Note from Emma: I’m woefully behind with posting Tara’s blog, many apologies Tara, here is the birthday special you sent me for last week!
Birthday Celebrations – The Beginning
As you may know, I celebrated my 40th birthday recently and was joined in my celebrations by my husband Simon and our dear friends Andy and Claire. They arrived on Thursday night and we had some vino and a huge catch up before venturing to bed at 2am! Unbeknown to me, they were actually up until 3.10am (more on that later!) I was instructed that I wasn’t allowed to enter the kitchen or the dining room on Friday morning as it was out of bounds! When I woke up I was greeted with this small pile of gifts! A cup of tea was brought up to me and I was then summoned for breakfast! Andy and Claire had decorated the kitchen and dining room for me and prepared pink grapefruit and Bucks Fizz, followed by eggs Benedict on warm buttered muffins! What a delicious treat!
After breakfast I was allowed to have my cards and the first round of my birthday gifts and opened this box of 40 items picked especially for me along with some other goodies from Simon! Andy and Claire had picked out 40 things which remind them of me. One gift was a bulb of garlic. I laughed hysterically when I opened this as I clearly remember one weekend when they stayed with us when Claire had been shopping ALL DAY! She returned home with just a bulb of garlic! No shoes, handbags, makeup or clothes, just garlic! Another gift was a carton of pineapple juice and a small bottle of greek Ouzo. Simon and I met Andy and Claire in Lesbos, Greece several years ago now and as you do on holiday, we used to drink Ouzo and pineapple! The thought of it now makes me shudder slightly as I suspect it is probably ever so sweet, it is amazing how your taste changes over time as you get older! Also inside the box were chocolates, strong teabags (I ALWAYS moan at their weak tea when we go and stay with them) Sanctuary smellies, bird feeders and treats, yarn, sweeties, jam, horse treats (Bomber will be delighted on my next riding lesson) and much more! Simon had treated me to my Miss L Fire shoes and some Keane goodies, along with some DVD’s and a fab embroidery kit! The DELL box contained a helium balloon and theatre tickets for the Saturday to see The 39 Steps which were also from Andy and Claire! Spoilt or what! Part 2 of the gifts were to follow on our return home from London the following day! EXCITEMENT FACTOR!
Several months ago I had booked Gordon Ramsay at Claridges for my birthday as we have been going together every other year for the last 6 years. After months of waiting the time to glam up had finally arrived! We weren’t planning on staying in London originally but Andy and Claire had arranged the theatre tickets as a surprise for me, so it made more sense to stay overnight. They had booked us into a hotel and we decided to go up at midday to check in and chillax before we needed to get ready. We checked in and then had a mooch around Leadenhall market as well as a much needed Pret as we weren’t eating dinner until 8pm! I think that the 7 months break from commuting has made me realise that I actually like London a little bit again. I didn’t think I would feel like this yet but did which was great! We were staying near the Gherkin and came across this gorilla statue which I just had to pose with, I’m not called Silverback Blackwell for nothing! Claire and I had bought some seamed tights to go with our outfits which topped them off perfectly. I was really pleased with how my dress looked and how my hair and make up went. My shoes were really comfy too!
We had already had a sneaky look at the menu Prestige and over a G&T I decided on the foie gras and the veal followed by the cheese! The whole meal was absolutely delicious but the dessert was just the BEST EVER! The staff all really looked after us and even sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me and presented me with this little birthday cake! We were there for several hours as the meal wasn’t rushed and we made our way back to our hotel for a nightcap before a much needed sleep! I had an absolutely fantastic evening and was really excited about what the rest of the weekend had in store of me, more on that next time!