What a lucky girl I am! I’ve just had the most wonderful weekend….. This Friday coming is my 30th Birthday and so on Saturday I celebrated my ‘official birthday’ (well, the Queen got one!)….
I had spent most of Friday getting over my fun-filled trip to Paris, but I managed to head to Waitrose for picnic supplies and catch up on some photo uploading etc. before spending a relaxing evening eating pub grub and completing the crossword….
Then on Saturday morning it was time to cut the sandwiches and pack the picnic hampers before heading over to meet everyone. I’ve nearly always had a picnic to celebrate my birthday since living in London, and so for my 30th it seemed apt I did just that. I wanted it to be super special though, so I invited everyone to the stunning little secret garden within the ruined old St Dunstan’s church very near to the flat. It’s so peaceful and beautiful there, and I very much wanted to share that with my friends. And so we walked there heavily laden with picnicking paraphernalia, hoping that the few drops of rain in between the sunny spells didn’t spell disaster!
Once there, Adam, my friend Michelle and I set up ready for everyone….. we hung bunting along the benches and in the trees, spread out cute checked blankets and laid out the goodies I’d prepared…… Cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, home made sausage rolls, salads, fruit and cakes….. I also set up a sort of Pimm’s station and popped the cork on the first bottle of Champagne of the day before my dear friends started to arrive, bringing even more goodies with them! Jane had prepared some yummy crudites and brought along an amazing sweet red wine which is served with strawberries and ice, and Dave was kind enough to dash to the shop to replace the jam I’d left at home so I could serve up some delicious Duchy scones with strawberry jam, clotted cream and strawberries.
I am always so excited about preparing for such occasions and seeing everyone, that I forget that birthdays often mean presents! So I was delighted to receive so many wonderful gifts from everyone….. lots of beautiful flowers… books about how to host the perfect picnic, finding vintage things in London and how to fold napkins in all sorts of designs…. some gorgeous cocktail accessories…. a British themed board game…. a very pretty set of silver trinket boxes…. home made sweeties and preserves… and even an ‘Under A Glass Sky’ patchwork tote bag, hand stitched by my friend Hannah. What a lucky girl I am!
I had such a glorious time chatting to people, yumming up all the treats, and enjoying the shorts bursts of sunshine. At times it was rather like I had my own little private party in the park because so few people know if and visit it, so we nearly had the place to ourselves! Afterwards those of us that remained returned to the flat to drink more Champagne and eat cake, and by the time the last guest had gone I had just enough energy to fill the dishwasher before flolopping into bed!
Thank you to Adam for taking photos all day and letting me share some here…..
We decided that Sunday should be spent resting up and catching up from the busy week…. we had lots of picnic leftovers too so I had a lovely breakfast of smoked salmon with Prosecco, followed by a second breakfast of donuts and coffee! I also used up lots of left over cherry tomatoes and things to make some fresh pasta sauce to keep in the freezer for a rainy day, planned a soup I’ll make later today from left over cucumber and mint, and then whipped up a salad for lunch with goats cheese, broad beans and asparagus. Yum!
Along with a big post-party clean up, I did a few householdy things, uploaded more photos and generally lounged about all day. As has become tradition, I labeled some of the corks from the bubbles with the date and occasion to keep as a memento, and safely popped away all my gifts. For supper we finished off some of the yummy bread left over from Saturday, along with the Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and the home made chilli jam and red onion chutney we’d received as gifts. Then after finishing season 4 of True Blood finally, it was a very early night for us sleepy heads!
What a lovely ‘official birthday weekend’….. can’t wait til next weekend to celebrate my actual birthday!