40th Birthday Weekend

Mr ATWWAH celebrated his 40th birthday last month.  He seems to have taken reaching this milestone very well and was more excited about his birthday than I’ve seen any 39 year old.  The excitement may have been down to the fact I’d arranged a birthday party for him, apparently he never had an 18th, 21st or 30th so he felt he deserved a 40th, and frankly it was nice to arrange a birthday party for an adult for a change.

As Mr ATWWAH’s birthday landed on a Saturday we decided to make more of a weekend of it and took advantage of the in-laws coming by going out on the Friday night just the two of us, a pretty rare occurrence these days.  I booked us a table at Galvin at Windows as it is somewhere Mr ATWWAH had mentioned in the past as a place he’d like to try.  I was a bit nervous about it though as I’d mentioned it to a couple of my foodie mates (one who writes restaurant reviews for Time Out and the other who is an events director and knows a thing or two about good restaurants and neither were overtly enthusiastic)

We really enjoyed it though and I’d definitely recommend it as an ‘occasion’ restaurant for anyone visiting London.  It’s a Michelin star restaurant and bar in the Hilton Park Lane hotel with amazing views over London.  You are advised to request a window table when booking which I did, unfortunately we weren’t right at the window but could get a good view anyway.  The restaurant wasn’t full but was busy enough that there was an atmosphere and there seemed to be lots of fairly affluent foreign tourists eating there.

When you arrive you are given a couple of postcards showing the view and you can write them at your table and then the restaurant will post them anywhere in the world which I thought was a really nice touch.  We sent ours to my parents back up north and to Master and Mini ATWWAH to show them where mummy and daddy had gone for their night out.  Master ATWWAH was very impressed when it arrived that a postcard had arrived for him.


Postcard from Galvin at Windows

Much to Mr ATWWAH’s disgust I ordered asparagus to start (I like asparagus!), he had salmon.  I had halibut for main which was delicious and he had the roasted cutlet of Iberico pork.  The dessert I ordered was a bit much for me, it was quite rich, although was apple tarte tartin (which must be said and read in the Masterchef voiceover voice) and Mr ATWWAH had his usual cheeseboard dessert.  The wine waiter was lovely and recommended a bottle of white cheaper than the one we were thinking of and also kept Mr ATWWAH in red wine during the main course.

My reservation that it may be a bit too stuffy for us was not realised with the waiters all being very lovely and friendly.  I did get in trouble though when one of them spotted me pouring my own water.  I get that the waiter usually pours the wine but I didn’t realise the same applied to water.

Despite the late night and red wine we were up early in the morning to head to Mercedes Benz World at Brooklands.  We’ve been before but this time Mr ATWWAH was doing an hour long driving experience in a fast car which he loved.  Annoyingly I didn’t get any photos as at the same time Master ATWWAH and my nephew Master W were having their own 15 minute Little Learners experience in toy Mercedes cars on the indoor track complete with traffic lights etc.  It cost £6 each and is aimed at kids aged three to five years old.  Master W had just turned 6 so he had a go although he was a bit tall really and frustrated that his little cousin could go faster than him as I think he was at a weight disadvantage.


I love the look of concentration on their faces during the road sign briefing


Taking the Merc for a spin

We watched Mr ATWWAH out on the track and frankly he was driving too fast to get any decent photos but he absolutely loved it and recommends it to anyone who is thinking about doing it or buying it as a present for someone.  There were so many people doing the experiences but it was really well organised and pretty entertaining for spectators to watch too.

We went to Brooklands Museum for an hour with the kids, a five minute walk from Mercedes Benz World, which they loved.  It’s full of planes, racing cars and buses with exhibitions indoor and out.  There are often special days there with classic cars, emergency vehicles etc so it’s worth checking their website if you are planning a visit on a weekend or school holiday date.  There is an admission charge of £11 for adults and kids aged 5-16 are £6 with under 5’s going free.

There is also a 4D experience, the Napier Railton Race Experience which is an extra cost, £5 for adults and £3 for kids.  Mr ATWWAH and my brother Mr W took the kids in and said it really wasn’t worth the extra charge and after the first couple of minutes it was quite dull.  So, maybe one to be missed.

The Concorde Experience wasn’t available when we visited as it was being cleaned but you can pay extra (the same as the 4D experience) to have a 3o minute tour of Concorde.  There are loads of other planes you can go on for free though including a cargo plane and one that belonged to a rich Sultan which the kids loved and they all have very friendly, passionate volunteers onboard who are very happy to talk to you about them.

The evening’s celebrations were at Wimbledon dogs where we had hired a box for a party with friends.  It was a really good night out and I’d definitely recommend it as a party idea when you have lots of people coming who don’t necessarily know each other as the races get everyone talking.  As well as the big buffet spread which was pretty tasty and lots of alcohol there was a free £5 tote bet as part of the party package which got everyone into the competitive spirit.  Hopefully we won’t be referring anyone to Gambling Anonymous anytime soon though.

Mr ATWWAH and his friend, Mr J, who also celebrated his 40th that week, even had races named after them and got to present the winning owners with a trophy.  It was a good night out and worth doing before the stadium is renovated into a football ground, if the rumours are true.

So, all in all, a great weekend and even if Mr ATWWAH didn’t like some of his birthday presents at least the kids like the one from them.

table football

Master and Mini ATWWAH enjoying the personalised table football present they ‘bought’ their daddy


  1. Sounds great fun! It’s my husband’s 40th this month too so am in the middle of planning 🙂 Love Brooklands and the kids’ driving experience is definitely one to remember. Shame about Concorde though, that was fascinating. And happy birthday MR ATWWAH!

    • Thanks Cathy. Looking forward to hearing about what you end up doing for your husband’s birthday. I imagine a driving experience would be a busman’s holiday for him? 🙂

  2. Hi Mrs ATWWAH
    Love your blog and happy birthday to MR ATWWAH! We’re thinking of visiting brook lands tomorrow as fireman Sam is going to be there apparently along with lots of emergency vehicles. Little boys dream! I wondered if you have to book in for the little learners experience in advance or you can just turn up?

    • Thanks Kate. The emergency service day sounds brilliant. You can book Little Learners at Mercedes Benz World on the day when you arrive, you get given a time slot. Unfortunately you can’t book any further in advance.

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