Well, this past week has been jam-packed with birthdays. My mother-in-law came over from Belfast to stay as it was her birthday on the 13th so we went for a lovely dinner at a place called The Larder House in Southbourne. It’s really rustic with great food and a unique decor and a nod to style and tradition from days gone by. The staff all wear leather aprons like something from the 1920s and there is a very cool ‘Library’ Room upstairs but children aren’t allowed so we didn’t go up this time, but I’ve had one very memorable evening there and it felt like a ‘speak easy’ from Bugsy Malone. As it was a Sunday we had their fantastic roast dinner followed by birthday cake.
On the 14th it was my sister’s 40th birthday celebrations so lots going on! On the Tuesday of her birthday we went to the most wonderful Italian restaurant in Richmond called Al’Boccon Di’Vino. We had never been there before but it sounded wonderful on the reviews and it didn’t disappoint. When you walk in through the heavy velvet curtain you are met with walls and walls of wine bottles, Italian pictures and paintings. It’s not big but they have max’d the tables and it’s got a very different atmosphere to anywhere else I’ve been, like you’ve found somewhere secret.
Do you remember the cartoon Mr Ben, where he would go through a door in the fancy dress shop and into another world?! You don’t choose off a menu, they have cooked and that’s what you will eat! You will also eat more than you have ever eaten before. There must have been 8 courses! Soup, antipasti, meats, scallops, prawns, pasta, gnocchi. It felt like it was never going to stop, then just when you think you can’t eat any more a bell rings and the staff come out with an entire roast suckling pig!!!! It was pretty incredible with amazing crackling, and then there was dessert. It really was a dining experience to remember. I was enjoying it so much I didn’t take any pictures I’m afraid but if you live anywhere near do look it up!
There was more to come for the birthday celebrations though, we flew to West Cork in Ireland on the Thursday night. I have mentioned before that my parents have a cottage there, that they bought five years ago, but we have been going there since we were little. My sister’s friends flew over too and we had a great weekend of parties, pubs, music and food and drink. Because of Tilda and school I went solo on this one, which I won’t lie, was a treat! I obviously love my kids but it’s nice to get away and let your hair down a little from time to time.
Fred stayed behind with my girls which I felt a little guilty about, but he had been away with friends a few weekends ago so I didn’t feel THAT bad! It was great to have some time away with my family and Holly’s friends and the Saturday night party was great fun. I cooked a chilli for 24 people and a vegetable Tagine for the vegetarians and we had a massive cake made with a clapper board on it, Holly is a Line Producer for television so we thought that was a fun idea for the cake.
The thing I love in West Cork the most are the walks along the wild coastline. Even when the weather isn’t great it’s still brilliant and blows the cobwebs away. I took my new Centigrade coat, which I had luckily managed to get on Waitlist, and it’s the perfect winter coat. I love the big hood and it’s incredibly warm. I have been wearing it a lot at home too. The mornings are already starting to get frosty aren’t they?
Back to normality and I can now think ahead to December and start planning Christmas. The weekends are already getting filled up so I need to get on with present shopping! I can’t tell you what I’ve already ordered from QVC as my family might read this but I can say I’ve been taking advantage of some of our Today’s Special Values! I can tell you that Mardles sticker books are on the list for my girls as they won’t read this, and I’ve also ordered the Danielle Nicole Sleeping Beauty coin purse for Tilda! I think I may get the Cozee Home Cuddle Buddy Unicorn hooded blankets too before they sell out.
Here at QVC it was great fun to work with Amanda Holden on her Bundleberry Shows, what a lovely lady! It was like having a good old girlie giggle during that show and she seems to be really enjoying being part of the QVC family. I also love her range and I am going to order the cactus table, it’s brilliant!
This week I have two personal top picks for you, do make sure to follow me on Instagram as that’s where I share my favourite finds from QVC. The first one is this Anne Klein watch, It’s so stylish and I love the gold Roman numerals on the black dial. My second pick is really anything from the In Cashmere range but particularly the scarfs. I’ve hardly taken this beautiful green one off since I got it. There’s lots of colours to choose from too. I am also wearing the crew neck jumper with flounce cuff detail in the picture with Amanda Holden. It’s called ‘Bright purple’ for ordering but it’s definitely more of an electric blue. It feels incredible against your skin, no need for a camisole underneath.
So that’s it from me for this week, what do you have planned for the weekend? I will be making sure to have at least on evening doing absolutely nothing to recover from all the celebrating! As always you can keep up with me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.