Happy Mothering Day - An English Holiday

Today, Sunday, March 30, is Mothering Sunday in England. This day was originally a religious tradition originating from the 16th Century when people returned to their mother church or dioceses for service during the Lenten period. It was also known as Refreshment Sunday, wherein it was designated as a day of relaxation from the normal rigors of the Lenten season. Children and young people, who were indentured servants at the time, were allowed to return home on this day to visit their families. Many would pick wild flowers along the way to place in the church or give to their mothers. Over time, the religious tradition evolved into Mothering Sunday, a secular tradition that honors mothers with gifts, flowers, and cakes, much like our American holiday in May, Mother’s Day. 

Today, we would like to send a “Happy Mum’s Day” to one of our sweetest English friends…Ilse Ridgway! 

 Here is a lovely picture of Ilse and her husband, Alan. As many of you know, we met Ilse and Alan through the tearoom. One day, Miss Spenser received an e-mail inquiry. The address on the form said: “Horsham, England.” She initially thought it was a joke, for who would travel from England to visit our little “Iowa” country tearoom?? Ilse and Alan were coming to Iowa to visit family and wanted to bring their family down to our tearoom. From there…has followed the loveliest friendship. These wonderful people were so kind to take us in when we visited England last August taking us to some spectacular places…one of them being TEA at the Ritz!! 

We thought we'd put together a special post about if you lived here what we'd do! 

First we'd invite you over to our House... 

Have Erika and Paul over to Surprise You too! 

Light a fire and create a cozy atophomere... 

Layout pretty china... 

Make up a variety of Tea Sandwiches... 

All the while keeping calm as we put the kettle on! *wink* 

Make a batch of Scones... hopefully they'll taste half as good as Alan's! (FYI - Alan makes the best scones ever, they should be on the list of 100 things to eat before you die!) 

Serve yummy cakes... we'll attempt to make a Lemon Cake hopefully it will be as yummy as Ilse's Lemon Drizzle Cake! 

See if we could hire a Parlor Maid to assist.

Pour you a great cup of tea! 

Lastly invite some silly clowns because they always add Fun to a gathering! 

 So, here’s to you Ilse, we hope that you have a WONDERFUL “Mum’s” Day Ilse!! 

Sending Love from Across the Pond!


  1. What a lovely tribute to Mothering Day and your friends in England. How special that you lovely oasis in Iowa brought you all together. Oh, I am in love with that pink teapot.

  2. I love this post, Miss Spenser! The pictures are delightful. You must have met hundreds if not thousands of people at your tea room over the years and I am thrilled that I'm one of them.

  3. What a beautiful post to honor your friend!


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