Celebrating mum’s birthday (at home)

View over Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes
Followers on social will have known it was my mum’s (big!) birthday a fortnight ago. But what you might not have known is that we planned to take her away to celebrate – a week in Malta. While Covid put paid to that, we still managed to have a staycation instead (coming up next to the blog) – but on her actual birthday, she came up to MK and we spent the day together.

You’ll all know that I love to plan and have a schedule – but this time around, the only thing I planned was the food. I thought I’d wait and see what the weather was like, and what we could do on the day – but luckily the sun was shining. Everything was kept a surprise, of course! And I even surprised myself!

Sealed up platter containing meats, cheeses, crudites and antipasti
Platter containing meats, cheeses, crudites and antipasti

Lunch was courtesy of Platter ELF. Elizabeth totally saw my vision and created a bespoke platter based on my two requests – cheese & meat and the grazing concept. She was super helpful and also delivered ahead of schedule, which was perfect! She created a large combo platter, which was more than enough to serve two, but was exactly what I wanted – there were leftovers the next day and even enough for mum to take home with her! Beautifully presented, everything was fresh and delicious. I mean I could list it all, but I was pleased to see a giant wedge of brie, the most beautifully marinated green olives, all the meats and of course, cheese straws! We sat out in the garden on the decking, and I could have genuinely grazed all afternoon. A glass of pinot grigio would have been perfect – but for the nursery run later!

Happy Birthday white chocolate and biscoff tiffin in a box

Just as we planned on bringing everything inside, the door went – and it was the lovely Ruth from Tiffin+. She delivered a kindly [gifted] celebration tiffin for mum. I’ve featured Tiffin+ before on here, over lockdown (read: Lucy Loves... Tiffin+) and Ruth’s tiffin is legendary – I think I’m pretty well placed to say that now, the amount I’ve got through these last couple of months. Rather than her traditional tiffin, she made the luxury Biscoff variation, which is crammed with cranberries and topped with white chocolate. For the celebratory touch, a fondant decoration, and studded with white chocolate buttons. I love the Biscoff tiffin, in fact anything Lotus themed – Ruth makes a delicious Biscoff slice – and as always, it was delicious.

Vintage sponge cake, with pink and white buttercream icing

While I’m talking sweet treats, I have to mention this beauty from Cakes by Bon [gifted]. Every month, Boni runs a Facebook competition, where two lucky winners will receive a cake for whatever occasion. I mentioned in my entry that it was mum’s big birthday and we weren’t able to celebrate as planned – and I won! Boni lives on our estate, so I ran around in the car to pick it up, arriving back just as mum pulled up – so it wasn’t a surprise for long. The cake was decorated in a vintage style, which I just love – I mean check out that piping. The sponge itself was so light, like an angel’s pillow, but that buttercream icing – wow! I’m so used to really sickly-sweet buttercream which just makes everything too rich and not enjoyable. Boni only uses Italian swiss meringue buttercream and that’s an absolute gamechanger – I’m a buttercream convert now.

View across Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes

We then decided to go for a walk and settled on Caldecotte Lake. I have to admit, I love it there. It’s always really breezy, fairly quiet and the pub isn’t too bad either. It’s only up the road in the car – and I was conscious of getting Alfie earlier than usual. We had never walked around the whole lake before, but there’s a first time for everything! I think it was about 7km we walked, stopping to take a few photos as the sky was so blue and the lake, glistening. It was just lovely to go for a long walk, enjoy the fresh air and actually walk without having to keep stopping to drag a toddler out!

After picking up Alfie, we returned home. My neighbour had made cupcakes with her girls, so they brought those over and visited – and we just had a chat and a coffee. Such a wonderful half planned/half impromptu day!

Love, Lucy xx

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*Gifted items are as specified from Tiffin+ and Cakes by Bon. I’ve not been paid to share or promote them. All images and thoughts are my own.

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