15 September 2013

Lifestyle | Turning 23...

Last Sunday I turned 23 and I decided to spend it with some of my favourite people. I'm pretty low-key when it comes to birthdays, I really don't like the attention, so I settled on a weekend of good friends and good food.

As a rule I tend to keep anything personal such as friends and family off of the blog but I thought it would be nice to share with you so this is going to be quite a long post with outfits, makeup and food reviews so settle in and enjoy!

The two dresses I wore - I love them both!

On the Friday I decided to head to Essex with three of my oldest and closest friends. We all went to school together and we just "get" one another. We always have the best time and laugh until it hurts.

I settled on The Brickyard in Essex; a restaurant and bar in Romford. None of us had been before but I'd liked the look of it for quite a while. The restaurant area wasn't what we were expecting - with its fabric chairs, sashed windows and candles it was a lot classier than we had expected! I know that sounds awful but we were all thinking exposed brickwork and a bit rustic, it couldn't have been more different and I was very happy with my choice!

Too true!

In the blue corner: Kala and I in matching hues!

Not only did we manage to colour coordinate our outfits without even realising (Kala and I wore blue, Kate and Jodie, red), we also ended up ordering the same meals with both myself and Kate opting for chicken skewers with hand cut chips and coleslaw and Jodie and Kala having fillet steak with chips, but not before I indulged in my favourite starter!

Parma Ham with Melon and Sorbet.

With three different times of melon, delicious parma ham, sesame seeds, fresh crisp sorbet and peppery cress, this was the perfect starter. 

Chicken Skewers with peppers and red onion, hand cut chips and coleslaw.

The chicken skewers were cooked and seasoned to perfection with the peppers and onion the perfect addition. The chips were perfect, crispy on the outside but light and fluffy inside. The perfect meal to soak up the copious cocktails we consumed!

Kala and I opted for apple pie and ice cream for dessert whilst Jodie and Kate shared chocolate brownies and ice cream. Kala and I had been expecting a slice of pie so when we were presented with our own little pies we were pleasantly surprised. Like the rest of the food, the quality was brilliant and excellent value for money.

There was an offer for 2-for-1 cocktails between 8pm-10pm - something we took full advantage of! Above we have cosmopolitans, lime and lychee martinis, strawberry daiquiris and a variation on a Bellini. 

Given that the food and service were both excellent, I honestly cannot recommend The Brickyard enough for a girlie meal.

Dress: Three Floor Fashion 'Shades of Blue'

I absolutely adore this dress and I'm sure you'll see plenty of it in future! It felt a little bit short at first but I love the detailing so much I didn't let it bother me too much. I struggled to pick a pair of shoes to go with it and opted for a pair of t-bar platforms from New Look with a chunky sequin heel that I picked up years ago.

After we left The Brickyard we jumped on the train back to London to our usual bar. After a few bottles of rose and some birthday shots (tequila, baileys and strawberry liquor - I don't recommend trying this!) we hopped into a cab home.

Hair: Enrapture Heated Rollers

Face is pretty much the same as below but more importantly - BROWS! MUFE HD Aqua Brow I love you.

On the Saturday I woke up with what can only be described as a horrible hangover but I managed to pull myself together to head off to La Durbin Salon in Fulham (review coming next week) for a curly blowdry before heading out that night with a different group of friends.

Dress: Gorgeous Couture Evita Maxi 

On the Saturday I decided I wanted to go to Hakkasan in Mayfair, so accompanied by a wonderful group of friends we booked a table and arrived for our 8pm slot. Hakkasan have strict two hour table slots due to the popularity of the restaurant and also operate a strict no photos policy. Whilst this made me a little sad at not being able to document my evening in the same way, I can understand the need for privacy in such an exclusive location.

Hakkasan isn't cheap but as an occasional treat it is so worth it, the food and cocktails are amazing and the waiting staff are attentive without being over-bearing or pushy.

Lucy, Anna and I all went for the Sweet and Sour Duke of Wellington Pork Belly with a side of plain and fried rice. The portion sizes were more generous than your usual michelin stared restaurants and the quality was unbelievable - hands down the best meal I have ever eaten! I'm not the biggest fan of pork as a rule but I've never enjoyed a meal as much. 

Ionela chose the sweetcorn soup which also contained hearty chunks of lobster, David went for a duck dish whilst Steve opted for wok fried king prawns - when they arrived the table were shocked at the size, I've never seen prawns like it!

Typically, you would order various different dishes and share in the traditional manner however we opted to order our own meals and I think it was a wise decision, the pork was so good I wouldn't have wanted to share!

The cocktails were mixed to perfection with Lucy and I opting for Passion Fruit Bellini's (my new favourite!), Anna a lychee martini, Ionela a Jasmine Frou Frou (don't ask! She was drunk on a sip!) and Steve and David various whiskeys.

Ionela and I managed to sneak in a quick selfie in the toilets (heaviest doors in London FYI!!)

L-to-R: Steve, David, Lucy, Me, Ionela, Anna.

After the meal we headed to a small pub a few streets away for a quick drink or two. Given that my existing hangover had barely subsided and I was on the verge of a food coma, we called it a night pretty early but it was super fun and I thoroughly recommend Hakkasan, it's great for special occasions. I'll definitely be heading back at some point and I have my eye on the dim sum!

Hair: Curly Blowdry at La Durbin Boutique

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (5.5)
MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation (NW30)
Chanel Solei Tan De Chanel Bronzing Base
Illamasqua Cream Blush (Dixie)
Illamasqua Highlighter (Fondle)
Illamasqua Blusher (Sophie)
Illamasqua Blusher (Rumour)
MAC Contour Powder (Sculpt)
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish (Soft and Gentle)
MAC Colour Corrector Concealer (Light Peach)
Ben Nye Banana Powder

Makeup Forever HD Aqua Brow (30)
MAC Paint (Bare Canvas)
Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess Palette (lightest shade and glitter)
MAC Eye Shadow (Embark)
Illamasqua Eye Shadow (Obsidian)
Illamsqua Precision Gel Eyeliner
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara
Millie MacIntosh Lashes (Soho)

Tom Ford Lipstick (Spanish Pink)
Tom Ford Lipgloss (Tawny Pink)

All in all I had a lovely birthday weekend with some wonderful people, some incredible food and some gorgeous dresses! I have the feeling 23 is going to be a very good year for me!

Vicky x



  1. Love the blue dress! the food looks amazing.


  2. Aw happy belated birthday you gorgeous little thing! Love your birthday dress. Can't believe you went to the brickyard, that's literally round the corner from me! xx

    1. Thank you hun! Have you ever been? The food is really good! xx

  3. Hope you had a lovely birthday, all the food looks amazing! Your dresses look fab too!
    Hannah :) x

    Love, Life, and Makeup Blog/Twitter/Pinterest

  4. All that food looks delicious and you.. you are freaking HOT!

    1. It really was! Thank you Flo! xxx


Thank you for your comments ♥ If you have any questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter @VickyAtBBB x

© The Blogging Brunette. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig