A Londoner’s Birthday

Slap-bang in the middle of the festive period is my sister’s birthday. She tells me with big celebrations either side, it’s difficult for her birthday not to be overshadowed.

Although this year I think we did it justice.

We started nice and early at the V&A for the 50s Ballgown exhibition.


We walked around the elegant dresses deciding whether we would wear them or not which, as any girl knows, is a great way to build up an appetite so luckily we had an early lunch reservation at dinner.

dinner by heston

We asked for a window seat so we could see the runners, walkers and horse-riders in hyde park christmas at dinner

horses view

Everything on the menu had very strange names as all the dishes were based on recipes from centuries ago.  I ordered the Salamagundy to start, more for the name than anything else. It was a mixture of chicken oysters, bone marrow, salsify and horseradish cream.


My sister went for her usual chicken liver pate but in true Heston-style it was disguised as an orange.

chicken liver pate

Mains = Battalia Pye and the original triple cooked chips. Once you get past the fact that you’re eating the guts and offal it’s all very delicious, rich and filling.

Battalia Pye

Unfortunately we ordered the same thing for our mains, which is a big no-no for us as we like to taste as many things on the menu in one visit. So for dessert I lost my right to choose but had a Heston classic, brown bread ice cream with everyone’s favourite salted caramel.

brown bread ice cream

My sister chose the chocolate bar for herself. Although I think what I had was much better.

chocolate bar

And then we were surprised with a little petit four personalised with Happy Birthday.

birthday dinner

Since we were nearby, we made a quick trip into Harrods to pick up my sister’s birthday present where we were crowded by hoardes of people with armfuls of reduced perfume gift sets. Luckily we managed to get out alive and decided to walk off lunch which ended up as handbag shopping down Sloane Street.

Our day didn’t end there as we were due to celebrate with another friend who has the same birthday, at Nikita. A Russian restaurant near Earl’s Court.


This is the only picture I have of our dinner at Nikita as soon after this was taken we started hitting the carafes of flavoured vodka. First the raspberry, then the banana, my sister chose a toffee nut flavour. Then things started to get hazy but I think it was followed by a mango and a warm honey. Luckily the food was filling and comforting and soaked up the 5 shots with minimal side effects.


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