If you're organising Mothering Sunday this year (Sunday March 26 2017) and racking your brain for Mother's Day activities in the capital, be sure to include one of these mum-friendly events in your plans. With selections from the London art exhibitions calendar and our pick of the 100 best shops in London, your mum is most definitely in for a treat with our pick of things to do on Mother's Day.
RECOMMENDED: Read our full guide to Mother's Day in London as we'll be updating this page nearer the time
Mother's Day activities in London
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie and tuck into the Tale as Old as Time afternoon tea at Town House at The Kensington. To mark the release of the live action Beauty and the Beast film starring Emma Watson, the west London restaurant will be serving a selection of cakes inspired by the French fairy tale. Cream will be poured from Mrs. Potts spout and there's even a chocolate clock tart decorated with Cogsworth's face. On the savoury tier you'll find bite-sized venison pie, cheese soufflé with roscoff onion pissaladiere, and beef ragu and saffron arancini served with lemon crème fraiche. The tea is £35 per person or £45 with Perrier-Jouët, Grand Brut NV Champagne. Don't believe us? Ask the dishes.
Improv gets a bad rap in this country, but anyone who dismisses the genre clearly hasn't seen Austentatious. This highly impressive troupe perform a completely improvised Jane Austen novel, complete with period dress and cello accompaniment, with marvellous results. Made up of Andrew Murray, Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Joseph Morpurgo, Cariad Lloyd, Graham Dickson and Rachel Parris, they're all hugely talented performers, able to keep the gag rate high and the made-up story rolicking along. Tremendous fun.
Wolfgang Buttress' 17 metre high, 40 tonne installation already wowed audiences in Milan and now it's setting up home in Kew Gardens for the summer. Visitors can stand, lie or sit within the massive lattice structure as thousands of LED lights flicker and an orchestral arrangement plays, triggered by the activity of bees in a nearby hive. The music has been specially composed to mimic a bee's singing voice, namely in the key of C.
During the summer of 2010, a quiet bubble of gastronomic intent was swelling under the railway arches in Bermondsey. This unlikely south-east London backwater quickly became a popular destination for a Saturday morning wander with a bit of grocery shopping along the way. A few years on, many new traders have got involved, the recently Ropewalk has become a full-on street market, and some of the original bunch have moved down the road to Spa Terminus. Find out about the gastronomic delights that await beneath the arches. Ropewalk is now open 9am-4pm Sat and 11am-4pm Sun but Spa Terminus is still strictly Saturdays only (around 9am-2pm for most producers), so that’s the day to take it all in. Statisfy your appetite at more of London's food markets
Have we reached peak Hockney? Have we heck. This big Tate retrospective goes way back to the artist's student work in the '60s, exploring his incredible, innovative journey that took in glossy LA pool scenes, experimental fax works and much more. This should be a big-hitter of a show for the Tate.
On a sunny day, there is no more enoyable market in London – barbecues, grilling everything from juicy sausages from The Giggly Pig, or coconut milk-basted Mozambican chicken from stallholder Zambeziana, will be in full swing, with much of the neighbourhood congregating on the makeshift eating areas (wooden garden furniture, lawn chairs). Refreshments range from mint tea (from Algerian sweet stall Idli) to Edgebank Organics’ superlative strawberry smoothies, to the coffee stall selling chai lattes and cappuccinos. Be it fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, cheese, bread, juices or delicious, freshly prepared grub – Ally Pally has it all.
Sussex might seem a strange place to be a hotbed of the avant-garde, but this show makes a reasonable case for the Arts & Crafts movement gradually morphing into international modernism in the first half of the twentieth century on the South Downs. More importantly, though, it’s in Two Temple Place, William Astor’s barmy neo-gothic mansion on the Embankment. If you’ve never visited it, you should. If you have, you’ll want to go back.
And don't forget the tea and cake
The Goring Dining Room
Gaze around the plush dining room at this exquisite, family-owned hotel as bow-tied waiters glide serenely by, and only the branch-like Swarovski chandeliers remind you we left the Edwardian era a long time ago. Carpets and drapes are thick, colours muted, mobile phones most unwelcome. A recent refurbishment by Viscount Linley’s design company gently updated the decor while preserving the refinement and understated luxury of the 103-year-old restaurant. Food is anything but stuffy, with sophisticated interpretations of British classics to the fore. Much is made of the only-the-best ingredient sourcing policy, and the quality is clear. A light hand in the kitchen is evident in the likes of a flavour-packed ham knuckle terrine with a zingy cider apple foam, or a generous slice of poached Wester Ross salmon surrounded by painstakingly sliced slivers of crunchy spring vegetables.Those were both from the pre-theatre menu, which though not exactly cheap at £33 for two courses, is more affordable than the £49.50 for three on the à la carte. Puddings and cheeses are served from a trolley, as is beef wellington, in a wonderfully traditional manner. An indulgent experience: old-world English glamour with a modern touch.