Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A birthday weekend for the Boy

age denial!

This weekend Mr G turned 30. He’s not happy about it. He’s been a grouchy old man ever since his birthday dawned, sand has been trying to deny his new age, so it was good that we had a long weekend of celebrations planned.

Birthday Brunch

Friday morning began with fruitcake, cards, presents and tea in bed, followed by Eggs Benedict, his favourite breakfast, at our regular brunch spot before we jumped on the train to London to begin our big birthday day out.

First we skipped over to Lambeth to drop off our bags at our hotel, the Tune Hotel Westminster. It’s a teeny tiny hotel with teeny tiny rooms, at teeny tiny prices. I paid £60 for the room (I declined the extra £20 for the windows), an extra £1.50 each for a towel and toiletries pack, £3 for a telly and £1 for a hairdryer. The location was convenient for all our destinations (only a 15 minute walk to Borough Market) it was spotlessly clean, the bed was SO comfy and for that price, it perfectly suited our needs! I’ll definitely be using them again, seeing as it’s cheaper than a taxi and so close to the station. What a find!
The teeniest hotel with the teeniest prices!
Anyway, after we dropped off our bags (£2 for each bag, per day) we made our way back to London Bridge to get in the queue for The London Dungeon.
Scary times!

It’s Mr G’s favourite day out from his childhood, and every time we’ve walked past over the last 8 years, he’s whined about wanting to go in but the thought of it always put me off, so I thought on his special day I’d make him happy and take him along.

Well. I hated every second. I’m not one of those girls that likes horror films, ghost stories or being scared for fun, my imagination is far too over-active to be in the dark for that long and I’m way too girly to appreciate blood, guts and gore. Not only are there a lot of unnecessary gruesome details (was London really that hideous and scary?) but after being made to jump out of my skin within three minutes of entering the building I spent the next two hours in such a heightened state of anticipation, just waiting for things to jump out at me, I needed a stiff drink when we left.
Sunshine and showers at Borough Market

So we headed to Borough Market, one of my favourite places in London, for a glass of speciality cider, an ostrich burger, a glass of prosecco and a giant macaroon… just a quick snack!
Girl cider vs Boy cider!

After that we wandered back to Waterloo via a little Cuban bar called Cubana (shock!), a quick mojito stop and we were back at the hotel getting ready for dinner.
Back-to-basics mojitos

A short while and a quick tube ride later we were at the Mandarin Oriental taking our table for dinner at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Seeing as Mr G was so generous with his surprise day/night out for my birthday, I thought that it was only fair to repay the favour with something pretty special. And it was pretty special. I wrote about it here!
so yum!
After dinner/Dinner, we had some drinks in the Mandarin Bar and then moved downstairs to Bar Boulud for one of their famous white cosmopolitans. I was offered one on a corporate show round back in September and unfortunately had to decline, so I had been coveting one for such a long time, that to be so close it would have been rude not to pop in.

White Cosmopolitan

After that we made our way slowly back to our hotel, once again via a bar in Waterloo. This time the Waterloo Bar and Grill for a lychee martini. The last time I was here was back in February after the Vintage Patisserie party and we got so, accidentally, drunk we were ordering mocktails thinking they were alcoholic. I think it’s something out this bar, as somehow (nothing to do with the day full of alcoholic beverages) I ended slightly tipsy again...
Obsessed with the lights in the Waterloo Bar and Grill

So we made our wobbly way back to the hotel, via a vending machine for bottles of water to stave off the hangovers, and slept like babies in the deceptively large, but mega comfy bed.

Hangover breakfast
We were up and out by 10am (check out time) and made our way over to Southwark to The Table Café for a big hangover fry up. And my word, was it big! It helped get me back on track, so I found the energy to head back to Borough Market so we could buy some bits and bobs to take back with us or as gifts, and then we made our weary way back home.

Birthday Throne!

A spot of sofa surfing, a few buckets of tea and a slice or two of fruitcake (Mr G’s fave) and we were ready for the next round of celebrations. A big family dinner at a local “bistro-pub complete with balloons, candles and singing – much to Mr G’s un-amusement! Apparently he didn’t want any attention. Hmm.
Too much attention!

Sunday morning saw us up bright and early in the sunshine and heading back to London to watch our friend run the London marathon. Well. What a day. I couldn’t relax until we’d finally spotted him (at the 22 mile mark), so how people coped before tracker chips and iPhone apps god only knows!
Best street in London!
We met up with everyone else at the finish line for some congratulatory cheers and hugs, before dashing back to the tube as the heavens opened.

He did it!

We completed the day with our standard order from our local Thai and some Sunday night telly (Homeland! Is he? Isn't he? arrrrgh) before hitting the sack for a well earned sleep.
You’d think it’d all end there, but no, this is me you’re talking about. She of the month-long birthday celebration. So of course Mr G still had more to go. Monday morning saw me back and work and Mr G back on the house-moving treadmill, but Monday evening saw us in our local steakhouse having a second family dinner (this time with my parents and baby bro) to celebrate the big three-oh. For a Monday night there was quite a lot of wine, bubbly and cocktails, but, you only turn 30 once I suppose!
Guess what I got Mr G for his BIG birthday? A BIG BBQ!
Happy birthday Mr G! I hope you rest up in time to round off all the celebrations off with a big night out with all your buddies next weekend.
And then we will put our feet up and grow old...

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