Twenty Sixth Birthday In Chelsea



.Around this time last year, I was blowing out twenty five candles on the cake James made me, sipping champagne with breakfast as I opened my presents and dancing around to ‘Birthday’ by Katy Perry as I got ready for our road trip to the WB Harry Potter Studios.


This year, however, began a little differently. We spent the Friday morning before my birthday weekend in a visa office, applying for a visa for our honeymoon in a small room packed with grudgingly patient applicants speaking languages I’d never heard before and a child on a sugar rush whose overzealous squeals got less cute with each passing moment as they drowned out the hum of idle chatter, copy machines, nervous coughs and rustling papers.


After what seemed like half a lifetime (I could have sworn James’ beard grew a couple of inches), our number was finally called and a few short moments and a disastrous, self-confidence shattering passport photo later, we were plunged back into the Manchester chill. Just when I was beginning to succumb to the idea that there was no way this birthday could compare to the last one, everything changed once James suggested we pay a visit to my favourite American breakfast joint in the city, Moose Coffee. A pesto scrambled egg, peanut butter milkshake and a couple of waffles with maple syrup later, I was in a much better mood and ready to take on everything my birthday weekend had to offer! Which, as it turns out, was London, baby!


In a few short hours, during which we sang along to chart-toppers and popped driving candy (it is totally a thing) like it was going out of fashion, we were pulling up outside the gorgeous, glossy Marriott hotel in London’s Canary Wharf where James had booked us in for the entire weekend. As if the prospect of a fluffy robe and a night’s rest in a plush hotel bed wasn’t heavenly enough, a quick change and refresh of makeup had us on our way to the first part of my birthday weekend – a decadent dinner at ‘Roast’ in Borough Market where we ate Scotch eggs, pork bellies and chicken in lemon and pesto sauce with Mango martinis.


After dinner, we strolled along the river on our short walk back from the tube station to our hotel and James asked what I’d like to do tomorrow on my birthday. My answer? To not plan anything, go with the flow and be completely spontaneous!



{ OUTFIT DETAILS } Palazzo pants (similar here), sandals: Primark (similar here) | Tank top: Peacocks (similar here) | Jacket: eBay (similar here) | Hat: Portobello Market (similar here)| Bag: Charity shop (similar here) | Watch: Daniel Wellington | Bracelet: The Snob Shop | Necklace: Colaba (similar here)




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SATURDAY, June 20th

Oh, and spontaneous it was! We began my birthday with an absolutely divine breakfast buffet at the hotel’s Manhattan Grill restaurant where we enjoyed a breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, hash browns and waffles with Nutella.


We then set out to visit Notting Hill and Portobello Market and didn’t know where to look first – whether to feast our eyes on Notting Hill’s bright and beautiful homes, at the treasure trove of antiques and vintage clothing spread out for us, at the vast range of London-inspired street art or at the swarm of tourists from around the globe rushing to capture every single moment on film, as if it would be erased from their brains forever by the end of the day.


I was particularly interested in the hat stalls, having needed a nice hat to wear with my daytime outfits on our honeymoon shortly. I stopped when I found the one you see in the pictures and after asking the price, was pleasantly surprised to find the shop owner talking to his business partner in Hindi! When I asked him where he was from back in Hindi, he was so pleased, he reduced the price by 50% on the spot! Score!


After we experienced everything Portobello had to offer, we were hungry and unsure of where to go next. So James suggested we go to the Bluebird Cafe in Chelsea, frequented by the cast of and often featured on my favourite show in the UK, ‘Made In Chelsea‘ (You HAVE to watch it!) I was a little nervous that I’d be underdressed or that it would be snooty since its regular patrons were some of the richest people in the world, as seen on the show, but it was surprisingly down to earth. The staff were friendly and the food was fantastic. James had a burger while I nibbled on Halloumi skewers with a side of cous cous and we both drank the most divine, refreshing Gin and Tonics served in wine glasses.


Once we had finished with my birthday lunch, we walked all around Chelsea, London’s version of the Upper East Side, and took in each beautiful, affluent home, expensive door and posh street as I daydreamed of some day owning a house with an SW3 postcode. I’m not somebody who gets star struck easily, but if I had met any of the members of the cast that day, I’m not even embarrassed to admit I’d have been a nervous, hyperventilating, jelly-legged mess!


We then nipped into Harrdods for a browse since James hadn’t been before, but soon got tired of everything there was to see. A few hours later, we made our way back to the hotel and after a short nap and some complimentary wine, we got dressed for the final part of the day – my birthday meal!


Knowing pizza was my favourite food of all time, James made us reservations at Rossopomodoro in Covent Garden. By far the most authentic pizza restaurant I have ever been to, the food was unparalleled (we had a cheese board and followed it up with individual pizzas and fries), the staff were all Italian and probably some of the friendliest and most helpful people I have ever met! Overall, the night was the perfect little preview to get us in the mood for our upcoming Italian honeymoon.


After all the activity and walking around during the day, we were exhausted and trudged our way back to our hotel for the final time that day with tired feet, full bellies and happy hearts.



The next morning started out fairly relaxed, till I learned that checkout was at 10.30am and not noon! I’m not quite sure how, but I managed to shower, dry and style my hair, do my makeup, pack our bags with James’ help and be out of our room in an hour. We made our way down to breakfast again, and then checked out shortly after.


We then deposited our bags in the car and walked to the tube station for the final part of our adventure – Covent Garden. Easily one of my favourite places on the planet as you may have seen here, we always make it a point to visit Covent Garden at least once every trip to London. We walked around the markets, watched street performances and dodged in and out of stores till we reached my promised land, Ladurée, where James bought me a box of birthday macarons in delicious flavours of coffee, toffee, strawberry, chocolate, salted caramel and Marie Antoinette.


Following my little Ladurée treat, we went for another long walk all the way to Somerset House, along the South Bank and around Westminster so we could end our trip with the perfect view of Big Ben and the magnificent Houses of Parliament, as one does when visiting London.


I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful birthday weekend and feel so lucky and thankful every day for this amazing boy who loves me enough to make me feel this special. Whose face I love waking up to every morning and who I can’t wait to explore the rest of the world with. Thank you for the most perfect birthday trip, James!

















{ OUTFIT DETAILS } Leggings: New Look (similar here)| Tshirt and sandals: Primark (similar here) | Striped Tank Top: Peacocks (similar here)| Jacket: Liverpool St. John’s (similar here) | Bag: DKNY (similar here) | Watch: Larsson and Jennings | Bracelet: The Snob Shop



 { PHOTOGRAPHY } James Moore | Anushka Moore



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Anushka Moore is an almost-thirty-something blogger who moved across the world when the love she met on Tinder put a ring on it. She now lives in Manchester with her husband and her two little Poodle-cross fur children.

Her day job includes running her own social media content company and is the founder of popular Instagram account, Midsize Collective.

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