s always the feel good singalong theatre show, Mamma Mia. It’s perfect for dancing queens!
Looking around Kew Gardens in Springtime is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. We recommend it highly.
But if you’re looking for a simple option, we reckon you can’t beat a walk along the Thames. It’s a veritable sightseeing fest as you wander past The London Eye, The Globe Theatre and Tower Bridge to name just a few of the riverside landmarks.
Stop off at Gelateria 3Bis in Borough for seriously good ice cream, gelato and sorbets. Take your time as there are so many good flavours to choose from – the gianduja chocolate is incredible.
Of course, the ultimate Mother’s Day gift would be a London Walks experience. Choose from the many London Walks taking place on Sunday 19th March to make her day truly special.