The Utterly Inessential Mother’s Day Shopping List: The gins, gifts and experiences to brighten up your mother’s Sunday

Let's face it, your mother would be happy with breakfast in bed and some hand-picked flowers. But, if you're considering something a little more special, this list seems like a good place to start.

Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day (8th March) comes Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate not just our mothers, but all the other maternal figures who make our lives just a little easier with their advice, support and unconditional love.

We all have at least one phenomenal woman in our lives – and if you can’t think of one, chances are you are one.

I’m very lucky with my selection of brave maternal figures; my mother, the local-councillor-turned-eco-warrior with a heart of solid gold, my boyfriend’s mother, who is quite possibly the strongest woman I know. The friends of my mother, the mothers of my friends, one of who fed me steak and ice cream after my first real heartache and sent me back to university with a smile on my face.

I know my mother would do the same for any of my friend’s in a heartbeat and I know that they count her on their List of Wonderful Women To Be Thankful For too, and that’s exactly how it should be. One big messy spider diagram of support, care and love.

Next Sunday is a day to celebrate these incredible women, who shape our lives and influence the person who we hope to be. So, whether it’s a bouquet of daffodils, an afternoon tea or just a small text, send back some of the love you’ve received and you’ll get it again, tenfold. That’s how mums are.


A breakfast twist on a mother’s classic

Marmalade gift set flat lay slingsby

Gin may have been mother’s ruin when it was cheap as chips and primarily medicinal (not to say that a cool G&T in the evenings doesn’t still miraculously revive one after a long day), but now it’s artisanal and constantly reinventing itself. If your mother likes a citrus twist, this lovely gift set is just the ticket

Slingsby Marmalade Gin & Preserve Gift Set: A 50cl bottle, 1 x Slingsby branded highball glass, 1 x 340g preserve jar. £49.99, from Spirit of Harrogate, www.spiritofharrogate.co.uk


A mini-ecosystem for their desk at work

yodomo terrarium

The chance to learn a new skill and make something beautiful is always a wonderful gift to give. This Yodomo terranium kit comes with everything you need to upcycle an old jar into a mini plant world, plus access to an online tutorial to guide you through the creation of your terrarium.

Yodomo Terranium kit, £34.99 for the kit and the online course, www.yodomo.co


A spirited country getaway

Cotswolds London Dry Gin Bottle and G&T

Sometimes a mother needs a proper spoil session. If that’s the case, consider a trip up to the Cotswolds to tour the Cotswolds Distillery. For only £15, you can tour the whole distillery and taste of of their fine spirits. You could always just buy the gin, of course, but a drive through the countryside in late March? Who can resist…

Tour and Tasting Experience, £15 at The Cotswolds Distillery, www.cotswoldsdistillery.com


For those chilly evenings

Tom Lane cashmere bed socks

It’s a well-known fact that the older one gets, the more appealing socks are as a gift. Especially cashmere socks. Especially Tom Lane cashmere socks.

Cable knit cashmere bed socks, Tom Lane, £42, www.tomlane.co


What would Mother’s Day be without tea?

great scotland yard tea

Afternoon tea is the nation’s favourite pass time – and if it isn’t, it should be. Treat your mother to a tea like no other in The Parlour at the new Great Scotland Yard Hotel. Their chef Robin Gill has created a menu with a spicy twist, including Bombay crab tart and pecan and cardamom apple tart.
They’ve also collaborated with Gusborne, so that all mums who attend the tea can also visit their vineyard in Kent at a convenient date – which could be the most mumsy two-for-one we’ve ever seen.

Another gin…

Loch Ness Legends gin

If your mother isn’t a marmalade fan, we recommend taking a gin journey to the Highlands for some of their finest juniper juice. Their Legends special edition gin is made with hawthorn berries, distilled with their own private water supply and bottled on the banks of Loch Ness. You can’t get more small-batch than that.

Legends Loch Ness Gin, £40, Loch Ness Spirits, www.wearelochness.com

On the other hand, if she was a bit of a party girl, bring the green fairy back to action with an adorable (but deadly) absinthe spoon. Their absinthe is £45 and the first absinthe to contain Scottish wormwood.

Bespoke absinthe spoon, £8, Loch Ness Spirits, www.wearelochness.com


For the coffee lover

smeg milk frother

…or hot chocolate lover, depending on personal preference. You can’t beat Smeg for a stylish kitchen appliance, and this beauty has multiple settings for hot froth, cold froth and hot chocolate. It may seem like a lot of money, but if you add up how many shop-bought coffees you have a year and consider how many cups and plastic lids you’ve thrown away, the Smeg Milk Frother becomes extremely attractive as a gift for the stylish, eco-friendly mum.

Smeg Milk Frother, £145, www.smeguk.com


For the flower-enthusiast in your life

SPRING BLOSSOM GIFTING LANDSCAPE warners gin

My mother likes personalised gins because she can lay claim to an entire bottle and keep it to herself. This new offering from Warner’s is light and floral, perfect for the changing weather at the minute. There’s an added benefit: Throughout March, Warner’s Distillery will donate a portion of the proceeds from all 70cl bottles sold on their website to Rosa, a charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK. You can also get 20% off if you join their Inspirational Women Campaign. 

Warner’s Limited-Edition Spring Blossom Gin, £40, www.warnersdistillery.com


Wine not

Chene Blue Wine Box gift

If your mother is more of a wine girl than a spirit nut, Chêne Bleu’s personalised pop-up gift box might be just the ticket. Inspired by the French Romeo and Juliet (Abélard and Héloïse), the intricately-designed box contains their flagship wines of the same names. The box can be personalised with a name and lit from within, on request.

The Chêne Bleu limited-edition gift box, containing a selection of the wines, can be purchased from Hedonism Wines in London (£167.20) or directly from the winery at contact@chenebleu.com for £127.24 + shipping for Abélard & Heloïse. Last orders from the winery must be placed before 19th March to arrive in time for Mother’s Day


And finally, something a little special…

Halcyon Gold Multicolour Wrap Ring, £135 by Emily Mortimer Jewellery, available at www.emilymortimer.co.uk

You could combine this one with a birthday present or just treat her outright. God knows, she’s earned it.

Halcyon Gold Multicolour Wrap Ring, £135, Emily Mortimer Jewellery, www.emilymortimer.co.uk


‘How do you do it.’

‘What do you mean?’ My older brother and I say, peering over piles of presents and wrapping paper last December, to see our youngest unmarried looking a little annoyed.

‘Buy presents. For other people. How do you have the money?’

Although the concept of a job seemed to have escaped his mind for a moment (and, perhaps, forgoing the odd pint on a Friday evening), he did have a point. If you’re a student, paying rent without much spare time to earn money on the side, it can be hard to show your loved ones that you appreciate them, especially if they’re pulling it out of the bag every birthday and Christmas. Now that we’re gainfully employed, it’s a little easier, but it’s always good to remember that your mum was delighted when you made her soggy toast and lukewarm tea for a Mother’s Day breakfast in bed ten years ago. And if they’re growing in your garden, daffodils are free.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there, especially mine, who is unequivocally the best. I won’t be taking questions at this time.