Birthday Week

We’re all guilty of distancing ourselves from the people around us from time to time, especially when striving towards ambitious new goals. Getting so wrapped up in our own minds can make it hard to keep things in perspective. I for one have been a real busy bee this summer, working on exciting (yet stressful) new projects for university, upping my running training to compete in three half marathons, upholding two jobs, and really addressing my mental health.

With my brain a little frazzled I can sometimes forget to just breathe, look around me, and accept all the support my loving friends and family are offering me in abundance. So in this past week, leading up to my birthday, I have been making a conscious effort to reconnect with old friends and spend some quality time with the people I love. I’ve spent time catching up with my brother, met up with friends at the gym and shared training sessions, spent hours chatting away in little italian coffee shops, and best of all been out for several birthday dinners with my nearest and dearest.

Although this post is primarily about wellbeing, food is obviously going to sneak its way in here somewhere. Because I love food! So if you’re hungry you may want to grab yourself a snack before you carry on reading, as I am about to show you some seriously good grub.

On Wednesday evening I hopped on the train and headed into London for another one of my adventures. This time meeting up with four of my best friends from university. Having heard amazing reviews we decided to pay a visit to The Culpeper, the perfect combination of cosy, inviting pub and fine dining. Hoping to sit up on the rooftop an enjoy a summer’s evening, the weather totally let us down. As the sky grew darker and a continuous drizzle of rain decorated the streets of London, things weren’t looking too promising. However, the staff at The Culpeper were incredibly welcoming and recommended we stay for dinner in their restaurant on the second floor instead. We gladly agreed and snuggled inside out of the rain.

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Oh hey there!

Greeted straight away by our smiley waitress Nadia, we settled in and ordered some cheeky cocktails. Her energy was so incredible, so effervescent! It totally rubbed off on us and within an instant we forgot all about the grey skies.

IMG_6524The Culpeper has a very small, perfectly refined menu which they change regularly to ensure that they’re always using the freshest ingredients, and seasonal plants. Some ingredients are even from their own rooftop garden. Impressive right!? Four of us opted for the roast monkfish, with greens, pine nuts, and grilled veggies, and my daring friend Emma tried the glazed rabbit leg with polenta. Everything was delicious, it was such a treat!

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Shameless foodies taking photographs

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Just look at this work of art!

With so much to catch up on we giggled and gossiped for hours, totally relaxed in each others company. Being with these ladies totally lifted me and I could feel myself coming back to life as the time flew by.

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Oh, and the food gets better by the way! After giving ourselves a little breather we dived in for dessert. The peach Melba was to die for and right up my street! Fruity, light, but deliciously naughty at the same time. A guaranteed way to my heart.

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Such a little pudding fiend, digging into my peach Melba.

When the night drew to an end we got ready to head back out into the rain, but little did we know the surprise awaiting us. Tiny molten, melt in your mouth, straight from the oven, I think I just died and went to heaven, chocolate chip cookies as a complimentary gift alongside our bill!! I forgot to take a photo amongst all the excitement. Now if that doesn’t make you want to grab a bunch of friends, catch the next train into London and head to The Culpeper, then I think there’s something wrong with you.

Feeling totally restored and warm inside I decided to organise another gathering for the evening of my birthday. Catching up with even more people could only increase this positive energy. A couple of school friends and I spent a warm evening (Hallelujah!!) sat outside one of my favourite go-to restaurants. Bill’s! We joked around, taking the mickey out of each other just like old times, and caught up on everything from uni, to work to exotic holidays.

Lamb Kofta with houmous, and salad.

Lamb Kofta with houmous, and salad.

If you’ve never been to Bill’s trust me you’ll love it! They do an insane afternoon tea, as well as delicious lunches and dinners, with plenty of healthy options, and the odd cheeky burger. I’ve tried almost every dish and still haven’t found anything to complain about!

Giving myself a real break this week from worrying about work, and really making an effort to see the people I love, who ground and support me, has given my wellbeing a total boost! And I now feel re-energised, ready to tackle new creative projects with a clear mind.

If you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed  recently or are just in need of a pick me up, think about who makes you laugh? Who truly gets you?

Now go send them a message and organise a picnic, a waltz around the shops, or a trip to your favourite restaurant. I promise it’ll do you the world of good and totally help you to regain perspective.

Lots of love,

Sophie x

Ps I will totally be returning to The Culpeper in the near future! Check out their website here www.theculpeper.com 

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