Saturday, 19 September 2009

Scott & my joint birthday dinner (18th September 2009)

Scott and I decided to have another joint birthday party this year, this time a dinner at Nicolini's Italian Cafe Bar and Bistro on Courtenay Place, instead of booking out a whole bar like we did previous year. We have so many friends in common and it is just easier to have everyone attend the same event. It's become a tradition for me and Scott but I'm not sure how long this tradition will last given Scott's leaving in December :( You've got to come back in September next year and have another joint party in Wellington, Scott! And we are flying to Tonga tomorrow - yippee!! It's a real pity that none of our other friends could make it on the trip as many are returning to their home countries at the end of the year and couldn't afford another trip between now and then. Oh well, we'll have a blast anyway and make them jealous with our photos...muah-ha-ha...

The birthday celebrations began with pre-dinner drinks at Betty's on Blair Street, a new bar in town that I've not been to yet. It was a pretty last minute decision so only very few people turned up to meet me there - James and I were the first there around 7.30pm (James was kind enough to escort me to Betty's from my place). Betty's is an interesting bar, smallish place with a projector screening digital art shots on the walls, changing every few minutes. And they have a pretty good cocktail list too. I bought us a round of Belle Fluer cocktails that had a lychee base - cost $17 each which was a bit steep but it turned out really good. Photos taken at Betty's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622538920186/detail/

Boys Liviu and Jonathan popped in to join us and bless Jonathan, he brought me a bottle of wine as a birthday gift. No need for gifts people - your presence is all I ask of! Thanks for the wine, Jonathan! Scott and Hannah dropped in around 8pm. Ah, finally got to meet this mysterious Hannah that my dear friend Scott has been dating and telling me all about - I'm surprised we have not crossed paths given we are both salsa and samba dancers. Well, I suppose we tend to know the boys than girls on the dance floor. Hmm...she reminds me somewhat of Megan Fox at a glance...nice work Scott, very nice...:P

Around 8.15pm, all 6 of us made our way over to Nicolini's for the 8.30pm dinner party. I was slightly irritated by the fact Scott and I specifically requested for our group of 28 to be seated in the back courtyard but instead were placed out in the front across 2 long tables. Nevermind that, half of my guests had to stand around because our second table still had diners finishing their dinners. What the hell?? I was already not happy when we had to get everyone to pay Scott for their dinner in advance (we were on the $39 per head pre-set menu which included garlic bread, choice of 1 entree, main and dessert from the list provided and complimentary coffee) because Scott was told that if we had no-shows, we had to fork out the cost, and now this? I wasn't impressed at all and I don't think those diners like us standing around willing them to move quickly too. I'm not sure I would host another large group dinner here next time...

Dribs and drabs everyone piled in. Lots of chatter over wine and food, introductions of friends from different social networks and Scott and I leaving our seats time and again to chat with our friends up and down the tables. More birthday presents - got a cute birthday card from Chris that made me laugh (had a picture of a hamster dancing) and a gift from Stacey as well. And we also had lovely Antje at our party, who was probably feeling jetlag as she has just flown in from Germany today (she's visiting for a few weeks). Thanks, you guys! Photos taken at dinner: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622540308528/detail/

Oh my god, I'm SO full! After having garlic bread and my entree, I could hardly fit in the main let alone the dessert - the servings were huge! Thankfully no more dramas with Nicolini's the rest of the evening and everyone had a good time. We said our goodbyes to friends around midnight and split into small groups - some went salsa dancing, a few of us went off for drinks and the rest headed home.

I was left with boys Colm, Liviu, James and Chris and 5 of us headed over to another new bar in town I've been hunting for ages called The Library. I read a review the the papers not long ago that it was the hottest new bar in town located on Courtenay Place but I work in the area and just couldn't find the entrance to the place! Turned out to be through the door next to Burger King where the Natural Health Centre is located (pass through the door and head towards the back and upstairs). The Library is a boutique high-end cocktail and late-night dessert bar, beautifully decorated to suit the library theme, books and books everywhere with little nooks and sofas to chill out on. Quite similar to Hooch, Hawthorn Lounge and Motel Bar, it has a romantic atmosphere with subtle glowing candles here and there. There was even a jazz band playing tonight - fabulous! Colm was sweet to buy me a birthday drink - I had a Rossini, a strawberry bubbly, nice and light to the taste. James and Colm left after one drink and the remaining 3 of us left around 1am. Photos taken at The Library: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622538956064/detail/

Thanks everyone for coming to the birthday party - I had a great time in awesome company :)

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