IF SHE LOVES LUXURY: Beaverbrook Hotel, Surrey
If you’ve got the budget, may we suggest a night at Beaverbrook. Located in the Surrey Hills, this lavish Grade II-listed hotel has serious charm – think interiors by Susie Atkinson (of Soho House fame) and one of the loveliest spas we’ve ever visited, all set in an old English estate. Mother’s Day lunches can be booked in the light, bright Japanese restaurant where ex-Nobu chef Taiji Maruyama cooks up popcorn shrimp, tuna tartar, and black cod better than you’ve ever tasted them before. And if Japanese isn’t your thing, then the Garden House (a five-minute walk from the main house) is a charming place to be, offering up seasonal dishes alongside a wholesome children’s menu, making it a great spot for family occasions.
Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8QX
IF SHE LOVES WHOLESOME DISHES: The Black Swan at Oldstead, Yorkshire
The kitchen at this Michelin-starred bolthole is manned by Tommy Banks – who you may recognise as the rather dashing winner of the Great British Menu in both 2016 and 2017. Owned and run by the Banks family, who have lived and farmed around Oldstead for generations, The Black Swan offers plenty of tradition and culture, cut through with a modern earthy exuberance. The tasting menu is inspired by the ingredients that are grown and foraged in and around the local area – highlights include scallop cured in beetroot juice; raw deer with wild garlic; and langoustine with salted strawberry. Another option is Roots, Banks’ new launch in York that opened to great acclaim last September.
Oldstead, Yorkshire YO61 4BL
IF SHE LOVES A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE: Sorrel, Dorking
Since opening its doors in October 2017, head chef Steve Drake and his team at Michelin-starred Sorrel have been serving modern dishes in a striking 300-year old building in Dorking. Located in the Surrey Hills, the 40-cover restaurant offers fine dining in a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere, drawing upon inspiration from quality local ingredients. When it comes to food, expect the likes of miso-glazed aubergine with parsley, artichoke and smoked paprika; brill with lollo rosso seaweed, turnip, oyster and lemon thyme; and pear with hibiscus, goat’s yoghurt and cardamom.
Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2JU
IF SHE LOVES THE COTSWOLDS: The Wild Rabbit, Cotswolds
Michelin-starred chef Alyn Williams, known for his acclaimed London restaurant Alyn Williams at The Westbury, has joined The Wild Rabbit in Kingham as chef patron. As if that wasn’t reason enough to book a table, those looking to treat their mum should check into one of the inn’s three new cottages. In keeping with the local Daylesford style, the rooms combine luxury with pared-back simplicity: each cottage sleeps four and is beautifully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen, AGA, living area and private garden. When it comes to food, families can tuck into the likes of butter poached cod with confit leek, sea herbs, potted brown shrimp; and salted caramel banana with peanut butter and caramelised puffed pastry.
Kingham, Chipping Norton, OX7 6YA
IF SHE LOVES THE COAST: The Sportsman, Kent
This critically acclaimed coastal hotspot has held a Michelin star since 2008, and although it might not look much from the outside, the food is exceptionally good. And the best bit: it comes without the hefty price tag. Chef-patron Stephen Harris is “obsessed” with ‘terroir’ – the idea that a restaurant’s menu should reflect its surrounding geography, history and produce – and as such, produce served at The Sportsman is sourced almost exclusively from the land surrounding the pub. Look forward to roast saddle of Monkshill farm lamb with mint sauce; thornback ray with brown butter, razor clams and sherry vinegar dressing; and braised brill fillet with mussel and bacon tartare. Desserts include dark chocolate and salted caramel tart with vanilla ice cream; apple soufflé with salted caramel ice cream; and Jasmine tea junket with rosehip syrup and breakfast crunch.
Seasalter, Whitstable, CT5 4BP
IF SHE LOVES SEAFOOD: The Salt Room, Brighton
Boasting uninterrupted views of the Brighton seafront and iconic West Pier ruins, The Salt Room is a modern British seafood restaurant that celebrates cooking over coal. Winner of the ‘Seafood Restaurant of the Year’ in 2017, this seaside restaurant is one of the best in Brighton to enjoy sustainable, local produce. Part of the same group as Brighton and London’s The Coal Shed, expect its Mother’s Day offering to include a charcoal-cooked Sunday roast. The team turns out a decent cocktail too, plus plenty of local sparkling wine (we like Ridgeview) for celebrating.
Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FU
IF SHE LOVES THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Moor Hall, Lancashire
Two-Michelin-starred Moor Hall Restaurant is located in a striking Grade II*-listed building dating back to the 13th century. Located in Aughton, West Lancashire, the restaurant is accompanied by five acres of gardens, with views to the south over a beautiful lake, said to be the remains of a medieval moat (kids will love it). Since undergoing a multi-million-pound refurbishment in 2015, the accolades have kept on coming. With a menu of produce-driven hit from chef-patron Mark Birchall on offer, guests can expect to sample the likes of Berkshire fallow deer with elderberry, beetroot and kale and gingerbread with roots and pine.
Aughton, Lancashire, L39 6RT
IF SHE LOVES EXHIBITIONS: Bryn Williams
Best-loved for his Primrose Hill neighbourhood restaurant Odette and his beachfront eatery in Porth Eirias, celebrated Welsh chef Bryn Williams opened his first London restaurant in over a decade at cultural hotspot Somerset House last year. Your humble five-a-day take centre stage on the British-focused, seasonal menu, and although the restaurant isn’t strictly vegetarian, it’s refreshing to see the focus taken away from fish and meat. The menu is reflected in the stunning interiors too, as fine art photographer Allan Jenkins is currently showcasing his modern still life collection, Studio Allotment and Root to Fruit on the restaurant walls. The perfect place to drop in after an exhibition at Somerset House – we suggest Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng; English As A Second Language.
Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LT
IF SHE LOVES FASHION: Sketch
Last year saw striking Mayfair restaurant and bar Sketch undergo a bold new update – creating even more of an excuse to pay a repeat visit. The powder pink Gallery has been kitted out in a whole new series of colourful David Shrigley designs, while the Parlour (Sketch’s tea room-turned-bar) has also had a major revamp to give an air of early-90s decadence. Even 15 years after it first opened, the characterful venue remains one of the best spots to see and be seen. Mother’s Day is no different – the interiors create a ready-made special-occasion vibe and the food is picture perfect. We recommend going for its Insta-famous afternoon tea.
9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, W1S 2XG
IF SHE LOVES ITALY: Daphne’s
An Italian mainstay for well-heeled clientele, Daphne’s is well known for its people-watching potential and classic country-style cuisine. Inside, expect a vibrant design, from the bright, flower-filled dining room to the rustic conservatory and lamp-lit counter-top dining at the bar. Menus are decidedly Mediterranean – highlights include gamberoni with chilli and garlic; chargrilled squid with zucchini and nduja; followed by a light vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb and ginger.
112 Draycott Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3AE
IF SHE LOVES A SUNDAY ROAST: The Coach
Established in 1790, this longstanding neighbourhood pub continues to be a cornerstone of Clerkenwell. Restored in January last year, The Coach has been taken over by ex-Racine chef Henry Harris and his partner James McCulloch. Now, it’s an upscale pub (picture original stained glass, wood-panelled walls against statement glass partitions, bright artwork and a bold use of paint) that focuses on food – highlights from the Sunday lunch menu include duck liver parfait, quince paste, pickles and toast; seven-hour roast shoulder of lamb and mint sauce; followed by muscat grape and raspberry Bakewell tart and cream. A pretty garden hits the mark once the sun comes out to play – fingers crossed for some late-March sunshine.
26-28 Ray Street, Clerkenwell, EC1R 3DJ
IF SHE LOVES THE THEATRE: L’Escargot
Conveniently located near Covent Garden’s best-loved theatres, L’Escargot has been at the epicentre of London life for almost a century (famous clients include Coco Chanel, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Judy Dench and Princess Diana). Regularly voted one of the best restaurants in London and famous for its bourgeois French cooking, expect a menu filled with snails and French favourites including lobster bisque, salade nicoise and coq au vin. An excellent wine list offers many reasonably priced bottles, and pre-theatre and post-theatre dining is popular – perfect if you’re also treating your mum to a show.
48 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4EF
IF SHE LOVES CLASSIC COOKING: Kerridge’s Bar & Grill
After a long wait and a false start, Michelin-starred TV favourite Tom Kerridge finally opened his first London restaurant last summer. Housed in a grand dining room in the Corinthia Hotel, Kerridge brought many of his team from the Hand & Flowers, The Coach and The Butcher’s Tap in Marlow to recreate his relaxed fine-dining vibe in the capital. A vibrant space that mixes old-school burgundy banquette seating and forest-green walls with modern art and sculptures, here guests can expect to sample some of Kerridge’s famed staples: think fish and chips with pease pudding, tartare and Matson spiced sauce; dry-aged rib of beef with ox cheek bordelaise, gherkin ketchup and triple cooked chips; and glazed omelette ‘lobster thermidor’. Expect rich comfort food, cooked to absolute perfection.
10 Northumberland Avenue, Westminster, WC2N 5AE
IF SHE LOVES AFTERNOON TEA: Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe
Part of the Globe itself, close to the National Theatre and across the river from the West End, this high-end eatery is often the backdrop for working actors to head for dinner following their performance: Mark Rylance, Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry and Jude Law have all been spotted here for a pre-theatre bite to eat. This Mother’s Day, guests can eat their way through the twists and turns of Shakespeare's ethereal romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, via an afternoon tea. Inspired by the journeys of the characters, expect to eat and drink everything from the pea flower of Oberon’s love potion, to the apricots Titania feeds to Bottom and, of course, mulberries from the lovers’ tree. A more traditional two- and three-course set menu is also be available.
21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT
IF SHE LOVES GOOD FOOD: Quo Vadis
One of the very best private members’ clubs in London, many of the spaces in this cool Soho townhouse are off-limits to non-members. But fret not if you can’t get in upstairs. On the ground floor there’s a small but perfectly formed restaurant headed up by Jeremy Lee. Bright and filled with fresh flowers, crisp white tablecloths and stained-glass windows, this spot is ready-made for Mother’s Day. On the March menu, we’ve already spotted traditional fare such as grilled bread, goat’s curd radishes and herbs; cured cod, curried mussels and coriander; and smoked salmon, potato pancake, beetroot and watercress.
26-29 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 3LL
IF SHE LOVES FLOWERS: Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden
One of the UK’s best-loved restaurants opened a multi-purpose site within a verdant courtyard in Covent Garden last year – perfect if you’re mum loves to spend time in her own garden. Here, there’s no need for bouquets of flowers, as it’s located in Floral Court, which combines a traditional country garden with Italian elegance – think Tuscan terracotta pots filled with English fern. Plant life also plays a part in the décor of the two restaurants – the antique mirror-filled Petersham is full of indoor trees and an array of vases full of blooms are used to separate sections of the restaurant, while the more stripped-back La Goccia features copper uplighters shaped like plants and chair backs wrought to resemble leaves. The menu reads like dishes at a country wedding: think varieties of courgette with peas, broad beans and Culatello di Zibelo prosciutto; followed by Portland crab and fennel salad with pistachios, crème fraiche and dill.
31 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD