Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a very happy one indeed. I spent it with my husband as birthdays should be spent: doing some of my very favorite things. I started the morning quietly with a cup of coffee and reading as the sunlight poured through our bay windows (London, that weather yesterday was a gift all in itself) until Ben came out to join me. We both fit in a workout and then set off for a picnic in Hyde Park. We watched a men’s football on the palace lawn while sipping rose champagne and munching happily on neighborhood food.
Afterwards, slightly tipsy and blissfully happy, we walking home to drop off the basket and blanket before heading to The National Gallery for the Inventing Impressionism exhibit in its final weekend. Located in the Sainsbury Wing, it was a fascinating look at how a single man, Paul Durand-Ruel, helped fuel the impressionist movement. Dubbed ‘the man who sold a thousand Monets’ he persevered with these artists he believed were great when the public heavily criticized and ridiculed some of our most beloved works today. It’s hard to believe there was a time when Pissarro, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Degas weren’t held in the highest regard.
We stopped to pick up a Slim Aarons print of Lake Como we recently had framed for our living room, and carried the nearly 4-foot wide (!) piece home through the back streets of our neighborhood. It now sits proudly on our largest wall, and is right at home already. I was serenaded by my parents and brother back home, and our call ended slightly tearily as I miss them terribly.
Framed by Frame, Set, Match at Notting Hill Gate, 020 7229 7444.
I opened cards and presents from family and friends, and two gifts from my sweet husband (Céline sunglasses and a beautifully bound book from Smythson). Ben surprised me when he handed me a small package — and I unwrapped a guide book to Barcelona. We’re visiting in September! I’ve been wanting to see it for so long, and am just beside myself to take the trip with him. I’ll also be putting my rekindled Spanish skills to use! I’ve already been pinning places to see in the city this morning, and the weather will still be warm as fall will just be beginning.
We hurriedly got ready for a late dinner reservation at Scott’s where we were greeted with a glass of champagne and promptly had a dozen oysters on the table. We split the roasted shellfish for two and Ben sang happy birthday to me in our corner of the restaurant. It was lovely and romantic and so very my husband.
We headed home after saying goodbye, and I realized I needed to make a birthday wish! It was 11:46 and Ben lit a candle he wedged in a Samoa (Girl Scout cookies, you saving grace) and just a few minutes before midnight I blew out the candle on a wonderful day. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but may this year be even better than the last x
Blowing out my candle for #28. Also pictured is a book about one of my very favorite restaurants in the world, The Inn at Little Washington, a gift from my parents.