I know, I know. It's another non food related post... Sorry! But firstly, I still can't cook all that well with my broken arm, and secondly I just have to tell you about our amazing weekend away!

I started planning my birthday weekend in about January this year. I know this seems like a ridiculously long time before my actual birthday (September) but I also know how quickly my friends weekends get booked up, and my birthday weekend is one of the most popular weekends for weddings, so I wanted to make sure I had my accommodation booked for our weekend away. A flurry of emails went out to friends and most came back saying yes, they'd love to come. So the next task was to find somewhere that would house 20+ of us for 3 nights. I always knew I wanted to stay in the UK, preferably within 90 minutes of London and Brighton, where 90% of my friends are. I looked on various websites including Canopy and Stars, and had I known about Airbnb in January I probably would've booked something via there, but I didn't, and ended up booking Manor Farm House in Kent, via Rural Retreats. The property boasted 3 houses, a swimming pool, jacuzzis, a sauna, pool table and 2 acres of land. It sounded perfect!

The 'summer', weddings, festivals and parties, came and went and I could eventually get excited for my birthday weekend. It's not every year you turn 30 - I think this might be the last birthday I actually want to make a big deal of!!

So Friday arrived, and off we headed, with a van full of enough stuff to last us for weeks! The rain cleared as we drove East, and we arrived at Milstead in Kent, the tiny village that's home to Manor Farm House. I was so, so excited about seeing the property, and wasn't disappointed when we arrived. Each of the 3 houses had 3-5 bedrooms, most with en suites, and all done to a really high spec. We poured ourselves a drink, settled on the terrace and waited for the others to arrive.


I didn't want to make fixed plans for the weekend, as it's so difficult to do that with 20 people to coordinate, and I also wanted everyone to relax, and do what they wanted to do.

We played croquet and football, we swam (I found a magic plaster cast cover that actually kept my arm dry), played water volleyball, had saunas and jacuzzi baths, went to the pub, did face painting and glitter, had BBQs and lay in the sun, pretending it was still warm enough to do so!

The one thing I did have planned for the weekend was Saturday night. I cooked my slow roast pork shoulder, which I'd had delivered by Wyndham House butchers before we left London, and the boys cooked up a fish feast for starters on the barbecue. It was so lovely all sitting round the HUGE dining table in the main house.

Crispy pork skin..

Me and my brother working the grey jumpers...!!

We ate and drank like kings and queens...

Which was just as well, as pudding was dancing! The boys had set up a soundsystem in the library of one of the houses, and Skitz turned up to come and spin some tunes for us to all party to.

We danced all night long and slept through the first part of Sunday. By then it was raining, which didn't really matter, as all we wanted to do was curl up on sofas and watch David Attenborough - I was given the box set by one of my friends, which was the perfect Sunday afternoon hangover cure.

I was so lucky, and received tonnes of amazing presents. The majority had a food theme - Greek saffron and vanilla pods, garlic crushers, pink peppercorns, wild boar ragu sauce, and more and more!

And then to top off the perfect weekend, we had cake. And not just any cake! My friends had clubbed together to get me 3 amazing cakes from Patisserie Valerie!! When I think of perfect cake, most of theirs spring to mind. Look what we had!!

I was soooo spoilt!! Banana and chocolate gigantic mousse cake, strawberry mousse and chocolate mousse, and a passion fruit sponge! We were eating cake for days!!

I really did have the best weekend ever - surrounded by friends and loved ones in the most beautiful setting, we even had our own guard dog! I know I said it would be my last big birthday blow out, but I'm quite tempted to do it all again next year!!



  1. This totally looks like the best weekend ever. Any weekend with a swimming pool involved tends to be awesome! Glad you had a great time :)

    1. Thanks! It was such fun, wish I could do it every weekend! Got plans in motion to do a full week next year though :)

      R xx


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