After a day spent peacocking along the English coastline it was time to get back to civilization. I was excited to meet Cathy, an internet buddy whose acquaintanceship goes way back to the days of LiveJournal. She generously offered her place, setting up the most adorable little bedroom nest I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, complete with gourmet pillow chocolates and towels. The perfect place to lay down my weary, sun-drained bones.

This was my birth month, and I was eager to finally do some celebrating after a seeming eternity of high-stress international leggings-production madness. Fortunately, Cathy shares my passion for the finer things in life and was in the mood for a little decadence.


Fist up: positively heavenly dim sum at Yauatcha, after my morning at Serpentine Gallery.


Tokyo cooler: lemongrass, raspberry, elderflower, peach juice and guava juice. Just… Magical.


We ended up with four types of dim sum. I remember: pumpkin and pine nut dumplings, beefy something or other – har gau, I think, spinach balls with squid… Mff.


We were much too full to try the gorgeous dessert offerings, so they remained a feast for the eyes.


Just look at these shapes! And colors!


These velvety roses were obscenely pretty.


We needed a walk after lunch, and the kaleidoscopic wonderland known as Irregular Choice was conveniently on our way.


This is one of the very few shoe stores which can be classified as a “safe place” for my wallet – I love everything in sight but would wear none of it.


Maybe it’s my secretly Swarowski-encrusted Russian blood, but it’s physically impossible for me to remain indifferent to a place bursting with this much color, sparkle, and unicorns.


I seriously can’t help myself, even though my style sense violently rejects such gaudy silliness.


It’s possible that somewhere out there, I’m leading a parallel life: perpetually fifteen and wearing all these shoes in my life-size Japanese dollhouse…


…But it is not this life. Also, these bunny-stompers continue to creep me out:


This toy collection inside the fitting bench was fun to examine:


We spent a long while poring over all the bright, colorful displays, culminating in this incredible photo-bomb by one of the clerks:


The next day, destiny beckoned and we visited Sketch for cocktails and dessert. I did mention this was my birthday month, yes?


Sketch is basically a waking dream of a luxury restaurant. Everything’s obscenely priced, but the atmosphere is incomparable.

We forked pastries and sipped champagne in the Glade, beneath the branches of the chandelier.


Red fairy lights flickered as I admired Cathy’s dessert: intimidating and adorable.


After a very long while spent soaking up this gorgeous Midsummer Dream Garden a la Gatsby, it was time for something completely different.


Climbing the staircase past the egg-shaped bar, we made our way to the best toilet in all the world.


Seriously, I invite you to show me a cooler toilet.


It’s as if Kubrick himself designed the glowing, spaceship-y room and individual pods! Designed them for ME.


Inside each pod, a recording of rainforest frogs plays – to encourage digestive harmony, I imagine?


It’s unfair that only the restroom looks like this, and it’s downright tragic that I don’t live in a place that resembles it. I would have stayed there forever, if only the uniformed attendant didn’t start eying us with suspicion after a good twenty minutes of wistful sighs and photo-taking. It was then that I vowed to always visit Sketch when in London.

This brings us to the end of the blatant decadence segment of my UK trip. There was actually a whole other evening of cocktails and dessert which I didn’t bother photographing, but I think you will agree that I finally managed to properly celebrate my birthday, regardless.

Until the Future!