Top Six ‘Thank You For Birthing Me” Mother’s Day Plans
Written by: Sophie Taylor
Whether your mum’s in the same city (or planet) as you, you should be celebrating her existence daily. But this March 26th is your excuse to really lay it on thick if she’s in North London, and show how much you care that she birthed you all those many moons ago. It’s not easy to raise you, you know? Remember that time you had a real time tantrum because she wouldn’t give you another biscuit, jumped on the back of your highchair and fell face first on to a radiator and had to have stitches and wear an eye patch giving her a panic attack that lasted for twenty five years? No?
Well she does.
Here’s our suggestions to treat yo mama this Mother’s Day, whether she’s a foodie, farmie, culture vulture or a downright wino. Disclaimer: our ideas are not just limited to mother and daughter crews. Treat your Grandma, sister, friend, friend’s dog who just gave birth… Get involved and share the love. Side note: Most of our suggestions aren’t time specific so you’ve no excuse if you won’t happen to be together on March 26th.
1. The Edgy Muso
“A whole world in 2 hours.”
Unseen Tours provides paid work as tour guides to vulnerably housed individuals, showcasing their creativity and resourcefulness while taking you along on a great tour to parts of the city “you might never otherwise see with people you might never otherwise know existed”.
The tours aim to show London’s historical and cultural quirks in an unusual and entertaining way and, where issues of homelessness are covered, to make a point about the state of the world we live in and highlight issues of social injustice.
Take a stroll with Mike the Mod round Camden and share his first-hand knowledge of the history of contemporary music in Camden.
From early Pink Floyd performing at the Roundhouse in 1966, through to the emerging Indie scene of the 1980s up to the establishment of Camden being the home of all the major Brit Pop artists of the 1990s.
Learn about the establishment of Camden Town and Primrose Hill during the Industrial Revolution and the recent gentrification of these areas.
Experience the contrasts of poverty and homelessness in Camden Town to the opulence of Primrose Hill where many famous celebrities live.
Tours last 2 hours and start outside Chalk Farm Tube, Adelaide Road NW3 2BP
Every week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 – 4pm.
2. The Foodie (Absolute Lush)
Does your mum like a bevvy? As much as the next person? Hey, as we reiterated earlier, it’s not her fault you shot her nerves looking after you and your ‘ways’. I need a drink or three just to hang out with you. Luckily, some North London eateries have cottoned on to the whole drinking with your mother thing (and recognised how tedious it is to be sober around you). Oh, stop being such a paranoid android everyone knows you’re a complete treat.
You can pretend to pops that you’re just off for a traditional afternoon tea when in actual fact the liquid in your teapot is pure cocktail. At Simmons, Kings Cross, you can both get your fix of alcohol and kitsch with tea-based cocktails alongside hanging crystal skulls and 1930s lampshades. Mine’s the Mar-tea-ni, cheers.
Shaka Zulu in Camden are not only offering a three course meal for a measly £24.95, they’re also throwing in a complimentary Raspberry or Lychee Collins. You can also add bottomless Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas for £20 per person. There is the usual 2 hour time limit though, so you best get slurping like Dot Cotton if you want to take full advantage of their good nature.
Cafe Rouge in Highgate are also offering free Prosecco with any main course because mums can’t get enough of that fizzy wine apparently. Yep, even Belgian restaurant Belgo Noord have jumped aboard the Prosecco wagon and are practically throwing the stuff at mothers faces on the 26th, right as they walk through the door. Splash! Welcome. Enjoy a glass of Prosecco on arrival along with a two or three course meal from their extra delicious Mother’s Day set menu. Get it down you.
3. The Green Fingered
Did you know that as soon as you give birth, the placenta emits a ‘cultivation signal’ to the brain and implants a lifelong urge to grow plants and flowers before it is passed? Hence why all Mums just can’t get enough of gardening and receiving flowers! Fact of the day.
This is obviously a big fat myth made up by florists to capitalise on*, but some women (mothers or not) are green fingered goddesses regardless.
If the women in your life knows a thing or two about how her garden grows, with forget-me-nots and marigolds all tied up in a bow, this is the Mother’s Day event for them.
Whether she needs help or not to create her own beautiful bouquet, you will learn how to make a tasty bunch out of seasonal flowers to take home. All materials are included, as well as lashings of tea, coffee and homemade cake.
