ONE of the North East’s leading galleries has Mother’s Day down to a fine art, with a special treat for mums this month (March).

On 30 March, Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street, which houses works by world-renowned artists such as William Holman Hunt, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and Gauguin, will welcome a new, visiting exhibition; Whistler and Nature.

And, to coincide with the unveiling of around 90 of the 19th century artist’s oil paintings, watercolours, lithographs and etchings, its catering partner, Sodexo, is celebrating Mothering Sunday with Art and Afternoon Tea.

On Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March, visitors to Café Laing, on the ground floor, can enjoy a selection of sandwiches and cakes along with butterscotch and roasted pecan mousse and specially-created Bakewell cake pops with tea, coffee and Bucks Fizz.

They can also be among the first to view the Whistler and Nature exhibition, which examines the artist’s singular attitude to the natural world.

Born in America but spending most of his life in the UK, James Abbott McNeill Whistler became one of the best-known artists of the late-19th century and exhibition highlights include watercolours and small oils he painted on trips to the seaside in southern England, northern France and the Netherlands.

Often painting on the beach, Whistler captured the immensity of the ocean and freshness of weather. Yet he never lost his interest in the Thames, and the exhibition concludes with etchings of the Thames and London from the last years of his life.

Israh Bhatti, sales and events co-ordinator at Sodexo, said: “At the Laing Art Gallery you are surrounded by beauty at every turn and Café Laing is an elegant and tranquil oasis, at the heart of the city – perfect for a little Mother’s Day pampering.”

Tickets for Art and Afternoon Tea cost £21 per person, to include admission to the Whistler and Nature exhibition, with afternoon tea on its own priced at £13 per person.

For more information, or to book, call 0191 2612139, email events@twmuseums.co.uk or visit www.twmuseums.org.uk/laing-art-gallery.

Whistler and Nature will be at the Laing Art Gallery until Sunday 16 June.