Thursday, 27 July 2017

Birthday Shenanigans!

I have just about recovered enough to type up what I did for my birthday. It involved a lot of eating, travelling and most importantly, spending time with loved ones. 

A while ago James booked afternoon tea for us in this place called the Vineyard, just outside of Newbury. He booked the day off work especially, which I thought was so sweet. I decided to wear my bird skirt from Le Miroir, as I had recently received it. It has already become one of my favourite pieces! I thought I would struggle with the more dusky shade of pink, but it turns out these shoes I ordered ages ago (which I was hoping would be a more AP- friendly pastel pink) were quite a good match. Maybe past me knew that one day I would require dusky pink shoes! 

I wasn't really sure what else to team this skirt with, so I threw on a floral veil and attached the matching hair clip to it. I added rose themed cuffs to make the floral veil a bit more balanced, although I personally don't feel that flowers look too out of place with the overall outfit theme anyway. 

After an adventurous drive to Newbury, which involved the sat-nav only telling us to take a turning when it was too late to take it, we eventually made it to the Vineyard. I went for a tea with apricot and passionfruit flavours which was absolutely yummy. I am not a big tea drinker, but this tea was pleasant and not overly sweet. James went for one which was meant to taste like Victoria sponge and it did indeed smell of the cake! This was the sweet half of the afternoon tea. Although Wimbledon had finished by the time of my birthday, the Vineyard was still putting on their Wimbledon themed afternoon tea, which is why there is a slight tennis theme to the sweets. We had a surprisingly strong Pimm's cocktail (it was small, but potent), a tennis ball which was made up of vanilla mousse and coated in white chocolate, a macaron tower featuring pistachio with orange cream and blackcurrant macarons, a random chocolate thing with gooey caramel inside and a berry and lemon mousse cake with brownie base.

I saved the best til last with this chocolate sweet! It tasted absolutely amazing, although I have to admit I was starting to feel a bit sick at this point! We were not sure if the flower on top was edible or not. James ate his flower, but after seeing his reaction I decided to not eat mine. I think we were given just the right amount of food. There were plenty of sandwiches and 2 scones with clotted cream and jam as well as the sweets. What I liked about this afternoon tea was the amount of variety and how the sweets were not just your typical bog-standard mass produced cakes which you can get pretty much anywhere.

It was raining slightly so I was unable to get many photos of the venue, but here is a random picture of a pigeon going for a dip in the water feature. We were sat by the window, so we had a good view of the gardens at least.

I wont share absolutely everything I got, but here are a few choice items from my birthday present haul! I didn't get much in the way of J-fashion, but I did get another old issue of Larme from James. After having a flick through, it seems like a good issue. The Swablu socks were discovered by me a while ago when I was looking for presents for our friend Matt, so James got them for me, as well as a pair with Goomy on them. The budgie necklace was a nice surprise. It looks very similar to one of my two birds. They do commissions, so I am going to get my other bird designed as well. If afternoon tea was not enough sweet stuff, I also got given sweets for my foreign snack review album by pretty much everybody. I think I have enough sweet stuff to last me until Christmas now!

The day afterwards we traveled down to Kent to meet up with friends. I finally got to visit the Chaos Cards store, where my friend Matt works! It is basically a Mecca of all things nerdy. There is all the Pokemon TCG stuff my heart desires. I am also trying to learn Netrunner at the moment, so it was fun looking at all the different packs and expansions. I couldn't get over how big the store was. The staff were also really friendly and I ended up chatting to this young boy in the queue whose favourite legendary Pokemon is Darkrai. He was very impressed with my Umbreon GX box purchase!

When we eventually got to Jo's house, there was a pitcher of Pimm's waiting for us (Pimm's is definitely the current alcohol of choice). There was quite a lot of fruit in the first pitcher! James then made a second one which had a lot more Pimm's in it. I have to admit, I did get a little bit squiffy!

We sat in Jo's conservatory with our Pimm's to open presents. I was given a book called Beautiful Chickens from Jo and Chris. There was this whole sequence of photos on my camera which captured my reaction perfectly! I am hiding in this picture because I was laughing so much. To be fair, the chickens in the book are indeed beautiful!

We also had homemade pizzas. This is definitely my favourite way to have pizza! Jo made a beautiful dough base and as they were all individual pizzas, we all got to pick our own toppings. No arguments about whether pineapple is a good or evil pizza topping were had! For the record, I am on the fence about pineapple on pizzas. I think there are better toppings.

After an epic Mario Kart marathon and brownies, we retired to bed. The following day we headed out in to Canterbury for brunch. It was absolutely amazing. I had a vegetarian all-day breakfast but swapped out the baked beans for extra mushrooms. The veggie fritter was incredible. I would quite like to learn to make my own. Although I kind of spoiled the veggie day by going to Macdonalds on the way home. I was desperate for food and Maccy D's is terrible for veggie options! Thankfully, it wasn't raining, so we got to sit outside. It was good to have a proper catch up and despite being next to a road, it was quiet enough that we could all talk easily. I absolutely adore all of the people around this table!

This was my first trip to Canterbury and I was stunned by how beautiful it is. There were lots of potential photoshoot locations I noted for when I next travel down. I will attempt to bring some lolita with me next time! Canterbury reminds me of Oxford, but if I am being honest I prefer Canterbury. It is less crammed with tourists and there is a more eclectic mix of shops. I found an amazing new age shop which was selling lots of witchy stuff and there was also a shop dedicated to retro gaming, which had a Pokemon card swapping station as well. It is so great knowing I have a friend who lives here and is willing to let me crash at theirs. I really want to go back and explore more!

So that was my birthday adventure for the year! I have just about recovered (although I am feeling tired from the step exercise class I did yesterday) and I have a lot of happy memories to treasure from my extended weekend. I am missing everybody already!

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