It was my birthday on Tuesday thanks to the weather gods it was a fantastic day out – icy incredibly cold, but an amazing day nonetheless. As first “breakfast” to wake up the palate at home, we had Earl Grey cupcakes.  That Mark had made the night before.  Delishus!


Mark took the day off work as our plan was to eat our way around London.  I kid you not and I have to say, we gave it a good go.

We stopped off at The Breakfast Club near Liverpool Street Station.  I had the big American breakfast and Mark had the Huervos Rancheros.  Randomly, one of the waitresses came up to us and asked me if it was my birthday.  I was a bit taken aback and said “yes” and she went: oh! you get to have any of our milkshakes on the menu for free.

So, along with my buttermilk pancakes, poached eggs, bacon and sausage, I had a peanut butter and banana milkshake.  And tea.  I feel a bit daft for not taking photos.  Next time, for sure.

From there, we strolled down to London Bridge and headed to The Shard where we had tickets to go ALL the way to the top.  I wasn’t sure about this, to be honest.  I’m not good with heights, i.e. I get a bit woozy standing on a chair, and yet, I’m 100% fine with being high up and looking down, as long as I know I’m supported well, as in: I can’t see the ground beneath my feet, if that makes sense?

View from the Shard


The VIEW across all of London was incredible.  We were up there for a long time.  There are two different viewing platforms.  One is enclosed and the other is open to the elements.  Both were hugely popular and we spent lots of time walking around and taking loads and loads of photos.  I’ll say now that the security was incredible, the staff were all super friendly and so cool and chatty.  I had my doubts about the Shard, but having now gone up there and seen how neatly it’s done and the stunning views, I love it.  I think it’s a fantastic visitor’s attraction and I think once the restaurants are open, it will be even cooler yet.

From the Shard, we headed to Hoxton.  We’ve heard tell of the Ministry of Stories ages ago via twitter but thanks to the lovely Kim Curran I found out about their creative writing programme in place.  I’ve registered to train with them so that I can join in the workshops they run.  I’m so excited.  Whilst we waited outside the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies at this funky shop called The Barrel Boulangerie we partook of a freshly baked croissant and some tea and coffee.  It was the perfect pick me up.

Pastries & cakes from The Barrel Boulangerie
Pastries & cakes from The Barrel Boulangerie


Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is a great shop and I wanted all the cool stuff they had in there.  We chatted to this chap Alexander for a few minutes and I purchased a few cool writerly buttons, as seen below, before heading off to our lunch venue, The Red Dog Saloon, just down the road.


Lunch was delicious – I had the pulled pork bun and Mark and I shared the French fries and coleslaw.  I will say, hand on my heart, that although the pulled pork was stunningly delicious, the fries were decadently gorgeous.  I’d go back, if only for those fries.  Crazy, I know.

We walked around a bit more and stumbled across some incredible graffiti.  Here’s some of what we found:







All in all it was a fantastic day, culminating in scrummy pizza whilst watching Dirty Dancing for the first time in possibly ten years or more.  Yes, I am that old.


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