Birthday & holiday month (Part 1) is sadly over, however it was everything I could have wished for and more so I’m not feeling too sorry for myself, with only smiles and happy memories to show for it.

Life:

Feeling slightly broken after Lisbon I spent the first weekend of June at home-home receiving some much needed parental TLC.

For all the other city dwellers out there, never underestimate the healing powers of the countryside and a little fresh air!

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And of course delicious home-cooked comfort food. (Though admittedly it does help when your step-dad is top chef.)

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Feeling reborn I returned to London and started the week on an indulgent high with a work dinner in the private dining Coral Reef Room of Sexy Fish.

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But unfortunately I can’t say that I was overly impressed; I found the room a little dingy and the aquarium glass was in serious need of a good clean.

Though the staff were lovely and incredibly attentive, the quality of the food fell well below its asking price, with our tasting menu kicking off with a ‘crab salad’ that consisted of… SURIMI. Some of the dishes that followed were better (whilst some were not), with the highlights being the crispy duck & watermelon salad, which was actually superb, and the miso glazed Chilean seabass.

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However, I will always give credit where it’s due, and must say that the piece de resistance of our menu was the four chocolate (no wonder!) and praline fondant pud, which was absolutely FAULTLESS. I’m honestly tempted to say best ever.

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I enjoyed some pre-birthday drinks at Aqua Spirit, but can’t say I’m sure what all the fuss is about; a small balcony terrace rammed full of people with nowhere to sit, overpriced drinks and distinctly average views. (I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be returning.)

Which was followed by dinner at Gaucho.

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In my eyes, you can’t really go wrong with a steak dinner, but Goodman is still my London favourite by a long way.

Oh, AND THEN I TURNED 24.

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^ Definite roommate kudos points!

Although it was a weekday mum was cute enough to come into London to toast to her baby turning another year older with a cheeky glass of champers… or more, in The Royal Exchange, whilst I opened some very thoughtful gifts from the best mama in the world.

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And of course I bought the office the BEST BIRTHDAY CAKE EVER.

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^ Is anyone else as excited as me about Colin having bagged himself a girlfriend?!

That evening I had dinner with some of my girls at Duck & Waffle, preceded by drinks on the outdoor terrace of Sushisamba.

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^ How can anyone not love London?

The weekend following my birthday was one that I’ll never forget, with the parentals, my friend Lu & I all going to see the family favourite, Coldplay, at Wembley stadium.

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The atmosphere was incredible and Coldplay live better than I could ever have imagined.

Of course the bar staff letting Lu and I order whatever we wanted because it was my birthday*ish* (shhh) didn’t put a dampener on things, and memories of the packed tube carriage continuing our own fabulous Coldplay concert all the way back into central London and my attempt at Sprite champagne showers will stay with me forever!

Food:

My main food events of the month were all in honour of my birthday (lucky me), so it’s fair to say that I was well fed!

Duck & Waffle with Gracey, Josie and Sophie on the day itself was the most amazing evening and perfect way to celebrate.

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^ I kid you not when I say we spent £40 on bacon wrapped dates, ha! #noregrets

Friday night was spent in equally good company, with some of my other main babes including Zoe, Abi and Alice, crashing a work event at Bounce to fill up on some free bubbles and pre-dinner snacks, effectively taking over two ping pong tables as we played our own version of the game *balls flying everywhere*, taking our cue to leave when one of my colleagues got hit in the back of the head.

All that exercise earned us a well-deserved yummy second b’day meal at Pizza East.

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Though much like my point above on steak, pizza is very rarely bad, but can (and should) be excellent, which Pizza East’s was not – if you’re looking for great pizza in London then I will always point you in the direction of my fave, Homeslice, first, followed by Pizza Pilgrims and Franco Manca.

Naturally my birthday weekend had to feature a meal at Roka, with this year’s visit making the 4th in the family tradition.

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Regular readers will be pleased to hear that I won’t be writing another review; I think my numerous others might just be enough for you to feast your eyes on!

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Needless to say that the meal was faultless and fuelled us girls well for our night of singing & dancing ahead at the Coldplay concert.

The weekend finished with Dan, Tom & I heading to Taste of London.

I absolutely LOVE this event and think that the summer and winter versions are equally epic.

If you love your chefs or top restaurants; indulgent or creative foods; supporting local producers, SME’s or chomping on free samples; endless bubbles and quirky cocktails; or generally being surrounded by positive vibes, then I couldn’t recommend this bi-annual event more highly.

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^ This octopus dish from Sea Containers was unreeeeeal.

I’m genuinely a bit gutted that I’ll be missing this year’s winter version as I’ll be living in Hong Kong, but then again I’m sure I’ll find a way to make up for it… DIM SUM HERE I COMEEEE!

I had an amazing b’day week and was lucky to share it with many of my favourite people, and absolutely spoilt rotten so thank you all for your lovely gifts x

Travel:

One word: IBIZA.

I spent a week in paradise with a group of complete and utter loveable nutters.

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Our villa was stunning, the weather perfect and the nights out unforgettable.

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It was also the first time that I’ve been on holiday with both my step-sisters since I was about 12 years old, and this time with *no parents*, which was super lovely.

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It was an epic holiday and an amazing way to end June and my birthday month, though I’d be lying if I didn’t say my body is still paying the price!

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Although we’re already making steady progress through July, it’s holiday month (Part 2) and looking to be busier and (hopefully) better than ever – I hope yours is too!