Birthday in Paradise

When I was in Mexico I turned 21, and I can honestly say there was nothing more spectacular than waking up in paradise. 

I had taken all my cards and presents with me, which meant it really felt like my birthday morning. I eagerly opened my presents, both of which were from very special people in my life. 

Our friends from Dubai gave me the most gorgeous Swarovski Crystal Pen, which I've just realised I never took a photo of. But I can assure you it's so gorgeous that I hardly want to touch it for fear of ruining its sparkle. 

The other was from my parents, and I was thrilled to see a new bead for my bracelet. I had wanted the Pandora Seashell Charm for so long (mostly because it reminded me of mermaids), but it was extra special to receive in Mexico. I will forever look at it and remember the morning I woke up to the sound of the crashing waves. 

We headed off to breakfast. My mama kindly lent me this gorgeous black cover-up for the holiday, as for some reason I am severely lacking in clothes that go over swimwear. However, this one was so gorgeous I actually loved it enough to wear it as a dress. 

It's from a website called Swimwear365 and if you're going on holiday I can't recommend them enough. You can even have them calculate your body type and then show all the swimwear and clothing that is most suited to your shape. I also got another cheeky purchase from their site but that will be for a later post. 

It's flipping amazing! 

I know I'm super cool. 

Dress - Swimwear365 || Wedges - New Look

Birthday breakfast only meant one thing of course...pancakes! And pancakes don't get much better than when they're topped with caramelised apples, red fruit compote and lashings of maple syrup.

I may have had a three course breakfast that's my birthday, okay?!

I forgot to mention one of my favourite things about the resort - the lizards! Perhaps if you're not a huge fan of lizards then you won't find this so exciting, but the resort is home to many of these fellas.

They are free to wander around the pools and bushes as they please and are often found on the paths. They're very tame so there's really nothing to be afraid of, but obviously don't disturb them while they're sunbathing! 

We had a quick lie out in the sun, while I got to working on the book my boyfriend bought me at the airport; The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. It's probably one of the best books I've read in a long time and I seriously recommend it, especially if you love historical fiction. 

When we returned to the room there was quite the surprise waiting!

A towering birthday cake made entirely from towels and rose petals, as well as balloons everywhere. 

Sadly the cake above wasn't edible, but all was well because they left a real one too!

We returned to the beach for a spot of lunch, this time opting for different things from the day before. 

Ollie went for the Mexican burger this time. 

As well as a chicken salad, which was a tad disappointing as most of the fried chicken pieces were all batter and no meat. Nowhere near as good as the previous days salad.

I had the crispy beef burrito, which turned up actually entirely crispy. The whole thing was deep fried and filled with beef, chilli and potato. It was a bit too greasy for my liking. 

But the ice cream won me back; vanilla, coconut and dulce de leche scoops with a fragment of sugar. 

As a special treat for my 21st, Ollie had booked us a candlelit dinner on the beach, which was the perfect opportunity to dress up. I decided on wearing the dress I was given for Christmas, and has no skyrocketed to the top of my favourite dresses list.

I'm mildly obsessed with red dresses, and this one is no exception. From Michelle Keegan's range at Lipsy, it's perfect for my shape, with gorgeous lace accents at the bottom. I paired it with a simple pair of black scrappy heels which I love due to their simple elegance. You can pretty much pair them with any dress and they'll look gorgeous. 

Dress - Lipsy || Shoes - Miss Selfridge

We headed down to the beach, where we were given our own personal gazebo and candlelit table. 

The sound of the waves crashing against the shore echoed around us. Sadly, it being pitch black meant that the sea was not visible beyond our little table. 

We had a set menu and promptly the starter of rocket salad arrived. 

Okay, but with one rocket leaf maybe more like a prawn salad? 

This was followed by a choice of soup, but we both went with the lobster bisque, which I really enjoyed. 

The mains made up for the disappointing salad. 

Salmon with champagne mash and ratatouille. 

As well as chicken with Mexican rice in a tomato sauce. 

But dessert was my favourite: Baked Alaska! Which happens to be one of my all time favourite desserts. And they also remembered it was my birthday!

The dinner itself was lovely, but the service was sadly not up to the same standard. After our meal the waiter left a comments card for us to fill out, which we did, and then when he returned to clear our plates he read it in front of us, which I felt was extremely inappropriate and rude. I also asked him to take a picture of my boyfriend and I together, which seemed to inconvenience him greatly. I set it up for him and focused it for him (as I know not everybody is an expert with a DSLR), but he kept saying "Nope, nope" before taking a perfectly focused picture...with our heads chopped off. It annoyed me because a) Ollie paid a lot extra for the dinner and b) We didn't get a single picture together on the whole holiday and that was one place I would have really liked one, but there you go. 

Other than that little setback, the entire day was lovely. Turning 21 in such beautiful surroundings is something I'll never forget and I am so lucky to have been able to celebrate it like this.