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According to Hallmark, 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day.  Beaten only by Valentine’s Day in popularity of eating out occasions, Mother’s Day is a whole family occasion.  This past weekend would have been one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants in the UK.  However, just because demand for restaurant tables is sky high, doesn’t mean that businesses can sit back and take their foot off the gas.  If anything this is the prime time to market your restaurant, engage with customers and ensure they keep coming back for more.

Here are a few deals I thought were spot on this weekend, and bound to get not only mothers but families returning:

  •  Mothers eat free – Pan Asian restaurant Gilgamesh in Camden made the most of this kind of deal with a three course special that one mother per party could eat free!
  •  Free bottle of wine for mothers – Café Rouge had a special set menu offering a free bottle of wine for Mum
  •  Mother’s day competition – Italian restaurant Carluccios ran a great Mother’s Day competition on Facebook to draw in their clientèle
  •  Free meal for mum on return – This isn’t a deal I have seen much of but I think is a great idea. Mother’s receive a voucher to eat for free on their next visit, not wanting to dine alone, it’s guaranteed to ensure return business when they bring fellow paying diners to return (as long as you provide an enjoyable experience in the first instance!)
  •  Free dessert for Mother – occasion that’s all about treating Mum, giving away a free dessert fits in perfectly with the theme and is low cost for the restaurant

With my wife having just had a new born and our mothers being over in the UK to visit, this weekend was all about Mother’s Day. Personally I stayed at home and cooked up a special gluten free, Italian Mother’s Day dessert below, enjoy!

Polenta and Plum cake1

Polenta and Plum Syrup Cake

Serves: 8
Cooking time: 1 hour

  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 250ml Greek yogurt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Juice and zest of 2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 125g Merchant Gourmet Polenta
  • 55g ground almonds
  • 80ml milk
  • Blanched halved almonds
  • 200g soft dried plums/prunes, stones removed and halved
  • 100g granulated sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) mark 4
  2. Grease and line an 8½ inch cake tin with baking paper
  3. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk with electric beaters. Beat in the yogurt, egg yolks, orange zest (reserve juice for syrup) and cinnamon to make a batter
  4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and mix together in a bowl with the Merchant Gourmet Polenta and ground almonds. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix to combine. Add the milk
  5. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold into the batter. Pour into the lined cake tin. Decorate the top with the blanched almonds and halves of dried plums/prunes
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin
  7. To make the syrup, put the sugar, orange juice and 250ml water in a small pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring up to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes
  8. Pour the hot syrup over the cake and leave to cool