Mother's Day with Covent Garden
This year, Mother's Day came a little early thanks to the lovely people at Covent Garden.
A while back, they got in touch to see whether I fancied treating Mum to a day out in one of the city's most famous destinations. Of course, I leapt at the opportunity, and kept terribly mysterious until the day itself so as to surprise Mum on the big day.
Covent Garden wanted to show us all the many and different things you can do with your Mum around the area for Mother's Day (which, in case you need reminding, is Sunday 26th March!) and never once need to leave the cobbled streets.
And so, with an itinerary organised to military precision, off we went to Covent Garden for Mother's Day - let's kick off the day shall we?
Pay close attention, we've got a lot of ground to cover!
Breakfast at The Ivy Market Grill
Our day began in the fanciest of ways: with breakfast at the glorious Ivy Market Grill.
Possibly Covent Garden's most beautiful restaurant (and there's many to chose from so competition for this such accolade is sky-high), the Ivy Market Grill is the sort of restaurant reserved for an occasion - it's glossy interiors and polished finish just demands it! We nestled in, consumed copious amounts of tea and coffee and began with a selection of mini pastries... just because.
The main attractions came in the form of buttermilk pancakes for Mum - loaded with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, Greek yoghurt and warm strawberry sauce - and a ginormous plate of oak smoked salmon with granary toast for me.
A delicious way to fuel up for what was set to be a very busy day ahead! Are you ready for more?
Swing by The Cambridge Satchel Company
Of course, no visit to Covent Garden would be complete without a visit to The Cambridge Satchel Company. You already know by now that I'm a huge fan of their bags and with the lure of a new Spring Collection, it was a no-brainer visit. Plus, Mum's never one to say no to a beautiful new handbag...
We positively cooed over their new collection - honestly, they really do just keep getting better and better! Take a look at their latest here (I've just gone on myself and spotted a card case that I absolutely positively don't need but must have, engraved with my initials of course)
We both fell in love with their new grain leather Cloud bag with scallop edge - truly, it's a BEAUTY (check it out here!) and couldn't help but each leave with one - Mum the navy, me the terracotta.
Eager to get them on show, we swapped our bags over and gave our Clouds their very first outing together. I think you'll agree they're rather dreamy (I'd strongly recommend you pop one on your wishlist now!)
Charlotte Tilbury's Skin Clinic
Next, it was time to get our glow on over at the Charlotte Tilbury store, just a hop and a skip across the street.
Stepping downstairs to the boudoir (something I absolutely did not know existed in the store!), we were seated in front of mirrors surrounded by flashbulbs, ready for our skin transformations.
If you've never tried Charlotte Tilbury products, then you don't know what you're missing out on - but let me tell you, they are heavenly! A total treat for the skin, they positively leave your face glowing. Mum particularly loved the Magic Cream which gave a nice dewy finish, whilst I was obsessed with their latest launch: the Dry Sheet Face Masks. Believe me, you NEED to try these. Yes, you will look terrifying but your skin will be transformed after one use - I still don't even know how they work their magic, all I know is that they do!
For the lady that loves skincare, the Charlotte Tilbury Skin Clinic is for them. And maybe you'll need to leave with a few goodies too!
A make-up masterclass at Bobbi Brown
With our skin prepped and seriously glowing, it was time to move on to the next stop... for a lick of paintwork!
The Bobbi Brown studio is located just along the way, overlooking the Piazza. In truth, we're both make-up novices so let the make-up artist do her thing, secure in the complete knowing that we weren't going to leave the studio all clown-faced (which is something my sixteen year old self has most certainly had to encounter!)
I was super impressed with the makeover. Being not someone that wears a lot of make-up (partly because I don't have the time, partly because I just don't think I actually suit a lot!), I asked for a light and fresh look, which I certainly got and loved - and was totally tempted by more than just a few of the products!
The make-up masterclasses are available to anyone, any time. Booking is recommended and there is a small cost which you can redeem on product after the makeover - which I think sounds like a truly splendid plan! Next time you want a face overhaul, give Bobbi Brown a call.
Faces complete and with a little time to spare before our next activity, we did what I enjoy doing most... simply wandering!
