I am not sure if any of you are aware, but two weeks ago; I turned thirty. Yep, goodbye my twenties; hello the big 3-0!
I was very lucky to have such lovely people in my life to treat me to some wonderful ways to celebrate this milestone. Firstly, my bestest friend in the whole wide world took me to see The Last Five Years.
As per usual, me and Stacey’s sister Jen were running late. So rather than casually walking to the station by my house we ended up getting a lift by their dad to the underground station (Dave cracks me up) and the journey involved discussions as to why he should not get a motorbike and midway he got engrossed in my conversation he forgot to move from the traffic lights when it turned green!
Once we got to London, the hunt for dinner ensued. I felt like we were the stars of a nativity play as we got turned away from so many restaurants due to the waiting times! After deciding to walk to the theatre and finding somewhere close by (meaning more time to drink) we hit a few snags due to building works blocking off roads that Google Maps were telling us to go down and more restaurants being super busy (or just blanking us for ten minutes)
We finally found a Wagamama’s. Yay to be seated immediately and then knowing what we wanted pretty sharpish. I have never been before so i picked what Stacey recommended; the duck dumplings and chicken curry thats similar to a korma. HOWEVER… we sat like lemons for ages!! No one was coming to take our order for what seemed like forever – everyone knows what hangry people can get like!
Once our order was taken and the food arrived, oh wow! What amazing food they do! The dumplings were divine! I could have easily just had them as a larger portion! The curry was beautiful but slightly too spicy for me so i didnt eat it all.
Then came the main attraction, a few minutes walk away was St James Theatre. We got some drinks, I got a programme as I always do and once the doors opened we went into the theatre.
The Musical is about Jamie, a struggling author who meets and falls in love with Cathy, a struggling actress. Based in the 90’s, it shows Cathy’s side of the story from the moment she discovers that Jamie has left her to the moment they met. It also shows Jamie’s side of the story from meeting Cathy to deciding their marriage is over. They never actually interact with eachother until half way through when the timeline overlaps.
Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey are both superb, I was super excited to see them both as I have followed Samantha since she was on the Andrew Lloyd Webber show – Over the Rainbow and Jonathan is the reporter in Broadchurch so I was intrigued to see if he could sing. The show was directed by the man who wrote the musical also so I was just pure and simple loving everything as I knew this was how it was meant to be in the writers mind!
The theatre was very intimate and I felt like we were completely in the story with them both!
Sunday was my time with family. We were to meet at the restaurant at 4pm, to then have one of my nans phone about an hour before asking when she was being picked up. So now I knew it wasn’t just my parents and siblings! Bless her.
We turned up to massive balloons and everyone waiting for me (apart from my sister – she’s always late) I had picked a local Indian restaurant that we had been to when I was pregnant and that hubby goes to frequently with his work mates.
Then out came the cake:
It was super rich, but yummy with all of the sweets on the top!
Then came my actual birthday. I had been told that we needed to be in London for 3pm. I knew we had a booking for a restaurant (running theme of a love of food here). Hubby had not told me where we were going. I tried to find out what stop we’d get off at, what line we were travelling on but he wouldnt give any clues. I finally managed to emotionally blackmail him by using my low moods lately and how I wanted to dress appropriately. It worked (im so terrible but I hate surprises!!!) So we were off to…..
THE FIRST DATES RESTAURANT!!!!! Oh my goodness I was so super excited!! I knew Fred had worked there in previous series so I googled it and discovered he isn’t there anymore. Which is a shame, but there were a few faces that I recognised!
We started off by having a drink at the bar and I’m sure they’re used to people doing that as they said they’d come back in fifteen minutes and they have two chairs exactly where they do in the show. We both ordered a Mr Y which is Jack Daniels Honey, Archers, mint, lime juice, rhubarb bitters and ginger beer.
Its a lot smaller than Channel 4 make out, they also have extra furniture in there that isn’t in the show. We sat by a window and directly behind me on the opposite wall was the door to they. Toilets. Of course I had to sneak in there to see what it looks like! I even tried to recreate the angles from the show
We ordered freshly made bread which was by the chef, i honestly haven’t had such tasty bread in a long while! For main course, I ordered a Steak and Kidney Pudding, expecting it to be tiny; boy was I wrong!
