Cake by the ocean – the countdown to 21!

In exactly a week today, I will be making my way back up north with only 24 hours to blitz my wardrobe and pack for my birthday vacay…LAS VEGAS. Now as much as I have loved being down in the sunny south, I absolutely cannot contain my excitement for what’s ahead in the next few weeks! And whilst I’m sat here, sipping my coffee and daydreaming of jetting off to somewhere warmer, I can’t help but smile thinking about my year of being 20. Good times!

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Throwback to my delicious 20th birthday cake – my boyfriends mum made this gorgeous dairy free chocolate cake with pink edible glitter, she knows me too well!

My blog was recently featured in a Manchester Tab article (click for link), with a short interview about my food & lifestyle thoughts, it’s a really fun read so be sure to check it out! The writers also interviewed one of my fave foodies – Livia’s Kitchen, along with a few other motivating blogs and instagrams. Thinking about some of the questions they asked really inspired me to blog again, as it’s been quite a while! So here goes – another post: No recipes in this one…no exercise tips…no words of wisdom or advice – just a few things to be grateful for in the lead up to the big two-one celebrations!

One of the most exciting parts of coming back down to Dorset is undoubtedly the coast. The beaches here are somewhere that I have never taken for granted, and although I’m now a self-confessed city girl, I crave the sandy shores of the UK’s version of California.

You can’t beat a beach BBQ, late night sand walk, or cosy hot choc by the sea at shore road’s Jazz Café. FullSizeRender (9)So what better way to kick off the celebrations than with an afternoon tea by the sea. There are two places in Bournemouth that I’m particularly fond of when it comes to cake by the ocean. First up, the Cumberland Hotel (below left) – sat on a hill at the edge of the world where you can see the sea for miles, whilst you’re sipping on tea and catching up with the girls. And secondly, but not second best – the newest member of the club – the Hampton by Hilton (below right). Here’s one to take the parents! And although the views don’t beat my fave spot in the clouds at Manchester’s Hilton Cloud 23, it’s a perfect place to order your signature cocktail, or feast on a stack of perfectly miniature cakes for lunch!IMG_3847 (2) Now before I get totally side-tracked babbling on about cake and coffee’s, don’t let me forget another classic coastal treat – the BBQ! Some of my favourite memories from this year are the times with my best friends, laughing about the weird and wonderful things we’ve experienced in our first year of being twenty-something, whilst our (still raw in the middle) chicken skewers and  chipolatas burn on one side over the cheap disposable grill we bought on a whim! But sometimes we really do get it right and if I say so myself, we’re not bad at rustling up a delish, although rather make-shiftgourmet BBQ.

If I’m honest, I’ve never really been the biggest fan of a burger or hot dog, so when my best friend suggested grilling fish & Mediterranean veggies for our al-fresco feast instead, I was super pleased. It was so simple, we laid on a few salmon skewers and fillets, topped with garden herbs, along side some foil trays of sweet potato wedges and a rainbow medley of chunky veggies with big, juicy king prawns – absolutely delicious and not a pink bit of chicken or charcoaled sausage in sight.

So today my plans are simple, I’m going to head down to my fave beach spot and make the most of a dry day in one of the most beautiful places in my little world. I’m sure there will be plenty of tea, cake and cocktails to come in the near future, as the countdown to 21 begins! Just like they say – start as you mean to go on!

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