Almost as bad as forgetting your mother’s birthday is letting Mothering Sunday slip by uncelebrated.
The origins of Mother’s Day dates to the ancient Greeks, who held an annual spring festival where they honoured the goddess Rhea as the mother of the gods. Offerings of honey cakes and fine drinks and flowers were made to Rhea. That’s not unlike the gifts we give our mums today – and somewhat preferable to the human sacrifices that were de rigueur at the time.
The Romans, too, celebrated their mothers, but it wasn’t until the 1600s that Mothering Sunday became established in England. After church, children would present their mothers with gifts such as fruit cakes or simnel cakes. The latter, sweet marzipan creations, are enjoyed today, though usually a few weeks later at Easter.
In those days it was a Christian celebration and it is still held here on the fourth Sunday in Lent. But since World War II, Mothering Sunday has become increasingly commercialised and secularised, particularly in Britain and the United States, and now it’s more popularly known as plain Mother’s Day.
Good restaurants get booked up early for lunch or afternoon tea, so if you know a dear old mum who deserves a treat, don’t delay.
Linthwaite House Hotel in Windermere gets so busy on Mother’s Day that it is running extended afternoon teas this year, served from 12.30 to 5pm. It costs £21.95 – or £26.95 with a glass of champagne.
You can beat the Mother’s Day rush by arriving the day before (March 29) at Gibbon Bridge, in Lancashire’s beautiful Forest of Bowland, where a special musical afternoon tea is being served. Guests can listen to the pianist while tucking into sandwiches, pastries, cakes, scones and cream – and a glass of bubbly – while enjoying the view across the award-winning gardens from the orangery or conservatory. Tea costs £26.
If you’d like to make a weekend of it, Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich is including a couple of luxury beauty treatments in an overnight package available until March 31. The price of £199 also includes room and breakfast and there is a 15% discount on additional massages or facials, or treatments for partners.« View all blog articles.