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Home > Articles > From Simnel Cake to Afternoon Tea: Celebrating Mother’s Day in Style

From Simnel Cake to Afternoon Tea: Celebrating Mother’s Day in Style

Mother’s Day is a globally celebrated occasion, a day of expressing love and gratitude towards not only one’s biological mother but also stepmothers, expectant mothers, aunts, and maternal figures. Unsurprisingly, it has become a significant event for the hospitality sector, as families increasingly opt to dine out.

A Historical Perspective

Mothering Sunday, as it is traditionally known in Britain, has been celebrated by Christians since the 13th century. Falling on the fourth Sunday of Lent, it was a welcome break from the customary fasting. The tradition involved young girls bringing baskets of gifts and a special cake, known as a Simnel cake, to their mothers.

The Simnel Cake: A Symbol of Love and Devotion

The Simnel cake, a rich fruit cake adorned with marzipan, is a unique feature of Mothering Sunday. It is distinguished by a layer of marzipan baked into the middle of the cake and another layer on top. The top layer is usually decorated with eleven balls of marzipan, symbolising the eleven apostles, and then scorched, giving it a distinctive appearance. While not as prevalent today, these cakes continue to be baked and purchased, especially for their religious connotations.

Dining Out: A Popular Choice

Today, many families choose to dine out so it’s wise to prepare for larger tables and family-friendly dining experiences. Common menu options range from a roast dinner, an elegant fish dish, to an afternoon tea.

Planning the Perfect Menu

When planning menus, it’s worth noting that customers are more likely to make reservations at places offering specially set menus and Mother’s Day deals. These smaller, set menus save time in ordering and preparation, and with a pre-order, food waste can also be minimised. As Mother’s Day revolves around pampering, it’s also wise to offer a children’s menu or at least half-portions of the set menu.

Promotions: Attracting Customers

Promotions play an integral role in attracting customers. Offering discounts or complimentary drinks for mothers can sway customers to choose a particular establishment. A free glass of sparkling rosé or pink lemonade adds a feminine touch and is likely to be well-received. Moreover, gifting a discount voucher for a future visit during quieter periods like Monday to Thursday offers an opportunity for repeat business and is a lovely gesture to the mothers.

Crafting the Perfect Afternoon Tea

For a winning Mother’s Day afternoon tea, consider a range of options. Deals or no deals, the experience can be enhanced with inclusive drinks, offering the choice of bottomless tea and coffee.

So here’s what to include on the stands:

Sandwich Selection: Classic Elegance

Starting with the sandwiches, opt for timeless elegance. Thinly sliced bread with crusts removed, cut into fingers, makes for the perfect classic sandwich. Fillings like egg mayonnaise with cress or coronation chicken are perennial favourites. The charm of cucumber sandwiches should never be overlooked.

Savoury Options: Variety and Colour

Adding variety to the savoury options can be achieved with excellent sausage rolls or quiches. To avoid a beige-looking spread, add colour with garnishes or place little rounds of cucumber and smoked salmon between the sandwiches for a burst of colour.

Sweet Delights: Beyond the Ordinary

For the sweet tier, think outside the box. Apple pie slices, lemon meringue, and slices of cake can be showstoppers. Triangular shapes adorned with fruit and flowers create a visually appealing dessert tier. For a lighter alternative to scones, consider profiteroles, served with or without chocolate sauce.

The Pinnacle: Chic and Sophisticated

For the chic top tier, elevate the experience with macarons in various flavours and colours. Add a touch of sophistication by decorating with small roses or other flowers.

Whether it’s a roast dinner, a fish dish or an afternoon tea, the hospitality sector can play a crucial role in making Mother’s Day memorable and enjoyable. As families seek ways to pamper and celebrate mothers, every little detail can contribute to creating a genuinely unforgettable experience.

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