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Ten happy things – May 2022

Panoramic view of Lucca

Each month I look back and reflect on what brought me happiness and moments of joy. May was quite a busy month, although unfortunately I was also unwell in the last week and unable to enjoy any Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The last week was spent at home, reading, watching movies and trying to rest and recover.

Here’s my ‘ten happy things’ for May!

Lunch with Fee and Neha

In early May I met with my friends Fee and Neha for lunch in the newly opened Parrillan in Borough Yards, right by Borough Market. It has a lovely outdoor terrace, which is where we ate, and the seats are heated! Thankfully we didn’t need them as the weather was actually really warm that day and the sun was out.

Parrillan terrace in Borough Yards

We ordered a few dishes to share, including this fabulous asparagus dish – in fact we ordered two of them! We also enjoyed a selection of pork cuts, which we cooked ourselves over a little grill. That was fun! The Cava was flowing, the sun was shining and we had a fab time.

Asparagus starter from Parrillan

And of course with Fee being a rooftop Queen, we had to have a drink afterwards at Oxo Tower, one of the originals!

Chotto Matte Marylebone opening

My lovely friend Kaye invited me as her ‘plus one’ to the opening of the new Chotto Matte in Marylebone. Chotto Matte is an institution in Soho and Marylebone is the latest edition to their portfolio. The concept is Japanese Peruvian and what we tried was delicious. We were served sushi, meat skewers, dumplings and some desserts, including mochi.

As well as enjoying the flowing champagne and the circulating canapes, it was great to catch up with Kaye as we’d not seen each other for ages. It was a fun night – especially for a Wednesday!

Selection of sushi on a silver dish

Lunch at Luca

We first visited Luca, in Clerkenwell, in 2018 and hadn’t returned. I’m not really sure why as the restaurant is lovely and the food is pretty good. Well, we finally made it back – 4 years later! We were sat in the conservatory area, which is very pretty and has lots of natural light.

We enjoyed the food – especially the famous Parmesan chips!

Kirsty eating a plate of pasta at Luca

A fun client event

One of my lovely clients held an event in the private dining area at Balthazar in Covent Garden. The event was about how artificial intelligence can help fundraisers find new donors – it was fascinating! The venue was absolutely stunning too, and the wine and canapes were flowing. It was great to meet up with some old friends and even a colleague, who I’d not seen in years.

Glass of champagne with a vase of flowers on a table

New armchair

My family is coming to visit in August and we definitely don’t have enough seating! The white chair we had in the living room looked very pretty but wasn’t very functional so I decided it was time to buy a new armchair. I looked at loads of chairs online and some were amazing but had a hefty price tag… I finally settled on this lovely one, which was on sale, from Wayfair.

They had different colours and I really deliberated over the blue or yellow but glad I went with blue in the end!

Blue armchair from Wayfair

An evening with Comté (press invite)

Comté cheese events are always so fun so when I was invited to an evening learning about Comté and tasting the different ages being paired with delicious accompaniments, I jumped at the chance!

Hosted at Jenius Social in Islington, we were welcomed with a glass of Cremant and then took to our seats as Cheese expert and journalist, Patrick McGuigan, explained all about how and where Comté is made. Whilst I’ve heard Patrick talk a few times about Comté, I always learn something new. This time I learned that Comté actually isn’t vegetarian!

Whilst Patrick was talking, chef Laura Pope was busy creating some amazing accompaniments for us to try with the different ages of Comté. My favourite was the cherry and star anise jam with Scandinavian-style seeded crisp-breads, served with a Comté that was around 10 months. It was fabulous!

Kirsty sitting at a table with a plate of Comte cheese and crackers

Enjoying pilates

I’ve finally found a pliates class that I really enjoy and that’s on a day and time that I can do! I’ve only gone twice as I was away, and then I was ill, but I can’t wait until the next class. This class is great because it’s a good workout and I really like the instructor. I just wish she did more than one class a week at my gym…

A trip to Lucca for a fabulous wedding

My awesome cousin Liam married his beautiful fiance Sarah in Lucca, Tuscany, this month in a gorgeous villa! They are such a lovely couple and their wedding was just so special – full of people who adore them and wanted to share in their joy and happiness.

Liam and Sarah's wedding in Tuscany
Photo credit: Andrea Corridori

It was such a fabulous wedding and the most stunning venue – I’m sure you’ll agree! We had the best time celebrating their special day.

Wedding venue in Tuscany

Cycling along the old walls

I absolutely adore cycling when I’m on holiday! It’s so much fun and a great way to get around and explore. Lucca is actually surrounded by historic walls that protected the city back in the day, and now it’s the perfect place to walk, scoot or cycle around. We actually hired bikes twice in one day – in the morning and then late afternoon – and cycled around the city. It only takes about 30 minutes. On our second cycle, we went round twice!

Kirsty on a bicycle in Lucca

Hitting a blog milestone

My blog has steadily been getting more and more views each month as a few of my posts now rank on the first page of Google. By the end of May, my blog had already exceeded all the views it got in the whole of 2021! This has made me very proud and also just happy that people are finding my content useful. I even had someone contact me this month after reading a blog post to ask for some advice for their holiday!

So that’s my ‘ten happy things’ for May. How did your month go?

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Neha

    I love your monthly posts Kirsty. Lunch was fabulous- always lovely meeting you. As for the blog milestone. Keep it up and congratulations x

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Thank you Neha! Was such a fun lunch. We definitely need to do it again! x

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