Dominic’s birthday this year turned into somewhat of a week-long extravaganza, culminating in a visit to The Sipping Room at our old gaff, West India Quay, Canary Wharf and boy was I glad to tick off this as the last of a whirlwind week’s events.
His special day always falls during half term (and during Feb LFW! Rubbish planning, yup, my bad!) and this year we had crammed in a major fashion show with the boys strutting down the catwalk, a 4 day trip to our old neighbourhood in Laaaahndaaahn town, a visit from the grandparents, football camp and a daytime rave at kids favourite Fun DMC.
Never one to hang back from packing everything into the stream of life, the schedule is my own fault, I do thrive on flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants but by the time the week was over, I needed to just relax and enjoy a lovely family dinner with no dramas.
On arrival, the boys gasped at the igloos and commented how ‘awesome’ they were and that they wished we were in one of them, but I dismissed this and told them in true motherly fashion to be grateful for wherever we were sitting as we were guests. Cue squeals in exultation as we were escorted to our pod, reserved in advance by the team in honour of Dominic’s big day. What a lovely touch.
The pods were cosy and warm and beautifully intimate for this special family gathering. My parents live in Scotland, pretty much the whole family does, so we don’t get that much time together. This was a real treat, especially to show my parents the massive perks of my job!
Now first off, the entertainment for the kids cannot go without a mention. They had a lady – Miss Ballooniverse no less – making balloon animals for the children, with a talent for hot air and quick witted patter in a chilled area awash with books and colouring equipment. Winner winner chicken dinner as my two were happy to ensconce themselves from the get-go.
She didn’t just make balloon animals though, this miss. No, she could whip up the trickiest of latex creations and I even ended up with a cool inflatable finger ring infused with scattering love hearts. She had me at scatter!
As we were in the pods, I would, in the interests of full disclosure and transparency, say that service was a tad slower than we would have perhaps liked. The indoor restaurant upstairs was chocca, so it’s understandable that we would have to wait a tad longer.
That said, it really wasn’t an issue, we weren’t in a rush and the rest of the package certainly more than made up for this. It was really busy, 3pm on Sunday afternoon and the place was bustling.
We hungrily ordered – mocktails all round (begrudgingly for me I was driving the entire fam home to ours afterwards) and main courses to make our mouths water. Sunday roasts were off – they had run out – testament to their popularity – so it was a round of bangers ‘n’ mash with red onion gravy, buttermilk chicken burgers laced with chipotle mayonnaise and good old beer-battered haddock ‘n’ chips.
Everyone loved their chosen dish, the kids leaving nothing to chance, much to my delight. Even Dominic, who is funny with any fish that doesn’t come wrapped in breadcrumbs with a bearded man in uniform on the packaging devoured his.
We couldn’t wait for dessert and a round of Knickerbocker glories, chocolate brownies and crumbles were racked up. Without prior arrangement, the staff sweetly brought out a birthday brownie for the boy and sang to him, I was so touched by the extra mile they’d gone.
Each one as delicious as the next, we had no complaints whatsoever and rolled out of our cosy cocoon to start off for home.
We had such a lovely visit and the staff couldn’t have done any more for us. It certainly made the birthday boy’s day!
Until next time lovelies xxx