Well, my birthday month is officially over for another year. But with that sad thought comes the excitement for Christmas and this year, the added excitement of seeing my sister again as she returns from her first term at uni.
Every birthday I have a little panic to myself about turning another year older and still feeling like I haven’t got my life sorted out yet. Through this mini crisis however, something good comes out.
This time around, I’ve decided to go back to full-time work and stop freelancing – as fun as it was. I will dearly miss being my own boss and not having to commute every morning. But I’m very excited to go back to work and enjoy being part of a team again.
Picking favourites for this month was extra difficult as I had plenty of things to choose from. I had many birthday meals and days out to whittle down. Here are the very best of them:
1. H A R R Y P O T T E R S T U D I O T O U R
So it’s taken me a while to get around to visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour but at the age of 26, I finally made it. This came at the perfect time, when my getting-older-crisis was really beginning to kick in. Visiting the magical world behind Hogwarts was the perfect way to make me feel like a kid again with no worries in the world.
Entering the tour via the Great Hall was a spectacular experience with Professor Dumbledore standing majestically at the front with the rest of the professors and a very hard-to-miss giant. Through the hall we were led into an enormous room filled with props, sets and costumes from the various films along with a chance to ride a broomstick! There was so much to see, it took as a good couple of hours just to get to the end of the room.
By this point we were quite peckish, so the Butterbeer stall and Hogwarts Express where I bought myself a chocolate frog were a welcome sight.
The second half of the tour takes you behind-the-scenes to discover the special effects, animatronics, sketches and 3D modelling that takes places before the film can be shot. This was an eye-opening experience and really allowed me to appreciate how much hard work and time goes into the making of every little detail.
I won’t write much more about it here as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who’s yet to visit. If you think you’re too grown up for Harry Potter, don’t worry – travelling through those doors into the Great Hall takes you right back to feeling like a kid again. And who doesn’t want a picture of themselves on a broomstick to take home?
2. A R T I S T : L O U I S E M C N A U G H T
I recently stumbled across the artwork of Louise McNaught on Instagram and I fell in love. At first I was a little biased as the illustration I saw was of a deer – my favourite animal. But when I clicked through to her profile, I didn’t see a single illustration I didn’t like!
I absolutely love her use of pencil with bold sections of colour that drip away. Her style incorporates mixing realism with whimsical aspects and I just can’t get enough! Looking at her work makes me want to pick up a pencil again and create a whole new sketchbook. So inspiring, fun and talented.
3. F L A T I R O N
I am a massive steak fan. I’ve been meaning to visit Flat Iron for a long time, after hearing rumours about how brilliant it is. So when my friends mentioned visiting again I practically jumped at the chance.
On the way, my friend couldn’t stop telling me how tasty their popcorn is which is cooked in beef dripping. I thought she was being a little over dramatic until I tried it for myself. Along with their chips that are cooked the same way, the popcorn tastes sensational. Especially for a steak lover.
Now I was really excited, because if they can make something as simple as popcorn taste that good, imagine the main…
Honestly, the steak ranks in my top two of steaks I’ve ever had. In fact, I may put it at number one when you take into account how reasonably priced it is at just £10. My other favourite comes in at £25 so I’d rate Flat Iron as the winner.
I was so impressed that I wouldn’t stop going on about it to my brother who has now also paid a visit and came back very pleased. Visit Flat Iron at Shoreditch, Covent Garden or Soho.
4. M O J I T O I C E D T E A
As a big lover of all things tea, I was excited by the idea of mixing it with fun cocktails. These Iced Tea Cocktails from The Present Finder are a fun little gift to create a refreshing drink at home. Simply brew a cocktail infused tea bag in hot water before placing the drink in the fridge to cool.
Or if you’re after a warming fruit drink, use just like a herbal teabag. Then sit back and enjoy – cheers!
If you liked this post, check out: October Favourites
To keep updated on new posts, please follow and subscribe!