With beauty booty, floral fashions and chocolate fancies in abundance, Garden Square’s stores are the perfect place to bag some gifts for your mum this Mother’s Day.


Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday occurs on the fourth Sunday of Lent and is often referred to as ‘Mother’s Day’ in the UK (although it doesn’t have a connection with the American festival of the same name).

The History of Mother’s Day

During the sixteenth Century, people returned to their ‘mother church’ (the main church or cathedral for the area) for a service that would be held on Laetare Sunday. Anyone who attended was commonly said to have gone ‘a-mothering’. In later times, it became a day when children who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day’s absence to visit their mother. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, since on other days they were prevented by conflicting working hours, and servants were not given free days on other occasions.

Along the way back, children would pick wild flowers to take to church or give to their mothers. Eventually, the religious tradition evolved into the Mothering Sunday secular tradition of giving gifts to mothers.

Traditional Foods

Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday because the fasting rules for Lent were relaxed that day. Originally, both Old and New Testament lessons on mid-lent Sunday made a point of food. The Gospel reading from the New Testament told the story of how Jesus fed five thousand people with only five small barley loaves and two small fish.

Simnel Cake

The food item particularly associated with Mothering Sunday is the Simnel cake. A Simnel cake is a fruit cake with two layers of almond paste, one on top and one in the middle. The cake is made with 11 balls of marzipan icing on top representing the 11 disciples. Traditionally, sugar violets would also be added.

The name Simnel probably comes from the Latin word simila which means a fine wheat flour usually used for baking a cake. There’s a legend that a man called Simon and his wife Nell argued over whether the cake for Mothering Sunday should be baked or boiled. In the end they did both, so the cake was named after both of them: SIM-NELL.


Disclaimer: All products and prices featured in this gift guide are correct at the time of production. We do not accept responsibility for any items unavailable in our stores and it is best to check with individual retailers regarding availability to avoid disappointment. Many of our stores offer a ‘click and collect’ service and items from this gift guide can be purchased by this facility.