© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated Helen Bday

China – Beijing – Helen’s Birthday – 4th December

31 today!! Eek!! A far cry from last years fancy dress vintage themed party with all my best mates at Holyrood!! Still being in Beijing was pretty special and we made the effort to go and see some sights for the day. Dave bought me a lovely notebook from the Frank Gehry exhibition shop, I’m always jotting and sketching down thoughts, plans and ideas so it was very warmly received! A Porridge and banana special for breakfast and we were on our way.

We set out for the Beijing Botanical Gardens, inspired by the success of our bus journey a few days ago we attempted to tube and bus it to the site. The lonely Planet were not entirely accurate in providing information as to which bus to get so we ended up on the wrong path. A quick turn around for a taxi and we arrived at our destination. It isn’t perhaps the best time of year to visit the Botanical Gardens as not much is in flower, but we did find some lovely paths out towards a temple and icey lakes to throw stones on. There was a fair amount of ice on the lake and some gorgeous frosty views. Its well out of the city so you do feel far away from the business of central Beijing.

The tropical greenhouse (much larger than your average garden greenhouse!) was a nice place to get warm and enjoy some cactus growing plants alongside more brides and grooms to be having their pre-wedding photographs taken amongst the orchid garden.

On our way back we stopped off for a quick birthday bite at Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya. A place that didn’t really entice us whilst we were in Japan but is definitely projected as being a more upmarket food chain over in China, interesting! They even had vegetables on the menu! We went back to the apartment and decided to get ready for our night out.

We had very good intentions of going for a massage at Dragonfly, our favourite and slightly self-indulgent massage parlour in Beijing! What stopped us in our tracks however was an hour delay at Xinjeikou metro station, this was so far our favourite stop as there were never as many people using it and it was well located! So we changed plans and head straight for Gouladjie which was only a few stops away, there was a Malaysian restaurant recommended to us around that way that we wanted to go to. We found Cafe Sambal on the left hand side a couple of streets down from the tube stop set in a Hutong area. It’s a little hidden away behind some wooden doors but inside was a very nicely lit ambient bar and restaurant which was packed to the ceiling with locals and westerners…good so far! At the bar we waited for a table and drank mojitos. We love it that you can buy mojitos over here for around £3, I’m pretty sure we’ve had one for as low as £2! The food was very good, although they could do with upping their portions a little! The room was a little chilly where we sat, but having said that the atmosphere was lovely and as far as birthday settings go this was again pretty frickin’ sweet!

After dinner we went for a walk along the street and came across a very cosy little desert cafe. This was enough to entice us in and we sat with our ginger teas, apple cake and chocolate truffles whilst watching the world go by.

Thank you Dave for a lovely day! I think the 30 year plus grumps came across me when I realised I am now past the tender year of 30, which has been a blooming marvellous year so far!

All my love and thanks for all the birthday messages on Facebook.

Helen x

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Sandie
    Posted 1 Jan ’11 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Love the cacti shots!!! Glad you’re having a wonderful time and belated birthday wishes!!! xx

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