After obligatory test runs at Berners Tavern, Quaglino’s and Sexy Fish – all requiring the consumption of vast quantities of tequila – Zoe decided that her 40th birthday celebrations would be held at SushiSamba. A strange choice, perhaps, given her crippling fear of heights. As the big day loomed, she was waking up in cold acrophobic sweats. She even rang SushiSamba to ask if there was an alternative route to the 39th floor of the Heron Tower. Needless to say the prospect of nearly 200m of stairs coaxed her up and I’m not sure any of us remember the lift back down.
In the run up, Zo and I had had a fantastic shopping trip to Question Air in Wimbledon – an endless selection of beautiful clothes made for giants. Tall ladies always ask me about dresses – the waists are often too high for our long torsos. My advice is to seek out particular styles, for example, those which are not fitted such as tunic or shirt dresses, which you can waist where you like with your own belt. Or try tiered dresses which allow for structure without a fixed waistline. Alternatively go for styles with a wide waist band.
Birthday girl Zoe found this stunning bright yellow Nicole Miller dress, which has a wide ruched waist, perfect for catering to a longer torso. The bright colour and beautiful cut of the dress means simple accessories – either black or nude. Zoe opted for this chic black leather DKNY clutch and cut out LK Bennett heels. She looked elegant, sexy and supremely happy at looking not a day over 30.
Typically, more of a jeans and sneakers girl, I was surprised to come away with this very feminine, 50’s-inspired Ganni skirt. From the moment I put it on I felt like Grace Kelly (I usually feel more like Grace Jones). The skirt had deep pockets which I could plunge my hands into – there is something so comforting about pockets. Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to do with your hands or is that just me?
In the excitement of the build-up, however, I had forgotten that the skirt was see-through, so when I stepped out of the taxi on Bishopsgate I was proudly baring my lacy knickers to the world. Perhaps a small pair of black shorts or boy pants would have been more appropriate but it all added to the occasion, I feel.
Needless to say, I shouldn’t have worried about my indecent exposure. Zo’s birthday night coincided with a parade of naked cyclists. Hundreds of men (and one or two women) wobbling their way through London, parts jiggling, as they pedalled to our shrieks of very immature hen-party-esque laughter. In fact, it turns out it was a “protest against oil dependency” and not just gratuitous exhibitionism… Nevertheless, it got our night off to a very entertaining start indeed.
Dear Readers, if you’re renting a Santander/Boris Bike in the near future, remember to wipe the seat before you mount.