There is so much to see in Covent Garden and I promise you, it's not just for tourists anymore! The architecture is beautiful (next time you're in the piazza, take a look at the hanging lanterns and you'll see the pineapples sitting on top - a nod to the building's former use as a fruit and veg market), the shops are tempting (who can resist macaroons from Laduree, jewellery from Links of London or something smelly from Miller Harris?) and the atmosphere is always buzzing.
Take time to appreciate this magical part of London - did you know they once planned on demolishing it all and turning it into a roundabout? The horror!
Backstage Tour of the Royal Opera House
Enough mooching around, we have a schedule to stay on top of! Are you still keeping up?
Next on the list was something I was very excited about. Our very own backstage tour of the Royal Opera House, somewhere I have never yet been inside (or seen any of its beautiful productions yet sadly!).
You may or may not be aware, but the ROH holds daily tours which are well worth a visit if you're into your theatre (you can see their tour schedule here) and want to learn more about the history and tales of this prestigious venue.
Going truly behind the scenes, we even got to see ballerinas in training - but sadly no photos were allowed so you'll just have to book on a tour yourself!
Something a bit different and I'm sure your mum will enjoy (as, I think, will you!)
Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea at Balthazar
Next on our agenda... Afternoon Tea - it wouldn't be a Mother's Day without it! And where else to have it then at Balthazar? As part of Bobbi Brown's 25 Year Anniversary celebrations, the beauty powerhouse has collaborated with Balthazar to bring Londoners the ultimate beauty-inspired Afternoon Tea.
As with any good Afternoon Tea, we began with a round of sandwiches to satisfy our savoury needs before moving onto the freshly baked scones, smothering them in strawberry preserve and clotted Devonshire cream. Our final tier (the best of course) was filled with a selection of cakes inspired by Bobbi Brown's iconic beauty products, including the Balthazar ‘Hollywood Red Lip Gloss’ kiss, blueberry & lemon ‘Smokey Eye Mascara’, pecan and jasmine ‘Long-Wear Cream Shadow’ macaroon, coco-citrus ‘EXTRA Balm Rinse’ cheesecake and, my favourite, a rhubarb and ginger ‘Shimmer Brick’.
But the best part of all? Everything is unlimited, so you can have as much of it as you like!
Though I must admit, we couldn't even finish off the first round - let alone consider a second! Maybe you'll have more luck?
Fragrance Pairing at Atelier Cologne
Full to bursting, we slowly lifted ourselves from Balthazar's booths and made our way across the market with one sole purpose in mind... to pick up something smelly! Because which mum doesn't love some smellies on Mother's Day?
In Covent Garden, you're spoilt for choice but there was one place in particular we were heading to.
Atelier Cologne is a newcomer to the market, having recently opened its first UK store here in Covent Garden and I'm sure you're going to start hearing a lot more about it. The idea behind every cologne is that each scent tells a story filled with treasured memories and emotions. We were made to smell countless colognes, each one by itself and then some doubled up together to create a new scent before Mum picked her favourites to be taken away with her, all beautifully gift-wrapped to go. We even chose a leather case to be engraved to go along with her travel size spray, choosing from the rainbow coloured wall filled with cases, which takes centre stage in the store.
I've already eyed up (or should that be smelt up?!) my favourite here - and strongly recommend you head to the store to do the same!
Bubbles at Frenchie
The perfect way to end a very jam-packed Mother's Day?
With two glasses of bubbly at the beautiful Frenchie on Henrietta Street!
Of course, no trip to Frenchie would be complete without a plate of their incredible bacon scones - these bad boys are served warm, glazed with maple syrup and smothered in Cornish clotted cream. Seriously goo-huuuuud.
An absolutely divinely delicious way to finish off a simply wonderful day out in Covent Garden.
Thank you to the Covent Garden team and everyone involved in creating a simply lovely Mother's Day. I think Mum felt truly spoilt, which is exactly how she needs to feel on Mother’s Day!
Covent Garden really does have something for every mum, so if you're in London and stuck for ideas on what to do, well, how about you read from the top again?