The CTO generally takes it upon himself to spoil me rotten on my birthday with surprises, and this year I was made to feel pretty darn special. At the Anges bakery we're arm deep in macaron batter for Christmas (psst...get in quick with your Chrimbo gift orders - we're delivering up until Christmas Eve in beautifully designed wrapped gift boxes) so I scraped and squeezed out a day and was taken on a wonderful relaxing journey where I actually felt like I was the only one to have ever been born on the 4th of December! And deffo the only newbie Trente-ite in the whole wide world!
We started with breakfast at one of my favourite London spots, the Electric Diner on Portobello Road. I actually went all out and got hash browns as a SIDE to my ham and gruyere omelette - such gluttonous indulgence. We then went on a little drive out to Ascot where my bakery-bruised-and-battered body was prodded and plumped at a lovely spa followed by afternoon tea at Coworth Park.
The surprises didn't end there. Crafty CTO conned me into a short drive into Bray for some sight-seeing and MORE tea. Upon seeing the signs to Bray I thought out loud about the Waterside Inn - favourite of the royals, 3 Michelin stars, Michel and Alain Roux, basically culinary rock n roll. While training and working in Paris with Michelin starred chefs (and watching a bit of Masterchef every so often...) it was my dream to be able to savour a Roux creation. So I squealed like an excitable Chihuahua when we pulled up next to a picturesque Tuder-esque inn on the waterside where CTO was treating me to a meal of a lifetime!
And the surprises still don't stop. Some lovely buddies of mine gifted me calligraphy, photography and cookies to name a few!
Andri of Always Andri Wedding Design's thoughtfully lovely hand drawn calligraphy message
Sweet Bee's Bee's Bakery's jammie men spelling out my name before being demolished by CTO and me (they're all Christmas-y and in Gingerbread flavours too and a perfect companion to our gift boxes in a personalised little hamper!)
Alethiea of Xander & Thea Photography had taken some beautiful photos of our Damask Rose and Earl Gray macarons she'd ordered as gifts and sent me a lovely postcard message!
And what I was most excited about (probably owing to the fact that I actually knew about them and was looking forward to for months) - my fun birthday party with some of my dearest friends at home and rocking my bespoke, kooky and beautiful Anges-inspired macaron-floral crown all week!
I first met Sofia of Lila Accessories at Brides the Show
where I fell hopelessly in love with her hand-made, painfully intricate and life-like clay creations. Her detail-rich hairpieces have graced the cover of Brides magazine and some famed heads. I've made my love of floral crowns
be known as of late and I was just crying out loud to nab one exclusively for myself in collaboration with Lila, inspired by the imagery of Anges.
She sent me little tantalising sneak peeks of macarons, gold-leafed wings, flowers, buds and antlers throughout the design process using my images styled with Boutique Blooms as inspiration, and followed my brief to the T - MORE IS MORE. I'm totes stoked that it pairs so well with most of my wardrobe - posh chi-chi dinner date outfits, jeans & tees, even cheeky shorts and bright tights as well as Christmas sparkles. It's struck just the right balance between quirk and cute, dressy and hippy and the kooky details are just subtle enough while adding an element of sweet surprise. This is taking my macaron obsession to a whole new gorgeous level! I'm literally wearing my passion.
The image inspiring the styling of the floral crown - unashamedly luxurious and romantic
I know it's just another year, and I'm not the only one to have been born on the 4th either (in fact, Jay Z, Tyra Banks and my film photographer buddy Katharine Peachey
share the same birthday - all the cool kids you see ;)), but there's something that feels just a teeny tiny bit momentous about stepping into a new decade wearing a cool-as macaron-floral crown surrounded by the best of friends with CTO by my side. I guess birthdays aren't as much about years on Earth as much as they are about the people I've spent those years with. And cool-as macaron-floral crowns, have I mentioned?
It was a Happy Birthday indeed.