Let’s start by looking ahead: FutureFest is a two-day bonanza of innovation, discussions and forward-thinking on topics as diverse as the future of democracy, robotics, human rights, the political establishment, Edward Snowden, musicians, psychologists and many, many more. There will also be hands-on demonstrations and interactive technology workshops and cutting-edge shows: radical thinkers unite! For the night-owls among you there’s a special evening devoted to parenting at the Natural History Museum: Night Safari: Maternal Instinctsruns from 7pm to 10pm, including a complimentary drink in the Hintze Hall before you embark on your journey of discovery. Three scientists will give you a closer look at some of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes examples through either the Chrysalis or Nymph Tours, as well as explanations of collections, specimens and how other species carry out their mothering duties.
Sticking with the creative theme, why not capture your or your mum’s imagination and invest more than just time in the Affordable Art Fair, as it graces London’s Battersea Park from the 12th to the 15th of March. All the work exhibited will be for sale between £100 and £5,000, with paintings, original prints, sculpture and photography all available for your own personal ownership. Traditional or modern, humorous or sombre, by a famous name or an undiscovered talent, there’s something to suit all tastes. There will even be a free creche, artist-led workshops, talks and tours, as well as a specialist exhibition showcasing work by new artists.
Once your cultural itch has been scratched, head for any number of restaurants that will have special Mother’s Day deals and offers on. Dean Street Townhouse, for example, is set across a series of striking Georgian suites and will be serving up classic, comforting British cuisine with a twist. Open from before breakfast up until well after dinner, this is your spot to come to if you don’t like set meal times, can keep up with the revellers of the night and, most of all, have an appetite.
If, on the other hand, it’s innovation and a slight air of unpredictability you’re hankering for, head to the The Modern Pantry. For unusual ingredients and imaginative fusion dishes, the Pantry will certainly deliver, with Asian and Aussie flavours to complement plenty of seasonal British fare (wild garlic, purple sprouting broccoli). The signature dish is a sugar-cured prawn omelette with chilli, coriander and spring onion, which matches perfectly with a blackcurrant and liquorice sorbet.
Sunday roast in order? Kopapa just off shoppers’ delight Covent Garden is doing a delectable, New Zealand-inspired brunch deal for Mother’s Day, with mothers even being gifted with homemade chocolates and biscuits after. Just across the road and a hop over the ocean,Dishoom is the swish London take on the traditional old Irani cafes of Bombay: serving up cafe-style food at diplomatic prices, it’s filled with retro whirring ceiling fans, low lighting and walls covered with vintage Indian magazine advertising, it’s coolly jumping from breakfast (nan rolls with chilli jam) to dinner (stir-fries and tandoori grills) and filled in the intervening hours by birianis, pau bhaji (toasted white bread rolls with a spicy vegetable stew as a filling) in addition to all sorts of lassi concoctions, refillable chai, wines by the glass, and even soft drinks imported from Mumbai have all helped to make this a perennial favourite. More day-long dining options can be explored at the Electric Diner on Portobello Road (ideal for post market refuelling or just before popping down for one of London’s most distinctive and oldest cinematic experiences). It’s open from 8am plus an all-day menu from 12pm and they keep it coming until late (you can drop in for dinner until midnight Friday and Saturday or 10pm Sunday). The Diner is all about unfussy combinations, great ingredients, quick, friendly service and classic booth and bar seating. The French-American menu includes a shaved rib of beef sandwich, diner hot dog, double cheeseburger, and honey-fried chicken with chilli and sesame seeds. In other words, delicious and life-affirming fare.
If you’re feeling overfed and under-exerted, the Vitality North London Half-Marathon just happens to fall on the 15th of March, handily. With Olympian Gold Medallist Mo Farah as the Official Race Ambassador and Race Starter, you don’t even actually need to be participating to get over-excited about this one (though first timers are more than welcome), but you could even do someone an extra special turn by signing up to be in with a chance to meet Mo on race day! Thousands of runners will take to the streets for this brand new half marathon around leafy North London, culminating in a celebratory Allianz Park stadium finish before thousands of cheering spectators – as London experiences go, it doesn’t get much more atmospheric than this.
Exertion of a more surreal sort is to be found at the London Super Comic Convention, which will be held at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands. Over 300 tables of publishers and creators will be travelling from all across America and Europe to the capital to exhibit. For example, award-winning writer, editor and illustrator Neal Adams (‘Batman’, ‘Superman’ and ‘X-Men’ among many others) will be in attendance, as will Marvel Comics illustrator John Romita, Jr. Guests are invited to get dolled up and enter the London Super Costume Championship, with the chance of winning the grand prize of a trip for two to Dragon Con in Atlanta. More comic tomfoolery is to be found at the Comedy Warehouse Mother’s Day Special, held in the grandiose O2 and featuring rib-ticklers Carol Thompson, Gappy Ranks, Don Campbell, Slim, Kevin J, Glenda Jaxon, Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor.
So now you’ll have read the full gamut of events and options to spoil someone rotten this March 15th, make sure you don’t forget the best part – a super comfy bed and luxurious stay right in the here at of it all, at the brand new every hotel Piccadilly!