Well, it’s not every day (or indeed every year) that one turns thirty. This past week has been absolutely packed with activity and I apologise in advance for lumping all these events together into one post!

One picnic in Richmond at Saturday lunchtime and a night at Courvoisier‘s Complete History of Food with Bompas and Parr (a quirky and fun enough experience with Bompas and Parr jellies and dining in an iguanadon but definitely not enough food). All my photos from that night can be found in this Flickr photoset. Rather than describe everything in detail, I’ll direct you to Kang’s post on the event as his views reflect mine closely.

Fig with Beetroot, Port and Vanilla Sauce

Duck Confit

Rotating Giant Cake

A Sunday morning bicycle ride around the Ealing Sky Ride route followed by a surprisingly delicious Polish/English-style roast lunch at the newly opened Frank’s Cafe in Acton (also home to the gigantic omelette).

Roast Beef with all the Trimmings

That night, seeing the fantastic Placido Domingo in a brilliant semi-staged Simon Boccanegra at the Proms and afterwards, a great late dinner at Racine with Rahul. The dinner ended on a high with another great cherry clafoutis and Rahul’s vanilla ice cream with Valrhona chocolate sauce.

Deep Fried Aubergine and Courgette Flowers

Vanilla Ice Cream with Valrhona Chocolate Sauce

Then on the big day itself, a dinner at HK Diner with our favourite crispy noodles. The Chinese believe that you’ve got to eat noodles on your birthday as their length represents longevity. I reckon the effects were probably negated by the fact that they were crispy noodles but hey, it’s one of the few superstitions to which I still subscribe! There was also a plateful of seemingly greaseless salt and chilli fried squid.

Mixed Meat Crispy Noodles

Salt and Chilli Fried Squid

There was also a great lunch yesterday but that’s for the next post. Oof, July is turning out to be extremely busy!