On March 15th, mothers from all over the land will be treated to a bit of their own medicine, in a nice way of course. Yes, it’s Mothers’ Day, or is it?
Recent research has informed me that Mothers’ Day in the UK is not actually Mothers’ Day at all, which is an altogether different phenomenon that has invaded our wonderfully historic culture from across the pond, with its vulgar commercialism, and a false sense of guilt and duty. It is in fact Mothering Sunday, which boasts a long and not always evident timeline wrapped in good will and steeped in kindness straight from the heart. So what’s the difference and quite frankly does anyone care?
Well, Mothering Sunday started in the 16th century, when people returned to their “mother church” and it is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of lent. But it disappeared in the 17th Century, when people decided that mothers didn’t deserve being celebrated and should stop moaning and just get on with the housework. The view was, quite rightly, stamped out in the 1914, when men realised that women were actually people, too, and could actually think, and deserved a little appreciation from time to time. This was mainly due to the efforts of one Constance Penswick-Smith (what a fantastic name) and, to cut a long story short, Mothering Sunday was reintroduced. Since then, it has grown into a date that no offspring, however old, should take for granted, and every father-of-small-children can ill afford to forget.
Mothers’ Day, however, has its origins in America and was took off in 1868. Again, mainly due to one woman, Anna Jarvis. It is held on the second Sunday in May. Both Mothers’ Day and Mothering Sunday are celebrated in the same way, with flowers, gifts and meals out at lovely two rosette restaurants situated in the heart of four glorious acres of gardens on the North Norfolk coast (are you getting the hint?)
Of course, if you are not a mother but are certainly a woman, and you don’t want to feel a little left out, there is also International Women’s Day on 8th March. I’m not sure how one qualifies for being classed as an International Woman, if one needs dual citizenship or something similar, or if there is anything for non-international women.
It is, of course, grossly unfair that there is not a children’s day, when parents have to feed, tidy-up-after, entertain, care for, treat and generally make sure that little lives go according to plan. Or is that every day?
At The Grove, we do have a special menu out for Mothers’ Day, or Mothering Sunday or whatever you want to call it, featuring, amongst others, my favourite; pan-seared Black Bream with chive mash and prawn and Bracaster mussel velouté. This year, we are trying our hardest to accommodation those with gluten free diets; three out of five starters, all our mains and two out of four desserts are gluten free. So whether it’s Mothers’ Day or Mothering Sunday you are celebrating, give your mum a taste of her own medicine, in a nice way, of course.