Last Thursday was my birthday! There has been a bit of a heatwave here in the UK and I am the sort of person who wilts at the first little bit of heat, but I was determined to get out there an enjoy myself. I am really glad I did, as I had a fantastic day in London with James, and then a fun Saturday with Sammi and Shalisa.
For my actual birthday, I went to One Aldwych in Covent Garden for afternoon tea. I didn't wear Japanese fashion because I was a bit concerned the staff would take one look at me and turn me away. I wouldn't usually go for an afternoon tea as expensive as this one, but it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired, and I thought the menu sounded fascinating. Besides, we were allowed seconds on literally anything we wanted. We ended up with 2 lots of savouries and I feel that if we had really wanted to, they would have given us a third round. With the exception of the ham and horseradish on rye, the savouries were all lovely. I would say this was the nicest salmon sandwich I have ever had.
But the real fun came with the sweet half of proceedings! Here we had scones with hedgerow sauce, berry compote and clotted cream, blueberry brioche, chocolate financiers, chocolate and caramel milk, rhubarb and custard candy floss, golden chocolate eggs filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango coulis, lemon cake pops and Eton mess. My favourite item had to be the rhubard and custard candy floss. I cannot put in to words just how intense the flavour was, and it really did taste like the sweets you sometimes get in pick 'n' mix. The staff were friendly too and there was also air-con. I would definitely do this again, although I was almost in a food coma. I couldn't eat another thing, and I was so grateful when we were given a doggy bag for the leftovers.
Afterwards we went to the 40 years of London punk exhibit being held at the British Library. I was very pleased to see that my favourite band were acknowledged for being the main inspiration for the UK punk movement!
When we got home, I had time to open my presents. As far as J-fashion related stuff goes, I got given these Mu-fish socks and Yidhra tights from James. I have to be really careful at the moment to not buy any more main pieces and some other things, as my wardrobe needs a bit of a clear-out, but accessories were totally fine. I also got given a load of budgie related stuff, as I have turned in to a crazy budgie lady as of late. I will just do a mini review, before people complain this post is not really that J-fashion related! The socks fitted me perfectly and ends a few inches above my knee. I wouldn't recommend them for plus-sized wearers though, as I get the impression the socks don't have that much stretch. The ivory colour is quite obviously white and the pink has a very slight peachy tone to it. The pink is a good match for several items in my wardrobe though, so I am quite content. The tights were a bit of a let-down if I am being completely honest. They fitted me, but it was a bit of a stretch. The navy blue colour is also quite hard to distinguish and they look almost black, although the blue shade is a bit more obvious when worn. The main issue is that when you put them on, the colour almost completely disappears, as does the constellation pattern. It was so faint and became to transparent in places, that could could actually see my skin tone in places.To get a decent colour, I would have to layer navy tights underneath. They are also a weird sort of mesh and they are almost like fishnets. So they are not completely unwearable, but I would not recommend them. I got lots of lovely other presents though, including the sweetest little locket from James. I opened it to discover a feather from both of my budgies inside. It was so thoughtful and I started welling up when I opened the locket for the first time!
On the Saturday, I met up with Sammi and Shalisa. It was another quite hot day, so I didn't want to wear lolita. Yet weirdly, you can still see the lolita influence a little in my "casual" outfit! I am not really sure what this outfit would be labelled as. There are definite retro, sailor and lolita aspects to this, but I am just going to call it casual street fashion! I used a skirt from Primark, which I decorated with some Sugar Trampoline bows. The cutsew is Cherie Cerise, and the rest is a mix of Bodyline and off-brand.
When we got to Reading, there was a "beach" that had been constructed temporarily by the train station. Aside from putting a bit of sand down, it was dire. I would say it was more like a fairground than a beach. There were a couple of stalls where you could win prizes and an over-priced pick 'n' mix stall, but that was pretty much it. The website had promised donkeys, but we never spotted any! The worst part was the ferris wheel, which overlooked a construction site! Isn't the main point of those sort of attractions that you can see a glorious view? After assessing the situation, we left abruptly.
After seeing how full most of the eating establishments were, we ended up getting a Maccy D's and eating it outside the Abbey Ruins. It turned out to be a good call. The food was far better than the disappointing meal we had at the Outlook last time and I got to have my beloved toffee sundae. It was also lovely being sat outside in the shade. There were a lot of Pokemon Go people going by, but we were mostly left in peace. We saw the prettiest little dragonfly flying around as well. Sammi also brought some mini cupcakes, which were much appreciated.
With our recent foray in to perfume buying, Shalisa got given some samples by her mother, who works at a department store. So she bagged them and labelled them in this cute manner!
Sammi made this adorable budgie themed rosette! It looks a bit like one of my budgies. I pulled the most embarrassing reaction face whilst opening this. It was pretty hilarious, but I wasn't confident enough to share it here!
During our perfume sampling session, Shalisa inflicted on Sammi the most horrendous smelling perfume ever. She had already tried it and knew how bad it was, but I think she wanted us to join in her previous suffering! Sammi's reaction? She said "it smells like death". The worst part is, this scent was very long-lasting! It was supposed to smell like lilies, but I have never been a fan of lilies and it reminded me of a crematorium. It definitely had a smell of funeral about it! Not even Sammi's strawberry laces smelling hand sanitiser could save her from the death scent.
As we had discussed it previously, Sammi and Shalisa were in casual fashion as well. I liked Shalisa's Banana Fish top and Sammi had layered this lovely dress over a green dress to create a pretty mint shade. I really like how we each took the more casual theme and went very different ways with it. I had to take off my petticoat eventually though, as it was getting way too hot.
I didn't get a good shot on the day, but these are the bloomers that Shalisa gave me. I have been meaning to get a pair for so long. If you would like a pair, you can get them from Shalisa's store Sugar Trampoline. I can tell you that they are very comfortable. As I have a digestive system condition, I can't stand having lots of layers pressing down on my stomach. But these bloomers don't dig in and they are very comfortable to wear. I also found that the elastic stretched comfortably enough that I could wear the bloomers low-slung if I so desired. These bloomers also featured a cute little rose detail at the waist and some bows on top of the gathering at the leg holes. I cannot recommend these bloomers enough and I will be buying myself another pair at some point.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all the well-wishers. I know a few of you who left messages may be reading this post. As you can see, I had a great time and I was so happy to spend some quality time with some much loved friends. I even got to do the Crystal Maze experience the week before with another group of friends, which was incredible. I haven't had the easiest of times recently, so I am so grateful that I have these happy memories to look back on.