Flora Watkins

Mother’s Day made easy: sumptuous surprises she’ll love

Mother's Day made easy: sumptuous surprises she'll love
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If I could pinpoint the the moment last March when I could no longer pretend that lockdown wasn’t coming, it was the phone call from my favourite neighbourhood restaurant cancelling our Mother’s Day booking.

The rising terror I felt was akin to the bit in The Handmaid’s Tale, just after women’s bank accounts have been frozen, but before the summary executions begin. Instead of drinking blood orange Bellinis, I’d be cooking the usual Sunday lunch, with possibly a bit of grudging help loading the dishwasher, before embarking on half a year of home school hell.

Restaurants and foodie businesses have been busy reinventing themselves for the Covid era ever since then. So hopefully you can be spared some of the domestic drudgery on Sunday 14th March with one of these home delivery boxes.


The River Cafe’s many devotees were thrilled when Lady Rogers started a home delivery service last year. But the best news of all is, you don’t need to live in West London to enjoy her fabulous Italian food.

Ruth says her Mother’s Day Delivery Box is designed to involve the 'least effort possible'. For the spatchcock chicken stuffed under the skin with fresh thyme, it’s just a case of 'pre-heating the oven'. For pudding, there’s a choice of pressed chocolate cake or a kit for 'one of our favourite cakes' (lemon, polenta and almond) with all the ingredients weighed out, so that even quite young 'kids could make it for their mother'. Ruth even includes the tin.

Three courses (vegetarian option available); £160 for four plus shipping. www.shoptherivercafe.co.uk

Champagne cocktails and chocolates

It’s a shame Rishi Sunak’s famous gratitude to mothers doesn’t extend to sending every homeschooling mum these bespoke champagne cocktails from the innovative Drinks Fusion. They’ve created the Mulberry Rose Fizz, which comes paired with limited edition Champagne and Strawberry Chocolate Truffles from the renowned patissier chocolatier, William Curley.

£65 (plus delivery) for four serves — favourite child status guaranteed. www.drinksfusion.com

Sunday lunch

The Mother's Day roast made easy

Chef’s Farms are a collective of ethical Sussex farmers supplying superb produce from across the county. Their Sussex Mother’s Day Lunch has been designed for husbands and children to complete. It’s very simple to assemble yet incredibly tasty.

The hamper contains everything your loved ones will need to dish up slow-cooked pork belly with crackling and roast potatoes followed by rhubarb crumble and custard, while you read the papers in peace.

£66 for four — order by 7th March.  www.chefsfarms.co.uk

 Cook along with a world-class chef

A Cook's tour - treat her to a Zoom cook along with a top chef

A foodie Mum can take lessons from the likes of Ottolenghi and Thomasina Miers with a delivery box from A Cook’s Tour. The lockdown brainchild of London caterers, Rocket, A Cook’s Tour is an ingenious way for to enjoy restaurant-quality food at home. The menu changes every two weeks; recipients are sent everything they’ll need for a three-course dinner. They can either join in with the live cook-along on Thursday evening or do it the following day from You Tube.

From £60 for two people, with drinks pairings from £15. www.acookstour.co.uk

Tea for two

Fortnum’s claims that their Mother’s Day Hamper contains 'everything your mum could wish for'. I looked closely, but couldn’t see two weeks in the Maldives with a supply of intravenous gin administered by Alexander Skarsgärd amongst the preserves and tea caddies. Probably best for mothers of a certain vintage — the sort for whom you have to spend hours tracking down a card saying ‘Mothering Sunday’, lest you ruin their day.

£100 plus £5.95 delivery. www.fortnumandmason.com

Breakfast in bed

That classic start to Mother’s Day — a slice of burnt toast on a tray, lovingly prepared by what Mumsnetters call the ‘DCs’ (Darling Children) just won’t cut it this year. Instead, treat her to the Breakfast in Bed Hamper from Gail’s (£30); coffee, orange juice, sourdough, marmalade, a croissant and a cinnamon bun. There’s also a chocolate option (also £30) and a Morning After hamper (£65) with smoked salmon and eggs, that will feed the whole family. www.gailsbread.co.uk


The ever-reliable Cook have put together some boxes of complete Mother’s Day meals, most of which can be cooked from frozen. A family roast box of West Country lamb for six costs £40, with pudding as an add-on. Just don’t leave it too late to order, as I did at Christmas, while a very angry woman in the West Dulwich branch shouted into her phone, 'every other b**tard in London's had the same idea'. www.cookfood.net

Visit Spectator Club for subscriber rewards for an exclusive discount on Cook this March.