Birthday’s are always a sore point for me – I’m terrified of getting old, hate the feeling of running out of time and I can’t stand the pressure of having to plan this huge, memorable spectacle to celebrate the dismal passing of another year. Anyone fancy getting me a job at a greetings card company? No?!
This year; 2020, turning 30 while doing long-distance with the fiancé, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, being limited to the amount of people you’re allowed to see and the majority of activities still being off-limits meant my birthday was surely going to be doomed to fail. But, against all odds – somehow, it actually turned out to be one of the best!
While it wasn’t as terrifyingly insane as my 29th birthday (whitewater rafting off of a 21ft waterfall) or as deliriously romantic as my 28th birthday (glamping under the stars with the boyf) – it’s simplicity amongst everything going on in the world was perfect!
My last day as a 29 year old was spent with my oldest and one of my best friends. We crammed so many little London must-do’s into one very long day – an ideal way to make me fall back in love with exploring my own hometown! We started off with God’s Own Junkyard. We found ourselves surrounded by the bright lights of the vintage collection of outlandish neon signs – and absolutely LOVED it! It’s an Instagram junkies wet dream – with every single area a hashtagged upload waiting to happen. This free gallery in Walthamstow is definitely worth a visit – I’ll definitely be coming back to sign spot again, although, while signs start at $10k – I probably won’t be coming here with an open purse, unless it’s to buy something at the onsite cafe!
Most girls for their 30th wanna go somewhere fancy, where they can don their high heels and make champagne clink boomerangs for days. Me? I just wanted cheap, quirky and calorific! Last Stop Kebab in Edmonton ticked every single box and then some! No need to bring your Oyster card – all aboard the kebab bus. Slotted in between a lil row of shops, the downstairs is transformed into a kitchen, dishing up some of the tastiest kebabs we’ve ever tried; and trust me, we’ve tried a lot! The top floor has been reimagined as the dining area, complete with a well stocked condiment station. At only £13 each we grabbed roast lamb doner meat, chips, salad & delish Turkish bread. We were so full we practically had to be rolled back down the stairs – but it was by far the best experience I’ve ever had on public transport!
Perfect way to burn off those kebab calories?! By taking a lil walk around Tottenham Marshes. One side is empty fields and meadowesque landscapes, while the other side is the calm river decorated with Rosie & Jim style canal boats. A gorgeous way to spend a sunny afternoon in the area – ideal for a dog walk, jog or chilled picnic!
The main pre-birthday event was a retro USA style drive in movie at dusk and The Drive In was truly amazing! With pre-movie karaoke, quizzes, tasty popcorn and a perfect view no matter what car spot you were in – it was easily one of the better drive in movie theatres going. Reasonably priced at only £35 per car, you tune in via your car radio, order food & drinks from your phone and enjoy the movie in peace without hearing anyone else drink slurping and whispering! Although the movie (Tenet) was WAY too confusing for me – it was still such a fun experience. One tip? Go in an old car; ours kept turning off the engine to save energy and so kept losing out on the radio signal! Definitely using that as my excuse as to why my dumbass didn’t grasp what the hell was going on until near the end of the movie. Honestly? I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a socially distanced birthday.
Room for one more mini walk before my 20’s were officially over – so we ended the night at an old favourtie – Surrey Docks! A perfect spot for a late night walk, the views of the city are gorgeous, it’s empty yet safe and very well sign-posted. I happily saw in my dirty thirties walking alongside the river, with the bestie, getting facetimed by the fiancé with a surprise! He adorably decorated his room over in NYC for me – the cutest way to acknowledge an LDR birthday celebration! He also got me a super tasty looking ice cream cake – which was definitely just his excuse to demolish one all by himself; no judgement here!
My actual birthday (September 6th – put it in your diaries and send me a card next year; thanks in advance!) was a lot more lowkey and a perfect day celebrating with the family. Spent the morning with the mama, grabbing a birthday fry up from the local cafe and getting absolutely annihilated at Scrabble – pretty rude of her not to let me win on my birthday, but whatever! Never would I have thought that playing nerdy board games at home would make for a fun birthday – but I had the best time (definitely means I’m getting old!)
Clearly still obsessed with USA after my two years there, I carried on the American theme by having my birthday dinner at The Diner in Shoreditch. Picked for the HUGE array of vegan options, as well as relatively cheap meals – it was an ideal spot for my fussy family! Massively recommend the diablo burger (pictured below) if you like spice.
Flight Club is a spot I’ve been to a few times now, although this was my first time at the Shoreditch location! It’s perfect for all group sizes and super afforadable, as it’s only £30 for the space off peak, or £60 at peak times. There’s a bunch of different virtual dart games; which if you’re as competitive as us lot, will definitely cause domestics, but enjoyable ones at least! The cocktails are lush and there’s a bunch of food on their menu too if you get peckish. Shame that when we visited their scoreboard was broken – it had to have been, there was no way I should have come 4th?!
Back home, it was cake & pressie time; and I was spoilt rotten! I got everything I wanted and then some! I was also treated to a delish grazing box from Riverside Grazes by two of my fave girls; which sorted us out with snacks for days after! Filled to the brim with a variety of cheeses, sweets, dips and snacks it’s perfect as a gift, treat or just a very greedy meal for one!
Although not technically for my birthday – I hijacked it to make sure it was! I managed to blag some audience tickets for ITV show – The Stand Up Sketch Show; over at Up The Creek! With some of my fave comedians – Russell Kane & Suzi Ruffell, as well as a bunch of others, it was honestly a night to remember.
We grabbed trays full of booze, sat in our lil socially distanced, household bubble tables and laughed so much our cheeks hurt. A free night out is always one of the best nights out in my book!
So, considering I was super stressed about turning 30 amidst a worldwide pandemic (first world problems, I know) it actually turned out pretty damn incredible. Just goes to show that all you need is your family, good friends & a whole lot of fun. To all you other Virgos & September babies – I wish you a happy birthday and hope it turns out just as good as mine was!