August was a crazy busy month as I needed to cram in seeing as many people as possible before running off to Hong Kong for 6 months at the start of September.
Having just returned from Spain, I had a quick two days back at work before rushing home to celebrate my mum’s birthday. My step-dad’s birthday is 2 weeks after hers and since I’d bought them matching gifts, I thought it only fair that I give them their new fluffy dressing gowns at the same time so a photoshoot could ensue.
The next day it was back to London for an afternoon Velocity class at Core Collective with Hannah (which comes highly recommended, FYI), followed by an evening commemorating our recent holiday to Port Andratx with plentiful mimosas and bubbly. It was a beaut, warm summer’s evening so we roasted a baby chick and rustled up a Deliciously Ella kale, avocado and pomegranate salad to have on the side (because we are so #fitspo), which was freaking delicious.
#Fitspo life went down the toilet however when we followed up dinner with a night out on the town in Notting Hill, where we spent most of the evening in Beach Blanket Babylon and had a top night out.
The following week I had dinner at Zoe’s tucking into a lovingly homemade Madeleine Shaw recipe of pan-fried sea bass & chorizo with spicy butter bean stew.
^ Which was diviiiiine.
I had goodbye drinks with a friend at The Landmark hotel in Marylebone, a hotel filled with special memories for me.
The Friday saw our team take the day off work for (another) celebratory deal-closing BBQ at my boss’ house in Dorset. The views from his house are utterly spectacular and it was such a treat to enjoy the sunset on the English coast.
Since I’m always keen to find any excuse for a party, I had a leaving party at home in advance of my ‘big move’. Of course, it being just my luck the weather the weekend before and after my party was absolutely glorious, whilst the day of my party was windy & chilly, so we were forced to move the soiree indoors. A shame as the Woodstock theme would have been much better suited to a garden party, but naturally my fabulous mother had prepared for all eventualities and the epic hog roast devoured in a newly-cleaned out room of our house complete with picnic benches and colourful hanging lanterns went down an absolute treat (you the best mumma!).
I celebrated the bank holiday weekend by attending SW4 with friends on the Saturday, which had a fab line-up featuring Rudimental, Andy C and Dizzee Rascal, as well as a number of fairground rides and my first & last ever cans of G&T (I have no idea how people drink these out of choice…).
Seeing as drinking started at midday I’m not ashamed to say that I was tucked up in bed by 1am, which meant I was also able to make the most of my Sunday (for once) and enjoy an amazing “bank holiday BBQ bash” at Anne & Will’s flat in Kentish Town, complete with unbelievable skyline views of London, homemade burgers, buns and dips! Very impressive indeed.
The evening took shape with further drinks in the local pub, followed by a last-minute rogue decision to join a house party in east London, which turned out to be a lot of fun but sadly wrote off my early Monday morning gym plans (forgive me Barry). C’est la vie, once I’d stopped feeling sorry for myself I got to boxing up my room and life in what has been my home for the last 6 months, finishing just in the nick of time for the arrival of the white van removal man.
With only Tuesday of the last week of August in the office, I said my goodbye’s, tidied up my desk and went on my merry way. After a couple of drinks with friends I headed to Hyde Park (my favourite park in London) to celebrate both Michael’s birthday and say goodbye, where we enjoyed a sushi picnic in the setting sun (my God does it get cold when the sun disappears!), complete with actual wine glasses to mark the sense of occasion(s).
I spent my last night in England at home home with the parentals, who had of course pulled out all the stops and laid “the proper table” for my final meal, with my order of lamb chops and sweet potato fries hitting each & every spot possible.
It was a particularly memorable evening since my parents are currently in the process of moving house, and by the time I return to England the likelihood is that they will have moved which means I will never again return to my childhood home…
A drop or two of wine too many resulted in my step-dad and I rewinding time 10 years and having one of our famous impromptu water fights, which was absolutely hilarious with mum taking up her usual role of chasing after us shouting at us to stop (and being totally ignored) and mopping up the mess along the way. Unfortunately for him I’ve gotten a little smarter over the last decade and so his punishment for locking himself in the bathroom was the later surprise of a slightly sodden bed… which I was unfortunately then forced to sleep in!
Being greeted by this sight at breakfast the following morning reminded me of why I love my midget family so much:
I didn’t wine & dine out as much as usual this month (thank God), but the restaurants that I did visit served up some of my favourite meals out this year.
I went to Dinings for the first time ever (which is slightly shameful given how much I love high-end Japanese cuisine), which took me right back to Sushi Nakazawa in NYC. Both immense experiences were extremely similar, with a very intimate vibe and me being fortunate enough to sit at the 6-person sushi counter and observe the chef’s incredible knife skills, with orders shaped and plated and in my mouth within a 60-second window. If you love sushi, I can’t recommend Dinings or Sushi Nakazawa (when in the Big Apple) more highly.
Then there was The Gate in Islington, which I treated Alice to seeing as she is a veggie these days and the restaurant serves up some of the most creative & tasty vegetarian food going in London at the moment.
Finally, I asked mum to join me to do a review of Franco’s on Jermyn Street, one of the first & finest Italian restaurants in London, so that she could see me in true blogging mode for the first time ever and also join me for my last blogging meal in London of 2016. Needless to say the food & service was fabulous from start to finish.
Travel was limited with June & July being so hectic (and therefore expensive) and wanting to spend as much time as possible with my favourite people before I left for Asia. Thus the only outbound airplane journey I took was to fly to my new home, on which I’m more than pleased to report I received a complimentary upgrade to Premium Economy, which made the almost 12-hour flight (and sleep) much more comfortable… I’ve chosen to see it as a sign of only good things to come!