Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mummy & Daughter Adventures At Duke Of Yorks Square, Chelsea: Afternoon Tea at Gallery Mess & Mothers Day Gift Ideas

You hear about my Mother an awful lot on this blog, because she contributes an awful lot to this blog. She likes to joke that she is my unofficial 'intern', but really, she does do everything an intern would do if I had one for this site, and I don't think I express how grateful I am to her for everything she does for me enough. So, when the lovely team at Duke Of Yorks Square in Chelsea got in touch asking if I wanted to bring my Mother along for an afternoon of shopping, pampering and afternoon tea by way of an early Mother's Day treat, I managed to get her to hop on a train and come and spend the afternoon with me. This is no mean feat; by parents are both country mice, but I know she deserved the afternoons treat and the chance to browse in shops we don't get in Kent. And it was nice to do something different for Mummy/ Daughter time for a change.
Gallery Mess Afternoon Tea

After checking our handbags and sundresses in Kate Spade, looking at Petites in Banana Republic, enjoying the bigger selection to offer in Zara, a private shopping appointment trying to find dresses suitable for our family holiday in June (complete with a glass of champagne or two!) and a turn around one of my favourite haunts in London (that my Mother had never been to before), the Saatchi Gallery we decamped to Gallery Mess for afternoon tea. I've heard a lot about the food there, but I keep on forgetting to visit!
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Mummy was very taken with these clear glass teapots. She commented that she has so many big, bushy mint plants on our patio to make fresh mint tea with, and I honestly won't be surprised if I open up an Amazon delivery one day, mistaking it for my own and finding a glass teapot in there that she's ordered for tea making. All three of us having different tea bags annoys my Dad enough, I can't wait for her to suggest he makes her a cup of fresh mint! In other news, my berry tea was also delicious.
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In my book, afternoon tea needs to be eaten in order. This means sandwiches first, then scones and then cakes at the end. So, the sandwiches. The cucumber sandwiches were filled with herb butter which was a nice refinement, but predictably our favourites were the rich and creamy egg salad, and the open smoked salmon. Everything is improved by smoked salmon. This is a basic fact of life.
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Light fruit scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. We're both jam then cream people.
Cake and pastry wise, the macarons were pistachio, the financiers were beautifully almondy topped off with cream and with a whole blackberry baked in the middle, but the show was stolen by the perfectly gooey triangle of chocolate brownie, that partnered up perfectly with the drizzle of berry coulis on the cake stand and the fresh strawberries. I love it when strawberries start appearing on menus, it means that Summer is coming!

I'm not going to tell you what else I'm doing for my Mummy on actual Mothers Day (30th March) aside from taking her on this blogging adventure with me, because she'll read it, but I thought I would also share with you a few items that I thought would make great gifts if you're a little stuck for ideas! However, if you don't feel like buying anything I'm sure she'd appreciate it just as much if you baked her a cake, did all the cooking, cleaning and washing up for the day or picked her a bunch of flowers. One of my ideas came from our first stop of the day on Duke Of York's Square, London jewellery brand Links.
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Until the 24th March Links are offering free engraving for Mothers Day, so you can make your gift just that little bit more special. This guy was tucked away in the corner of Links' new King's Road store (they're no longer across from Rag & Bone on Sloane Square) doing engravings. The guys at Links were kind enough to give me one of their new, narrower versions of their classic friendship bracelet that have only just launched (they're not on the website, just in this store at the moment, but because they are lighter and more delicate I think these would make a great gift) and I got the toggle engraved in flowing script on the toggle.
Links made my life harder by gifting Mummy this beautiful rose gold pendant on a 50cm chain, which I think is the best option if you are looking to get something engraved. Please tell me how I'm supposed to top this, gift wise? However, I do have a couple of other ideas if you're stuck: Mary Berry has a new cookbook out, Mary Berry Cooks, based off of her current BBC show which really reminds me of cooking at home in the kitchen with my Mummy. Also, I've been coming across some great new scented candles recently, so if she is into that sort of thing. Three favourites at the moment is the new Aspinal's Darjeeling & Tea Rose Candle (I had no idea they sold them, but I was greeted with the most beautiful smell when I stepped into their Covent Garden store handbag hunting. Next, we have Diptyque's Freesia which is such a rich, heady floral smell I adore (it is also my Mother's favourite flower) and the team at new candle company Harley & Co recently sent me one of their Blackberry Vanilla candles, which is really nice and unique. I recommend it, and more on it soon!

Are you planning anything special for your Mummy on Mothers Day? I'd love to hear some of your unique and creative ideas, even if they are going to put me to shame! Though, in our family no one can ever top the best Mothers Day gift given, if I may say so myself. That best gift was me, the gift of her first grandchild from my Mummy to hers, as I was born on Mothers Day!


  1. Lovely post - it's always wonderful to feel that you are treating your mother :) I'm currently in panic mode and feeling like a very bad daughter as I haven't booked anything yet, but I'm thinking of booking a nice tea somewhere (last year we went to the Riding House Café for brunch, which was fantastic!) Then I might take a leaf out of your book and take her to see some art. I've been looking into spa treatments too, but they're so expensive!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

  2. Lovely pictures! Afternoon tea is by far my favourite English tradition, and an excellent opportunity for mother-daughter bonding :)

  3. Love your blog! And this seems a great way to make pitta bread :) just a heads up, I'll go ahead and assume you meant 'tzatziki', not 'tkziki', since you're referring to the Greek yogurt and cucumber dip :)

  4. Thank you! And oh my god that is so embarrassing, talk about a dyslexic moment! Thanks for pointing that out, I've not rectified it. I just can't believe that you were the first person to point that out.

  5. I love the Saatchi Gallery. I went to Gallery Mess for tea last year with my family and enjoyed the experience:

  6. hahaha, no worries, it happens to the best of us :)

  7. I make a similar tzatziki with Greek yogurt. So good!