I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for the lovely birthday messages you all sent my way on Friday. I had an absolutely lovely day spent at home in Kent and out and about with my family, but it was also lovely to see something that really made me smile every time I checked my iPhone throughout the day. As I get quite a few requests for posts that give a bit more of an insight into my daily life, I thought today I'd just post a few snapshots from Friday and what I got up to, just as I did last year when I was in Los Angeles.
After a bit of a champagne breakfast with miniature champagne bottles while I opened my presents and cards, I got dressed off to go visit one of my pretty little local towns that I've been visiting since childhood; Sandwich. Mummy has a standing hair appointment every week, so while she was getting her blow dry I vanished off to a dress fitting for this Summer (I'll be talking a bit more about that later, but some things you can look forward to my blogging about is what it is like to bathe in the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, black tie dinners in some beautiful Diane von Furstenberg vintage Paul Costello gowns, and a foodie trip to a remote Icelandic fishing village) and to pick up a spot of lunch. And to look at all the beautiful Spring flowers in the shops.
Oh, by the way while I was running around town I was wearing my trusty pair of Levi's (I love their Curve id jeans, these are my second pair and a perfect fit), my favourite purple J.Crew cashmere jumper (similar here), Clinique's 'Berry Blast' Long Last Lipstick and I was carrying my brand new navy blue Aspinal's tote bag.
Jewellery wise, this beautiful pearl necklace was my 21st birthday present from my parents. The pearl is so pretty, I can't stop looking at it! You'll recognise my Citizen watch that was my 18th birthday present from my grandparents (I can't believe that was three years ago, it feels like yesterday!) because I wear it with practically every outfit. My Links bracelet was a gift from the Links team when I visited their store on Sloane Square the weekend before. It is actually engraved at the back with my initials (they are offering free engraving for Mothers Day, today is the last day of the offer) and it is one of their new 'skinny' friendship bracelets (you can find them here). I've always been a big fan of the friendship bracelet style, but I think the new ones are sweeter and much more elegant. I've been wearing it with most outfits recently.
In Sandwich you can find one of my favourite food shops in England, the little 'No Name Shop' French deli and cafe on No Name Street. They also have a little restaurant upstairs, but I have not had the change to eat there yet. For years I've loved their selection of French olives, pates, breads and pastries so for lunch for my Mummy and I to share I picked up one of their great baguettes, a mushroom quiche and a Quiche Provençale.
After spending the afternoon brainstorming some of my up and coming recipes for the Borough Market Blog and watching the new episode of Scandal (if you birthday is not an excuse for day watching your favourite show, what is? And anyway, that episode was too heart wrenching for words) we all got dressed up to head out the front door and out to dinner. My gold charm bracelet and most of its charms are again various presents from my family over the years, my dress is from J.Crew (similar here) and my cardigan from L.K.Bennett (similar here).
For dinner we went to the Marquis at Alkham. We've eaten there a couple of times for special occasions and had a fantastic time, but I must say that I don't recommend it anymore, as they have had a change of management and the service is now below par for what you're paying. Luckily though, the food was still pretty fantastic. To start I had scallops, perfectly tender with parsnip puree, pears and microgreens. To follow, I had saddle of rabbit wrapped in air dried parma ham with kale, vegetables and a delicious rabbit faggot.
To finish up I had a perfectly executed and caramelised pear soufflé (if you ever wanted to know how to make one, it is not as hard as it looks!) served with delicious Maldon Sea Salt and caramel ice cream which balanced each other out perfectly. It was lovely to just spend my birthday at home with my family, and have a nice relaxing day with minimal work before the crazy next few months really kicks off for me. I have my last ever university class later on today and I'm off to hand in one of my class portfolios in afterwards. Then, I just have three final essays to finish and my dissertation before I finally join the land of the grown ups! Thank you again everyone for all your kind birthday wishes and for helping me to have such a lovely day!