Edition takes a look at what to do, where to go and gift ideas for Mother's Day
Forget about slaving over the stove and washing up and take your mum out: you’ll be spoiled for choice as the area’s eateries vie for attention this 11 March.
If you fancy a stroll and hearty lunch at a country pub, The Plough at Fen Ditton is a great shout, offering riverside views and delicious food. Tuck into roast dinner with all the trimmings and leave space for the decadent dessert sharing board, with its brownies, baked Sicilian cheesecake, profiteroles, ice cream cookie sandwiches and sprinkle of fresh strawberries: heaven on a platter!
Another great out of towner is the quirky and cute Willow Tree in Bourn, as known for its flamboyant décor as the exceptionally tasty food which earned it a nod in the Michelin Guide. Dine on dishes like slow roasted pork belly, fillet of beef with dauphinoise potato, home-made pies and exquisite desserts including winter chargrilled fruit with zabaione and thyme syrup, accompanied by sparkling cocktails.
For lunch with a view, head to Six, the Varsity’s in-house restaurant. Up on the sixth floor of this boutique hotel, the dining room shows off 360° views of the city’s skyline with its floor-to-ceiling windows, and boasts a supremely stylish bar. Food-wise, there’s brunches, afternoon teas and a great selection of pizzas and dishes from the wood stone oven.
Alternatively, you could spice things up with a visit to Spiceland in Sawtry – a top-notch curry house which offers a fantastic lunchtime buffet teeming with delicious Indian and Bangladeshi food. This Mother’s Day they’re running a special offer which can see you feasting on lunch for just £10.95 or dinner for £12.95, value that you can’t argue with, especially if your mum is a curry lover!
Stepping into Fitzbillies, with its comforting aroma of syrupy buns and fresh coffee, is like receiving a hug from a friend – and especially welcome when you've been battling the city centre on a busy afternoon). Yep, cafes don’t get any cosier and more ‘Cambridge’ than this – and what’s more they’ve got one of the best afternoon teas in town. Enjoy a lavish tea which features homemade scones with jam and cream, finger sandwiches, mini cakes fresh from the bakery and a pot of tea (or you can really indulge and add a glass of champagne!).
Fun with mum
Make some memories with a fun day out with mum. Relive those childhood days spent in the kitchen together making rice crispy cakes with a grown-up cookery day at the lovely Cambridge Cookery School, which is hosting a bread making course on the 11th. Beginning with fresh bread and tea and coffee, the class will reveal the secrets of delicious German and Austrian loaves, from crusty Brötchen to Kugelhopf bundt cake. The class gathers for lunch at the end, and you’ll be sent on your way with full recipe packs so you can continue the cooking at home. The session costs £145 per person.
For soaking up beautiful views of Cambridge and learning more about the city’s fascinating stories, hop on a chauffeured punt tour with Scudamore’s. Blankets are provided to keep you snug, and brollies too so a little rain needn’t spoil your fun – all you need to do is pack a bottle and some glasses then relax while you glide along the Cam. The company also offers a Punt and Cream Tea package, which combines a punt tour of the Backs with scones and tea at the Fitzwilliam Museum for £23.50 per person.
Alternatively, you could treat your mum (and yourself!) to a day at The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel and enjoy some quality time together. The spa (pictured above), opened in 2013 and is one of the plushest in the area. Situated just outside Newmarket town centre, they’re offering a Mum and Me spa day which starts at £150 per person. The package includes an arrival drink to get you relaxing straight away, a facial, a manicure and a Prosecco afternoon tea – plus a gift to take away.
If your ma is partial to pretty gardens and grand old country piles, pop along to Anglesey Abbey, where you may be rewarded with late flowering snowdrops, making for an especially lovely stroll. Then, explore Lord Fairhaven’s House and admire the impressive assortment of antiques, paintings, silverware and clocks, or venture over to the historic Lode Mill, which can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1806.
The Botanic Garden is another perfect spot for a wander, serving up flashes of pale pink magnolias and waterfalls of wisteria during the spring months, as well as all the treasures of the glasshouses, from dainty alpines to exotic tropical climbers.
Time for tea
Catch up with your mum over cakes, dainty sandwiches and lashings of tea with an indulgent afternoon tea at one of Cambridge’s eateries – there’s plenty of options.
Handsome Hotel du Vin on Trumpington Street is famed for its exquisite afternoon tea (pictured), which treats you to a colourful display of mini cakes, tea breads, warm scones oozing with strawberry jam and clotted cream, finger sandwiches and savouries, accompanied by exotic teas including passion fruit Ceylon and elderflower and blossom Darjeeling. It’s served daily (12-6pm), and comes in at £22.50. HdV is also offering a Mother’s Day lunch, featuring a glass of champagne and a gift for mum, with four courses for £35 per person.
Tucked away on pretty, cobbled Green Street, Harriets Cafe Tearooms is another sure-fire Mother’s Day winner. Relax in the elegant surroundings and indulge in a quintessentially English afternoon tea with tasty sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Cornish clotted cream and jam and miniature sponge cakes, washed down with fresh leaf tea, from £16.95.
A bit of an in-the-know secret, Hotel Felix is tucked away in gorgeous grounds near Girton: a Victorian villa now home to an upmarket boutique hotel and Graffiti, a lauded fine dining restaurant. Take a seat in the light and airy orangery, inside the restaurant or, if the weather’s up to it, outside on the terrace overlooking the manicured gardens, and enjoy the superb afternoon tea. With sumptuous dark chocolate eclairs, Italian meringues, orange and polenta cake, traditional scones and sandwiches including Beaufort Brown egg and paprika mayonnaise on malted bread (no limp cucumber sarnies here), it’s a truly indulgent feast of flavours which can be yours for £18.50 per person.