Mother’s Day lunching, gift ideas and more

Published on 27 April 2021

Photo: Mother's Day lunch at Chancery Lane (credit: Alex Squadrito)

May 9 is upon us: whether you plan on giving Mum a day of luxury or keeping things more low-key, we’ve got you covered this Mother’s Day.

Whether it’s Mum's first or 50th year in the role, the second Sunday in May is always something to look forward to. Maybe you feel like treating her to breakfast-in-bed and flowers, or perhaps Champagne and oysters are more her speed. Would she be interested in learning a new skill or simply just want to be pampered within an inch of her life? In an attempt to curb the panic that can strike when it’s time to find the perfect way to say “you’re the very best and we love you”, we’ve pulled together a list of the best Victorian dining, drinks and gifts to make sure Mum knows how important she is this Mother’s Day.

Food on the day

Book a table for breakfast at Cumulus Inc
Warm crumpets with Honey Fingers honey and whipped butter are as good a reason as any to get out of bed. Lucky for us (and you) Cumulus Inc is bringing back the all-day-dining options we’ve been missing, offering you and mum breakfast service from 8am on the day.
Cumulus inc, G/45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne, cumulusinc.com.au

Send Mum a high tea set with a twist from Nobu
Treat Mum to the deluxe experience of Nobu delivered straight to her doorstep. High tea for two means you’ll be fighting over who gets to enjoy the matcha scones with yuzu marmalade and nori butter with her. Top it off with an optional bottle of Moët Brut Rosé to pair with her lobster rolls. No need to rush, but orders need to be in by Friday May 7, with deliveries on Sunday May 9.
Nobu’s high tea hamper, $165, with delivery up to a 20km radius from Crown Melbourne, shop.crownmelbourne.com.au

Enjoy Pinchy’s eight-course tasting menu
Pastel pink palace Pinchy’s is giving you the opportunity to enjoy the bounty of the sea in the heart of Melbourne. At $85 a head, you can expect king crab tacos, spicy tuna tartare and the signature Pinchy’s lobster roll. With a plant-based menu also on offer, options like smoky ratatouille, leek croquettes and spiced tofu tacos are on the cards for no-meat mums. Book a table for Saturday or Sunday service and enjoy post-lunch cocktails on the rooftop bar.
Pinchy’s Mother’s Day degustation, $85 per person, pinchys.co 

Head bayside for a seafood platter at Stokehouse
Booking a table in the Stokehouse dining room so Mum can savour a glass of Bollinger sounds like a good plan of attack. With views across the bay and a seasonal menu to match, this is laid-back luxury of the best kind. Tickets to Mother’s Day lunch include a Stokehouse seafood platter, a choice of main course, and dessert, and Mum gets sent on her way with a take-home bon-bon crafted by Stokehouse’s head of pastry, Ash Smith. Spots are available both Saturday and Sunday.
Stokehouse Mothers Day lunch, $165 per person, stokehouse.com.au

Feast on grilled oysters and Champagne at Firebird
Treat Mum and yourself to a Mother’s Day lunch that's been kissed by flames. Combining French and Vietnamese influence, a selection of hot and cold Firebird classics is up for the grazing. Think seafood tartare, poached prawns, grilled bugs and fish in banana leaves all served alongside bottomless truffle fries. Mum will be given the option of French bubbles or a French Martini upon arrival, finishing the afternoon off with white-chocolate petits fours and a take-home gift of Digby Tribe Dewy Skin Food, worth $55.
Firebird Mother’s Day lunch, $120 per person, firebird.com.au 

Revel in an eight-course Argentinian feast in regional Victoria at The Independent
Take Mum on a drive out to Gembrook to experience all the fun of Argentinian cuisine at the Independent. Chef Mauro Callegari is pulling out all the stops with an eight-course feast featuring cured scallops with green chilli and spiced salt, braised beef cheeks with feta and, of course, empanadas. Tickets include a cocktail on arrival, and bookings are available for lunch or dinner.
The Independent Mother’s Day menu, $89 per person, theindependentgembrook.com.au

Sit down for a European bistro lunch at Chancery Lane
Scott Pickett and chef Rob Kabboord have created a decadent long-lunch menu full of French bistro classics this Mother’s Day. Starting things off with seafood hors d’oeuvres, Mum will be given the option of three main courses - winter gnocchi Parisienne, confit salmon, or bavette steak - all served with sides to share. Capping the meal off with quince tarte Tatin served à la mode, Mum will also receive a surprise gift to take home.
Chancery Lane Mother’s Day lunch, $130 per person, chancerylane.com.au

Hit Maha for a salt-baked lamb leg and rice pilaf for lunch
Shane Delia has big things planned for Mother’s Day lunch at his flagship, Maha. Sit down with Mum and enjoy clam and kishik soup with house-smoked fish and white beans, poached chicken with spiced brik pastry and much more. Topping it all off with a cardamom brûlée with sesame tuile and bitter-chocolate sorbet.
Maha Mother’s Day lunch, $110 per person, maharestaurant.com.au 

Feast on a Thai banquet at Longrain
Start Mum’s lunch off right at Longrain with a glass of sparkling followed by an all-star lineup of classic Thai dishes; crisp rice and pork salad, barbecued prawns, a northern-style curry made with wagyu beef, and papaya salad. For the grand finale, Mum scores a plate of sticky tamarind coffee pudding with ginger-flower ice-cream and tamarind butterscotch.
Longrain Mother’s Day Thai banquet, $99 per person, longrain.com.au

