Happy birthday Ma!



Last week, my darling Mum turned 55!

Don’t worry, she isn’t the sort who gets funny about people knowing her age. In fact, my Mum’s ability to embrace her age for what it is (a milestone, a marker of how many years she’s lived and loved and learnt) is one of the things I admire most about her.

For her birthday, I took her out for surprise afternoon tea at Pennyhill Park. I’ve had it planned for a few weeks now. Pennyhill Park is one of the most beautiful hotels in Surrey, with an award-winning afternoon tea. I actually worked there for a few months the summer before I met Jason, and spent hours (literally *hours*) each shift hanging about in the pastry kitchen, pilfering spoonfuls of ice-cream straight from the freezer, eating all the white chocolate truffles from the petit fours plates (& filling the gaps on the plates with the horrible dark chocolate ones), and persuading the chef to make me a pistachio soufflé to enjoy at my leisure once I’d finished ‘working’. Thinking about it, I’m surprised the hotel actually paid me a salary…

But back to it! Sunday morning when I picked up Mum, we were excited! Lots of squeals were squealed. We *love* surprises in this family! We drove about 10 minutes, and when we turned into the driveway of the hotel, Mum said ‘No! No way!’. I asked what she thought we were here for. She replied ‘Afternoon tea?’, and I said ‘Yes! Surpriiiiiise!’

Mum thought the surprises were done with once we’d got to the hotel, but no! There were more to be had! I’d actually dropped my sister off at the hotel about fifteen minutes before picking up my Ma, so when we got to our table, surprise again! Francesca was there in place, looking glorious and elegant and as pleased with herself as I felt! Mum shrieked, and then cried, which is pretty much the reaction my sis and I had been banking on ;)

And after all that excitement, the tea itself was crazy delicious too! Hibiscus and berry was our especial favourite (we drank pot after pot of the stuff!). Also, those scones. Oh my. They were the size of your fist, crisp on the outside, and all fluffy-warm inside. The jam was something special too. I didn’t take too many photos over tea (was up to my elbows in jam, you see) but the few I did take are below. Some are iPhone jobbies, others are from my proper camera. I hate mixing iPhone and proper camera photos in the same post, so I’m sorry about that.


^^ Afternoon tea get-up. Bare legs in February. Cerrazy. ^^`

Pennyhill-Park-Afternoon-Tea Pennyhill-Park-Afternoon-Tea4

^^ That choux bun was filled with gooseberry compote and vanilla cream, and is one of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever eaten. ^^

Pennyhill-Park-Afternoon-Tea1 Afternoon-tea Afternoon-Tea-Scones-and-Jam

Happy birthday little Ma! We love you!

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Posted in afternoon tea, BIRTHDAY, FAMILY, MUM

29 thoughts on “Happy birthday Ma!

  1. Kirsty

    Your mum looks way younger than 55 – what a gorgeous family :) That afternoon tea looks delicious, and the little birthday cake is so cute! xx

  2. Antonia @ Health Inspirations

    Such a nice surprise! Afternoon tea is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday. What a mouth-watering selection of pastries and scones! Yummy!
    My sister’s fiancé also worked at Pennyhill Park while he was still at school! x

  3. Amber-Rose

    Awh, this is so gorgeous! I did something similar for my Mum last year. So much fun! You looked so lovely too in that skirt, so elegant!

    So a completely unrelated note however, in the background of your outfit picture I noticed that you have the very same Ikea day bed that I’ve been considering getting. Do you mind if I ask, do you like it? Is it easy to use and is it weird for guests having to sleep like horizontal to the wall? Hehe, thanks!! xx

    1. Rosie Post author

      Thanks so much lovely- Mum surprises are the best! We do indeed like that bed! The mattresses we bought for it are foam ones, and are pretty comfortable! We chose foam over sprung so it feels more like a sofa to sit on, since it only gets used as a bed once in a while. We’ve never had any complaints about having to sleep against the wall, but it definitely is a less ‘fancy guest bed’ experience than a regular double bed just being there, ready to use. If you’re wanting to use it lots as a guest bed I’d say maybe it’s not the one to go for, and maybe just go for a regular double instead, BUT as a hideaway daybed it’s brilliant! I absolutely love ours!

  4. Bella

    Happy Birthday to your fabulous-sounding Mum! I absolutely loved this post, Rosie – it made me very happy this morning as I am all about the surprises too and I just adore the planning that goes into them…and then when the recipient reacts so shocked and overcome with happiness there’s nothing better!!

    Pennyhill Park sounds incredible and now I want to visit! You sound a lot like me at my old job, hovering in the kitchen waiting for *anything* to come my way…
    Don’t worry about the iphone/dslr mix – I quite like the variety and they’re all so lovely so it doesn’t matter.

    Bella xxx

  5. Ala

    What an amazing surprise for your mum!

    I am definitely going to look this place up now and think about it for mother’s day/birthday! Photos are lush as always too! x

  6. Lou

    Happy Birthday to your ma Rosie (she looks absolutely fantastic for 55!) What a lovely day, so very thoughtful of you to plan these surprises for her – she must be very proud of you and your sister. It sounds like you all had a lot of fun with the tea and scones xx

  7. Chelsea Elizabeth

    Aw! You are seriously such a wonderful daughter to your Ma! Your surprises were so sweet, and that tea place looks absolutely lovely! Happy birthday to her!! :)

  8. Sara

    How sweet of you and your sister to surprise your mom! It looks like a great birthday :)
    (I’m going for my first afternoon tea this Sunday for my birthday, and this has just made me more excited!)

  9. Deenie

    Aw that’s suuuch a lovely thing to do for your mum, it reminds me of a tearoom near the seaside in my town, the food and tea looks absolutely delicious! Happy birthday to your mum!

  10. Megan

    Your hair is so long and absolutely gorgeous! Happy birthday to your mummy :) looks like such a lovely day you had together x

  11. Sorcha

    What an AWESOME surprise! It’s this kind of thing that makes me extra sad to live so far away from my parents – it’s a big haul to go suprise them.

    Your mum looks FAB for 55. Very Happy Birthday to her!

  12. Nanna

    Since I have lost track of how many times I’ve come back to this specific post just to admire your midi skirt I thought it might be time for me to pop the question; where did you buy it? x

    Oh and I love all of your clothes and though you may not be interested in making a little not of where it’s, would you mind me asking (almost) every single time? :)



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