We had a lovely weekend away for my birthday, staying in Culloden Tower in Richmond - an 18th century folly converted into a holiday cottage by the Landmark Trust. Mum and Dad treated us to the weekend's stay, and very kindly let Mike and I have the double bedroom on the top floor: I don't think the 66 steps between it and the bathroom had anything to do with it. It was a fantastic place to stay, with stunning views from the rooftop across to Richmond Castle and down to the river. And to top it off Steph, Dave, Oliver and Isobel came to visit us on the Saturday, and we had a proper birthday tea, and then they stayed over nearby so we all visited the Castle together the next day before Em and John came over for lunch on Sunday. Couldn't ask for a nicer time. At some point I *will* upload the photos.
Since it's now (some time) after my birthday it's permitted to start thinking about Christmas - so Mike and I have had the day off today to go and do our Christmas shopping. The plan was to hit the shops after a late breakfast, and then have a proper afternoon tea, and after much research we were planning to head to the Doubletree hotel. They don't do afternoon tea until after 3 though, and at 1:45 were were done with the shopping already, and decided we couldn't wait that long, so in the end we went to Patisserie Valerie - who don't do an afternoon tea, but do have a great club sandwich (for Mike), a rather tasty croque madame (for me) and a double chocolate gateaux and a mixed berry tart (shared). We'll just have to have our afternoon tea another time! Barring one parcel which is supposedly "out for delivery" right now, and one which is due to arrive tomorrow I think that's the shopping pretty much done though - hurray!
Definitely looking forward to Christmas with Mike's family, and then New Year with mine celebrating my dad's 60th - it's going to be fun.