Wine and cocktails

Load up on cocktails and glassware for two from the Everleigh
Post-lockdown Melbourne now enjoys a superabundance of premade cocktail options, and rightfully so, but the originals will always be the Everleigh Bottling Co. Whether she’s team Negroni or Old-Fashioned, Manhattan or Martini, the Two of a Kind pack means Mum gets a couple of cocktails with matching glassware to add to her collection.
The Everleigh Bottling Co. Two of a Kind pack, $61, available at everleighbottling.com

Deliver Mum a Juice Box pack from Diggin’ in the Cellars
Since 2010, Prahran locals Diggin’ in the Cellars have showcased great growers and vignerons from around the world. Browse their rotating custom packs and snag one for Mum; our pick is the “all bubbles no troubles’’ which features King Valley producers Terrason crémant, Loire Valley muscadet and a sparkling wine from the Savoie.
Diggin’ in the Cellars Juice Box packs available at ditc.wine/collections/juice-boxes 

Gifts

Say it with for-purpose flowers from The Beautiful Bunch
Jane Marx’s Beautiful Bunch is a floral delivery service which creates jobs for women from refugee backgrounds, and this Mother’s Day they’ve put together a particularly lovely hamper for the Mums of Melbourne. In addition to a splendid bouquet, it features coffee, wine, cookie dough, a linen tea towel and the newspaper from Market Lane, Public Wine Shop, All Are Welcome bakery, and The Saturday Paper.
The Beautiful Bunch Mother's Day Hamper, $130 with free delivery to 50 suburbs, from The Beautiful Bunch.

Grab a cookbook from one of her favourite Melbourne food writers
Cookbooks as a gift never get old. The cover of the new edition of Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s Ostro, picturing the Melbourne author and educator harvesting fruit from a heaving tree with her son in what looks to be a Brunswick laneway, could well be peak inner-northern-Melbourne motherhood circa 2021. Or maybe your Mum is more into the world of pickling and salumi, in which case a copy of Preserving the Italian Way, the modern classic by Melbourne doctor Pietro Demaio, could be the go-to.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s Ostro ($39.95, Pan Macmillan) and Pietro Demaio’s Preserving the Italian Way ($39.95, Pan Macmillan), available wherever good books are sold.

Give Mum the lingering scent of cannoli 
Have you ever found yourself thinking "hey, my house doesn't smell nearly enough like a Sicilian bakery" but had no idea how to rectify the issue? Well, Cannoleria have done the hard work for you and created the first ever cannoli-scented candle just in time for Mother’s Day. Give the gift of fried pastry and ricotta that lasts longer than the three bites it takes to finish a cannolo. Available online from April 28th.
Cannoleria cannoli-scented soy candle, $16, cannoleriabythatsamore.square.site

Learn to cook Colombian, Iraqi or Lebanese dishes with a class at Free to Feed
What gift is better than the gift of education? The gift of education followed by food. Book Mum into one of Free to Feed’s incredible roster of classes and reap the benefits for years to come. They’re taught by an incredible selection of cooks; browse the selection and book now - places fill up quickly.
Free to Feed, 539 High St, Northcote, freetofeed.org.au 

Order a Mother’s Day gift box from One Hour Out
One Hour Out is your gateway to what’s happening in regional Victoria and for Mother’s Day they’ve created a collection of goodies from their best producers and makers. Featuring all the classics; scented candles, artisanal soaps and herbal tea to help Mum unwind and relax on Sunday. Limited numbers are available; pre-order now for delivery before May 9.
onehourout.com.au

Give the gift of baked brie from Harper & Blohm
A luxe cheese board selection made by one of Melbourne’s best cheesemongers delivered straight to Mum’s front door? Genius. With a choice of sweet and savoury gift boxes, each Harper & Blohm pack contains everything Mum needs to create the perfect spread. Boxes include a selection of cheeses, dried fruit, assorted condiments, fine crispbreads and a few extra treats depending on your choice. Gift packs start at $165 with the option to really push things over the top with a bottle of André Clouet Champagne.
Harper & Blohm Mother’s Day boxes, harperandblohm.com.au

Pick up a cake, cruller or choux pastry box by Holy Sugar
Born from lockdown, Holy Sugar, Audrey Allard’s pastry box business, caused a sensation in Melbourne last year and has found a cult following since. While you can experience the joy of Allard’s creations each week, this Mother’s Day she’s offering an extended menu for mums across Melbourne. Along with her classics pastry box, which includes wagon wheels, french crullers and choc-hazelnut chouxs, you can also order a whole cake for mum to share with you and the family. Starting at $45 - a true steal - pickups will be available from Worksmith between 3pm and 5pm on Saturday May 8th.
See the full menu and order via Holy Sugar’s Instagram.

Master the art of cavatelli with a Julia Busuttil Nishimura cooking class.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura might well win Mother’s Day this year. You could buy one of her books or you could go for gold and leave Mum in her very capable hands as she leads you through the menu for her perfect Sunday lunch. Mum can roll up the sleeves and make fresh cavatelli, pinch pastry and fry off sweet sausage as she cooks four courses along with Busuttil Nishimura online. Each class kit contains ingredients, along with a fluted tart tin and wooden gnocchi board for Mum to keep. Class will be held live on the Providoor Instagram account Sunday May 23rd, with Mum’s kit being delivered the day before.
Home Style Italian Cooking Class with Julia Busuttil Nishimura x Providoor, $130, orders closing Thursday May 20, providoor.com.au 

Give those gifts that really do keep on giving
Mum may be all gifted out, so give her the warm, fuzzy feeling that can only be found from the altruism of giving back. Donations are always needed in the food-access space; The Community Grocer is a great place to start - placing dignity at the heart of everything they do to fight food insecurity. There’s plenty of other important organisations and initiatives that will welcome Mum’s help, too, Fareshare, OzHarvest and The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre among them.
The Community Grocer, OzHarvest, Fareshare, ASRC.

By Claire Adey

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