Would you like a useful tip, or a “life hack”? If you’d like to forever remember Mother’s Day simply forget it once. That’ll do the trick.

I have not a dot of ink on my fake-baked Scottish skin, but there have been times I’ve been tempted to have a permanent reminder of this most important of celebrations. However I’m not sure “Fourth Sunday of Lent” would look particularly fetching on my forehead.

One great miss for most people doing Mothering Sunday will be the lack of an afternoon tea. What is afternoon tea worth to the economy during normal times? It probably generates enough in tax and VAT to build several new hospitals, or something useful like that.

Personally, I’m not fussed for afternoon tea. Done get me wrong, I love a cucumber sandwich, a scone and a cake, as much as the next person but not all at once. I suppose with the rise of Prosecco afternoon tea there’s at least a bit of booze thrown in, but if getting legless at 3 o’clock was my modus operandi, I’d sooner be in a pub with a large G&T and a pie. Just the two words summon thoughts of boringly tame Hen Weekends that also involve spa days. Have you noticed men don’t do afternoon tea? For them it’s funeral wake food.

There are plenty of things I respect about my mum and the fact she’d sooner have a litre of vodka as a pressie is one of them. However I shall also be making one of her favourite sweet treats, some Empire Biscuits.

Also known as Double Biscuits, these beauties are made by sandwiching two Abernethy biscuits with raspberry jam and topping with icing sugar and a cherry. Invented by Dr John Abernethy in the 18th century, the biscuits were originally a health food to aid digestion. As alcohol’s original purpose was probably medicinal, should mother enjoy a Blue Lagoon Cocktail and Double Biscuit on Mothering Sunday, she might be partaking in a spa day of sorts after all.

Abernethy Biscuits

220g soft salted butter

320g plain flour

125 g white caster sugar

I medium beaten egg

225g icing sugar

Raspberry Jam


Preheat your oven to 180oC/ gas mark 4. Line two baking trays with non-stick parchment. Beat together the butter and sugar and add the egg. Mix in the flour to create a soft dough. Roll out on a floured surface to about ½ inch thick and cut into 4-5 inch rounds. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just golden. Leave to cool on the baking sheet. Once cooled sandwich together with jam and make your icing by gradually adding water to the icing sugar until a spreadable consistency has been reached. Top each with icing and a cherry. If you’d like to go retro, use a Jelly Tot.