Mother’s Day is a special day devoted to spreading the love with all the mother figures in our lives. In the UK, Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent, three weeks before Easter. The day is celebrated in different ways across the world, but the uniting theme is to honour motherhood and say "thank you".
What better way than with a delicious tea with a glass of bubbly and a fabulous array of cakes? Being a quintessentially English or British affair, wonderful teas are served in restaurants and cafés in every town, city and country hotel. Meantime, we’ve come up with a few special tea venues to help inspire you.
1. Afternoon Tea in Bath
Where – No. 15 Great Pulteney, Bath
Why – A classic tea with a few smile-inducing flavour pairings in the mix. So say the people at No. 14 Great Pulteney, a super chic hotel located on Bath’s elegant Great Pulteney Street, which leads down from the Holburne Museum (well worth a visit too). The interior is beautiful with lots of surprises. We’re intrigued, and our beauty editor has placed a teatime visit firmly on her to-do list when she next visits (with her mum, of course). There is also a spa offering beauty treatments.
On the menu – Here’s a taster. Sandwiches with fillings like Bath White egg mayo and cress, or Severn & Wye smoked salmon and cream cheese. Cakes galore: 18 carat chocolate orange dome, lemon and raspberry cake. Scones (freshly baked) with the trimmings.
Teas served – Including No.15 own blend breakfast, Jing Darjeeling Second Flush and plenty more to choose from.
What it costs – £30 per person, £38 with Champagne (or how about a bit of pre-tea pampering and go for a Hot Tub and Afternoon Tea for two, £100). Gift vouchers are available.
Book – email@example.com, tel: 01225 805615
2. The Peter Rabbit Afternoon Tea, London
Where - The Terrace on Piccadilly
Why – Ok, so maybe this would be more of a trip down memory lane for you, and the comfort of bedtime as a child when your mother would read Peter Rabbit to you ooh, how many times? At least 100. But we wanted to tell you about it because we think it’s an adorable theme and comes highly recommended for grown ups too. Just add a glass of Champagne.
On the menu – Expect a tasty wonderland inspired by the classic Beatrix Potter tale. Tea includes a baguettini filled with fresh vegetables and a red pepper hummus, a Peter’s Flower-Pot Hideout comprising a real chocolate flowerpot planted (excuse the pun) with chamomile mousse, blackberry, chocolate ‘mud’ and sponge cake. And of course, warm fluffy scones with jam and clotted cream.
Teas served – Plenty of choice including classic Earl Grey and garden delights of Elderflower & Blossom and Moroccan Mint.
What it costs- £39 for adults, £29 for children.
Book – Terrace on Piccadilly; +44 (0) 20 7734 8800
3. Traditional Afternoon Tea (Downton style)
Where – Hartwell House & Spa, near Aylesbury, Bucks.
Why – Expect to channel a little Downton Abbey with mama with tea served in the Morning Room, the Drawing Room or the Library at this beautiful stately home. Absorb a bit of history whilst you're there, or settle for some unashamed pampering and book a spa treatment for mum before tea.
On the menu –Traditional sandwich selection including heritage egg mayonnaise with truffle and parmesan, home smoked salmon, dill and crème fraiche. Homemade pastries with treats like blood orange and clementine macaroon and lemon cake. Scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve come too.
Teas served – not specified, but you can bet it will be a very good cup.
What it costs– £30 Monday to Friday, £33 Saturday and Sunday. Add a glass of Dinton Folly for £12 (Moet & Chandon also available, £15 a glass).
Book–Hartwell House; tel: +44 (0)1296 747444.
4. Eteaket Bubbly Afternoon Tea, Edinburgh
Where– Eteaket Tea Room, 41 Frederick Street, Edinburgh.
Why – If your mum knows her quality tea from her run-of-the-mill brew and likes an informal, intimate café setting with scrummy scones and cakes, try this. The folks at Eteaket serve loose-leaf teas ethically sourced where possible, which you can also buy to take home from their new shop around the corner.
On the menu – Choose from a wide selection of sandwiches, just the one (may we suggest smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber), then there’s a freshly baked scone with Cornish clotted cream and raspberry jam, a selection of mini patisseries and a pot of Eaeaket tea of your choice.
Teas served – As tea experts there is a splendiferous variety, from classics like Earl Grey to silver needle, white peony and, apt for the location, Isle of Harris Gin Tea. It is caffeine-free with hints of juniper, liquorice root and sugar kelp harvested by a local diver.
What it costs – £19.95 (£15.95 without bubbles).
Book – Eteaket.co.uk; tel: 0131 226 2982
5. Pink Champagne Afternoon Tea
Where – Bettys Café Tea Rooms, 1 Parliament Street, Harrogate
Why – Bettys was founded in Harrogate 101 years ago and it is as enchanting as it ever was. Especially for tea. It’s a classic, the teas are delicious and there’s often live piano music. Located in the heart of the town in the Montpellier Quarter, near great shops and boutiques, and near the famous botanic Valley Gardens.
On the menu – fabulous sandwiches including both Coronation Yorkshire chicken and salmon smoked with Betty’s Tea Room Blend tea, freshly baked sultana scone with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a miniature cake selection.
Teas served – a Tea Room Blend tea of your choice.
What it costs – £27.95 with a glass of pink Champagne (£19.95 without the bubbles)
Book – bettys.co.uk; tel: +44 (0) 1423 814070 – there’s no need to book for afternoon tea in the tea room downstairs if you don't mind a possible queue. Though we do recommend booking for a 'bookable afternoon tea' for a special occasion like Mother’s Day. This would be in the historic Belmont Room and costs £34.95 or £42.95 with pink Champagne - see the menu here.
Oh, and while we're talking pink, why not check out our new Pinks and Pear Blossom collection. Bath and body gift ideas with scents of pear and bergamot, beautifully packaged for mum.
Wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day! x
(Cover photo courtesy of Hartwell House)