Turning 23: Birthday Bonanza!

The 23rd March marked my 23rd birthday, so of course, as with each birthday every year, I count down the days, organize a weeks worth of celebrations months in advance – and this year’s was no exception…
My parents have a country house down in East Devon in a little village called Sidbury. It’s the kind of village where you greet everyone you meet, know everyone you see and there’s only one local pub in which everyone gathers.

Although I’ve been coming down to Devon every Christmas, Easter and Summer for as long as I can remember, we only bought this place last year, so my friends hadn’t even been down to stay! Therefore, it couldn’t have been a more perfect place to invite my home-friends for a country getaway the weekend before the big day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t invite allll my friends and not all of them could come, but that was OK, it was more of an excuse to elongate the festivities at a later date 😉

On the Friday bright and early, we hit the M25 ready for our countryside adventure. Missing rush hour with the sunshine heating up, we knew it was a good start to the weekend – not to mention we had prime viewing of the eclipse when we stopped for breakfast, even if it was a bit cloudy!

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After filling up on copious amounts of Costa cappuccinos, mcmuffins and oj, we took to the road again and sung ourselves silly until we reached our destination.

We jumped out of the car and threw our bags in the kitchen to run up to the garden where we greeted by the Jacuzzi – not quite up to temperature, we decided to bask in the sun instead and ravenous from the journey, got stuck into a nice cuppa and a chunk of Slutty brownie I’d made the previous night.

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I wanted to show my guests around the place I’d spent half my life growing up in so took them straight to Sidmouth seaside, the neighbouring regency town.

We walked the shore and explored the caverns, while popping into my favourite shop, Dotty Home to pick up a few bits that I had been eyeing up for quite some time now. With our evening planned to head into Exeter that night for some boogy-ing, we devoured some classic fish’n’chips for some sustenance and I can tell you they were that good I ate them so quick I forgot to take a photo!

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Keen to get ready for our night out, we headed back to the cottage and got our glad rags and prinks game on. As well as a quick photoshoot… which is mandatory if you ask me.

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In Exeter, we first went to The Old Firehouse – apparently, this was J.K Rowling’s inspiration for the common room in Harry Potter, so being the fangirl I am about HP, I was sold. Not only on the remarkably cheap drink prices (thank you student city!) but the décor – which made me feel like I’d just walked past The Fat Lady and I was sitting by the fireplace with Harry and Ron, about to see Sirius Black come out of the ashes. Ok maybe not that far, but you get the idea…

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After meeting with our old school friend Jess, we moved onto to Coal, the coolest cocktail bar I’ve been to. Chatting away like there was no tomorrow, we realized it actually was ‘tomorrow’ as they were closing and we needed to find our next venue….

More drinks and dancing commenced here but don’t get too carried away, as the bouncers don’t allow any drinks on the dance floor…. ‘Ummm what?’  I hear you say. Trust me, that was my reaction too!

By 3am I think it was safe to say we’d partied the night away and my 22 year old self needed some beauty sleep for the rest of the weekend ahead.

In the morning we woke up groggy eyed with flailing tails, so we waffled down some breakfast and went on a brisk walk around the village to get us awake for the day. Later that day, my sister came to stay and we all went for dinner at the village pub The Red Lion. We ate our bodyweight in Yorkshire puds and apple crumble and came back to pardy in the hot tub. It was a treat. We piled in, 6 of us squeezing up, pouring prosseco, gazing up at the stars, giggling and chatting the night away, with the odd game of Heads Up, which had us in fits of laughter. I wish I had got more snaps but I couldn’t rely on us not dropping the cameras in the water!

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The next day we woke up more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for GAME DAY. Down here, I’m lucky enough to have a Table Tennis and Table Football (and those that know me well know I’m a sucker for these two games and can be quite competitive haha!) We rallied and roared, batted and blundered but all in good grace. Enough of the activities, it was time for one last dip in the Jacuzzi before we had to head home to Hertford. The sun beamed down in celebration of the wonderful weekend we had and we made our way back to reality soon after…

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