My birthday this year was very South Bank centric. Husband took me shopping first of all to buy part one of my present (to follow in a separate post) from a shop at the Oxo Tower, which is my new favourite place. We had coffee at the Cafe Nero there which was almost empty, despite the stream of people rushing by, and then we peered in to all the shop windows. Our next location took us from the second floor up the eighth, and to the OXO Tower Brasserie for my birthday lunch. We weren’t given the option for a seat on the terrace – not sure if they thought it was going to rain but no one was sat outside – but we did have a table right by the window so that was a close second.
I had roasted cod with caramelised onion chorizo chutney, padron pepper butter beans, and rosemary salted chips (yes, I am copying this directly from the menu) and husband had black peppered tuna, goat’s curd, English asparagus, black olive tapenade, sauce vierge, with a Feta fennel pomegranate salad (which he managed to get over the table). We felt very fancy, table spillage aside. It was such a relaxing meal, and we really love watching the world go by outside. Desert came all too quickly – chocolate cake with raspberry compote and coconut sorbet for me and Green tea cake, yuzu curd, kaffir lime leaf ice cream for Husband – and our time at the table sadly came to an end. Boo!
Back at river level again, we walked up to the Tate Modern and over the Millennium Bridge to walk back on the other side. Husband refused to let me go down the Millennium Funicular which I am still aggrieved about, and then we crossed back over to the South Bank again. They were having a wedding weekend and there were brides (and presumably grooms) everywhere. There was an inflatable church, wedding olympics (hard to explain) and many other wedding themed things. We wandered for a while with time to kill, as we waited for our next activity – Boyhood at the BFI.
We saw the film in The Studio, which is my new favourite screen in the whole world. It seats 38 people comfortably, and has the loveliest carpet. These things are important.
I completely fell in love with the film itself, and Richard Linklater has established himself in my heart as a favourite writer/director. I’ve noticed with some of the films I’ve seen recently that I have some trepidation, almost hoping that nothing happens (Obvious Child for one) and it was the same for Boyhood. I would have cringed if Linklater had introduced significant drama so I’m very glad Mason’s life was allowed to dictate the plot. Husband and I were thinking the same thing all the way through the film – we were searching for a historical inaccuracy before remembering that there wouldn’t be. It was just so beautiful, and watching Ellar Coltrane grow up was so emotionally satisfying. I cried when he graduated high school (of course) and I can only hope that we visit him again in another few years.
This is the third time I’ve been to the BFI this month, and we’re going back to the South Bank next weekend for our wedding anniversary. It’s starting to become an obsession – if I love the South Bank so much, I should just marry it.
My actual birthday was on Sunday, and we did blissfully very little. We went into a nearby town for a coffee and wander about, and I got a birthday cupcake from Maison Blanc. I then spent the afternoon taking photos of my presents and trying not to fall asleep. Ooof, I’m old!