Considering my 21st had been three days after arriving in Bayreuth at the start of my year abroad, it was super lovely to be able to celebrate with so many of my friends and catch up back in Bristol having been separated for a good 15 months.
I'd originally tried to choose between throwing a tea party, going out for dinner and going out out. Then I decided to hell with it! One lives just the once, why not do all three?
And that, dear friends, is exactly what I did.
It was perfect really, as what with it being Freshers' Week everyone was back in Bristol with nothing pressing to do apart from have fun.
So we had fun.
|If you can't dress up like a present on your birthday, when can you?|
Unsurprisingly, I woke up on my birthday morning with a big smile on my face which only grew wider upon finding pink balloons up all round the flat and polka-dot-pink wrapped presents from my wonderful housemates. You guys, they even got me a cardboard cut-out Harry Styles. How amazing is that!? Such babes.
I added their presents to the ones from my parents which I'd brought from home a couple of weeks beforehand - they'd been tempting me from under my bed but luckily I managed to ignore them - and gleefully got stuck into opening this mountain of goodies...
I got all sorts of lovely bits and bobs including a waffle-maker, blender and icing sugar duster. There's no hiding my domesticated tendencies eh?
And then my thoughts turned to breakfast. What to have, on your birthday? Well, I don't think there's really a question there, do you? It's gotta be cake.
Purely because I am so selfless and didn't want to poison my guests coming later, I decided to test one of the peanut butter chocolate chip cupcakes I'd made the night before. Ya know, for my friends.
I'd yet to ice them so figured slathering on the nutella would be a good way to go.
I was right.
The rest of the morning was spent opening cards (never have I got so much post that isn't bank statements), replying to kind well wishes and getting all the foodie prep finished for my tea party.
We blew up more balloons and I'd even got a banner.
A slightly make-shift banner, but hey, desperate times. It turns out after 21 it's not so easy to get specific number badges, banners or cards. The next banner available was 50 which is a little depressing.
But anyway, there was no time to cry over my impending ageing as before I knew it my girlfriends had started arriving for a good long afternoon tea party.
Savoury goodies were nommed first.
We had cucumber sandwiches, crackers, tortilla chips, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, snazzy chutney and houmous, but the stars of the occasion were, without a doubt, the cheesy scones made by my domestic goddess of a flatmate, Holly.
Sliced in half and spread with lightly salted butter, they were beyond dreamy.
The girls dropped in and out over the afternoon and we chatted like old ladies, young girls, and gossipy teenagers.
And despite being relatively full, we were all keen to move on to the sweet stuff...
There were cupcakes, cookies, strawberries and grapes, and just when you thought we'd had more than such delicate ladies could ever consume, my flatmates brought out a surprise masterpiece...
I knew they'd been up late concocting something the night before, but I had no idea what it was and this cake was just amazing. Such a lovely surprise and really touching.
Needless to say I found room for a chocolatey fudgey slice. And it was diviiiine. Doesn't it look incredible too?
So the rest of the afternoon passed in a whirl of tea and cake and laughter, and my girlfriends gradually shimmied off home. All but one, that is.
Perhaps one of the best presents of all was the fact that my darling friend and v cool Londoner, Georgie, just so happened to be in Bristol on my birthday and could thus come and celebrate with me.
Considering we hadn't seen each other for months, I wasn't going to let her slip away that easily and oh sweet lord, was it lovely to have an actual face-to-face chat as opposed to a whatsapp one.
The total babe also brought me probably the nicest macarons I've ever had in my life.
But by this point I was barely halfway through my excessive birthday celebrations, so it was time to refresh and get ready for the next stage of festivities.
|Holly and me|
|And this is the small burger. Seriously.|
Anyway, it was as delicious as always and we all lined our stomachs well for the night ahead. Because we really needed to after all the cake. Ahem.
Lack of hunger aside, it's always a treat to go out for dinner with your friends or family, isn't it?
The party then moved on for drinkies!
Because who doesn't love pitchers of cocktails eh? It was so much fun to be glammed up with all ma best gals again, and I was having a whale of a time. (That's not just the cocktails talking, promise.)
The night went on and so did we.
Safe to say I had ALL the fun on my birthday, and I highly recommend you do the same for yours. I feel really lucky to have such wonderful people in my life with whom to celebrate too. Thanks, lovely family and friends.
*Big Name On Campus