There is a little known secret bonus to living on the other side of the world – the right to full-on celebrate your birthday for 36 hours straight.
Well, I even stretch this further, and use it as an excuse to catch up with everyone I can during the week of my birthday. This year entailed over 6 days of celebratin’, brunching and gossiping, not to mention Malaysian feasting, Art Deco spotting, afternoon teas, champagne quaffing,
lovely Venetian sweet treats and cake sampling.
It began on Tuesday with a Brazilian dinner with a few Kiwi ladies, Wednesday was lunch with the girls and Thursday it was carrot cake at my desk before I scarpered for a long weekend.
Later that night to usher my birthday eve in, we celebrated the opening of Momentus, a new Champagne Bar at the Cumberland Hotel where I got to catch up with a couple of me blogger pals.
Style was definitely served alongside mouthwatering canapés, endless Champagne, freshly shucked Oysters and insanely good chocolate truffles. It was delicious, and a really lovely place that is going to need further exploration.
My actual birthday day (planned entirely in secret by Mr Kiwi) started a little slower (refer to the champagne above) floating down Regents Canal on a canalboat (the Grandaddy of all the holiday canalboats if the guide is correct). It was glorious in the autumn leaves.
The gentle morning continued with a rather mischevous lunch – burger, birthday champagne (what goes better with a burger?) and a birthday cake complete with lit candle and unexpected rendition of Happy Birthday which was gorgeous!
The afternoon was a lot more hair-raising with a jet boat ride from Waterloo to the London barriers and back. We crept past the Police boats before the guides let her rip on the busy Thames – they shot around, flicking the boat from side to side, pausing to rest and give a bottled history of icons along the Thames.
I left Mr Kiwi in the pub, to peruse the Victoriana exhibition in the London guildhall, and explore the crypts (wine clutched safely in our mitts) and giggle in wonder at the interactive entertainment of the Victoriana ball (Strongmen, “musicians” and speed life drawing classes with a marabre twist), surrounded by beautifully dressed ball-goers.
The weekend continued with a scrumptious Afternoon Tea and great new friends…
(this is the normal version – I enjoyed the Halloween stylins)
…before catching up with old friends and being treated to dinner. And Halloween Krispy Kreams. < That’s why we’re friends.
I was almost the same on the other side of the room. I wish I was joking.
Sunday was laid back, and featured my fellow brunch Kiwis at Ozone (which was a little too laid back in a few respects, but it allowed us to catch up even more thoroughly).
I’m getting to old for this hectic life, not! It was the best kind of expat birthday – full of friends, laughter & the sweetest, totally unexpected birthday pressies and well wishes. You know who you are, you gorgeous people – thank you x