Wow, the food was amazing! It tasted so fresh and for the price of the Bill I was so impressed. The service was superb and considering the cocktails were £10 each, it was cheaper then I was expecting! The desserts sounded amazing, but unfortunately because Ive been ill since Saturday morning, I couldn’t face looking at food any longer!
Upon leaving, we decided to take a casual stroll down to the Savoy Theatre. Being in St Pals meant we were only 25 minutes away. As we strolled down Fleet Street and the Strand we stumbled across Somerset House.
They had the most beautiful tree and ice rink with cute little polar bears for kids to skate in a separate section. We then noticed a little shop with Christmas ornaments and decorations so we decided to have a little look.
This little shop that we thought there was turned out to be nearly the whole bottom floor of Somerset house. It was actually Fortnum and Mason shops and they were selling gifts for her and him, for kids, selling food, drink, tea and coffee items and just anything you could think of! We picked up some mince pie flavoured shortbread which I’m so excited to open!!
Once we picked up two super cute ornaments for Ben, we continued our walk to the Savoy Theatre. We stopped off at Starbucks for a Christmas Toffee Latte which was vile to be honest; but that was really just killing time whilst the rain got heavy and we didn’t want to stand outside the theatre for ages like lemons!
Once the theatre opened we went downstairs for a drink and browse through the programme. I love listening to others getting excited as the minutes go by and the show gets closer!! Finally it was time to get to our seats and we had pretty amazing tickets!
Hubby had got the centre of Row C in the dress circle and although I love me an aisle seat for my weak bladder (even pre-Ben) I was super thankful as I knew what I was about to see would be epic.
It did not disappoint! The staging was brilliant, as were the costumes. The set designs was simple yet effective and the choreography, just wow!! I was frustrated with a couple of numbers as it was clear the stage was a tad too small but I’m sure Dreamgirls will move to a bigger stage!
The cast were all simply amazing, I felt at times the lady who plays Beyoncés part couldn’t hit the notes but then BAM, she hit them harder than I thought she could. It has been widely publicised about Amber Riley playing Effy. I was apprehensive as I didn’t like her rendition of “and I am telling you” in Glee, but I saw her on the Graham Norton show and was pleasantly surprised.
BUT…. she surpassed that and more. She was seriously just wow. She received a standing ovation in the first half, she received support from the crowd by jeering other characters and she got a further two standing ovations in the second half.
Now I have come from a musical theatre background and seen several shows but never have I seen a standing ovation in the first half.
After the show; once my jaw had firmly been lifted from the floor, we went to the stage door as we heard a lot of screaming there. After being ridiculously polite and trying to get the cast members attention, the girl in front of me was lucky enough to ask one of them for a selfie with me. IT WAS NONE OTHER THAN DR TRUEMAN FROM EASTENDERS!!!!
Actually still syked about it
” you ain’t my muvva ”
“Yes I ammmmmmmm”
Then the star came out, Miss Riley appeared and she is about my height at 5ft not much, all wrapped up snug like a bug in a rug! Then it was announced that no selfies were to be taken, only autographs.
Well I had no pen so these snapshots had to suffice!
As you can tell from my gabbing on, I had an amazing day. Considering how wank my life currently is (work issues and PND really puts a dampner on things) this day perked me up no end and the fact that I saw this show live is something I wasn’t sure would happen so for that I thank Hubby.
The lovely people at Caketoppers were kind enough to send me and Ben yummy, personalised cupcakes to mark my 30th and Bens six month birthday!
These were super yummy and as you can see below; Ben enjoyed them too!
We received a classic sponge and chocolate sponge cupcake each topped with fondant icing. As you can see; Ben preferred to demolish the sponge via hand rather than eating it, but I got to eat his chocolate topping yay!
Head over to their website to get your own – at the checkout if you enter my personalised code of “MMH10” you can get 10% discount too!
I have one more birthday celebration in store. Mum bought me and hubby tickets to see Dirty Dancing on the 10th and we will be carrying our watermelons to London in style!
Could you guess by all of these celebrations that I love me a musical???
Disclaimer: I was asked to review the cupcakes in exchange for my honest review and being given this product does not alter my opinion in anyway. This review is from my own personal perception; given in good faith and has not been sponsored or endorsed.