This week, we had a very special delivery. I’m one of those really sad people who always gets excited when the postie knocks, and this week it was completely justified as we got cake in the post! I know! Meg Rivers is an artisan bakery from the Cotswolds who send all sorts of delicious goodies by post, and they very kindly sent me one of their fabulously retro cherry cakes. It’s deliciously moist, studded with glistening red glacé cherries and a lovely texture too. It’s one of the cakes that they send out as part of the Meg Rivers Cake Club (I mean, forget beauty boxes, I’d much rather get a monthly cake, wouldn’t you?), the perfect pressie and just in time for Mother’s Day too.
This year, Mother’s Day is on Sunday 11th March. Did you know that the reason the date changes every year is that it’s on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, and the timing of Lent changes every year (it’s linked to the lunar calendar)? Mother’s Day, Easter and my birthday are always linked in my mind as they’re around the same time of year, and this lovely few weeks always makes me think of spring: delicious scents, fresh flowers and all the food (mostly hot cross buns, but also Easter eggs and roast lamb). I always feel like Mother’s Day gifts should be something indulgent that your Mama might not splash out and buy herself, so whether it’s a posy of pretty flowers, sweet treats or beautiful beauty pressies you’re after, I thought I’d have a look and give you some M&S Mother’s Day gift inspo.
I’ve had a think about it, and I’ve decided that having Mother’s Day and my birthday on the same day is the way to go. I appreciate it’s not something I can dictate, but it made for such a wonderful weekend – full of my favourite people, some delicious food, and many laughs – that I think I’m going to try and swing it from now on. We started the Mother’s Day/birthday weekend (or should that be the Motherbirthday weekend?) with a trip to the cinema to see Beauty and the Beast. Oh, I loved it – I adore Emma Watson anyway and Beauty and the Beast has long been my favourite Disney movie, so the combination of the two of them, along with my three favourite men plus being able to sip a glass of wine (the Odeon MK has a gallery area where you can order a drink before your film) while I was watching was possibly the best thing ever.
Now our boys are older and have their own money, when it comes to gifting they tend to just ask what I’d like. I’m always happy with flowers or chocolates, but when they or Mr E want to buy me something lovely that I might not splurge on for myself, I tend to head straight for beauty products. You already know that I’m a big fan of M & S beauty, so I thought I’d pick a few things that I love that would make amazing Mother’s Day gifts (or, frankly, a well-deserved bit of self-gifting too). Read on to find my top picks for Mother’s Day beauty with M & S:
I’m so lucky to have my Mum. She’s my biggest cheerleader, supporter and advisor – always on the sidelines cheering me on, always there with great advice, never interfering, never judging. Mr E and my Mum get on really well, and the boys quite rightly adore her (she spoils them silly, even now they’re big), so she’s always played a huge role in our family life. This Mother’s Day, I’ve teamed up with John Lewis to create a lovely hamper of gifts for my mum as inspiration for Mothers’ Day gifting. Here’s what I chose to say thank you to my lovely Mum.
Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. Since I’ll be opening a special bottle today to celebrate, it seems like a perfect day to share the wines I’ve been drinking recently.. I do write about all the wines I try on Vivino, so please do follow me there (and start an account to keep track of your own wines, it’s great fun).
Are you doing something lovely for your Mama this weekend (or indeed hoping to have something lovely done for you?). We’re taking my mum out to lunch at a local pub (very unusual – and difficult – to get all of us together, so it will be very special). The lovelies at Tesco asked me to pick a special bake to share with you all for Mother’s Day. If you fancy it, might I suggest something with blood oranges? They’re in season at the moment and I just think they’re the most gorgeous fruit imaginable. One of nature’s wonders.
Some of my oldest and fondest memories are of cooking with my mum. I can remember sitting perched up on the kitchen worktop ‘helping’ (basically making a mess, spreading buttercream, rolling dumplings and splodging cake mixture). This gingerbread was one of my favourites because when you add the bicarbonate of soda, all sorts of bubbly magic happens. It always fascinated me and I think that’s when I was first attracted to the alchemy of baking. I’ve baked it loads of times over the years, tweaked the recipe, made it a bit more gingery, but every time I bake it, it takes me right back to my Mum’s shiny green melamine kitchen. Make sure your ground ginger is fresh – no 1970s pots from the back of the kitchen cupboard please!
My lovely mum, English Grandma, has got a bit of a thing for lemon curd, so when I invited her over for a Mothers’ Day cuppa, I thought I’d treat her to some lovely lemon curd and strawberry fairy cakes. I use a standard ‘pound cake’ recipe for fairy cakes, weighing the eggs, then adding the same amount of the other ingredients. This one had a few squished up strawberries added too, and a lemon curd filling, topped off with a strawberry buttercream. Here’s how I did it.
We all have that dish that reminds us of our childhood. Maybe it’s the one that your mum still cooks for you when you go back to visit, or one that you now make for your own family – a dish that puts a smile on everyone’s face.
Recently, my Mum send me a cracking picture of the two of us stuffing our faces on the beach in Tenerife years ago. Conclusive proof that my love of food and cookery comes straight from her!
Mothers’ Day (or Mothering Sunday) is on 30th March, and I’ve found some absolutely wonderful products for you to treat your lovely Mum with. Go on, she deserves it:
Something personalised always makes a gift extra special, which goes down well with Mums. Scarlett Jewellery is handmade in the UK and was founded by fellow mum, designer Sarah Fenton in 1998. I had a chat with Sarah and she listened really hard when I was telling her what I would love for Mothers’ Day (basically something featuring ALL my family). The result (with many of her suggestions) was this gorgeous necklace (above).
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