I have an unwritten rule in life…I never work on my birthday. In my eyes birthdays are all about one person. Why spend it slaving away at a desk when you could be doing something, anything, you want to do? Since having children the luxury of enjoying a whole day to myself is so rare, it’s a real treat.
Of course, the celebrations had begun a day earlier on the Sunday. We took a family day out into central London, booking lunch with friends at Madison, a rooftop bar and restaurant opposite St Paul’s.
Hopping off the tube at Mansion House, we wandered through the quiet Sunday streets of the City. During the week they are packed with workers but at the weekend it was virtually empty. We headed towards St Paul’s cathedral. I have often admired Christopher Wren’s famous building but I’ve never been in! Can you believe it? It’s something that’s been added to this year’s wish list!
Ditching the hubby and kids for an hour, I browsed the shops at One New Change. It’s a great place to shop if you’re after somewhere quiet and all in one place. Without the city workers, it’s a very pleasant shopping experience at the weekend – with high street stores such as Mango, Top Shop, Oliver Bonas and Ted Baker to keep you busy. In the shadow of St Paul’s there are worse places to shop!
After purchasing a few items from the sales (one advantage of having a January birthday) we headed up to the sixth floor to Madison.
My best friend, Emma, and her partner had joined Paul and my two daughters. They were sat on the roof terrace with a bottle of bubbly on ice. They know me only too well!
I’ve only ever been to Madison for drinks before but I was really impressed with the food. It was delicious. We went for the sharing roast dishes which had a selection of roast meat, vegetables and potatoes as well as some wine included. My five-year-old, Mrs T snapped this shot of Emma and I.
There was plenty of food to go around. The restaurant has high chairs and the staff were really good with the children – even when my youngest decided to go for a run around the restaurant. Mid-afternoon we were treated to live music which the girls loved.
I’ve only ever been to Madison in the evening. In daylight, there are views across London where you can see as far as the London Eye in Westminster.
Outside on its spacious roof terrace, there’s a great opportunity for photos…so we obliged. A little tip for you too…you can go up on the terrace for free! Although it’s a great place to enjoy a drink!
Afterwards, we popped back to Emma’s flat for another drink and some cake (thank you!!). The girls helped me blow out the candles. We arrived home a little late (for the children) but very happy (and a little tipsy)!
My birthday began with an opening of cards and breakfast before carting the children off to school. First on my agenda was a personal training session at my gym. I always feel so good after training, I knew this would be a good way to start my birthday. A few years ago I would have laughed at myself for going to the gym on my birthday. It’s funny how you – and times – change.
With no children to look after, I took my time getting ready. It isn’t often I get the chance to dry my hair and apply makeup without getting interrupted by a small person.
I went shopping in the London suburb Richmond, before meeting my husband for lunch at the excellent Bingham hotel.
Overlooking the River Thames, this boutique hotel has an excellent restaurant and is very deserving of its 3 AA Rosettes. On weekday lunchtimes, it does an incredibly good value market menu. I had mackerel followed by belly pork. The pictures say it all.
Time for the school pick ups and some family time before the evening’s activities. I’d booked tickets to see the musical The Book of Mormon. Having heard so much about the theatre show, I’d wanted to see it for a while but had never got around to organising. My birthday was a great occasion to do it. Leaving the babysitter in charge, we headed to the Prince of Wales theatre in Piccadilly Circus.
The show was hilarious! I sometimes struggle to find something both my husband and I would enjoy but this parody fit the bill. At times it was close to the bone but sometimes you have to laugh at life – the good – and the bad. Both my husband and I were in stitches. Thoroughly recommend!
There ended my birthday celebrations. A brilliant mix of theatre, food and culture. Thank you to everyone who sent cards and messages – they mean a lot!
How do you like to spend your birthday? Do you take the day off?