Thursday, December 15, 2016
My Birthday (Week!)
My birthday was last weekend and - after feeling utterly spoiled with meals out, massages, business class flights, and a beautiful stay at the Taj West End hotel during our visit to India the week before - I asked John to cancel my birthday lunch reservations and instead, I stayed home watching bad Hallmark movies, wrapping Christmas presents, and buying our Christmas tree together. It was perfect.
But then, my college roommate arrived to London the next day and we spent the afternoon together, browsing the Christmas market in Greenwich before enjoying a homemade Sunday roast (thanks to John!), before she presented me with this beautiful birthday present: a jug from Nom Living's blue and white marble collection, which I love.
It looks lovely when displayed next to the rest of our blue and white collection, but it also has a very practical purpose as a water jug on our dinner table.
More importantly, catching up with Deborah was probably one of the best birthday treats I could have had. As we sat chatting and reminiscing about our college days over a lobster roll at The Delaunay, I thought to myself, 'This is a true friend - someone I'll have in my life forever."
But my bittersweet goodbye was short-lived, as I welcomed my parents into our home once again the weekend after Deborah's visit.
The Sunday after they arrived, I had a belated birthday brunch at Berners Tavern. a beautiful restaurant under the direction of Michelin-starred chef, Jason Atherton (of Pollen Street Social, where I had reluctantly cancelled my birthday lunch reservation), in Fitzrovia.
Aren't the interiors gorgeous? I wore head-to-toe Zara, I've just realized - I loved the frills on the sleeves of this dress when I saw it in the store! A fun twist on an otherwise fairly conservative pattern/shape.
At Berners, I was super greedy and ordered a crab omelette and split the Nutella, banana and hazelnut pancakes with Udita. They were sublime.
After our decadent brunch, we headed toward Liberty to see the Christmas decorations (and my tolerance for crowds was severely tested - ugh!) and I couldn't resist taking a snap of the over-Instagrammed flower shop ...
... before heading home to unwrap my presents from Udita and Rebecca, which they both bought for their "Instagram-worthiness". They know me so well.
I actually shrieked when I opened this beautiful box of Maitre Choux pastries, after pining for them for so long. Not only are they (definitely) Instagram-worthy, but I can confirm that they're also insanely tasty. Each choux is filled with a flavored filling (not just cream!) and - had I eaten them fresh that day (oops), instead of waiting for the "perfect light" to photograph them the next - they probably would have tasted even better.
The "Christmas Cheeky Chestnut" was probably my favorite, but my parents and John loved the "Red Love Eclair", which was certainly the prettiest. The "Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate Treasure" looked like a solid block of gold, and the "Persian Pistachio Eclair" had a delicious pistachio filling. The ultimate luxury treats!
I also fell in love with the tiny, delicate trinket dishes Rebecca gave to me from Anthropologie - one of my favorite US stores for clothes, accessories, and homeware (which, thankfully, made its way over to the UK a few years ago). As I've mentioned in past posts, I tend to leave my rings and earrings everywhere, so I put a little dish in every room (and nearly every surface) to keep me from losing expensive jewelry (seriously - don't ever buy me diamond earrings!). I admired the tiny London-themed dish at Rebecca's flat last time I visited, and I think she took note, because I received my very own Parisian-themed bowl.
Finally, I was treated to these beautiful, luxe travel accessories from John and my parents: a pair of Bang & Olufsen "Play" headphones (the earpieces are lambskin, so they've kept my ears nice and toasty this winter, and they also fold in, which make them perfect for stashing away in my bag when I'm not using them) and a gorgeous Smythson travel wallet, which I've had my eye on for quite a while now.
So ... that's how I ended up celebrating my birthday. I intended to do something low-key, but in the end, my friends and family spoiled me silly. With Christmas just around the corner, there'll be plenty more celebrations to come - I can't wait! (I'll probably have party/presents withdrawal in January ...)