The Utterly Inessential Mother’s Day list: From flowers and pillows to baths and scarves

From The Royal Osteoporosis Society's extraordinary auction to wonders from Aspinal and flowers in a tube (really), we take a look at some of the loveliest ways to give your mother a treat for Mother's Day on March 14, as picked out by Toby Keel and Hetty Lintell.

The Utterly Inessential Shopping List’s stated aim of celebrating those things which you don’t need, but really would rather like, hits a snag each Mother’s Day. For while none of the things listed below is anything that we couldn’t live without, celebrating your mother is anything but inessential. So hands in your pockets and do the right thing.

And remember: if nothing quite feels right, a bottle of gin is always a failsafe option. If you’d rather go straight there then our round-up of the best gins for Mother’s Day is the place to look.


A gardening apron that’s a cut above, from Aspinal

We can’t help but think that that vast majority of Aspinal’s customers probably have a gardener, but for those who are both well-heeled and green-fingered this is a beautiful and practical gardening apron.

You can even get your mother’s name embroidered onto it: use the code ‘MOTHER21’ you can also get it personalised at no extra charge.

£195 from aspinal.com


Ariat Wexford boots

These classic Chelsea boots are available in a range of colours — just a great mix of practical and beautiful.

£160 from ariat.com


Madison Protec cycling jacket

There’s a real touch of 80s chic about these waterproof cycling jackets  — they’re the spitting image of those Nike jackets that everyone wore for years around the time the Berlin Wall was coming down. Ideal for the active mum who’s gone cycling-mad since this time last year.

£59.99 from freewheel.co.uk


Brook + Wilde Marlowe pillow

Pure decadence, this pillow filled with Hungarian goose down isn’t so much a thing to lay your head down on — it’s more like melting softly into a giant marshmallow. The down is ethically-sourced, the covering is Egyptian cotton, and the effect is really rather wonderful.

£229 from brookandwilde.com


A scarf in Harris Tweed or a Liberty print

With some presents you’re always taking a bit of a gamble, whereas others feel like they couldn’t possibly backfire. These lovely scarves fit right into the second category.

£54.95 from House of Bruar


Petra Palumbo’s designs with her mother

It seems apt for Mother’s Day to suggest a mother-daughter collaboration — and that’s what we have with these lovely cushions designed by Petra Palumbo with her mother, Hayat Palumbo, who specialises in hand-painted needlework.

Petra Palumbo has all sorts of other lovely suggestions as well, including some beautiful carafes.

Petra Palumbo x Tapisserie Needlepoint Kits, £128; carafes from around £72 from petrapalumbo.com


You’re going to need to send a card

Buying cards has been particularly tricky, with only the limited racks in the supermarket to choose from in the latest lockdown. But there are plenty of places doing things online instead, albeit at a price — from the cute to the funny to the divisive. Prime candidate is the one above, which your mother will probably find either wildly insulting, hilariously funny, or a bit of both.

£3.29 (plus 81p delivery) from thortful.com


Say it with (a tube of) flowers

The British florist sell gorgeous tulips by post, which arrive in funky cardboard tubes. Simple and just perfect — and for extra credit you can even get a weekly, fortnightly or monthly subscription.

From £20 at www.smithandmunson.com


The McQueens x St Germain Pétillante Set

If you can’t decide between bubbly, flowers or a bottle of something stronger, why bother choosing? This set comes with a hand-tied bouquet, a bottle of St Germain elderflower liqueur, a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne as well as some Perrier and Art Deco glass both for the drinks and the flowers.

£185 from mcqueens.co.uk


A bath she’ll never want to get out of

Relaxing in the bath is surely the Mother’s Day Starter for 10. So let mum relax in style.

From £345 at vandabaths.com


A beautiful botanical bundle

Have we gone past ‘peak succulent’, as the millennials describe these things? Maybe, maybe not, but if your mother is yet to hit the point of cactus saturation (cacturation, perhaps?) then these look lovely.

£65 from thelittlebotanical.com