Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Now, in the blink of an eye, our daughter’s turned into a sophisticated student sharing a flat with friends and whizzing around London.
But despite the frenetic run-up to Christmas we always put everything on hold to mark her birthday in style.
Just two years ago, we celebrated her 18th in Oxford. We sat down to a fabulous lunch with family, friends and godparents and afterwards she blew out eighteen candles on her cake. And I’m afraid, like the proud mum I am, I reminisced embarrassingly about her childhood. About her jaunty hairbands and dresses from Du Pareil au Même (the most stylish and best-value children’s shop in France – I wish it would open here) and the afternoon she stomped home in a fury from her école maternelle in Orléans, saying “I’ve been there all day and I haven’t learned to speak French yet.”
Tonight, on her 20th birthday, her three flatmates are treating her to dinner and then she’s off out with friends from the bar where she works at weekends.
But I was thrilled that she wanted to celebrate with us lot too. So on Sunday morning we drove to east London, collected some fabulous birthday cupcakes from the Spitalfields branch of The Hummingbird Bakery and watched her open her presents. She reckoned Pizza East in Shoreditch would be the perfect place for a birthday lunch – so we booked a table by the window. A vast restaurant on the ground floor of the Tea Building, the food is delicious, the staff charming and the decor a vision to behold - all vintage furniture, exposed brickwork and distressed panelling.
In fact, if I lived in London, I’d like my flat to look exactly like Pizza East. And even better, my daughter would be just around the corner...