So if your particular offering is disappointingly twiggy you can take comfort in cake as per. NB it won’t be disappointing – workshop leader Helena of The Allotment Florist is an excellent teacher.
Groups are small so you will get extra special attention should you need it.
Pretty Shiny Shop, 67 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EG
Workshops run from 11am until 11am -1pm or 2-4pm.
4. The Rambler
If the sun has got his hat on, try a North London canal walk with your ambling mother. The Regent’s Canal towpath walk from Camden to Limehouse is a mostly flat and paved jaunt, stretching on for six miles.
Just before Granary Square and it’s extra special jet fountains, you’ll pass an inner-city nature reserve. Camley Street Natural Park hosts a daytime ugly bug ball for you to gawp at and photograph.
Bonus points for getting a photo of your mum with a butterfly in her hair.
Getting tired you could always call it a day at Angel as you’ll find your tube route home on the right, and Camden Passage full to bursting with vintage finds.
Definitely take a well deserved break along the way at one of many canal side restaurants and bars or floating cafes.
Your mum might like to stretch her legs, but some of us have hangovers and pulled our hamstrings last night doing one too many dab squats.
Try the aptly named Narrow Boat Pub sitting on the canal near Angel which has plenty of seating and a healthy selection of local brewed beers like Meantime or Camden Town.
Don’t forget to try the Narrow Boat butty for sustenance.
119 St Peter’s Street, N1 8PZ.
5. The Culture Vulture
Pop along to The Park Theatre, Finsbury Park for a special exhibition celebrating International Women’s Day. During 2016 artist Chris Avis worked with nine sets of mothers and daughters, the youngest daughter being seventeen months and the oldest mother one hundred and two to create manipulated printed portraits.
‘SHE’ is a collection of works that celebrate International Women’s Week 2017 with a photographic and short film exhibition on until the end of April. A special screening of film SHE : Mothers And Daughters Moments In will take place on the 25th March at 3:30pm (booking required).
Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP 8th March – 30th April
Or how about attending a talk in the grand drawing room of Clissold House? Poet and political polemicist Anna Barbauld was almost as cool as your mum and played a key role in Stoke Newington’s influential Dissenting community.
Her works will be discussed by a host of speakers looking at how she is still scarily relevant today. Barbauld’s sermon, Sins of Government, Sins of the Nation, urged an active response to bad governments and she wrote powerfully against the slave trade.
Doors are open from 1.30pm and ticket prices include a glass of wine or a soft drink. Money from ticket sales will go towards conserving or restoring Clissold Park features.
Sunday 26th March 2 – 3:30pm The House at Clissold Park, Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 9HJ. Book places here.
6. The Wellington Booted
Some mums just love squeezing into a rubbery pair of wellies, rolling up their sleeves and marching down the road into puddles of filth don’t they? Presumably shouting What ho! and whistling unfathomably loud for Duke the lab whilst feeding a horse some carrots she happened to have in her Barbour pockets.
If that sounds familiar, perhaps she will enjoy a trip to a city farm: Freightliners Farm behind St Mary Magdalene Church to be exact. A convenient little stride from Highbury and Islington Station, this secret farm houses a menagerie of traditional farm animals for you to take selfies with while your mum shakes her head then photobombs every single pic with a guinea pig she seems to have adopted.
After a tiring morning of geese chat and ram stroking, (no not a euphemism for that weird date you went on) you’ll have worked up an appetite for the Freightliners Cafe open Thursday to Sunday, 10am – 3:45pm.
They’ve kept honey bees for almost 20 years, pollinating the farm’s fruit and veg and producing prize winning honey, so you can bet the fodder’s pretty tasty. Depending on what age group you decide to bring along, there are always some rather fantastic workshops on the go for younger visitors (also known as children I think?)
Freightliners Farm, London N7 8PF, Tel: 020 7609 0467 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What type is my mum you ask? Oh well she’s a perfect mix of all six and then some because she’s multifaceted and extraordinary thanks for asking. As you were.
Fancy treating your mum to a more traditional beauty salon treatment? Try the community spirited and reasonably priced Sorbet Salons in North London.
“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.
Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.
Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.
At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.
Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.
Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.
Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.
Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.
“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.
In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”
The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?
Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).
Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.
Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.
"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.
Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.