Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another Year Wiser...

Last weekend I celebrated another year wiser, another year older. Some dear readers may have already guessed my age. If you need a hint, read my post about Rio de Janeiro where ousted myself about my age. So there you have it... I celebrated a milestone birthday last Saturday.

In the past we always celebrated our birthdays by taking a trip aboard: Tokyo, Marrakech, Barcelona, Damascus, and Rio de Janiero. We originally planned a weekend getaway to the south of France, but seeing how unpredictable our schedules are these days and the fact we have to renew our now 10 year old passports at some this spring, I instead opted for a quiet birthday celebration in London in case our passports were held up at the US Embassy.

I spent the last few hours of my 20s with our couple friend whom we met when we first moved to London at my favourite Clapham pub, The Sun. And, on the first day of my 30th year, London gave me the best gift I could ever ask for: sunshine. After a hazy morning, the sky opened up to beautiful blue skies, a lovely reminder that spring (hopefully) is around the corner. We also had my favourite houseguest and paw friend, Haile, stay with us for the week while her parents were away in Berlin. We spent the better part of the day playing with Haile in Clapham Common under the afternoon sun and walking off the calories consumed from our All-American lunch at Byron Burger on Northcote Road.

Later in the afternoon Keenan surprised me with a birthday cake from Patisserie Valerie, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, and a birthday present: a stainless steel All-Clad Roaster to complete my collection. This was a special treat since we’re not big on exchanging birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gifts. As long as we’re childless, we promised to celebrate special occasions by splashing out on a fancy meal or travelling. I’m looking forward to this All-Clad’s “maiden” roast, so who’s coming over for dinner?

We had dinner at Wild Honey, a one-star Michelin restaurant tucked away on a quiet street in Mayfair. Like its sister restaurant, Arbutus which we been to many moons ago to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and one-year Londoniversary, Wild Honey specialises on modern European cuisine using seasonal ingredients.

The atmosphere was much more upscale with neutral hues and wood-panelling throughout than lively brasserie-style Arbutus in Soho. Though the food at both restaurants are equally good, I enjoyed my experience at Arbutus due to its bustling atmosphere.

We started  off with  rabbit terrine and Dorset crab as starters. We both picked fish as our mains, mostly because we had our fill of veal and steak during our last trip to Paris. Keenan had the sea bass with grilled artichokes and I had the cod fillet with octopus. Both very lovely and went well with our crisp white wine. Since we had three-quarters of a birthday cake waiting at home, we shared the carrot and walnut cake with coffee ice cream to round out the meal.

I had a wonderful day and thank you all for the kind birthday wishes. Cheers to the next decade and hopefully it would be filled with more adventures, travels, and laughter.

Cheers from London, L.


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