Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea: Our Picks

Make it a stress-free Mother’s Day this year

Mother’s Day can be a cause of great stress among offspring across the country, but it doesn’t have to be.
Things to do on Mother’s Day in the UK tend to vary, but we’ve come up with the perfect suggestion. Afternoon tea is a glam way to spend a some quality time with the woman who gave you life. So why not splash out and treat her this year? Live it up in a swanky venue with a beautiful tower of miniature sandwiches, scones, sweet treats and petit fours. Whether you’re looking for a traditional spot with triangular cucumber sarnies or not, there’s sure to be one suitable! But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of this special day, first, shall we?

What exactly is Mothering Sunday?

The history of Mother’s Day in the UK and Ireland makes a lot of sense, really. Mothering Sunday traditionally falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent, just three weeks before Easter Day. It was originally celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians across Europe. Way back then, servants were given the day off to visit their “mother” church on this particular day. It then evolved into a day to celebrate mothers, so people would visit their family. Known more commonly nowadays as Mother’s Day, when people shower their mum with gifts, flowers and a nice meal. A mere token to say thanks for everything that she does for them throughout the year.

Why does Mother’s Day celebration day change every year?

Easter is determined by the date of the March equinox each year, as is Mother’s Day. Equinox literally translates to ‘equal night’, meaning that both day and night are of equal length on an equinox. The March equinox is when the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt toward the sun in spring. Meanwhile the Southern Hemisphere starts to tilt away from the sun, signalling the start of their autumn. This physical occurrence changes with moons, tides and the sun’s rotation each year and Easter falls on different dates as a result.

Why does the UK have a different Mother’s Day to the US?

Mother’s Day in the US doesn’t revolve around Easter, nor the March equinox. This is all because of the hard work of an incredible social activist by the name of Anna Jarvis. After her own mother’s death she campaigned relentlessly for a holiday that celebrated mothers. Women’s rights hadn’t progressed much by then, so she found it tough to garner support in the male-dominated society.

However, in 1908 Jarvis made a breakthrough with the first ever Mother’s Day service at Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, attended by 407 children and parents. Following all of Jarvis’ hard work, the official date became the second Sunday of May. President Wilson formalised this date in 1914. So while the UK and most of Europe celebrates Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of each Lent, the US always celebrates it on the second Sunday of May.

Alright, now that we’ve gotten all those curiosities out of the way, it’s time to focus on the most important question of all: Where will you bring your mum for Mother’s Day afternoon tea?

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea in the UK: Our Favourites


Afternoon Tea at The Clayton Crown Hotel London


Afternoon Tea at The Clayton Crown Hotel London

Alright, you can’t afford to send your mum away to a swanky hotel for the weekend, so the next best thing is obviously afternoon tea at The Clayton Crown Hotel!


Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms Oxford Street

Afternoon tea at Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms Oxford Street

Treat the number one gal in your life to a Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial NV Champagne afternoon tea at Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms Oxford Street. Build your own tray by choosing from dishes like steak with balsamic onions on toasted sourdough; sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel ice cream, macadamia nut brittle; Seville orange scones and more. You can also check out other excellent afternoon tea offerings at Scoff & Banter Kensington, Scoff & Banter Bloomsbury and Scoff & Banter Canary Wharf, if they’re more convenient for you and mum.


The Little Teapot in Ashford, Kent

All kinds of sweet treats await at this popular little spot, and there are even some gluten-free and dairy-free options for anyone in need. The cutesy decor and the family-run feel means your mum will simply love her afternoon tea at The Little Teapot Ashford.


The Strand Hotel in Eastbourne

Prosecco afternoon tea is the order of the day here and it includes homemade scones with jam and clotted cream, the freshest cucumber sandwiches and some fresh sea views. The coastal location will make mother dearest feel like she’s on her ‘olidays while enjoying some afternoon tea at The Strand Hotel in Eastbourne.


The Cliffe Restaurant in Folkestone

A bright airy dining space complete with comfy, colourful seating and stunning chandeliers hanging from the ceiling make The Cliffe Restaurant in Folkestone a perfect choice for Mother’s Day afternoon tea.


The Corner House in Winchester

The menu is constantly changing based on the best locally-sourced produce available at this spot. As a result, you never know what delights might appear in your triangular sandwiches during afternoon tea at The Corner House Winchester – but believe us when we say they will definitely be delicious!


Savannah Wine Bar and Bistro in Newington, Edinburgh

Afternoon tea that won’t break the bank but also features more cream slices and cupcakes than you can shake a stick at? We’re in, and we think you and your mum will love it too. Afternoon tea at Savannah Wine Bar and Bistro, Newington is kind of a big deal.


Le Bonne Auberge in Glasgow city centre

Right then, who’s for some French-inspired afternoon tea? Swap your lil sandwiches for a croque monsieur and some colourful macarons, washed down with a lovely glass of bubbly. You and your mum will be talking about the afternoon tea at Le Bonne Auberge Glasgow for years to come.

Fíodhna Horan-Murphy

Fíodhna Horan-Murphy

Fíodhna can generally be found down a dark Youtube hole watching dogs getting reunited with their owners. Otherwise, she's constantly on the hunt for good salt and vinegar crisps in Berlin.

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