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!

Posted in afternoon tea, BIRTHDAY, FAMILY, MUM

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We spent my birthday eating non-stop, which is my favourite way to spend a birthday. Or any day, really. It began with brunch at Bill’s (I had bubble and squeak along with eggs and sausage and bacon, which was totally amazing) and then moved on to cake at Jason’s Mum’s house, and finished up with steak at Cau in the evening. The steaks were good, but nowhere near as good as the tempura fried belly pork we had as a starter, and the dulce de leche cornflake sundae I ate for dessert. Ohhh man. I met up with Tania, Freya and Lizzie last night for drinks and dinner in London (more on that later!) and when I was telling them about that belly pork, an actual hush fell over the table as we all thought about the fabulousness of belly pork fried in the lightest of batters, served with spicy ketchup. Those girls and I- our friendship is built on the basis of a shared love for really, really great food :)

So, 23! It feels pretty great so far, I can’t tell a lie. I’ve decided that 23 is going to be the year I become a Very Organised Woman. I’m going to always have stamps in my purse. And blister plasters in my handbag. Never wash one white sock in with a dark load of laundry and dye it a horrible grey colour. Always brush my hair. Do the dusting before it gets so bad you could write your name in it on the television. Carry a diary around with me with all my dates and meetings and engagements in it, instead of attempting to remember them all and forgetting half of them. Keep a birthday book, and always send out birthday cards to friends and family in good time. Get ready for a serious transformation, my friends! I’m about to get all kinds of organised and mature, just you wait and see!

Coffee-and-hot-chocolate Bills Brunch-at-Bills Bill's-breakfast

^^ Bubble and squeak! It was the best. Made with tons of cabbage, just how I like it! ^^

Banana-pancakes Oh-my-clumsy-heart-gold-necklace

^^ I’ve been lusting after Oh My Clumsy Heart necklaces for the longest time, and haven’t taken this little beauty off since my birthday! Thanks Ma! And Sophie, your jewellery is the prettiest! ^^

Jason-and-Rosie   Paper-wreaths

Thanks for such a lovely day, family! You’re the greatest, and I’m grateful to have you :)


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Cider-with-Rosie-birthday   Victoria-sponge-cake    Birthday-presents

Cider-with-Rosie-Birthday-presents    Cider-with-Rosie-Jason-and-Fizz

Rosie-and-Jason   Lighting-birthday-candles



On Saturday we celebrated my sister’s 15th birthday! I made her a triple-layer Victoria sponge cake upon request, which very nearly ended up sliding right off its stand and onto my lap in the car on the way over to see her. (Totally serves me right for being too busy Instagramming.) The jam was slipping and sliding and oozing right out of the cake and off the stand. We called it a ‘javalanche’. Get it? Like jam…avalanche? Yes? (No-one thought the term was as smart or funny as I did.)

For Cesca’s birthday, we bought her a new dress to wear for her party on Saturday evening. It turned out to be most inappropriately short, which in hindsight was kind of predictable because it came from short-skirt-mecca…Hollister. Still, Cesca loved it! Of course she did, she’s 15! You should know that that dress gained me many sister points, and lost me a few daughter ones. But hey! Happy birthday little lady! 15 is going to be a good year for you, I can feel it. Also, you’re so mature! I don’t know many 15 year olds who’d ask for Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography for their birthday. It makes me super proud of you. And also kind of embarrassed, because I probably asked for something silly like new pyjama bottoms and mascara for my 15th birthday. When you’re a super powerful politician/academic/business woman, spare a thought for your dear old sister who failed all her maths GCSE mocks and had to have special tuition and still gets all flustered when asked to tell the time, won’t you?

Last on the agenda of things to talk about: new shoes! Do you remember when, months and months ago, I found and began wearing an old pair of loafers that were my Grandma’s? And that I loved those shoes to pieces, which didn’t take much since they were kind of in pieces anyway? Well, a lovely company named Chatham Marine got in touch with me just recently and asked if I’d like a pair of shoes, and they had in their selection a pair of loafers almost identical to that beloved pair of my Grandma’s! So I asked if I might have a pair to replace my worn out old Grandma-shoes (that’s what Jason and I call my Grandma’s old loafers), and now this new pair are my new favourite favourite shoes to wear! Hooray! Thank you thank you Chatham Marine, both for the darling shoes themselves, and for enabling me to keep wearing ‘Grandma shoes’ for a good many years to come. It really does make me ever so happy.


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We celebrated Jason’s 26th birthday on Tuesday with 7am present opening, a day of work at Jason’s office punctuated with coffee cake pitstops, and dinner at a nearby gastropub. I bought him a snazzy new watch, a jumper with a collar I correctly predicted he would dislike but had hoped to be proven wrong (when will I learn?), and a few other bits and pieces. Jase told me he felt spoilt, which made me a pretty content lady :)

We went out to dinner in the evening after work, and ate an astonishing amount of good food. In fact, I’m pretty sure Jase was drunk on wheat by the time we’d finished eating our meal. It was the mashed potato that pushed him over the edge. The man just has no stamina! ;) I on the other hand, WOLFED that burger down in record time. Caramelised onions and camembert on a burger though. What else was there to do?

Happy birthday, my sweet man! 26 is going to be good to you, I can just feel it.

p.s. Here’s some information. Teddy just this second threw up under my desk, by my feet. So there’s that.



Above: Slow cooked pork belly with black pudding and apple puree. Black pudding, also known as the only food that delights my tastebuds and totally creeps me out at the exact same time.

Below: That burger. Those fries. Oozing cheese. Awwwe yeah.



^^ Post-dinner. So CHEESY in our festive jumpers! Ugh. I love this photo, but if it wasn’t of Jason and I I’m pretty sure its twee-ness would make me roll my eyes. Feel free to do so. I won’t be offended. ^^

* All photos taken with my iPhone.

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