Wednesday, 1 February 2012

If Carlsberg did Birthdays - Part two

So to follow on from the totes-emosh part 1, here comes…
The Big Birthday Day and Night Out with the Boy
Highlights include
  • Afternoon tea for breakfast at the Charlotte Street Hotel
  • Duck Tour of London
  • Kooky cocktails in Bourne and Hollingsworth
  • Swanky dinner at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s
Kim and I had rolled in to bed at 2.30am, and seeing as Kim is a Yummy Mummy she had to get home to plait Isabelle’s hair for school, so she acted as my alarm clock, waking me up so I could pack the last bits and bobs for my Big Birthday Day and Night Out with the Boy.
Starting the day as I meant to go on!
It was a bit of a struggle, having consumed my fair share of the champagne, cocktails, more champagne and wine the night before, but the promise of a big day out made it less painful! I asked Mr G to vet the Day Outfit (sparkly blue jumper dress and riding boots) to make sure it was suitable for whatever he had planned. It was. The evening attire was less helpful so I packed three dress options and two shoe options, and all of the beautiful jewellery the girls had bought me the day before (which shall remain un-itemised, you know, for safety reasons!).
Afternoon tea for breakfast!
We made our way to the Capital at about 10am, taking a convoluted route to our first destination to keep the suspense going and also due to a navigational fault on Mr G’s part (he does East not West, apparently!). Eventually we jumped off the Tube at Goodge Street and did a bit of a wander before checking in at our hotel for the night… just a stone’s throw from our first destination: The Charlotte Street Hotel where Mr G had booked us in for afternoon tea for breakfast! Yay! You will recall me mentioning that not only is afternoon tea my favourite meal of the day, but also that I was working my way through the Firmdale Hotels group and I was yet to visit the Charlotte Street Hotel.  
Double score for Mr G!
Duck Tours - ooooo ooooo oooooo - Duck Tours
Seeing as not a morsel nor a drop of liquid had passed my lips since 2.30am, the first thing I did was order a winter bellini to ease the hangover that was trying to settle in, closely followed by a pot os Assam and then a gallon of water!
We got stuck in to the giant canapĂ©s (sausage rolls, spicy beetroot and cream cheese on toast) and then in to the sandwiches, then the sweet treats and cakes, but sadly we didn’t have room for the cherry cupcakes, so we had them boxed to take away with us.
After a quick detour to drop off the cupcakes at the hotel, we jumped back on the Tube and Mr G directed us towards Waterloo, where we loitered by the London Eye for a while checking out the view. All the while I was getting more and more nervous that he was taking me on there – I am petrified of heights!
Duck spotting on the streets of London
Eventually we happened across a little sign for Duck Tours (woooo oooo ooooo - anyone else hear the Duck Tales theme tune when i say that?). I squealed with excitement! I’d been wanting to do one of those for years, and in fact had spent most of the previous day telling someone in the office that when their family visits in the spring, they should most definitely do one!
In the middle of the river!
The “Duck” that we were travelling on was called Desdemona and had not only seen military service in the Second World War (info here) but was also featured in the film Saving Private Ryan. Obviously it wasn’t bright yellow then!
The tour takes you around a number of sights and then, next to the MI6 HQ, it drives in to the Thames and takes a little tour from the water! It was so much fun, enhanced by the hilarious commentary from the tour guide Matthew!
After that, we headed back to Charlotte Street, wandered around the shops for a while and then went for more kooky cocktails at the cutest little bar, Bourne and Hollingsworth.
Lychee cocktail in Bourne and Hollingsworth
The cocktails, came in a variety of vessels including jam jars, coupes, tea cups and, for the boys, tin cups! My sister in law Kate came to join in for a while, as she works close by, and between us we sampled a fair few off the cocktail list.
A couple of hours later Mr G was itching for us to get back to the hotel to get ready for our dinner reservations as they apparently wouldn’t hold our table. A quick walk, a speedy shower, a mini fashion show to decide on the dress and shoes (bearing in mind I had no idea where we were going) and we were back on the Tube.

The cute bar at Bourne and Hollingsworth...

and the cute menu - including boy-friendly cocktails in tin cups
And that’s when we walked in to the lobby of Claridge’s to be shown to our table in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant
Seeing as Mr G doesn’t like fish (booo!) we decided to go a la carte, which was probably the best decision seeing as, in addition to the three courses we ordered, we received appetisers, an amuse bouche and a pre-dessert.
So much food!
So delicious!
Also exciting was the wine list displayed on an iPad. We spent rather too long playing with that little contraption and I’m now totes buying one the minute we land in the USA!

As well as the six courses above, the staff also brought me a sweet little Madeleine with a candle on a “Happy Birthday” plate, which was super cute.
After dinner, we decided to finish with a cocktail in the lounge and seeing as how expensive they were, I chose a loooong drink so I could savour it. 

At about 1.30am, shattered, tipsy but happy, we rolled ourselves back to our hotel and snuggled up in our big king-size bed and fell asleep listening to the sounds of the City.
God I love London… and Mr G of course!

Part 3, and a full review of the Duck Tour and Bourne and Hollingsworth coming soon. I’m not sure I’m qualified to review Gordon Ramsay though! J

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