I’m not usually high-maintenance when it comes to my birthday. In fact, I’m fairly chilled at about it. The only exception to this was the big bash I planned on my 40th. But this time it was different and I’ll tell you why I really celebrated my birthday this year more than any other.
A LOCKDOWN BIRTHDAY
Last year, we spent the day at home. We were in lockdown throughout November, after all, so we couldn’t do anything even if I wanted to. Sukh and the kids made it as as special as they could though and I really enjoyed my time with my team.
But this year, I planned several events because I wanted to celebrate life. I am so lucky to be healthy and to be here at all. 2020 and most of 2021 have been tumultuous to say the least. We’ve all been through a lot and some families, having lost loved ones, will never be the same again.
CELEBRATING EACH MILESTONE
Every birthday is a milestone and each year that passes, regardless of ups and downs, reminds me that I’m lucky to be alive and to be surrounded by a wonderful husband and amazing children. So I wanted to use my birthday as a way of celebrating that fact.
We started the celebrations on my birthday eve. As my birthday fell on a Sunday, I didn’t want to go for a meal that night because the kids had school the following day. We decided to go for a nice Thai meal on Saturday night.
A THAI TREAT
Thai food is our favourite cuisine after Indian food. The kids love the spice and fresh flavours.We went to a a small Thai restaurant called the Wychbury Inn not far from home. I’d been at work all day and didn’t want to stay in the city and deal with the busy-ness of a Saturday night. We’ve only ever been there once before several years ago and I’d forgotten all about it.
Over the last few years, we’ve been getting our Thai fix at Sabai Sabai or The Giggling Squid.
It was a nice relaxed evening and we just enjoyed catching up on each other’s lives as we have a lot going on right now. We came home and watched a film on our projector screen. We reserve that for special nights! It was a lovely way to see in my birthday.
HATTON ESCAPE ROOMS
On Sunday, we went to the Escape Rooms at Hatton Adventure World. We’d been invited to check it out a while ago, so I booked it as a birthday treat. I’d done an escape room once before with my friends but it was the first experience for Sukh and the kids. I was super excited because we’re all really competitive and I didn’t make it out last time but I was hopeful we would escape.Sukh and the kids didn’t quite know what to expect, so at this stage they just went with the flow. There are two escape rooms at Hatton; Mutiny and Outfitters.
We opted to play the Mutiny game because I knew the kids would appreciate the pirate theme. And the difficulty level is slightly lower than the mob-based game.Mutiny is about the cruel Captain Starling and we play the shipmates who have to steal his gold before he wakes up. Paul was a marvellous host and really explained the rules and padlocks before we entered.
Now, as it’s an escape room I can’t give anything away about the puzzles. But we got stuck a few times and needed the help of Polly the Parrot!There are plenty of mental puzzles as well as physical ones. Shalini was tasked with opening the padlocks when we had the right codes and she was also good at the physical challenges.
Shivam’s strength was finding missing pieces and solving the maths puzzles. He was the human calculator we needed! And Sukh and I did a bit of everything.
I really wish I could tell you more but of course, I can’t. What I can tell you is how fun it was, how brilliant the theming is and that we didn’t make it out! We were so disappointed because Paul told us we were about 15 minutes away from escaping.
We can’t believe we were so close yet so far. It’s definitely a room we would go back to complete. We’re already trying to find a date so we can book in again.We got a bit frustrated with each other at times but that was due to the pressure of the clock running down. But overall, we worked well as a team.
Since our experience at Hatton, we’ve done a different escape room elsewhere. That one didn’t match the challenges, theming and overall experience of the game at Hatton though. I can safely say you will not be disappointed if you book.
HATTON ADVENTURE WORLD
We love visiting Hatton and usually make a couple of trips annually, especially during the festive season to watch a movie at the Drive-In or visit the Christmas Kingdom. So after the escape room, it was nice just to meander through the shopping village and stop at the cafe for a hot chocolate.When we left Hatton we headed to an Indian restaurant for a good hearty lunch before heading home to a lovely Red Velvet cake that Sukh had ordered for me. We spent the rest of the day chilling and just enjoying some downtime.
THE WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND
The following day Sukh and I went to the theatre to watch a comedy called ‘Groan Ups’.
We’d been invited by the Wolverhampton Grand, which is such a nice theatre in the centre of town. It was good to have a night where it was just Sukh and I and we’re trying to get regular date nights in – at least once every couple of weeks. We’ll be heading to the Grand next week for Panto and we can’t wait to kickstart the Christmas festivities.
SONU NIGAM IN CONCERT
And the celebrations didn’t stop there. We went to see Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam in concert at the Utility Arena the following Saturday. He’s my favourite singer and I’d always wanted to see him perform live. I’d got tickets through work, so it was another treat for my birthday.
Sonu’s vocal range is insane and it was an amazing production. I had a sore throat the next day because I literally sang my heart out the entire night.
DATE NIGHT AT LULU WILD
A few days later, Sukh and I went for a meal at Lulu Wild, a new contemporary Chinese restaurant in Birmingham city centre. We’d been invited to check it out. I purposely booked it between both of our birthdays, as a joint celebration and date night.
I absolutely loved the decor and the entire restaurant is dimly-lit with plenty of features to capture great photos. This includes a grand piano in the upstairs dining room, artwork and neon signs.The wait staff were amazing and when we asked to move to a quieter part of the restaurant for a bit more privacy, they were happy to accommodate.We had several dishes to share including dim-sum, chilli wings, stir-fry tofu, pak-choi and king prawns. Everything tasted fresh and delicious but the Nyonya Lamb was my favourite dish.
Everything at Lulu Wild screams luxury and its definitely a restaurant we would visit again on a special occasion. You can see more photos of the food and decor over on my Instagram.
***Disclaimer: Some of the events/restaurants mentioned above are PR gifts. All thoughts and opinions are my own.***
While you’re here, why not check out my review of Oh My Chaat, an Indian snack food business in Birmingham.