July’s fourth week started as usual with work, of course, and in the evening lots of prep for a little party the following day. I made a huge batch of crostini and a square chocolate cake.
The next day I had to go down to The New Forest for work, and when I got back home I quickly assembled the food for the evening on platters, and together with the first guest we carried it all upstairs to the roof terrace.
We had olives, crisps and dips and lots of crostini and toppings (more on this in a separate post), prosecco and rosé.
The sun was shining and the night was worm and it was so lovely to catch up with a few of my girl friends before heading off on holiday while also celebrating my birthday a little. I hesitated on organising something this year because the last week before holiday is hectic enough anyway. But I’m glad I did as we had such a lovely evening!
When I brought out the cake with ‘Happy birthday’ candles the girls first thought I was lighting candles for myself, but no, instead they were for my friend Gaby (her birthday is two days after mine and in the same week) to blow out (although the wind sort of did this for her!).
When the roof terrace closed we all squeezed into the same lift with food platters and baskets with glasses etc and I couldn’t resist taking a selfie as we giggled all the way down to my floor. Where we finished the party in the living room (which was almost too warm!) drinking a last little glass of rosé.
The next day the heatwave continued, and got a little worse, so after doing errands in the afternoon I headed up to the rooftop to relax after work.
Oh, how I love this terrace! The view is incredible despite the taller buildings surrounding it, and on a hot day the breeze and the fresh air (far away from the polluted streets below) is so refreshing.
As the weather forecast had promised the heatwave culminated on my birthday, with a whopping 38,6 C – the highest temperature in the UK ever (or at least since measuring temperatures in the mid 1800s began). It was not just hot, but also humid and stifling at the same time. I’m a seasoned sun-worshipper and by a beach this temperature is lovely to me, but trying to work from home in a flat where the windows don’t open enough it was less enjoyable. So I took my water bottle filled with ice (that melted in a flash) and my laptop and worked from the roof. There wasn’t much shade to be had midday but it was still much nicer than indoors.
In the evening I took a taxi south for dinner, and as I was sitting there reading my book and enjoying the air con, the rain started. The sort of rain where the skies literally open and pour out buckets and buckets of water. I’m sure you can imagine the humid afterwards as it evaporated from the scorching streets.
For dinner I had plenty in advance booked us a table at The River Café, the iconic Italian London restaurant by the river, that I for some reason hadn’t visited yet, although it’s always been high on my list.
So it was a real treat to sit outside in a lovely breeze enjoying champagne and a lovely dinner with my handsome man while the sun was setting on the Thames.
The following day we treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast before work, and in the evening we drove to the countryside to spend the weekend there.
On arrival we drank rosé on the deck and I toasted two weeks of holiday starting right then and there!
For dinner we were served Coronation Chicken, this iconic dish invented for the Queen’s coronation. And although it contains yellow curry powder (which is not a favourite of mine), it was just a hint of it and really enjoyed the creamy chicken with a hint of fruity sweetness.
The next day we had a lie-in followed by a dip in the pool and in the evening we had steak and chips for dinner.
On the Sunday we helped out at the village fete, selling tea and cake to visitors. Unfortunately the weather had turned since earlier in the week and it was torrential rain and quite cold for summer, but luckily people came anyway and of course they all wanted tea and cake to warm up!
After the fete we had pizza for dinner before I caught the train back to London, but I also had time for some doggy cuddles – much needed after the cold downpour!