Birthday Treats

I’ve just had one of the best birthday weekends ever! W and I went to London and he and his lovely girls had planned everything. We ….

Stayed at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green where they have retained many of the features of the original building.  Our room had decorative windows and a tiled fireplace with a photograph on the wall showing how the room had looked before the renovation. I should point out this was our second room.  I never unpack straightaway because on the fairly rare occasions we stay in a hotel W always finds a reason for us to have to move and this time he was right because we ended up with an enormous bath in our bedroom which was lovely.  There was also a kitchen and a washing machine but I went nowhere near either of them!

Went to supper with J at the Japanese Canteen in Bethnal Green on Friday night. J and I had the hot stone bibimbap with tofu. It was really good but possibly not the best choice on the most humid evening of the year so far. The hot stone dish, in which the cooking is finished at the table, was almost incandescent and hadn’t even cooled down enough to touch by the end of the meal!

All met up in Covent Garden for coffee and then brunch at The Delaunay in The Strand on Saturday morning. Beautiful place, scrumptious pancakes with blueberries and crème fraîche.

imageWent to see High Society at The Old Vic on Saturday afternoon. A complete surprise arranged by the girls (goodness knows how W managed to keep it a secret for weeks!). Fabulous.

Had drinks and supper at the Young Vic.

Made a quick visit to the Museum of Childhood on Sunday for breakfast and a look at the dolls house exhibition.  It was a two minute walk from our hotel  There was also The Alice Look display with its beautiful dress by Josie Smith using fabric printed with the book’s text. The website link includes a paper doll to print out.


Lunched at Rabbit on the Kings Road on Sunday. Really delicious, beautifully presented food and definitely worth a visit. This is not supposed to be a restaurant review blog so I won’t go into too much detail but there are some photographs below. The three brothers who own Rabbit, as well as The Shed in Notting Hill, have a farm at Nutbourne which is very near us so perhaps one day they will open in Chichester.

Shopped for fabric (well I did, W sat on a sofa).  This involved the haberdashery department at Peter Jones as so many fabric shops in London are closed on a Sunday. I’m hoping the espadrille soles will arrive from Guthrie & Ghani today so here’s the fabric I chose to make them from, floral for the outside and spotty inside. Or possibly the other way round.  Just 20cms of each so if the espadrilles are successful they will certainly work out cheaper than shop-bought.

I have always loved Lucienne Day’s fabric designs and several of them have been reprinted for John Lewis as dressmaking fabrics. At £22 a metre they were quite pricey but – hurrah – they are now reduced to £5.50. I bought two metres each of these.  There were other choices and I’m now wishing I’d bought more.

The predominantly pink one is called Symphony and the other is Sequence. They were both originally designed in 1954 for Cavendish Textiles. I think to do them justice they will need to be made into quite full skirts, although not too flouncy as I am a bit short for anything really big. Perhaps Tilly’s Clémence skirt from Love at First Stitch?  Or a proper vintage-style frock.

Back to reality today sadly but it was a weekend to remember.