What do you usually do to celebrate Mothering Sunday? If you're past the age when a hand-drawn card and a lovingly crafted photo frame made of pasta shells will do the trick, then the answer is probably that you'll send a bunch of flowers and make a quick phone call. But why not spoil Mum — and yourself — with an entertaining experience for two in London this year? We've rounded up a selection of Mother's Day treats, from the inexpensive-but-thoughtful to the extravagant — and we guarantee they're all more fun than a bouquet of chrysanthemums. Don't forget — Mother's Day is on 30 March this year.
Tried and tested treats
It's a rare woman that doesn't relish the chance to have a bubble in a jacuzzi followed by a relaxing massage or body treatment, but being packed off solo to a spa is a bit of a lonely treat. Virgin Active offers a spa day for two at its five London locations, including use of the pool and sauna and a 40-minute facial or massage treatment for £59.
Bannatyne Spa in Westminster has a similar offering for £69 (£79 at Weekends), while Dove Spas has an extra-luxurious version with four treatments including foot and back massages, a relaxing facial and refreshments for £95. If you'd like a lasting memento of your day of beauty together, you can follow up with a mother and daughter photoshoot from £18.
After all that pampering you'll probably be ready for a mid-afternoon snack, so book an afternoon tea for two at one of London's top tea spots. Our favourites are the tea at the pleasingly retro Reform Social in Marylebone, which includes 'free flowing champagne', and the spectacularly pretty tea offered at Sketch on Conduit Street. We're sorry to report that the mummy of them all, Mother's Day afternoon tea at The Ritz, is already booked out, but there are plenty of other afternoon tea options — including the delightfully-named G and Teatime, which adds gin tasting into the mix.
Alternative ways to have fun
Instead of simply buying Mum a box of chocolates from the nearest supermarket, you can add a personal touch by making them yourself — or even taking her along as a treat for two. MyChocolate in Hatton Garden has a special offer this month on chocolate-making workshops for two, with cocktails and a glass of bubbly included in the £80 price. The Cocoa Box in Marble Arch also has truffle-making workshops — or, if you prefer something a little lighter — there's a scrummy Cocktails and Cupcakes class at the same venue.
If Mum's a classical music fan, the solo piano recital by Masachi Nishiyama at the Foundling Museum should be a real pleasure (3pm, free with admission to the museum). If strings are more her thing, The Walmsley String Quartet will be playing selections from Haydn, Schumann and Arvo Pärt at the Elgar Room in the Royal Albert Hall (11am, £11). Or over in the West End, the best musical for Mother's Day has to be the ever-popular Mamma Mia.
Give the gift of laughter with the Comedy Warehouse Mother's Day Special at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire — expect gently ribald humour from the likes of Richard Blackwood and Felicity Ethnic.
For out-of-town Mums
If you can't get to Mum on 30 March, or she can't get to you, at least send a gift with a personal touch. Rather than heading to the Body Shop, why not make your own bath bomb by following these simple steps? Add a nice essential oil and some pretty petals, set up a playlist by her favourite artist on Spotify, and you've created a relaxing bath hour just for her.
And you might have outgrown pasta-shell photoframes, but you're never too old to give Mum breakfast in bed. If you can't be there to deliver it in person, these people will do it for you. Now get out there and get spoiling!
Image adapted from flor4u under Creative Commons licence.