The way I felt in the week leading up to our wedding day
took me by surprise. After months of protracted emails to our venue to clarify
timings, long international phonecalls to suppliers to check arrangements and many
sleepless nights worrying about every little detail, I returned home to the UK
with an air of complete calm.
Everybody kept on commenting on how relaxed I seemed,
hinting at the fact that, as a rather attentive bride, they presumed that I
would, or should be, displaying a few bridezilla-like characteristics by this
point in the proceedings. What can I say?! Doing all your stressing early on
obviously pays off!
As such, I was able to seriously kick back and enjoy a bit
of much-needed chill time in the lead up to the day itself. Here are some
highlights from a rather enjoyable week back home.
Meeting the wonderful Angie, Lauren, Jaime and Andrea
All bloggers will understand that feeling of excitement that
you get when you finally get to meet other bloggers that you have been
interacting with for a long time on social media. All four of these girls have
inspired me in various ways along my blogging journey and not only are they a
super talented bunch (seriously, check out their blogs if you are not already
familiar with them at the links above), but they are also rather lovely people
to boot. Needless to say, I was incredibly happy to discover that they are just
as brilliant in ‘real life’ as they are online.
We headed to Oka in Kingly Court for sushi, prosecco and
gossip (pretty much my favourite combination of things), and I was blown away
at how miniscule our bill was compared to the quantity and quality of the food ordered.
This is a must-try restaurant if you live in London, and if you would like to
read a full review then head over to Angie, Andrea and Lauren’s blogs for the
Andrea proving that she is a saucy lady, just as I suspected from her blog
After eating and doing what us bloggers do best (taking hundreds of photos of our food), Angie, Lauren and I weren’t quite ready for
the night to end, and so we headed downstairs to the awesome Cahoots, a
secretive little place which is tucked away enough from the crowds to feel
exclusive, and quirky enough in its concept to still be heaps of fun. It’s
designed like a 1940s tube station and we loved the newspaper menus, tube
station seating and delicious cocktails.
Catching up with one of my chief bridesmaids
It was great to meet up with Tania in London a couple of
days before we made the trip up to the Peak District for the wedding. She very
kindly took me to lunch at Medlar in Chelsea. A charming, comfortable and very
popular restaurant from two alumni of one of my favourite restaurants, Chez
Bruce, the menu is both elegant and elaborate, as well as mouth-wateringly tasty.
Stand-out dishes for us were the salad of confit quail legs,
iberico ham, sairass ricotta, baby green peaches and ice salad.
The under blade fillet with
shin and pickled walnut croquettes, salad, triple cooked chips and gravy.
And the tagliatelli with
scallops and prawn.
We chatted about last minute
wedding bits and pieces and the first real buzz that accompanied the knowledge that I was really actually definitely getting married began!
Pottering around London
The day before Mr Sunshine-to-be joined me
in London after finishing work back in Doha, I had a few errands to run around
the city. Important chores were carried out like getting my hair cut and
coloured at my favourite salon, Brooks & Brooks…
And, you know, buying juice and
wandering through parks and stuff…
Having some couple time
After picking Mr Sunshine-to-be up from the airport, it
was really nice to be able to have one last proper night together at our
favourite home away from home, The Montcalm London City before we headed up to
the Peak District for the real fun and games to begin.
We had Sunday lunch at an old
favourite, The Jugged Hare…
And a few Pimms in the City to
kick off the celebrations. When in London!
Getting the last minute bits
and pieces sorted
And then, before we knew it, we
were on the train up to my mum’s house, prosecco in hand and huge grins on our
Here, we tied labels to
favours, compiled boxes to go to Chatsworth…
Transported flowers from mum’s
garden to the Church…
Discussed last minute
arrangements with the venue…
And made a little time to open
and read a few cards and soak in the views from the balcony.
I want to say a huge thank you
to all of our family and friends that assisted during this time – especially the
two mummies who worked tirelessly to produce favours and flowers that we could
be proud of, as well as my second chief bridesmaid Lottie who got up at 5am one
morning to drive up to The Peak District to lend a hand. We could not have done
any of this without you!
Enjoying some relaxation and
While Rich headed off for his stag
do (I had been super-organised and decided to hold my first one well in advance
of the big day…and then to have another in Qatar several months later!), my mum
and I took the opportunity to take ourselves off to a spa for the day so that I
could get a wedding mani and pedi, and we could both enjoy a relaxing hot stone
massage. We chose Spa 1877 in the heart of Sheffield, which is built around Victorian
Turkish baths, making it a really authentic experience.
The best thing about this place
however, is the fabulously warm and accommodating staff. I would definitely
recommend it to anyone seeking an afternoon of pampering in the vicinity.
Spending our final evening
before the wedding with our favourite people
Following a successful
rehearsal at the Church, Rich and I headed to The George Hotel in Hathersage to meet
all of our closest family for a final rehearsal dinner. Having decided to stick
to the traditional father, groom and best man triumvirate of speeches the next
day, this was my opportunity to say a few words to thank those around the table
and my lovely future husband for making it this far!
Then it was time to say our
goodbyes, head to bed and try desperately hard to catch a few winks before the
biggest day of our lives in the morning.
I had a sneaky suspicion that I
wouldn’t be sleeping much that night.