16 November 2014

Birthday Celebrations Part I: Burger, Lobster and Tower Bridge Leaps

As my birthday fell on a Friday this year I took the day off work and my parents came into London to celebrate with me — my mum's birthday is the day after mine, so we usually merge at least some of our birthday activities. It was pouring with rain first thing and I had to delay my run, but it was still pretty wet and bleak.

Luckily, by the time I got home, the sun was starting to break through and it ended up being quite a nice afternoon. My parents and I went to the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which I've never visited before (despite running underneath it several times per week) and which has just opened up a new glass floor in one of its walkways. This means that as well as learning about the history of the bridge, you get some amazing aerial views of the main part of the bridge below and of the river. Not bad for £9. It was pretty busy inside, but I still managed to sneak in a leap.

The west walkway also offers some nice views further along the river to the Shard, the City and beyond. The glass floors at the east walkway will be unveiled next month. The late-afternoon autumn light was particularly gorgeous and it would be even more impressive at sunset. We were on a mission, however, so we just took a few more silly shots on the bridge, admired the poppies at the Tower and headed back to the West End.

My parents kindly booked me into the Royal Automobile Club for the night. I was most excited by the blackboard on my door, but it was also nice to relax in the drawing room with a coffee before moving onto the evening's activities.

Burger & Lobster is one of my favourite London restaurants and they have just opened a new branch near Oxford Circus, where we met my brother and sister-in-law for dinner. While we waited for them to arrive, I ordered my usual Mary's Fix cocktail (gin, pineapple, rosemary, lemon), which was fruity and delicious. At Burger & Lobster, the menu is "would you like burger or lobster?" As it was my birthday, though, I ordered the burger-with-half-a-lobster (£30), which offers the best of both worlds.

And no, I still hadn't run out of silly photo opportunities...

Although pudding was included in my combo menu, I was pretty full and wasn't really tempted by any of Burger & Lobster's sweet offerings. By the time we had walked down to Gelupo in Soho, however, I had worked up a bit of an appetite and made room for a small scoop of my favourite Gelupo flavour to date: raspberry peanut caramel. Yum!

After dinner, some of my friends joined us at the cinema and we went to see the new film about Alan Turing, The Imitation Game, which I really enjoyed (full review to follow soon), before taking a nightcap at the Royal Automobile Club. It was a fun and busy day spent with some of my favourite people; in other words, a darn good birthday.

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