Mothering Sunday and other celebrations

Many celebrations

I am stretching these celebrations this week. It is my birthday on Thursday, and my daughter came up from London last weekend, so I am having a number of small celebrations instead of one big bash. The children have been banned for years from buying cards or flowers for Mothering Sunday. Do I need to explain why?

It’s Mothering Sunday, not Mother’s Day

And I insist on calling it this, and not Mother’s Day. It is on the fourth Sunday of Lent, therefore linked to Easter and is a moveable date. Mother’s Day is what America and Australia and New Zealand, and lots of other countries do. On different dates all over the world.  Mothering Sunday is traditionally the day that girls in service went home to visit their mothers and back to their mother church. .

This week has always been a bit of a family celebration week for me as my Nan was born on 20 March and my Aunt on the 21st, It is my birthday on the 19th and Phil and I also got married on the 19 March 1983. As Nan, Mom and Auntie are no longer with us, I like to celebrate all three events (which sometimes land on the same day) quietly, with my children and my husband.

This year it turns out that I will have three celebrations, with each of them on separate occasions.

Finding somewhere to eat we all like is challenging

And I may have mentioned before finding a place to eat that meets the requirements of all of us plus partner of said daughter and his parents can be challenging. Veggie, super taster, allergies, and unadventurous eaters can complicate things. Separating the super taster and the veggie turns out to be a win for me as I got two lunches, one with each of my children.

I also have a number of vouchers to redeem for meals, all of them time sensitive. Today I have been attempting to find a date for all three, one at Purnell’s Bistro, one at Loves and one at er Prezzo. The later was not originally a voucher for food but for whisky tasting, no longer available in Birmingham, and as it was due to run out it had to be exchanged for something. I have heard, for a chain, it is very good. I will find out on Thursday.

The reason I have vouchers, is that in my mission to declutter I am not allowing new stuff into the house. Gifts for special occasions therefore are experiences, not things. My lovely daughter therefore bought the vouchers for birthdays and Christmas presents. And as we are so very lucky in Birmingham to have some very good chefs, I get to eat at both of my top two choices. When I book them.

And yet, before even getting to use the lovely gifts I have still managed to squeeze in two lunches, one the day before Mothering Sunday and on the day before my birthday. Today was at Boo Boo Coffee in Harborne with the son, the super taster. Always a challenge to find somewhere he likes more than one thing on the menu. Or even one thing on the menu. I heard that their pulled pork was good, so I was in with a chance. I went hoping to get the much talked about Persian Chicken Kebabs, but they were off the menu today. I settled happily for poached eggs and avocado on sour dough. No pictures, as no camera. I can say that the eggs were poached well, if under seasoned, and as there was nothing left on the plate plank of wood except for the rocket, the pulled pork brioche, was definitely OK. OK is good.

As sandwiches and cakes were served on enamel plate, I am not sure why the pork and the eggs, were on offcuts of what appeared to be skirting board and a flimsy piece of paper, that deteriorated with heat and runny egg and juicy pork.But then I am no hipster. The tea was good, the milk bottles dinky and the staff pleasant.The location of Boo Boo, opposite a gym and pool, ensures a good trade for healthy drinks and breakfast, for those who do things like work out before work.

Veggie was best

I have saved the best, so far, to last. 1847 in the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham. A lovely lunch with my daughter, the food was really tasty. Portions possibly small, but this is refined vegetarian dining in a casual setting. If I  go again, and I probably will, I would choose the three course option, as unusually for me I could have managed three courses. The puddings were so tempting I did not want to fill up on a starter and a main and miss out. Only bird like eaters would have this problem.

Spicy root veg with puy lentils

However, when food looks this good, and tastes as good as it looks, all is forgiven. And neither of us felt hungry, nor thought we were overcharged for what we had. so I don’t know why I even mention the portion sizes. Well I do, the crepes that the daughter had were more like a starter than a main.

Leek crepes

Her carrot cake filled the gap though.

Carrot cake infused with rum

As did my creme brulee.

Creme Brulee

My conclusion? If you have a family who all like different things to eat, and finding a place that meets all dietary requirements, fussiness and as it is your day you really cannot be doing with all the where shall we eat, go and have a meal with one family member at a time. That way you get lots of lovely meals, time with just one of your children, and your partner and no stress. As someone who will eat most things (except for orange flavoured anything, olives, pickled onions and possibly deep fried insects) as will my husband, (he doesn’t like pilchards) it makes eating out a pleasure.

And if you really don’t know what you want for your birthday, hate the commercialism of Mothering Sunday and Christmas ask the family to get vouchers for restaurants or other experiences you can enjoy with your loved ones.

It is going to get trickier going forward as I now am hoping to eliminate all gifting. The daughter and her partner have done so already, they would rather have a holiday. As would I. We all have enough stuff, well most of us have. And for those that don’t maybe they can benefit from us donating to a foodbank, a homeless project or even crowd funding a CIC or social enterprise. Instead of feeling pressured into buying more stuff.

And lucky me, the family are with me on this one.

Suggestions of places to eat that meet the challenging family food preferences, are also welcome.


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