I’m going to steal a line Alex has just emailed me on the subject of motherhood: anyone lucky to be a mother knows that you have already won The Prize. (Ditto anyone who has – or has had – a mother). But nobody would say no to a little token of appreciation, surely? Here’s a little round-up of the best presents out there (although a homemade card totally works for us, btw.)
The Mother’s Day dream involves said homemade card, maybe flowers, breakfast (in bed or a cafe), preferably after a lie in. Maybe a lovely lunch or a spa treatment? The reality for me is that my husband is away for work (I know, poor guy) from Saturday morning ’til Sunday afternoon, so me and my girl will be having a breakfast a deux (we’ll head out with our books and the newspaper – yes, I am ambitious). If the weather is kind, we might head to one of our favourite cafes at Chiswick House – where she can dig in the sandpit post-croissant and juice. Mind you, as winter seems to have returned (just me or is it bitter fruz out there?), maybe we’ll cosy up indoors instead. Either way, I’ll be with her – which is just about the best present I could wish for. (And, yes, we do have a penchant for handbags, now you come to mention it…)
Jewllery + personalised = winner
I am a sucker for anything personalised. And jewellery. Put the two together and you have yourself a Good Gift. Both Monica Vinader and Astley Clarke offer an engraving service. Keep it simple and opt for a ring (from £50) or friendship bracelet (from £75) in her favourite hue; a locket (they suddenly feel very right again – but opt for a pendant if this feels too old school for your – or her – tastes) or a simple disc bracelet – although this star pendant (£120) is utterly lovely.
Why books are always a good idea…
The joy of a book is in part that it says, ‘Go forth. Relax. Curl up and read. Don’t worry about bathtime/cooking supper/the washing up/sorting the laundry’. I have recently read the most glorious book, Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life. It was so incredibly good that I simply want to press it on everyone with a benevolent smile. Nina Stibbes was nanny to LRB editor Mary-Kay Wilmers’s children in the 1980s – and found herself living on a highly literary Crescent: Alan Bennett pops in for supper almost daily, Jonathan Miller lends his saw to chop the Christmas tree trunk to size, Deborah Moggach lives across the road, Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn a few houses down. Nina’s letters to her sibling are fascinating, warm and hilarious.
Something more coffee table-y? Try Decor8’s Holly Becker’s Decorate with Flowers (which is just gorgeous to look at, even if you are not floral fingered), The Allure of Chanel, Paris Sketchbook, or A Change of Appetite (I am yet to meet a recipe of Diana Henry’s I don’t want to cook).
Spa and scent (particularly good for new mamas)
I don’t know many women who would turn up their nose at the prospect of a spa treatment. I love the Cowshed or Liz Earle, but you can buy vouchers valid at numerous spas across the UK at Lavish (clever idea).
If a spa treatment is not her thing – or just a bit much – my two picks for new mamas would be the two things I am currently slathering all over my body (especially the bump area…): Neom’s Feel Amazing gift set (which also Smells Amazing) – comprising body oil, bath oil and a candle; or Bloom & Blossom’s Mother to Be Gift Set – or if you’re on a budget the Indulgence Bath Oil or the Mother & Baby Oil are both guilt-free (i.e. organic, paraben and nasties-free) treats.
The gold standard
Writ your affections large (or small, but you get my point) with this loose pocket from Anya Hindmarch – so useful, so chic, so covetable, so Anya – and something you wouldn’t buy yourself. I saw it first on the brilliant Little Spree blog (Sarah’s ‘Mama Spree’ fridays are a relatively new addition – and well worth the click even if you don’t have children.). You can also select a blank pocket (from a selection of chic colours) and have it customised.
Shoes glorious shoes
Most mothers I know tend to spend their on-duty child time running around like crazy things. I know I have to be speedy on my feet when following C on her scooter. Today she zipped down Chiswick High Road wearing bumble bee wings (sizeable) and matching antennae. So any presents which zhuzh our feet are to be welcomed.