January 21, 2016

The Perfect Birthday: Blow-dries, Roof Gardens, Palaces, and more…

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With no grand intention, this past weekend was practically perfect. Following an expectedly wonderful evening at Jean-Jacques (still reigning as my favourite French restaurant in London), I woke up on my birthday morning and embarked on adventure after adventure…

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Once released from the indulgent comfort of my duvet, I skipped off to Aer for a birthday blow dry.

I don’t need an excuse to sit in heated lounge chair while someone massages my head, but it seemed occasion enough to introduce you all to the gorgeous little beauty business.

Aer was opened by owner (and real-life #hairporn-haver) Anushka after falling in love with the blow dry bar concept while she lived in its hometown, New York City. And Aer feels very New York City. After choosing your blow dry (or updo), your stylist washes and styles you to personal perfection, leaving your free to work, relax, and even enjoy a glass of complimentary bubbly.

My ‘Dubai’ (smooth volume with movement) lasted four full days with compliments abounding. Even after…

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…a night at The Roof Gardens. My friends and I booked a table through Velvet PR (they take guest list bookings at some of my favourite places in London – so seamless, friendly and helpful!) and we couldn’t have had a more wonderful evening. Amidst the palm trees and princess types of Chelsea, we drank watering can after watering can of cocktails and danced our proverbial socks off.

It was almost too much fun.


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With a few necessary hours of sleep under my belt, I headed out to Eltham Palace with two of my favourite ladies for my first-ever stately home visit.

Having fought my way through snow and pre-caffeine haze, I wasn’t sure what kind of impression the Palace and Gardens would leave on me but found myself pleasantly surprised. Eltham is a surprising fraternization of wealth (that of millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld), art deco, and a medieval royal palace served up by incredibly lovely English Heritage guides.

Spending as much time in the cafe as we did in the Palace itself, Eltham took up the bulk of one sublime Sunday.

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Last but certainly not least, I hopped on a quick train back to Central London to enjoy the London Symphony Orchestra at Barbican Hall. In a well-dressed group of seven, we collectively popped our orchestral cherries on the likes of Dvorak (Symphony No 7), Elgar (Cello Concerto), and Tchaikovsky (the absolutely incredible Overture: The Tempest – based on my favourite Shakespearean play).

Is this ageing? I like it.

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